The SEP represents an aggressive effort to identify and procure off-the-shelf items that have the potential to substantially improve weapons and support equipment for our Nation’s Soldiers, focused on our current Warfighting functional areas of fires, mission command, movement and maneuver, sustainability and protection.
The purpose of the Soldier/Marine Enhancement Program (S/MEP) is to provide general impetus for increasing the combat effectiveness of our Army and Marine infantryman. The Marine Enhancement Program (MEP) is located at Quantico Marine Corps Base, Virginia. S/MEP coordinate and collaborate to ensure optimization of operations, actions and activities to benefit both Services while not duplicating efforts. MEP meets quarterly to review efforts at Quantico, Marine Corps Base, while SEP convenes semi-annually to review initiatives at Fort Belvoir, VA.
The program was established in 1989 to “evaluate, test and type classify existing prototypes or commercially available items and to NOT fund lengthy developmental programs or to procure large numbers of major items for use.” The program is pursuant of “lighter, more lethal weapons and munitions for individual infantryman and improved equipment.” The program has continually been funded since 1990 and congruent with Congressional intent utilizing a buy, try and decide methodology to evaluate existing prototypes or commercially available items.
SEP is an enduring process designed to help the Army move at “the Speed of Industry.” SEP funds multiple initiatives, approved semi-annually at the Council of Colonels in September/October and February/March:
- 19 initiatives in FY14 (as of 2nd quarter FY14)
- 29 initiatives in FY13
- 25 initiatives in FY12
SEP solicits suggestions from individual Soldiers, field commanders, commercial manufacturers, capability and materiel developers. Ideal submissions are government-off-the-shelf (GOTS), commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), or non-developmental items (NDI).
- Improve Soldiers ability to execute their combat mission
- Improve current Program of Record products with COTS, NDI
- Assist in the refinement and/or generation of Requirements
- Meets a capability gap identified by Soldiers
- Improves Soldier interface with combat platforms