Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier’s Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment (PdM SCIE) held a Change of Charter ceremony as Lt. Col. Naim Lee assumed responsibility as PdM from Lt. Col. Jonathan Allen, at Fort Belvoir on June 12th.
Col. Stephen Thomas, Project Manager Soldier Survivability (PM SSV), presided over the special event that stood out for more than one reason.
The Change of Charter was one of the first outdoor ceremonies held on post since the base implemented restrictions on personnel and gatherings after the onset of COVID-19. Additionally the official party wore the new Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU), one of the first instances of Army leaders donning the uniform during a public event.
PdM SCIE is responsible for developing, evaluating, and fielding individual combat equipment and occupational specialty clothing to improve Soldier survivability, protection, and mobility. Lee thanked the SCIE staff for ensuring a smooth transition into his new position.
“I’ve come to learn in a short period of time that I am going to be working with a great group of people,” Lee said. “The level of support and the quality of information that I’ve received from my new SCIE team has been phenomenal.”
Lee arrives at PEO Soldier after participating in a Training with Industry fellowship with General Dynamics Information Technology. He previously served in several other Army PEO organizations, to include assignments as a Trail Boss with PEO Integration and an Assistant Product Manager with PEO Command, Control, and Communications (C3T). Positions that are more recent include service as a System Coordinator for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA (ALT)) and a Program Integrator with the Program and Analysis Directorate, Army G-8, at the Pentagon. Lt. Col. Lee also deployed to Iraq three times during his Army career.
Acknowledging recent unrest throughout the country, Lee noted how Army leaders can serve as positive examples during uncertain times.
“We can achieve greatness and we can showcase greatness,” he said. “We serve as standard bearers. We serve as role models and we serve as bridge builders for our youth. And if you look at a ceremony like this and see these guys up here looking good and it does not enable you to move mountains, then you probably don’t have a pulse.”
Before the ceremony, Thomas presented Allen with the Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of his accomplishments over his three-year tenure as PdM SCIE, during which he oversaw more than 350 acquisition programs resulting in the modernization of clothing, individual equipment, and specialized airdrop products for the Army’s current and future force.
Allen led the development and user evaluations of the Jungle Combat Boots (JCB) and Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform (IHWCU) that are now being issued to Soldiers in Basic Training and available in AAFES stores. He managed the fielding of over 10,000 Modular Handgun Holsters, which are compatible with the Army’s M17 and M18 handguns. Allen’s efforts also led the approval of the Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU), a reintroduction of the Army’s dress uniform from World War II, for wear in everyday business environments.
“I know you’re going to miss the late-night planning sessions, the numerous briefing preps and the countless requests for information from both the Pentagon and industry,” said Thomas to Allen. “But John, I know you’re going to feel some sense of accomplishment in the future as you see the Army Green Service Uniform out there being worn by Soldiers.”
During the ceremony, Allen emphasized how the production and fielding of improved clothing and equipment results from a successful collaboration among PEO and SCIE leadership, program officers, logisticians, and government and industry partners.
“What we do is a team sport and the ultimate winner is the warfighter,” said Allen. “I have a true passion for our mission to rapidly deploy superior and sustainable integrated clothing equipment for the Army’s important combat system – the Soldier.”
Allen will serve as Forward Military Deputy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics, technology (ASA (ALT)), in his next assignment.