Fort Belvoir, VA –
PEO Soldier held a change of charter ceremony as Brig. Gen. Christopher Schneider assumed responsibility as the organization’s leader from Maj. Gen. Anthony Potts, at the National Museum of the United States Army, at Fort Belvoir on June 21st.
Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and family members and friends of the ceremony participants filled Veterans Hall for the event, presided over by Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA ALT), Mr. Douglas Bush.
PEO Soldier delivers 127 programs, 253 products and integrated capabilities to Soldiers across the world, including weapons systems, body armor, helmets, sensors, lasers and uniforms. Its mission is to “rapidly deliver agile and adaptive, leading edge Soldier capabilities in order to provide combat overmatch today and be more lethal tomorrow.”
Much of the ceremony highlighted the achievements of Potts as Program Executive Officer and the scope of the work performed by the many directorates under his command for nearly four and a half years.
Bush cited how more than six million items were fielded to Soldiers since Potts’ tenure began in January 2018 – 114,000 items for 53 months – to include protective equipment, armor, helmets, combat and service uniforms, cold weather gear and flame-resistant clothing.
“An awesome level of achievement,” said Bush, who awarded Potts the Distinguished Service Medal as part of the ceremony.
Specifically, Bush praised Potts for overseeing the ongoing Rapid Fielding Initiative, which supplied tens of thousands of Soldiers this year with clothing and gear before they were sent to Europe. He applauded Potts’ multi-year efforts in the design, development, testing, evaluation and rollout of the Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU).
Bush also commended Potts for overseeing the quick fielding and delivery of the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B), which he described as, “the highest performing night vision device ever.”
He noted the Next Generation Squad Weapon and the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) as programs PEO Soldier has brought to fruition through Potts’ leadership, successfully synchronizing efforts with Army Futures Command and Cross Functional Teams (CFTs) to increase the capabilities of Soldiers on the battlefield.
During his remarks, Potts was quick to credit others for PEO Soldier’s accomplishments, thanking by name dozens of mentors, Army leaders and current and former staff from the organization.
“Our three priorities at PEO Soldier are to deliver capability, take care of people and develop a culture of innovation,” he said. “This is a team that sees the possibility of the future and asks the question, ‘what if,’ and then they go after it.”
Potts singled out as successes the Modular Handgun System and Sub Compact Weapon as popular programs that delivered improved pistols and machine guns to Soldiers, and the Soldier Enhancement Program, which “enabled us to accelerate modernized clothing and equipment to our force.”
Our Soldiers are “grateful to the men and women that design, build, test and deliver the capability they need to have overmatch today,” remarked Potts.
The day after PEO Soldier’s change of charter, Potts assumed the charter as Program Executive Officer for Command, Control and Communications - Tactical (PEO C3T), during a ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
Schneider assumes command of an organization with a $2.3 billion budget, comprised of 1,300 personnel, four project management offices, eight product management offices and one project director office.
Schneider is familiar with many of these offices. He previously served in several positions within PEO Soldier, to include Project Manager for Soldier Sensors and Lasers and Project Manager for the Integrated Visual Augmentation System. He returns to PEO Soldier after his most recent assignment as Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology).
Bush said Schneider’s “top level knowledge of acquisition, coupled with his valuable experience will enable him to continue this PEO’s tradition of strong, effective leadership.”
Schneider said he was “excited and grateful” to return to the PEO Soldier workforce.
“It's my greatest professional honor and privilege to serve for a third and final time amongst your ranks,” Schneider said. “Your work is sacred. Every ounce matters. Every bullet counts.”