WARREN, Mich.--The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center brought together the center's engineers, industrial designers from Detroit's College for Creative Studies and Soldiers from the Army's 4th Infantry Division in a workshop to build concepts for a future Stryker-carried command post variant.
This Soldier Innovation Workshop is the eighth of its kind hosted by TARDEC.
Soldier Innovation Workshops tap the expertise and operational needs of Soldiers in the force, converting these valuable insights into future vehicle and vehicle component concepts. The CCS students act as "translators," graphically transcribing the Soldiers' ideas into conceptual drawings.
"It's very similar to what it's like in the real world," says Hunter Erdman, a recent graduate of the College for Creative Studies, who has participated in five Soldier Innovation Workshops. "In a real studio it acts just like this, where you listen to a client's input and requests, what they dislike or like about certain things, and then we take those things and draw them immediately."
Each iteration of the workshop brings Soldiers to Detroit from different types of units. Soldiers participating here are from the 4th Division's Fort Carson, Colorado-based 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
"What's super exciting about this is we're having an impact in the ability of the Army to react to future conflict and operations," says Command Sgt. Maj. Chad Brown, Command Sergeant Major, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. "And what that really means is my son or someone else's son or daughter is going to potentially be in some of the equipment and experience some of the design changes that we've talked about here."
The three-day workshop is scheduled to be followed by a mock-up in physical form of the concepts that were developed here, perhaps bridging into a future fielded capability for the Stryker vehicle.
"It has turned out to be an amazing experience where we've got a ton of ideas for future Army equipment," says Brown.
The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities for decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint Warfighter and the Nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.