Soldier Center shares camouflage, concealment, and signature management expertise with Naval War College students

By Jane Benson, DEVCOM Soldier Center Public AffairsMarch 2, 2021

DEVCOM Soldier Center NWC briefing
(Photo Credit: Army photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

NATICK, Mass. -- The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, or DEVCOM, Soldier Center recently shared their camouflage, concealment and signature management knowledge with students enrolled in a deception class at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

Experts from the DEVCOM Soldier Center’s Soldier Protection Directorate provided virtual presentations that taught the students about the history of camouflage, including camouflage design variables (size, color, and shape), camouflage principles, examples of camouflage in nature, and electromagnetic spectrum sensors. Soldier Center experts also provided a detailed camouflage historical timeline.

Soldier Center experts also briefed students about camouflage, concealment and signature management. Topics included the impact of signature management; Ultralight, Camouflage, Netting System, or ULCANS; current and emerging sensor threats; short- and long-term potential solutions; and detection distances of mission command networks.

"The thirteen students and three instructors from the Naval War College's Military Deception elective enjoyed the interactions with the DEVCOM Soldier Center members and got a lot out of the discussion,’ said Paul Povlock, Ph.D., a professor in the Joint Military Operations Department at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. “The presentations helped our students see how camouflage works to deceive the enemy at tactical level of conflict. The students had discussed some of these issues in class but interacting with the world class subject matter experts helped cement these concepts.”

During the virtual class, the students learned how concealment and deception tactics are essential for increasing both warfighter survival and lethality.

“They especially liked the ‘Onion or Garlic’ concept on why not being seen was crucial, or how being seen could help confuse the enemy and deceive adversary decision makers to take actions beneficial to our side,” said Povlock. “This led to other thoughts about how their own experiences with camouflage in different domains had worked and helped the instructors meet the objectives of the course. We often concentrate on the 'art' in military deception. It was good to see some of the science as well. All in all it was a very successful morning seminar!"

DEVCOM Soldier Center experts noted the importance of exchanging information with students at the Naval War College.

"It was a great opportunity to interact with the students who are, essentially, warfighters,” said Donald Lee, team leader of the Disruptive Materials and Fibers Team in the Soldier Protection Directorate at DEVCOM Soldier Center. “Sometimes providing a basic introduction or historical knowledge on a topic that the students are already familiar with can provide a better understanding of why we do things the way we do or, conversely, why we cannot do things that may seem obvious to do. The students asked some great questions which showed their interest in the topic presented."

“These information exchanges with Naval War College and the Soldier Center are important because the NWC students are the future leaders of the DoD,” said Clinton McAdams, Camouflage, Concealment, and Signature Management (Asset) project lead in the Soldier Protection Directorate at DEVCOM Soldier Center. “The ability for us to inform them of the work we are doing and to get their feedback is extremely important for the success to our S&T projects, as well as informing them on future technology they will see in their careers.”


The DEVCOM Soldier Center is committed to discovering, developing, and advancing science and technology solutions that ensure America’s warfighters are optimized, protected, and lethal. DEVCOM Soldier Center supports all of the Army's Modernization efforts, with the Soldier Lethality and Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Teams being the DEVCOM Soldier Center’s chief areas of focus. The center’s science and engineering expertise are combined with collaborations with industry, DOD, and academia to advance Soldier and squad performance. The center supports the Army as it transforms from being adaptive to driving innovation to support a Multi-Domain Operations Capable Force of 2028 and a MDO Ready Force of 2035. DEVCOM Soldier Center is constantly working to strengthen Soldiers’ performance to increase readiness and support for warfighters who are organized, trained, and equipped for prompt and sustainable ground combat.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) outreach and mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers is also an important part of the mission of DEVCOM Soldier Center. The mentoring of students by Army scientists and engineers benefits the students and their communities. It also increases young people's awareness of potential Army job opportunities and helps provide the Army with potential new talent, helping to fuel innovative ideas that benefit the nation's warfighters and the nation as a whole.

DEVCOM Soldier Center is part of DEVCOM. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, DEVCOM leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.