Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier was founded a decade ago in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, with the mission of centralizing development, acquisition, fielding and sustainment of almost everything the Soldier wears or carries. The goal is to ensure mission success by developing and supplying the Soldier with the latest technological innovations, enhancing soldier survivability, lethality and ability to operate in all environments.

"The Soldier is our strength and our purpose at PEO Soldier," says Brig. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, program executive officer. "PEO Soldier is the first organization in U.S. Army history that is charged with the mission to modernize the 'Soldier as a System.'"

PEO Soldier is involved in all equipment and clothing worn by the individual Soldier. This includes weapons, sensors, clothing, and protective gear such as body armor and helmets. All of this gear is designed to be integrated, modular, and interoperable, allowing the Soldier soldier to tailor the load for each mission.

PEO Soldier's mission also involves developing new technologies to enhance Soldier performance. The program seeks innovations like fused technologies, Soldier-worn expeditionary power sources, and new materials that both reduce weight and increase capabilities to provide the Soldiers with equipment that is both easier to use and lighter to carry. Further, PEO Soldier strives to be the overarching integrator for squads, and it supports Army efforts to modernize squad formations into more independent units.

While PEO Soldier remains focused on the Soldier, it also works to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars. The program has earned several awards for innovative cost saving initiatives, and it has reduced duplication of effort by working on joint projects with other services on equipment such as helmets, body armor, and night vision equipment.