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The MANPRINT Program



An Additional Domain...

In the wake of Operation Desert Storm, an important lesson learned was that incidents of attack from friendly units (fratricide) had to be reduced. It was also reaffirmed that increases in enemy detection and recognition capabilities, coupled with the expanding lethality and range of modern weaponry, could seriously limit the ability of the U.S. soldier to survive future battles. The then Chief of Staff of the Army, General Gordon R. Sullivan, stated that the Army could not accept casualties that could be prevented by proper Research, Development and Acquisition (RDA). Thus, attention had to be focused on soldier survivability.

Many believed that soldier survivability (SSv) was a subset of system survivability. System survivability had been historically oriented toward hardware survivability; generally accepting the thought that if the system survives, then the soldier survives, which is not always the case.

In 1992, the DCSPER, Lieutenant General Thomas P. Carney, proposed a way to resolve this issue. He suggested including SSv as a seventh domain in the Army's MANPRINT . This approach provided written guidance and a means of assessing enhancements introduced into new materiel and soldier systems to increase chances of survival. In 1994, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory was given responsibility for SSv and it was officially added as the seventh domain of MANPRINT.

Soldier Survivability Defined...

Soldier survivability is more than vulnerability (a quantitative measure of a soldier's susceptibility to damage) and vulnerability reduction (measures to reduce or eliminate the effects of combat damage mechanisms). Soldier survivability is defined in terms of the soldier and system:

SOLDIER: Those system characteristics that enable soldiers to withstand (or avoid) adverse military action (both friend and foe) or the effects of natural phenomena (heat, cold, deep water, etc.) that could result in a loss of life or capability to continue effective performance of the prescribed mission.

SYSTEM:Those characteristics that promote reduced:

  • fratricide;
  • detectability of the system;
  • probability of attack on the system, if detected;
  • vulnerability, if attacked.

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