Found On The Infosphere


Unfortunately, this is all true. This is what happens when process (and more than a little congressional pressure) becomes more important than the product.

10 Responses to “Found On The Infosphere”

  1. CWG says:

    What do you expect? I learned everything I needed to know about PPE acquisition when the FORSCOM Commander General Ellis was throwing fat piles of money to Point Blank for vests even though their vests were failing to live up to their ratings, immediately after which he retired and joined their board of directors.

  2. Fudman says:

    Sadly, some things never change. Or rather, they go back to the way they were. It’s what happens when people follow the “book” to avoid (career) risk or as the previous poster implied, to improve career opportunity. MBAV, CIRAS, et al were all created at the request of users, with a lot of user input, specifically for users. Ultimately, the responsibility of the guy behind the desk is to facilitate transition of user driven solutions into the field, not to impose their interpretation of reality or regulations into the process. So sad to see we took one step forward, only to take two steps backward (again).

  3. JM Gavin says:

    DoD acquisitions is like the VA or the IRS/tax code…one of those institutions that “everyone” knows is a disaster, and every couple of years someone makes press talking about reforms or simplification, but it will never change.

    The rules are written to guarantee it never changes, because the same folks write the rules for all such institutions…Congress. The first step to living with it is to understand it’s intentional.

    • bloke_from_ohio says:

      While the way we are actually supposed to develop and acquire things is bad, the way we actually do it is worse. This might be the one time in ten where a program office actually followed the procedures as written in the FAR, but I doubt it. Most program offices only kind of sort of follow the regulations when they do their thing. Don’t get me wrong, the “process” is all kinds of broken as written. The FAR is thousands of pages long and hundreds of exceptions, rulings, and interpretations get published each month by all kinds of agencies within the labyrinth that is the federal government.

      But, the process itself is only partially at fault in situations like this. It is simply not followed enough in my experience to be the real reason we can’t have nice things.

      Now, if our mess of a process was actually followed, we would all be fighting with personally procured rocks in our skivvies…

  4. Cory C. says:

    What would it take to fix this? I’ve never served, so this is a foreign subject to me. But everyone I’ve ever spoken to who has served tells these kinds of stories. What is the root problem and what would need to be done to fix it?

    • JM Gavin says:

      Did you read what I wrote? It’s right above your post.

    • Army Ammo Guy says:

      The root problem is the decision making Generals need jobs after they retire. Attend an AUSA symposium and watch the job offers fly while companies show off their developments that’ll never see the light of day.

  5. Kirk says:

    The reason it gets like this is that the people doing it are more invested in the process than the product, due to the majority of them being more worried about their jobs, their post-government employment opportunities, and a whole host of other things including internal politics, than they are about providing gear to the guys out on the pointy end of things.

    Look at what they did to Lowe with the original CFP-90 rucks–The original Lowe products were amazing, well-made, and totally worth what we were paying for them. They took the design to mass-production, engaged the services of an inexperienced manufacturer, and we got the POS that was the actual fielded ruck. Did anyone at Natick or PEO Soldier lose their jobs over that…? Nope; same things just kept happening, same as it ever was.

    I don’t know how to fix this, other than by breaking the rice bowl for a lot of these folks running things on the bureaucratic side of the procurement process. I find it really annoying how often they’ve screwed over the people actually doing the design work and who’ve submitted equipment, only to see it essentially stolen. For examples, look at MagPul and the whole anti-tilt follower BS and the “improved GI” magazines… It’s all over the procurement process, for everything. You look at enough of it all, and you’re really sort of shocked that we get anything that’s actually worth the money, and hauling around the battlefield.

  6. Stefan S. says:

    That DPM last comment is priceless. When clueless office commando’s make decisions in an air conditioned office in DC!

  7. straps says:

    I’ll just leave this here:

    It was ALSO Murtha who initiated discussion on the shortcomings of UCP.

    I can’t help but wonder of that moment of fortitude came after contact by lobbyists who knew some folks who could replace the entire inventory of UCP armor covers and carriers with gear in a more effective pattern…