Human Performance Training and Biosystems Directorate: About

In the Human Performance, Training, and BioSystems (HPT&B) Directorate, we believe that DoD technologies are developed to extend the capabilities of the human, enhance the capabilities of the human, sustain the human, or repair the human.

Background, Roles, and Responsibilities of the HPT&B Directorate

old mapThe HPT&B Directorate was established within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, ASD (R&E), and is charged with the responsibility to provide technical leadership, management oversight, and the development of policy guidance for science and technology. As with the other research directorates in ASD (R&E), these responsibilities are outlined in Department of Defense Directive 5134.3 (see the overview of DoDD 5134.3 in this newsletter) that provides the framework by which these efforts are achieved. The HPT&B portfolio encompasses more than $3 billion/year of research and engineering significant to the Department of Defense (DoD). The HPT&B portfolio covers a diverse range of research and academic disciplines, including: biometrics, chemical and biological defense, civil engineering, combat feeding, directed energy biological neering, human performance optimization, human, social, culture and behavior modeling, effects, environmental sciences, Brain human factors engineering human-system integration, irregular warfare, language and cultural training, medical and life sciences, neurosciences, non-lethal weapon biological effects, personnel selection, and threats posed by disease carrying insects. The ASD(R&E) also assigned the HPT&B Directorate with the responsibility to provide guidance and oversight to meet the regulatory responsibilities associated with the protection and care of animals and humans in research. In fulfilling these objectives, the HPT&B office strives to ensure that the research in the HPT&B domain is well focused, relevant, and capable of meeting current and anticipated defense operational needs and objectives.


To be recognized and respected as the premier organization within the Department of Defense (DoD) that advances the understanding that the "human is the most important weapon system" through world-class research in the fields of human performance, medical systems, man-machine systems, training, regulatory affairs, civil engineering, environmental quality, and chemical and biological defense.


"The Human Performance, Training, and BioSystems Directorate" (HPT&B) provides executive and technical leadership and authoritative scientific and technical advice on the entire DoD effort in the area of HPT&B to provide future forces the requisite knowledge, science, and technology to support critical Warfighting capabilities. HPT&B is responsible for policy and oversight for the portfolio of science, technology and development programs of the DoD funded by Research and Development Technology and Engineering (RDT&E) budget activity - codes 6.1 (Basic Research), 6.2 (Applied Research), 6.3 (Advanced Technology Development), and 6.4 (Advanced Component and Prototypes) - providing technical leadership, management oversight, policy guidance, and coordination for over $2 billion in research and engineering (R&E) programs in the DoD to ensure that these areas are focused, relevant and quality efforts capable of satisfying defense needs. HPT&B provides program execution management for assigned R&E programs; staff members serve as the senior DoD representatives in relevant Federal interagency and International R&E forums, committees, boards, and panels responsible for ensuring the long-term strategic direction of the Department's R&E program, which is essential to the development of the cutting-edge technologies needed for the continued technological superiority of U.S. forces.

Overview of DoDD 5134.3

The Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 5134.3 establishes the responsibilities of what was then the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) and is now the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)). This DoDD states that the ASD(R&E) shall:

  • Develop the strategies and supporting plans that exploit technology and prototypes to respond to the needs of the Department of Defense and ensure U.S. technological superiority (Section 4.2)
  • Conduct analyses and studies; develop policies; and provide technical leadership, oversight and advice
  • Make recommendations and issue guidance for the DoD R&E plans and programs (Section 4.3)
  • Recommend approval, modification, or disapproval of programs and projects of the Military Departments and other DoD Components in assigned fields to eliminate unpromising or unnecessarily duplicative programs, and initiation or support of promising ones for R&E (Section 4.4)
  • Oversee matters associated with R&E at DoD laboratories operated by the Military Departments or other DoD Components (Section 4.6)
  • Promote coordination, cooperation, and mutual understanding of R&E within the Department of Defense and between the Department of Defense and other Federal Agencies and the civilian community (Section 4.7)

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