MS&T would like to recognize the 2018 Industry Award Winners one final time before the 2019 Winners are announced in mid-September. This week, we highlight the achievements of John Givens, former president of Bohemia Interactive Simulations Inc. (BISim), and the recipient of the 2018 Pioneer Award.

Pioneer Award
Halldale Group Publisher & CEO, Andy Smith (left) presents MS&T’s 2018 Pioneer Award to the Advisor to the Board (Military), of Bohemia Interactive Simulations Inc., John Givens (right).

What is the Pioneer Award?

The defense S&T community plays an essential role in supporting military commanders’ development and maintenance of capability and readiness. Within this community there are individuals who have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate outstanding and significant technical and social leadership. This award recognizes their contribution to the defense S&T community.

Why John Givens, Bohemia Interactive Simulations, was selected as the Winner:

John Givens served as president of BISim (US Office), based in Orlando, Florida, from 2010-2019. Givens helped establish the office, which has grown to more than 60 employees.

A long-time participant in the S&T community, Givens created the first live, virtual, constructive (LVC) and gaming simulation displayed at I/ITSEC 2004. He identified six technologies from five companies and integrated them into a single trainer. The system was later used to define simulation capabilities for part-task trainers as well as collective trainers.

From 2004 to 2009, Givens led the design, integration and engineering effort to develop the first U.S. Army convoy training system using game-based technology at Fort Eustis, filling a training gap in the Army. For eight years, he has been the BISim program manager for the U.S. Army, implementing VBS2 for the U.S. Army’s Game After Ambush Program of Record and VBS3 for the follow-on Games for Training Program of Record. He has also served as program manager for the U.S. Marine Corps’ use of VBS3. Givens has been instrumental in the development of VBS IG, which is still positively disrupting the industry by redefining the way simulators display on an image generator. VBS IG has saved the U.S. military millions of dollars while providing enhanced training capability for Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT).

In 2019, Givens now serves as Advisor to the Board (Military), and his new role is to ensure the BISim Group serves U.S. and other militaries through a deep understanding of use cases for BISim technology. Givens maintains a specific focus on U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, United States Special Operations Command, Central and South America and other U.S. agencies.

What Mr. Givens has to say about his MS&T 2018 Pioneer Award Win:

John Givens, Advisor to the Board, Military, BISim: “I’m very honored to have been recognized by MS&T Magazine and its readers in 2018 as the first recipient of MS&T’s Pioneer Award. Our industry continues to grow and supply needed training devices and software, which have a proven, direct effect on service member performance and awareness. I’m fortunate to work for a company that encourages innovation and disruption by developing simulation capabilities that enhance the way militaries train. Last year marked a pivotal moment for BISim when we launched the company’s second major product, VBS Blue IG, a high-fidelity, high performance whole-earth image generator. VBS Blue IG is quickly being adopted by customers for leading-edge mixed reality and virtual reality uses as well as traditional dome-based visualization solutions. We’re continuing this momentum by leveraging our state-of-the-art VBS Blue engine to power the next generation of our desktop training software. We look forward to sharing more about this work in the months to come.”