The most critical component of a biosensor, the biorecognition element, must exhibit high selectivity and strong affinity for a target of interest in operational sensing. Monoclonal antibodies are the current standard reagents for such devices, but their adaptability, manufacturability, and stability greatly limit their effectiveness in fieldable sensors. Peptides have emerged as potential antibody replacements in such applications due to their similar binding performance, extreme chemical and thermal stabilities, and on-demand scalability. In conjunction with modeling capabilities, work at the Army Research Lab focuses on protein catalyzed capture (PCC) agent technology and bacterial display for the discovery of these novel peptide binding reagents. The synthetic, bottom-up PCC agent technology uses an iterative, in situ "click chemistry" approach to produce high performing peptides against specific epitopes translatable to the protein target. Bacterial display allows rapid reagent discovery due to the combination of fast bacterial growth and effective peptide sequence enrichment through multiple rounds of biopanning. Recent advances in both methods are highlighted in regards to the discovery of reagents against Army high priority protein targets for soldier safety, performance, and diagnostics.