Aisle X – Resource Management

Disclaimer: The inclusion of resources here is for informational, historical, and research purposes only and is provided as a service for US Army War College faculty, students, and graduates to support their educational and professional requirements. These may include outdated or superseded materials. The inclusion of these materials does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.

This aisle provides materials related to the resourcing side of defense management. How does the military craft a budget that it sends (and defends) to Congress? How does Congress in turn authorize and appropriate funds for the military to spend? What happens when resource levels differ from what the military requested (and it can sometimes be too much budget authority, which is equally problematic as too little!).

The DoD’s requirements are complex, requiring a robust system to identify resourcing requirements, providing those requirements to Congress, distributing appropriations as granted by Congress, and ensuring the proper execution and reporting of those resources. This is done through the DoD’s Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) system, the strategic decision-making system for resource planning and allocation across the U.S. military. PPBE allows leaders to visualize the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars to the military departments and DoD agencies to procure and sustain goods and services–ranging from human resource management to weapon systems procurement, from training and exercises to equipping and servicing, from logistics to facilities and installation support. The letters PPBE represent four interdependent activities: (1) translating strategic plans to requirements, (2) translating requirements to programs, (3) establishing the funding required to satisfy the requirements, and (4) spending the funds appropriated by Congress to generate the required capabilities. The system allows DoD leaders to manage the volume of requirements and the needs of a large multitude of stakeholders, while also allowing DoD to respond when Congress appropriates funds differently from what DoD requested through the budgeting process. This occurs frequently.

Front and center are the planning, programming, and budgeting processes as they may be relatively new to budding senior leaders. The resources here provide information about how resource decisions are made at the department level and how all senior leaders and their advisers can and must participate in them. It also presents the underlying concepts of efficiency, which is different in public sector organizations than in the private sector. The different meaning of efficiency can drive behaviors that many would consider both inefficient and ineffective, complicating the resource decision-making process.

With execution at the senior leader level, the concept of financial management becomes far more complex than at unit level. Whether spending changes are intentional good ideas or unintentional consequences of circumstances, when aggregated at the service and department level they can add up to become major financial issues. Senior leaders and their advisers must actively engage in the details of financial management to ensure every dollar is visible, operationally effective, and wisely spent on the highest priority requirements.

This aisle covers a wide range of resource management readings and resources in the areas of financial management, the programming and budgeting processes (along with PPBE), and spending & cost analyses. It also includes a library of previous years’ budget requests and posture hearings. Currently all the resources are allocated to the various shelves below, but we encourage reader to contribute added resources when available.

​​​​​​​– Bryan Wood and Tom Galvin

Faculty Publications:
Laws, Policies, Memos, and Regulations (sorted by regulation number):
Strategies and Reports:
  • None.
Commentaries (inclusion does not represent endorsement):
  • None.
Racks in this Aisle:
Rack XB – Annual Budget Requests - This rack provides reference materials regarding the annual budget submissions to Congress across fiscal years. Includes documents such as posture statements, budget requests and analyses of those requests, and budget-related strategy reviews accompanying the budget submission process. Continue Reading
Rack XC – Military Spending & Cost Analysis - This rack provides resources that complement financial management -- whereas FM is associated with policies on determining the proper versus improper spending of money, Military Spending & Cost Analysis is analytical -- about how to figure out and track the flow of money Continue Reading
Rack XF – Financial Management & Stewardship - This rack provides resources regarding fiscal stewardship and the ethical and moral considerations of spending public funds and allocating government resources Continue Reading
Rack XN – National Fiscal Process & Situation - This rack provides resources regarding the fiscal processes used at the national level -- authorization and appropriation, for example, that in the US system are distinct. Also includes resources that provide ways and means for assessing those processes Continue Reading
Rack XP – Planning, Programming, Budgeting, & Execution (PPBE) - This rack contains resources pertaining to the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) System at the defense and service levels Continue Reading

Title image credit:  U.S. Defense Contract Management Agency​​​​​​​ via their website​​​​​​​, public domain.