News

Happenings from HQ Nov. 2016

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

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With fall in full swing, holidays are right around the corner and we have a lot happening at ASMC HQ. We wanted to take a moment to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and share some news.


The Fall Edition of our Armed Forces Comptroller, “ASMC Chapters: Contributing to the Defense Financial Management Profession” is Out!
This issue is decorated with articles focusing on ASMC Chapter best practices. Articles from various chapters span topics from reviving chapters, to engagement of early careerists, to conducting a Mini-PDI. Check out the current issue online and don’t forget to take the quiz for an opportunity to earn a few extra CPE’s toward your recertification.


National Essay Competition
It’s time again for ASMC’s National Essay Competition. Due February 28, submissions must be written on the current topic for 2017: “If the President nominated you to serve as Comptroller/Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Defense, what would you target as your three most important financial management goals and why?” Read more information on submission specifics.


Become a CDFM!
While many defense financial managers have achieved their required DoD FM Certification (DFMCP), the CDFM and CDFM-A remain a valuable and prestigious test-based credential. As a reminder, the DFMCP recommends that DoD FMers obtain a test-based certification at Levels 2 and 3. Among test-based certifications, the CDFM is most closely aligned to defense FM competency areas. The CDFM and CDFM-A certifications set individuals apart from their peers, since they indicate that in general, an individual holding them possesses a broader understanding of all of the FM competency areas. It is also reflective of determination, drive, and initiative to take the extra step in enhancing their professional development and value to the overall defense FM community. Only 13% of the approximate 54,000 defense FMers possess the CDFM. CDFM or CDFM-A Exams are offered daily worldwide via computers located at installation Education Centers and at Pearson VUE testing centers. More info about CDFM Enrollment. For more info about testing. If you have additional questions please contact certification@asmconline.org.

ASMC CLASSROOM TRAINING IS AVAILABLE. PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY!!!
Enhanced Defense Financial Management Training Course (EDFMTC)
For DoD employees who wish to take advantage of the 5-Day government-funded EDFMTC, please visit bit.ly/EDFMcourses for the FY 2017 schedule to register for a course offered in your vicinity.

Chapter/Organization Course Registration
ASMC has licensed two vendors to deliver instructor-led courses at your organization. Learn and apply the latest developments in DoD Financial Management, Acquisition Business Management, and/or Fiscal Law while saving on tuition, travel cost, and time. To schedule a course, please contact Rich Arns of Archway Training or Amanda Alter of the Graduate School.

Individual Course Registration
To find out more about ASMC’s education opportunities, please visit:

 


ASMC Membership Dues Increase
As a reminder, for those of you that may not have received our communication, effective 1 January 2017 annual membership dues will increase from $26 to $40 and three-year membership dues will increase from $75 to $114. If you have not already done so, you still have until the end of the year to make a one-time renewal of your membership, extending the period for an additional one or three years. To take advantage of this opportunity and renew your membership at the current rate. Read the full message.


National Awards Program
ASMC annually recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of its chapters, membership, and the defense financial management community through our National Awards Program. This program encompasses individual and team achievement awards, scholarships, educational grants, an essay contest, chapter recognition, and a variety of other individual based awards. Here you can find a list of awards and rules. Deadlines are quickly approaching, so don’t delay!


ASMC National PDI 2017 is May 31 – June 2, 2017 in San Diego! We expect to have registration available NLT mid-March 2017. The PDI 2017 theme is “Catching the Wave … Audit Ready” Michael Durant, pilot of Blackhawk Super 64 that was downed during the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia will be one of our General Session speakers. He will speak about mission, leadership, and unity in dealing with challenging situations.

Virtual PDI can help you acquire some extra credits toward your CDFM, CDFM-A, or DoD FM recertification.


Update your member profile to provide us your current contact info, especially if you have recently relocated, so you continue to receive the Armed Forces Comptroller. Also, you can update your chapter designation when you move to a new location and associate with the chapter there. It’s no longer necessary to send a note to HQ asking us to change your chapter designation. Lastly, using your personal email address in your profile avoids lapses in ASMC HQ communication with you in the event you change jobs and your work email address changes.


Any questions? Contact Brian Gresham, Associate Director for Communications and Public Affairs at gresham@asmconline.org.
We thank you for your service to our Nation and your ASMC membership.

President requests additional FY2017 funding for DoD operations against ISIL

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

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President Obama sent Congress a FY2017 budget amendment request last week that would provide $5.8 billion in additional Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).  This funding will support U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Middle East

The FY 2017 OCO amendment of $5.8 billion brings the FY 2017 total Department of Defense (DoD) OCO request to $64.6 billion.

Congressional defense oversight committees have been pressing the administration to submit a request for additional funding to support increased operations since the president announced this summer that 8.400 military personnel would stay in Afghanistan and because of the increased pace of operations against ISIL.

Almost 50 percent ($2.8 billion) of the total $5.8 billion budget amendment request would be for operations and force protection including:  special pays and subsistence for deployed personnel, operating tempo, communications, and deployment and redeployment costs.  Base and installations support costs and support for forces located in other parts of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) region account for 22 percent ($1.3 billion) of total costs.  Funding for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces Aviation Modernization program is 14 percent of the total ($0.8 billion). 

Other costs include: classified programs ($0.4 billion); Iraq Train and Equip Fund to support Kurdish Peshmerga forces ($0.3 billion); equipment and reset ($0.2 billion); and Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Fund ($0.1 billion).

Looking at the total request by operation, $3.4 billion would be for Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL (OFS) in Afghanistan.  These additional funds would support the higher troop level (8,400) approved by the president ($2.5 billion) and provide for Afghan aviation modernization ($.8 billion).

An additional $2.4 billion would be for Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR) in Iraq to support about 5,500 U.S personnel (2,000 more budgeted) deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations, support Kurdish Peshmerga forces, and address emergent force protection issues.  The additional forces approved by the president are providing training and advice to coalition partner security forces in efforts to defeat ISIL.  

The budget amendment would also provide $20 million for the incremental operational costs for Operation ODYSSEY LIGHTENING (OOL) in Libya.

Details of the DoD request are available on the DoD Comptroller’s website.

The president also requested an additional $5.8 billion for the State Department and the Agency for International Development (AID).  These funds would be used to “implement the diplomatic engagement, governance, and stabilization components” of the administration’s strategy against ISIL, and humanitarian aid for areas in Iraq liberated from ISIL control. 

Support included in this funding are: removal of unexploded ordnance; immediate stabilization needs in areas liberated from ISIL control; police training in the Northern Nigeria region and other areas affected by Boko Harem/ISIL; longer term stabilization needs for areas liberated from ISIL control; technical assistance to the transitional government in Libya and support for the political process in Yemen; humanitarian assistance; and increased embassy security.

Defense Business Board recommends the new administration run DoD like a “modern business”

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

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Presidential transition teams open for business this week at federal agencies to provide for the transition of power to the new administration. 

A prime subject during transition at the Department of Defense is usually how to make the department run more efficiently and effectively.  Each new administration develops its own set of defense management and acquisition improvement reforms aimed at making the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Military Services operate better.

The Defense Business Board (DBB) has developed a set of recommendations for the DoD transition team directed at making DoD run more like a “modern business.” The DBB is an authoritative, advisory committee that provides independent advice to DoD’s senior leadership on the use of best business practices and management improvement programs for DoD.

In its report, Focusing a Transition:  Challenges Facing the New Administration, the DBB opines that the defense department is “too costly, too slow and often unable to devote the resources necessary to enhance modernization and readiness.”  The report further states that “without a disciplined effort to rein in costs and overhead, the Department will not only be unaffordable, it will be unable to swiftly and shrewdly adapt to maintain superiority over determined adversaries.”  The goal, the report says, should be to free up more resources for readiness improvement and modernization efforts.

The DBB stresses that the department must develop and aggressively execute an “outcomes-based program of change to overcome bureaucratic inertia.”  The Board argues that “organizations, contracts, activities, etc., must be eliminated.”  It warns against only making marginal piecemeal cuts.  Doing so, the report emphasizes, “leaves the door open for adding them back during the next budget cycle.”  Change must come as a result of “major surgery,” the Board says.

To ensure that tough decisions are made and the whole department is focused on achieving the necessary changes, the DBB argues that the role of the Deputy Secretary of Defense must be redefined.  The Deputy does not pay enough attention to the primary function—managing the department, the report states. The Deputy spends too much time away from the Pentagon representing the Secretary or attending to coordination with other agencies, allies, or the White House.

The DBB strongly recommends that the Deputy must become the department’s Chief Management Officer (CMO) in fact as well as in name because managing the department demands the full-time attention of the CMO.

To this end, the DBB recommends that the Deputy must “drive the Department to continue to shrink overhead.”  As an active Chief Management Office, the report urges the Deputy to: 1) Exert “constant fiscal discipline;” 2) Streamline processes to be “more agile and responsive;” 3) Make speed and cost “valued commodities;” 4) Cut layers of decision making and increase accountability and track performance; 5) Address “an unaffordable health care system and pension benefits;” and 6) Establish metrics and track written goals and objectives for senior leaders.

In addition, the DBB recommends that the department engage in a “zero baseline” effort to identify and eliminate duplicate and redundant functions and capabilities, and the Service Secretaries become an executive committee to support the secretary’s priorities.  The DBB stresses that the department’s civilian and military leaders must “collectively drive tradeoffs that support the Department’s National security priorities, often at cost to their individual organizational priorities.”

Happy 241st Birthday United States Marine Corps!

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

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Today is the 241st celebration of the founding of the United States Marine Corps.

"On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress approved the resolution to establish two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore. This date marks the official formation of the Continental Marines."

1st Commandant: Major Samuel Nicholas (1775-1783)

Here here! Semper Fi!

 

OO-RAH!

DoD will implement recommended innovation practices

Monday, October 31st, 2016

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Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced a set of innovation practices that he said supports DoD’s aggressive move “toward a more innovative future.”

Speaking at a conference held by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) conference (Assessing the Third Offset Strategy) last week, Carter said he will implement three of the recommendations made by the Defense Innovation Board.

Carter established the board earlier this year to “advise me and my successors on how the DoD can better connect to innovation and make better use of it—including by changing ourselves.”

The department’s wide-ranging effort to innovate technologically is to “plant the seeds for a number of different technologies that we think will give us a warfighting advantage in the future, but also to be more innovative and agile in all aspects of DoD,” Carter said.

The secretary cited the fast, relentless pace of change, competition with and between other nations, and competition with terrorists and other adversaries as reasons to innovate “to stay the best.”  “Being more innovative in every way we can is critical to the future success of our military and our Defense Department,” he said.

The first Innovation Board recommendation Carter will implement is to “focus on recruiting talented computer scientists and software engineers” [military and civilian] into the force.  DoD will use recruiting initiatives across a broad spectrum from Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs to civilian “scholarship-for-service” programs, he said.  The aim is to make computer sciences “a core competency” in DoD.

DoD will invest in “machine learning, through targeted challenges and prize competitions,” rather than investing in new “brick and mortar” institutions, Carter said.  Using a “virtual center of excellence” model will establish stretch goals and incentives for academic and private-sector researchers.  The initial challenges will target computer vision and machine learning.

Following another Innovation Board recommendation, Carter will create a DoD Chief Innovation Officer.  This new post will serve as the Secretary’s senior advisor for innovation activities.  Carter noted that many organizations have such a position, citing high tech companies IBM, Intel, and Google.  He said that “it’s time we did as well, to help incentivize our people to come up with innovative ideas and approaches.”

Carter promised to continue to work on building the force of the future and said to watch for “more to come” in these efforts.  “We must ensure that we keep leading the way, and keep disrupting, challenging, and inspiring all of us to change for the better,” he said.

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