The Defense Financial Management Course ... from a recent student's perspective.

Author:Miller, Jennifer
 
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From February 13--March 3, 2017, I attended the Defense Financial Management Course (DFMC) hosted at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. DFMC is just one course of a trio offered at the Defense Financial Management & Comptroller School (DFM&CS). Other courses include the Professional Financial Management Course (PFMC) and the Defense Decision Support Course (DDSC). Chances are a coworker of yours has attended one or more of these courses with great results.

The following is a look at the historical purpose of the schoolhouse and DFMC followed by a summary of my DFMC experience, which earned it my highest recommendation as your next professional continuing education endeavor. Genesis

The seeds of the DFM&CS date back to 1965 when Mr. Robert Anthony, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), directed Mr. Leonard Marks, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management) to conduct a study to determine if the Department of Defense (DoD) adequately educated comptroller personnel and all similar managers in DoD on the financial aspects of their jobs. (1) The next year, a joint service task force of Navy, Army, and Air Force leadership was established to execute a study concerning financial management (FM) education in the DoD. Those executing the study focused on in-place training and education programs for financial managers supporting comptrollership functions. A decade earlier Public Law 84-863 outlined a Secretary of Defense and military department mandate to achieve and maintain FM proficiency in the interest of good stewardship of public funds for national defense. Study findings indicated different ideas of generalist and specialist comptrollership among the Army, Navy, and Air Force. (2) One key finding included the tendency of military departments to accept less professional comptrollership competency than Public Law 84-863 mandated. The Services responded with professional education offerings. (3)

During the 1970s, military service representatives and the DoD Comptroller received a recommendation to make the Professional Military Comptroller Course (PMCC) available to the armed services and other DoD agencies. (4) The Army and Navy expressed support by providing one faculty member from each Service. Soon after, PMCC shortened to 8 weeks, student attendance increased, and a new name appeared--the Professional Military Comptroller School. Since the 1970s, the annual course offerings have decreased as has...

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