Joint Staff Impact on the Budget Process

     Having recently reported to the Joint Staff and serving […]

     Having recently reported to the Joint Staff and serving in the Joint Logistics Directorate (J4) from the Joint Forces Staff College, Cmdr. W. B. EllisYANERO.REV1 had just completed his Joint Staff indoctrination.  During the introduction briefs, it was explained that the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, is responsible for providing the best military advice to the president. 

     In support of that requirement, The Director for Logistics, Joint Staff J4 is responsible for leading the Joint Logistics Enterprise (JLEnt), and for providing the best logistics advice to the Chairman in order to maximize the Joint Force Commander’s Freedom of Action.  Having a unique Joint and global perspective on logistics, Joint Staff J4 must align requirements, strategic guidance, budget resources, and capabilities with processes to measure and asses joint readiness.  With the confidence from the staff college and a strong conceptual understanding of J4, Cmdr. Ellis looked forward to beginning his tour.

     Sitting at his desk in early December, he was getting ready to pour a cup of coffee when his Division Chief asked him to track down and consolidate any Combatant Command (CCMD) Integrated Priority List (IPL) inputs applicable to their division.  Cmdr. Ellis researched and found that CCMDs submit an annual IPL of issues highlighting areas where CCMDs have limited ability to achieve assigned roles, missions, and functions.  As he reviewed the IPL submissions, he noticed that some of the IPLs reviewed by the Logistics Functional Capability Board during the Capability Gap Assessment (CGA) process were listed by more than one CCMD.  He correctly summarized that issues impacting more than one CCMD would probably receive a greater priority during the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) review and capability gaps validation.  These validated capability gaps also influence the deliberate budget planning process known as the Service Program Objective Memorandum (POM).

     Cmdr. Ellis was then tasked with ensuring the logistics IPLs were documented within the quarterly JS J4 Joint Logistics Estimate (JLE) and accompanying Global Logistics Readiness Dashboard (GLRD).  The JLE and GLRD are JS J4 constructs offering a logistically informed means for the Director for Logistics to communicate risks and accompanying operational impacts with the Chairman, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), CCMD 4s, and the Service 4s.  Cmdr. Ellis proceeded to summarize the IPL issues and impacts in a prioritized order within the JLE.  Utilizing the GLRD template included, he worked with both CCMDs and logistics subject matter experts to provide a more detailed description and impact of the various IPLs.

 Presentation1    A few days after having received his IPL consolidation task, Cmdr. Ellis received an early Christmas present from an exceptionally knowledgeable U.S. Air Force action officer.  The action officer had heard Cmdr. Ellis was working IPLs and forwarded a high- level Resource Planning Overview chart to illustrate how the Chairman and Joint Staff inputs informed the Planning, Programming, Budget and Execution (PPBE) process.  From previous tours, Cmdr. Ellis knew that the PPBE process highlighted in DoDD 7045.14 was how the Secretary of Defense deliberately allocated funding to activities in order to achieve the best mix of forces, manpower, material, and support.  Reviewing the chart, Cmdr. Ellis saw the logistics IPL input he worked for the Capability Gap Assessment would be linked with the Chairman’s Program Review (CPR).  The CPR is the Chairman’s personal recommendation and assessment of the operational environment to the Secretary of Defense for use in preparing Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) and Fiscal Guidance.  The DPG, Fiscal Guidance, and other Strategic Guidance are used by the Services, USSOCOM, and other DoD agencies to develop their Program Objective Memorandum (POM) input. 

     Having completed his first major task successfully, he was just getting ready to celebrate with a victory coffee when an urgent email flashed across his system.  The email, from a Supply Basic Qualification Course (BQC) classmate stationed in U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) as a logistics planner, was a request for help regarding one Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) and one Joint Emergent Operational Needs (JEON).  Anxious to help, he remembered that both the JUON and JEON were mentioned in the CJCSI 3170.01H regarding the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS).  A JUON is an urgent CCMD identified requirement with immediate impact to life and mission.  A JEON is also an urgent requirement where anticipated impacts are too important to wait for the deliberate PPBE process. 

     Using the JCIDS instruction as a guide, Cmdr. Ellis helped facilitate the expedited staffing process through the Logistics Functional Capability Presentation2Board for the JUON and JEON submitted by USAFRICOM.  The JUON was validated by the Joint Staff Deputy Director for Requirement’s J8, and immediately forwarded to the Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell for resourcing.  The JEON was validated by the Joint Capabilities Board and forwarded the Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell for resourcing.  Each of these JCIDS’ validated requirements will eventually transition to the deliberate planning process linked with the Defense Acquisition System (DAS) and the PPBE process. 

     Having helped his BQC classmate, Cmdr. Ellis decided he would step out of the office for a quick cup of coffee.  As he was leaving the office, his Division Chief stopped by to tell him that his efforts regarding the IPLs, and JLE and GLRD inputs had helped leadership better understand logistics risks, and significantly informed the initial Service POM inputs.  With initial POM inputs completed, Cmdr. Ellis knew preparation of the Chairman’s Program Assessment (CPA) was underway. 

     The CPA is the Chairman’s personal assessment to the Secretary of Defense regarding the adequacy of Service and DoD POMs.  The CPA includes issue nominations from the CCMDs and the priorities established in the CPR.  OSD uses the CPA to inform the final Program and Budget Review as it directs changes to POM inputs and aligns the DoD budget prior to submission to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB). 

     Cmdr. Ellis was pleased to know his efforts to highlight critical logistics impacts and influence resource decisions had helped maximize the Joint Force Commander’s freedom of action.  As a side note, he finally did get that cup of coffee.

By Cmdr. Anthony Yanero, Operational Contract Support Branch Chief, Joint Staff J4