The Defense Financial Management Course (DFMC)

  • Published
  • Ira C. Eaker Center for Leadership Development, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

TARGET AUDIENCE: GS-12 through GS-15 with more than eight years of DoD financial management experience (from any Defense Department or Defense Agency).  O-4/O-5 financial management military officers.  E-8 financial management military enlisted.  For our Air Force students, there should be at least a three year break between completion of the Air Force Professional Financial Management Course (PFMC) and attendance to DFMC, although PFMC is not a prerequisite for the course.

PREREQUISITES:  Basic computing, word-processing and presentation software knowledge (Microsoft Office products).  Understand group dynamics and work well in teams.  Approximately 8 hours of Web Based Training classes and other activities related to resident course material.  Specifics provided upon student selection.  The specific pre-course work list is provided approximately one month prior to class.

To achieve maximum learning outcomes, students selected for this course should already possess a broad knowledge of the DoD FM environment, have a strategic perspective and above average critical/creative thinking and communication skills.


COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Defense Financial Management Course (DFMC) is a DoD course and bridges the gap between technical competencies and strategic financial management and leadership orientation. The course enhances students’ critical thinking, analytical, leadership and conflict resolution skills to use with their financial management skills. Successful students earn credit hours that can be applied towards the DoD Financial Management Levels 2 or 3 Certification and/or other continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.

The DMFC curriculum includes three education blocks: Leadership and Communications, DoD Strategic and Financial Management Environment, and Decision Support. The curriculum is delivered through presentations, interactive seminars, networking, small group discussions and instructor-facilitated exercises. Instructors lay a solid foundation of principles in each education block. Guest lecturers then discuss the application of these principles and practices.  

GOAL OF THE DEFENSE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT COURSE: Prepare Graduates to Advise Senior Leaders in Future Strategic Decision Support Roles, Broaden Awareness of the Diverse Financial Management Framework within DoD, Understand the Impact of the Strategic Environment on the DoD Mission, Enhance Leadership and Interpersonal Skills.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEFENSE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT COURSE: Each DFMC class has ~40 students divided into small groups (seminars) of ten or less students from the different services (both military and civilian). Students complete most activities as a seminar. This collaborative environment greatly enriches the learning experience.

Many opportunities are available to hone communication skills. All students provide two short presentations during the course and selected students will host and introduce guest speakers. For those who desire additional practice in public speaking, we offer a "SpeakEasy" elective modeled after the Toastmasters Program. Additionally, students are required to complete a short writing assignment during the course.

Normal class hours are 0730-1630, but some additional time outside of duty hours may be required to complete assignments and group projects.


Learning outcomes are measured through the administration of exams (multiple choice and essay), written assignments, oral presentations, student participation in seminar group-work, and problem solving exercises. Students must actively participate, formulate individual and group goals, and successfully complete assignments. Students have the opportunity to provide formal constructive criticism on each lesson, as well as through the end of course survey. We encourage maximum participation from the class to ensure we meet the desired learning outcomes.


TRUE COLORS PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT: True Colors is a personality assessment to determine the dominate personalities of the team. The goal is to educate students on communication styles, motivators and values. Students learn to appreciate the diversity of the team and each member’s contributions, which creates positive interpersonal relationships and thriving group dynamics.

SPEAK EASY (lunchtime elective): This elective is designed to help students improve their speaking abilities in a non-threatening and Toastmaster-like environment. Students have opportunities to practice various roles and speak about simple everyday topics. Students learn personal expressions of nervousness and the techniques to conquer them. Additionally, they learn to make eye contact, use effective body language, facilitate meetings, develop presentations, display lectern etiquette and much more. This is a positive learning environment where students appreciate confidentiality and can courageously express themselves in a risk-free environment. The optimal class size for this elective is less than 15...signup early!