Acquisition Process

Acquisition Executives

A Program Manager (PM) for any DoD program needs to know who the senior acquisition executives are that can influence their program. A PM needs to practice Social Engineering to keep these Stakeholders informed and advocates of their program. The main acquisition executives that a PM will/might have on a program are:

The Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) is the overall executive sponsor responsible for any Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP). The MDA formally initiates each increment of an evolutionary acquisition program. The PM is responsible for reporting to the MDA and adhering to their guidelines.

The Defense Acquisition Executive (DAE) is the individual responsible for supervising the Defense Acquisition System. The DAE takes precedence on all acquisition matters after the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) and the Deputy Secretary of Defense (DEPSECDEF).

The Program Executive Office (PEO) is a military or civilian official who has responsibility for directing several MDAPs and for assigned major system and non-major system acquisition programs. A PEO normally receives guidance from the CAE.

Component Acquisition Executive (CAE) is a single official within a DoD component that is responsible for all acquisition functions within that component. This includes Secretaries of the Military Departments or Heads of Agencies with the power of regulation. In the Military Departments, the officials delegated as CAEs (also called Service Acquisition Executives (SAEs) are:

  • Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology)
  • Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition)
  • Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition)

Service Acquisition Executives (SAE) also represent military departments and acquisition executives in other DoD components, such as the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), who have acquisition management responsibilities.



  • A PM also needs to work closely with the Program Element Monitor (PEM)

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 4/21/2021

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