PPBE Process

Program Element (PE)

The Program Element (PE) defines a development effort with specific design, cost, schedule and capability parameters and is the primary data element in the Future Year Defense Program (FYDP) and is the foundation of the PPBE Process.  Each program and entity within the defense portfolio has its own PE and is the specific allocation of resources for those entities from the Secretary of Defense. PEs are designed and quantified to be comprehensive and mutually exclusive and identifies the mission to be undertaken and the organizational entities to perform the mission. They may be aggregated in a variety of ways:

  • To display the total resources assigned to a specific program
  • To display weapons systems and support systems within a program
  • To select specified resources
  • To display logical groupings for analytical purposes
  • To identify selected functional groupings of resources

Definition: A Program Element is an integrated combination of men, equipment, and facilities, constituting an identifiable military capability or support activity.

Program Element (PE) Semiology

The semiology of PEs consists of a seven-digit number with an alphabetical suffix that identifies a program, organization, or office. The first two digits identify the Major Force Program (MFP) that contains the PE (e.g., the PE “0203123A” would indicate an Army program within MFP 2 – General Purpose Forces). The alphabetical suffix identifies the Service or Defense Agency that has cognizance over a particular program element. For example, “A” indicates an Army program, “F” an Air Force program, “N” a Navy program, and “M” a Marine Corps program. This PE structure facilitates the compilation of the FYDP for different purposes, such as an appropriation review.

Program Element (PE) Example

How to read a Program Element Number: Example 0603502N

DERIVATION 06 03 5 02 N


  DoD Program   Service
01 Strategic Forces A Army
02 General Purpose Force BB U.S. Special Operations Command
03 Intelligence and Communication BL Defense Contract Management Agency
04 Mobility Forces BP Chemical & Biological Defense
05 Guard & Reserve Forces BR Defense Threat Reduction Agency
06 Research & Development C Missile Defense Agency
07 Central Supply & Maintenance DZ Office of Secretary of Defense
08 Training, Medical & Other DO Operational, Test & Evaluation Defense
09 Administrative & Associated Activities E DARPA
10 Support of Other Nations F Air Force
11 Special Operations Forces J Joint Staff
  R&D Category K Defense Information Systems Agency
BA-1 Basic Research M Marine Corp
BA-2 Applied Research N Navy
BA-3 Advanced Technology Development S Defense Logistics Agency
BA-4 Advance Component & Prototypes T Defense Security Cooperation Agency
BA-5 System Development & Demonstration SE DoD Human Resources Activity
BA-6 RDT&E Management Support V Defense Security Center
BA-7 Operational System Development KA Defense Technical Information Center
B8W Washington Headquarters
  Equipment/Activity Type    
1 Military Sciences
2 Aircraft & Related Equipment
3 Missiles & Related Equipment
4 Military Astronautics & Related Equipment
5 Ships, Small Craft & Related Equipment
6 Ordnance, Combat Vehicle & Related Equipment
7 Other Equipment
8 Program-wide Management & Support

See DoD Financial Management Regulation 7000.14-R, Volume 2B, Chapter 5

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 9/26/2023

Rank: G1

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