PPBE Process

Program Objective Memorandum (POM)

A Program Objective Memorandum (POM) is a recommendation from the Services and Defense Agencies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) concerning how they plan to allocate resources (funding) for a program(s) to meet the Service Program Guidance (SPG) and Defense Planning Guidance (DPG).

Definition: The Program Objective Memorandum (POM) is a request that shows how a military department or program plans to allocate resources in response to and in line with the Defense Planning Guidance (DPG). The POM shows planned needs for the next 5 yearss and is the end result of the DoD’s programming phase of the budget process.

What DoD Process Manages the Program Objective Memorandum (POM)

The POM is part of the Programming Phase of the Program, Planning, Budget, and Execution (PPBE) process, when planning decisions, programming guidance, and congressional guidance are converted into a detailed allocation of resources. It’s the final product of the Programming Phase.

The POM covers the 5-year Future Year Defense Program (FYDP) and presents the Services and Defense Agencies’ proposal on how they will balance their allocation of available resources. The POM includes an analysis of missions, objectives, alternative methods to accomplish objectives, and allocation of resources.

Program Objective Memorandum (POM) Disclosure

Note: According to DoD Directive 7045.14, section 4.7, the POM can not be disclosed outside of the DoD and other Government Agencies directly involved in the defense planning and resource allocation process.

Program Objective Memorandum (POM) Development

Operational organizations and field operations, such as program offices, start creating their own Program Objective Memoranda (POMs) before submitting them to OSD in late June. This is done in advance of the headquarters’ request for budget estimates. Prior to their POM estimations being submitted to the Service Headquarters in the early spring, this development action could start as early as November.

A program’s initial POM is developed during the Materiel Solutions Analysis (MSA) Phase.  The Initial Technical Review (ITR) is a technical review conducted during the MSA Phase to support a program’s initial POM submission.

Program Objective Memorandum (POM) Submittal Process

The services submit their combined POM and Budget Estimate Submission (BES) on 30 July to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

After the POM has been submitted, it’s reviewed by program review teams comprising members from the military departments, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), defense agencies, and OSD staff. The results of this review are presented to the Senior Level Review Group (SLRG) for discussion.

In addition, the Joint Chiefs conduct a concurrent checks-and-balances review of POM, focusing on the balance and capabilities of the proposed forces levels. Both reviews are presented to the Secretary of Defense prior to his/her decisions in the Program Decision Memoranda (PDM) / Resource Management Decision (RMD).

Figure: POM in the PPBE Process Flowchart

Budget Preparation Schedule

  • February: Future Year Defense Program (FYDP) Updated
  • April: DoD Send Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) to Services
  • 30 July: Services submit POM and Budget Estimate Submission (BES) to OSD, CAPE, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for POM Review (FYDP Updated)
  • October – December: Joint OMB-OSD review leading to Resource Management Decision (RMD)
  • December: DoD Budget Request sent to OMB
  • 1st Monday of February: Presidents Budget due to Congress

AcqNotes Tutorials


  • According to DoD Directive 7045.14, section 4.7, the POM cannot be disclosed outside of DoD and other Government Agencies directly involved in the defense planning and resource allocation process.
  • See Financial Management section

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Updated: 2/9/2024

Rank: G1.1

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