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Syracuse University's defense programs.

Syracuse University has long set the standard for Government Financial Management education. Nestled in the heart of New York State, the University's Martin J. Whitman School of Management is conveniently located just hours from New York City, Niagara Falls, and the Adirondack Mountains. Whitman was recently rated the second-best business school in the nation for military veterans, by Military Times. Its close proximity to the World's premier financial district allows world-class guest lecturers and unmatched hands-on training opportunities. Today's Defense Programs at the Syracuse University advocate that enduring legacy.

The Defense Comptrollership Program is Whitman's flagship program. Established in 1952, the program has graduated more than 1,800 Department of Defense military and civilian financial managers. The curriculum provides future comptrollers and resource managers with the conceptual perspective, practical and analytical tools, and management skills required in the increasingly complex, volatile, uncertain, and ambiguous resource management environment. The program is 14-months in duration, from June of one year to August of the next. Graduates are awarded a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and an Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. In addition to the academic program, all students attain at least one professional certification and participate in 24-hours of community service. The Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM) and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) designations are the two most common achieved in the program.

The one-week Senior Resource Managers Course (SRMC) is a seminar-based program that discusses current issues in resource management to a senior audience comprised of GS-14/15, SGM/CSM, and LTC/COL. Graduates obtain a better understanding of the changing resource management environment of the Army and Department of Defense by meeting with guest speakers from the Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), Congressional Budget Office, and Headquarters, Department of the Army.

The three-week Executive Comptroller Course (ECC) provides mid-level civilian and military (GS-11/13, SFC/MSG, and MAJ/LTC) financial and resource managers a broad perspective of the core competencies of Defense Financial Management. With emphasis in U.S. Army resource / financial management decision making, this course is divided into four general learning objectives with learning accomplished by lectures, group projects, and guest speakers. The Capstone Exercise is a budget-phase HQDA-level appropriation decrement exercise conducted at Syracuse University's Minnowbrook Conference Center located in the Adirondack Mountains.

The Army Comptroller Course (ACC), another three-week course, provides basic multi-disciplined financial and resource management procedures to DoD civilian and military (GS-9/11, SSG/SFC, and CPT/MAJ) personnel newly assigned to the Comptroller Career field, as well as other personnel without a multi-disciplined background. This course is also divided into four general learning objectives with learning accomplished by lectures, group projects, and guest speakers.

As with the Executive Comptroller Course, the Capstone Exercise is conducted in Syracuse University's Minnowbrook Conference Center. The significant difference between the Executive and Army Comptroller courses is in the level of instruction and output. The Executive Comptroller Course concentration is activity at the HQDA level, while the Army Comptroller Course emphasis is activity at the installation level. In the past, foreign military and local nationals from other countries have participated in this program. For example, foreign students from Honduras, Italy, and South Korea attended the course in 2014.



The Army Financial Management 101 course (FM 101) is a 10-day program designed for new personnel in the technical financial management series. It is also ideal for new Brigade/Group/Wing Commanders and Command Sergeants Major to better understand their funded programs and budget allocation process. Like the longer Syracuse courses, FM 101 instruction is augmented by guest speakers from DoD and culminates with a Capstone Exercise that ties all instruction together and requires the students to apply everything they learned in class.

Syracuse University cross-walked the course instruction of FM 101, ACC, and ECC to the Department of Defense Financial Management Certification Program requirements in 2014. FM 101 supports Level 1 certification, as well as ACC to Level 2 and ECC to Level 3. Department of Defense employees should consider their DoD FM Certification Level coded position for appropriate course enrollment. Tuition for SRMC, ECC, ACC, and FM 101 covers all training, printed course material, lodging, transportation, and some meals. Students are housed at a contracted facility and provided daily transportation by motor coach to and from training.


The benefit of a Syracuse education is unrivaled in today's dynamic training environment! For more than 60 years, Syracuse University has produced the highest caliber Department of Defense financial and resource managers, several of whom have achieved the highest financial positions in DoD and other public and private sector organizations. Today's Defense Programs at the Syracuse University continues the legacy, producing the finest financial leaders to lead the Department of Defense into the distant future.

For more information visit us at defense/index.aspx or call (315) 443-2898.

David L. Gardner

David Gardner is the Associate Director of Defense Executive Education Programs at Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management. David retired from the Army in 2013 with his last assignment as the Interim Director of Resource Management for the U.S. Army Reserve G-3/5/7. David is a past ASMC Sandhills Chapter President, CDFM-A, CGFM, and CFE.
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Author:Gardner, David L.
Publication:Armed Forces Comptroller
Date:Mar 22, 2015
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