The Defense Resources Management Institute (DRMI): Helping Countries to Better Manage Limited Defense Resources

By LaCivita, C. J. | DISAM Journal, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

The Defense Resources Management Institute (DRMI): Helping Countries to Better Manage Limited Defense Resources


LaCivita, C. J., DISAM Journal


The Defense Resources Management Institute (DRMI), located at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California, is an educational institution sponsored and supervised by the Secretary of Defense. The DRMI teaches graduate-level, professional education programs in analytical decision making and resource management for military officers and senior civilians from both the United States and other countries. Since its inception in 1965, over 28,000 officials from the U.S. and 161 other countries have participated in DRMI programs. The Institute's courses enable participants to develop the skills and thought processes necessary for deciding how best to allocate scarce resources among abundant alternatives under conditions of uncertainty.

The DRMI curricula integrate economic reasoning, management science, and quantitative analysis in a systems approach to decision-making. The basic tenet of all DRMI curricula is that sound decisions begin with clearly stated goals and objectives and followed by analysis of alternatives for achieving the goals. The systems approach uses various models to predict the consequences of different alternatives and provides a framework for the decision maker to explore tradeoffs, gain insight, and make a choice. The great advantage of this method is that a link can be drawn from the problem to a course of action and to the cost of resources necessary to implement the course of action. The modeling principles taught allow the manager to explain the relationship between resource inputs and organizational outputs and outcomes. Instead of relying on best guess speculation, a defendable argument can be made for resource requirements.

DRMI's faculty is a mix of 19 civilians and six military officers all with graduate degrees and all members of the NPS faculty. The majority of the civilian faculty has Ph.D.'s and are experts in their academic fields. Many also have prior military experience. In addition to teaching, they conduct research in defense areas relative to their academic fields. The military faculty includes lieutenant colonels and commanders representing the four services and the National Guard. In addition to holding graduate degrees, all have served extensive operational tours as well as staff assignments where they have used the procedures they now teach. Many are joint staff officer qualified and understand the broad issues of joint operations in the DoD.

Courses Offered

All DRMI courses have two overarching goals: to provide an analytical framework for making defense resources allocation decisions and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas. Courses differ depending on the intended audience, particular topics to be addressed and the amount of time available for the course. The method of instruction for all DRMI courses is a mix of lecture and small group discussions. Participants are presented with a series of real world problem scenarios and encouraged to share their ideas and experiences. The diversity of experience among the participants is a valuable addition to the mix of ideas and viewpoints on a particular problem. In fact, the exchange of ideas among peers is one of the most valuable learning aspects of the course.

DRMI has been at the forefront of the Expanded International Military Education and Training (E-IMET) initiative since 1991, and all courses listed below are approved for E-IMET.

Defense Resources Management Course

The Defense Resources Management Course (DRMC) is a four-week course offered five times a year. It is designed for US military officers (active or reserve) of rank O-4 to O-6, civilian officials of grades GS-11 through GS-15 or equivalent, individuals participating in accelerated career development programs, and foreign officials of similar rank or grade. Although designed for a U.S. audience, international students have participated in every DRMC the Institute has offered. International participants in the DRMC are typically from our NATO allies and usually comprise 30-40% of the class. …

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