Command Accountability and Execution Review (CAER) Program


CAER. What is it?
The Command Accountability and Execution Review (CAER) Program is the U.S. Army’s premier fiscal stewardship program. CAER provides commanders with visibility of the command fiscal health that did not exist prior to the implementation of this program. It holds leaders, at every echelon, responsible and accountable for stewardship of the tax dollars they receive and provides them with the tools to be successful.

CAER focuses on three areas of financial management:
Operations and Management (O&M) De-obligations - O&M is only available for one year, when de-obligated, these funds are not legally available for incurring any new purchases.
Under-execution of the O&M budget - Ensuring all funding provided by Congress is applied to top priority requirements in the fiscal year directly affects Army readiness.
Uncollected Reimbursables - When Army provides services to other agencies, reimbursement for those services ensures Army money supports the Army priorities.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?
In the past two decades, fiscal stewardship efforts have lacked process standardization, tools, and training required to be successful. To address this vulnerability, on Dec. 14, 2017, the Secretary of the Army directed the establishment of CAER to maximize the Army’s purchasing power, requiring active management of O&M funds by leaders and to decrease the number of de-obligations. The CAER program relies heavily on leadership involvement with detailed reviews at three echelons: Command, Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA), and across the DOD enterprise. After 18 months of CAER the results are concrete. We are changing the Finance and Comptroller culture from one of executing budgets to one of optimizing commander purchasing power. In FY18's first expired year, we reduced De-obligations by 68%; making significant improvements across the three problem areas of Transportation, Service Contracts, and Supply Transactions. FY19 execution achieved a disbursement rate of 60% and numerous data informed funding decisions were made throughout the year based on CAER metrics. This past FY also saw great progress working with our enterprise partners to improve our use of ERPs and the reduction of rework resulting from UMTs. FY20 will build upon this success, and lessons learned, to improve training, reduce de-obligation risk, and optimize purchasing power to build readiness and lethality.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?
The Army is committed to optimizing the money it receives by efficiently executing its budget. It is the Army’s responsibility to make every dollar count, while continuing to increase readiness and lethality.

Why is this important to the Army?
CAER enables commanders to maximize every dollar they receive to build readiness and lethality. Prudent execution of the Army’s budget allows the Army to pursue its modernization goals. These actions enable the Army to support the National Defense Strategy, by optimizing the value of every dollar.
Army Excellence in Financial Stewardship Award
Awards for Q3 FY20 and Q4 FY20 will be awarded at the August and September CAER-C meetings respectively. All nominees must be submitted to the CAER team by 31 JUL 20
The Army Excellence in Financial Stewardship Award is given quarterly to a Soldier, nominated by his unit (DRU, ASC or COCOM) who provides leadership, mentorship and guidance to financial personnel in his unit.

The recipient is determined by The Honorable John E. Whitley, Assistant Secretary of the Army, Financial Management and Comptroller and Lieutenant General Thomas A. Horlander, Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Financial Management and Comptroller.
COL Jeremy Foot
COL Jeremy Foot
ARNG G-8
  Duty Description: The ARNG G-8 is the chief advisor to the ARNG senior leaders on all aspects of resource management from POM-development to auditable financial statements. The ARNG G-8 manages the efforts of six divisions to synchronize POM resourcing, BES/PB development, current year execution, financial and operational audit efforts, acquisition workforce initiatives, contract oversight, and ARNG comptroller proponency and talent management.

Narrative: COL Foot has been the primary POC for the ARNG since the inception of the HQDA CAER program. He has leaned on his extensive background at both the headquarters and operational levels to provide valuable insights during the program's early years, several of which have led to material modifications and improvements to the CAER program. The most recent of these improvements was the introduction of "subordinate level dashboards" which allow the ARNG to mirror the CAER program across their states, territories, and DC (as well as the ARNG and NGB-JS directorates).

The ARNG's status as an Army Component (with coordination authority) - rather than an Army Command (with command authority) - poses unique challenges across the ARNG when implementing this program. Despite this challenge, COL Foot successfully conducted the first ARNG CAER reviews across the subordinate organizations (i.e. "the states"). Although this was just the first subordinate-level CAER review, it yielded immediate feedback that identified training shortfalls in unit-level supply sergeants (KPI #1, aged requisitions), obligation policy (KPI #2, MODs), and accounting procedures (KPI #8). Monthly CAER sessions will continue to mature across the ARNG to ensure "command" (i.e. Chief of Staff, Adjutants General) are effectively engaged with fiscal responsibility.
image of 1st Quarter 2019 Army Financial Stewardship Excellence Award winner
COL Brian A. Smith
U.S. Forces Command
 Duty Description: Serves as the Senior Uniformed Financial Management Officer for Forces Command (FORSCOM); leads and serves as the Accounting and Enterprise Operations Division Chief responsible for accounting, reconciliation, and financial systems support for over $4 billion in annual O&M funding. Directs the command's efforts for process standardization, financial systems support, and force training and generation of assigned Army Financial Management units for worldwide employment.

Narrative: Served as the FORSCOM CAER Primary Staff Officer from the inception of the program in April 2018 until May 2019. Assisted ASA-FM&C during program development from Jan-April 2018. As FORSCOM CAER lead, he educated FORSCOM senior leaders (DCG, CoS, G4 and G8) on financial metrics and translated those impacts into the supply system and transportation billing system. He briefed the DCG monthly in preparation for Army Senior Leader engagements to include development of FORSCOM talking points. Issues raised by FORSCOM helped to drive change for the entire Army.
image of 2nd Quarter 2019 Army Financial Stewardship Excellence Award winner
Mr. Daniel Garrido
U.S. Army Medical Command
 Duty Description: Serves as a staff accountant for the United States Army Medical Command (MEDCOM); manages $517M in accounts receivables and the debt management program.  Primary financial and operational reporting analyst for the MEDCOM G8.

Narrative: Served as the MEDCOM CAER alternate Staff Officer from the inception of the program in April 2018 until October 2018 and the primary Staff Officer from November 2018 until present. Has consistently assisted the ASA-FM&C data team on data query refinement; showcasing both his extensive knowledge and commitment to meeting the program intent. Developed and regularly refining, the new enterprise wide data call format. Conducts, consolidates, and analyzes all monthly submissions from the field. Assists all CAER initiative leads (Branches, Divisions, Directorates, and Commands) with analysis and submission, product and process development, and all new internal CAER requirements per leadership.  Serves as secondary POC for all CAER initiatives.  Generates and conducts the pre-brief to G8 leadership.  Serves as MEDCOM internal and external liaison with all key stakeholders.  Assists in new process and policy development.  Primary planner and instructor of a 175 man week long off site CAER initiative training event.  Mr. Garrido has been integral in the successful implementation and execution of the CAER program devoting countless hours educating, training, and developing new innovative tools to better assist the entire organization.  His selfless service and dedication have directly attributed to MEDCOM’s continuous improvement in financial readiness.
image of 3rd Quarter 2019 Army Financial Stewardship Excellence Award winner
Mr. David Lamb
U.S. Army Medical Command
  Duty Description: Serves as a supervisory financial management analyst the United States Army Medical Command (MEDCOM); leads and serves as the Chief of the Accounts Receivables Branch. Responsible for the centralized management all medical intergovernmental, public collections and debt management totaling over $517M annually.

Narrative: Served as the MEDCOM CAER primary Staff Officer from the inception of the program in April 2018 until October 2018 and then the alternate Staff Officer from November 2018 until present. Volunteered and single handedly generated the first CAER submission for MEDCOM. Developed and regularly refined the various leadership CAER read aheads. Conducts, consolidates, and analyzes all monthly submissions from the field. Assists all CAER initiative leads (Branches, Divisions, Directorates, and Commands) with analysis and submission, product and tools development, and all new internal CAER requirements. Generates and conducts the pre-brief to G8 leadership. Serves as MEDCOM internal and external liaison with all key stakeholders. Assists in new process and policy development. Owner of KPI #4 (Reimbursable Support Agreements). KPI #4 has improved due to his continuous efforts and effective collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. Additionally, serves as secondary POC for all CAER initiatives. Primary planner and instructor of a week long CAER initiative training event. Mr. Lamb has been integral in the successful implementation and execution of the CAER program devoting countless hours educating, training, and developing new innovative tools to better assist the entire organization.
image of 4th Quarter 2019 Army Financial Stewardship Excellence Award winner
Mr. Greg Schmalfeldt
SES, Director, DFAS Indianapolis
  Duty Description: Director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Indianapolis Center, responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of the federal government’s third largest building and more than 3,600 federal employees providing a range of finance and accounting services to the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and 26 Defense Agencies worldwide.

Narrative: Perhaps the single most influential individual across the enterprise who has had a personal and direct impact on the optimization of Army O&M dollars, Mr. Greg Schmalfeldt, has easily earned this recognition. His leadership was critical in finding a practical and immediately available solution to the Army’s ~$700M Transportation of Things deobligation problem. Upon identification of the issue Greg immediately began identifying and working with key stakeholders to develop a solution, which he implemented in a few short months. The capability gives commands an automated tool to see unit specific transportation bills before they are due. This was unprecedented. It has reduced the manual workload by 75%, increased transportation disbursements, and virtually eliminated erroneous billing. It has also significantly driven down deobligation risk by providing commands with accurate future bills which enables a unit to adjust obligations for the actual bill – freeing up funding for other priorities. Additionally, matching obligations to the actual bill, prior to posting, eliminates system generated unmatched transactions which require rework. While the specific dollar amounts are still to be calculated, Mr. Schmalfeldt’s personal leadership has had a definite and positive effect on increasing Army purchasing power.
FY 2018 Assistant Secretary of the Army Financial Management and Comptroller
Outstanding Financial Management Team Award
(Army Command Level)

1st Row: Mr. Lawrence Anyanwu ASA FM&C
2nd Row L-R: Dr Evelitsa Schweizerhof ASA FM&C, COL Nicholas LaSala ASA FM&C
3rd Row L-R: Mr. John Chaput ASA FM&C, Mr. Jeff Ward HQDA DCS G-8, Mr. Ryan Graziano ASA FM&C , Ms. Carly Beato ASA FM&C
4th Row L-R: Ms. Christine Chon ASA FM&C , Mr. Michael Wilson HQDA DCS G-4, Mr. Roger Berger ASA ALT, MAJ Carl Moses ASA FM&C
Not shown: Ms. Joanne Zillic USAFMCOM, Ms. Anne Morton HQDA DCS G-8, Mr. Michael Neeb USARMY ACC

 
For exceptional performance of duty while assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Anny, Financial. Management and Comptroller (ASA (FM&C)). The 14-member Command Accountability and Execution Review (CAER) Team, led by Colonel Nicholas LaSala, Jr., focused on three areas the Army can affect immediate readiness through de-obligations, under-execution and uncollected reimbursable funds to optimize its purchasing power and enhance prudent stewardship of financial resources. To this end, the team created 35 dashboards that provide Army Commands with a detailed visualization of their fiscal health. As a result, the Army executed its highest obligation rate leaving only $12.9 million dollars of Operations and Maintenance unexecuted at the end of the fiscal year. The team's dedication to duty is in keeping with the highest traditions of financial management support and reflects great credit on each of them, the ASA (FM&C), and the United States Army.

Signed by The Honorable John E. Whitley, 2018 Assistant Secretary of the Army, Financial Management and Comptroller, May 29, 2019