Defense Financial Management and Comptroller School Logo
525 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL  36112-6335

The Defense Decision Support Course (DDSC)

The Defense Decision Support Course (DDSC) focuses on the concepts related to understanding decision support and becoming more relevant financial advisors. Students selected for this course should be ready and willing to broaden their perspective on critical thinking and communicating results. The course is paperless (for the most part) and employs electronic media. For the in-residence course at Maxwell AFB, students should bring laptop computers to facilitate course completion requirements. For those unable to bring a laptop, one will be issued. Students should have a basic knowledge of computing devices, as well as word-processing and presentation software before attending the course.


COURSE DESCRIPTION: The DDSC focuses on the concepts related to understanding decision support and the transforming roles of staff officers. The course defines decision support, introduces the Decision Support model, describes various analytical tools and techniques (both qualitative and quantitative), and allows students to practice putting the concepts into action through practical exercises. To achieve maximum effectiveness, students selected for this course should already possess a broad knowledge of the DoD FM environment, a strategic perspective, and above average critical/creative thinking and oral/ written communication skills.

GOAL OF THE DEFENSE DECISION SUPPORT COURSE (DDSC): Familiarize students with a decision support methodology through experiential learning and practical application in order to help prepare graduates to advise senior leaders. As such, students will: 1) develop awareness and enhance skills in using decision support techniques, 2) understand the impact of interpersonal skills on decision support roles, 3) broaden awareness of financial management tools that enhance decision support, 4) comprehend decision support concepts and the impact on senior leaders, and 5) learn to apply decision support processes in their organization.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DEFENSE DECISION SUPPORT COURSE:  Each Defense Decision Support Course (DDSC) has approximately forty students divided into small groups (seminars) of ten or less. You will complete most activities and requirements as a seminar, so dust off your group dynamics skills before you get here. Normal class hours are 0730-1630, but don't be surprised to find that some additional time outside of the class hours is required to complete your assignments/group projects.

During the course, you will experience decision support first-hand by using the DFM&CS decision making model in interactive lessons, case studies and practical exercises. You should be ready and willing to broaden your perspective on critical thinking and communicating results as this will be tested throughout the course. We will present a process that combines quantitative and qualitative factors into feasible alternatives, recommendations and, ultimately, informed leadership decisions. The course will culminate with each seminar demonstrating how to identify the issue, perform analysis, build alternatives and provide recommendations to "the commander" in a clear and concise manner.