Money as a weapon system

  • Published
  • By Capt. Josh Wolfram
  • 62nd Comptroller Squadron
There are two things you probably think about when you hear the words finance and budget while stationed at McChord Field. The first is your responsibility to ensure you file your travel vouchers within five days of returning from a Temporary Duty Assignment.

The second is how to get your unit more funding to buy supplies throughout the year. Finance generally plays a supporting role towards the mission in most non-deployed locations, but once we step foot into the deployed environment the mind set and roles can be completely different.

During my last six-month deployment to Afghanistan, I saw firsthand the importance of money and maintaining proper funding levels throughout the Area of Responsibility.
Finance was not just treated as a supporting role, but more as a separate mission in and of itself. Money was truly treated as a weapons system by the commanders and warfighters. It was an instrument used with the intention of causing harm to individuals or damaging infrastructure. At the deployed location we used money, just like we do aircraft or different weapon platforms, to gain a tactical advantage. If our agents were low on funds, the first and second order effects were the same as if your unit was low on ammunition.

Proper planning and funds execution was critical in completing the mission. Great lengths were taken by different members throughout the AOR to maintain access to funds. Standard operating procedures were set up and followed throughout Afghanistan, but even with that in place it could take weeks for air and ground travel. Travel within the AOR was not always easy and often times difficult. Regardless, it was imperative to maintain cash on hand to guarantee success.

My recent deployment really opened my eyes and showed me the varying scale of how financial management can be implemented to fight the war. Though I may not have the same mission set at McChord Field, in the end, all the things we do on a daily basis supports the war fighter in the AOR.

Commander's Guide to Money as a Weapons System Handbook