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How much is the United States Spending on Defense?

$816.7 billion

That’s how much funding was allocated for the Department of Defense in FY 2023.

$825 billion

That’s how much congress approved through an appropriations bill in FY 2024.

$850 billion

That’s how much the Biden administration submitted as a request for FY 2025.

All that to say, defense is a large budget in American spending, and as global tensions arise, this does not look as though this budget will be going down any time soon.

What is UFR and Fall-Out Money in Defense?

A Key thing to note about UFR’s and Fall-out money is the fact these are not programs but a processes dependent on organization.

The terms “UFR” and “Fall-out Money” are often used in the context of budgeting and finance, particularly within government and military funding. They both play a huge role in the federal budget for defense, and as a result, can play a major role in your federal “go-to-market” strategy if understood and utilized correctly.

UFR (Unfunded Requirements)

UFR, or unfunded request refers to a project that is identified as a necessary project but lacks allocated funds in the current budget cycle. These requirements may arise from emerging threats, the need for equipment upgrades, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Crafting a compelling UFR is essential for securing additional resources and involves a clear justification of the requirement, its impact on the mission, and the consequences of not funding it.

The process of managing UFRs is meticulous, often involving multiple levels of approval and review, from organizational heads to congressional oversight. It’s a balancing act between strategic priorities and available funding, aiming to ensure that the most critical needs are met even when resources are limited.

Fallout Money

On the other hand, “Fall-out Money” also known as “use it or lose it” funds, refers to unspent budget allocations at the end of the fiscal year. These funds can become available when other projects come under budget, are behind schedule or are canceled, allowing the reallocation of the surplus to other areas. Units within the Department of Defense (DoD) may rush to spend these funds to avoid losing them in subsequent budget cycles.

In the complex world of financial management, especially within defense budgets, understanding and navigating fall-out opportunity is crucial for effective fiscal planning and resource allocation.

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How to Pursue Fall-out Money



  • Within the organization (which could be a base, division, or wing), the extra funding is consolidated into a pool called fallout funds.
  • These funds are essentially a safety net for urgent needs that arise after the regular budget cycle.


  • Program managers or operational end users will identify specific needs that require additional funding.
  • These requests will include details such as the program, the purpose of the funding, and the amount needed.

3. Competing

  • Programs, Commanders, and units compete for access to fallout funds
  • The department evaluates the overall importance and urgency of each request.
  • Priorities are established and decisions are made

Colors of Money

  • The government uses different “colors of money” to categorize funds.
  • Ex: procurement, research & development, operations and maintenance, etc.
  • Fallout money can come from various categories, but their use case must align with the appropriate color of money.


  • While accessing fallout funds, there are strict limits in place designed to maintain congressional oversight.
  • This transparency is in place to ensure that funds are legally spent under the Appropriations Law fiscal limitations of purpose, time, and amount.
  • This transparency is in place to ensure that funds are used appropriately and efficiently.

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