Mission Engineering (ME) is the deliberate planning, analyzing, organizing, and integrating of current and emerging operational and system capabilities to achieve desired warfighting mission effects.

ME is an analytical and data-driven approach to decompose and analyze the constituent parts of a mission in order to identify measurable trade-offs and draw conclusions.

people looking at drawing on dry-erase board

Mission Engineering studies and analyses seek answers to key technical challenges identified by the OSD, Joint Staff, Services, and Combatant Commands.

OUSD(R&E) develops, implements, and shares the ME process and methodology, best practices, and ME products with a user community across the Department of Defense. In addition, R&E has adopted mission engineering as a key element in the organization and executed ME analyses or studies to evaluate missions and assess efficacy of advanced technology from the modernization areas. These studies are coordinated across numerous stakeholders.

Data-driven, analytically informed results support key Department decisions.


ME studies begin with the end in mind

- fulfilling the Warfighter's need with actionable recommendations based on modeling and analysis of all available data -

and are scoped and aligned to stakeholder requirements.


ME Principles

Follow a mission-focused, threat-informed approach to identify capabilities and technologies to achieve mission objectives and close capability gaps.

Evaluate systems and systems of systems (SoS) in an operational mission context to inform stakeholders about building the right things, not just building things right.

Use validated mission definitions and trustworthy and curated data sets as the basis for analyses to answer a set of operational or tactical questions.

Ensure to balance the time frame of interest, analytical rigor to be used, and the complexity of the problem to be addressed.

Begin with the end in mind, a carefully articulated problem statement, the characterization of the mission and identification of metrics, and working through the collection of data and models needed to analyze the mission and document/convey the outputs (results).

ME Community of Practice

The ME Community of Practice (CoP) meets regularly and is composed of an ME Working Group and ME Executive Steering Council.

Its mission is to advance the ME state of practice across the Department with participation from OSD, Joint Staff, the Services, industry, and academia.

The forum exchanges best practices, captures pain points and challenges, and shares lessons learned in ME implementation.

Products of the CoP's tiger teams and other working groups will shape ME guidance and inform practitioners as the ME discipline evolves across the Department.



OUSD(R&E) Mission Engineering Guide (MEG - October 2023)

The second edition of this publication replaces the Department of Defense Mission Engineering Guide (MEG) version 1.0 (November 2020).

The MEG version 2.0 serves as a resource to aid current and prospective practitioners in understanding mission engineering principles, methodology, and attributes. The MEG is not a Department of Defense manual, instruction, or directive; rather, the MEG describes the interdisciplinary process of mission engineering. This extensible and scalable process helps to answer questions related to assessing systems or systems of systems (SoS) within a mission context to inform design and integration of current and emergent capabilities to yield desired mission outcomes.

Since its first publication in November 2020, the MEG has undergone practical review and implementation by a diverse community of mission engineers, both within and outside the Department. In this revision, the essential methodology and fundamental elements of the mission engineering process are preserved. The MEG version 2.0 clarifies and expands upon mission engineering best practices, terminology, activities, and products to ensure both novice and expert practitioners have a clear understanding of the purpose, application, and benefits of the mission engineering process.


Mission Engineering Methodology: Studies and Analysis

The ME study process provides an analytical, data-driven approach to decompose mission elements; collect and analyze trustworthy data for the development of accurate models; develop realistic mission threads and mission engineering threads; and deliver recommendations and artifacts that help inform investment decisions.

Mission Engineering Definitions


Contact the Mission Engineering Team



Assistant Secretary of Defense for Mission Capabilities
The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301