Network Utility Maximization (NUM) techniques, which cast resource sharing problems as one of distributed utility maximization, have been investigated for a variety of optimization problems in wireless and wired networks. Our recent work has extended the NUM framework to consider the case of resource sharing by multiple competing missions in a military-centric wireless sensor network (WSN) environment. Our enhanced NUM-based protocols provide rapid and dynamic mission-based adaptation of tactical wireless networks to support the transport of sensor data streams with very small control overhead. In particular, we focus specifically on mechanisms that capture the joint nature of mission utilities and the presence of prioritized mission demands. We then introduce a new problem, of joint utility and network lifetime maximization, as a representative of a new class of multi-metric optimization problems, and provide early evidence that techniques from optimal control theory can be used to derive distributed adaptation protocols conforming to the basic NUM paradigm. We also enumerate and motivate a list of open cross-layer dynamic adaptation problems of direct relevance to military C4I operations.