A Civil Affairs Officer was at one time a job available only in the Army Reserves and Army National Guard. However, that position has been migrating to the active-duty sphere. If considering this career field, the applicant should understand that the majority of job slots are still in the National Guard and Reserves.
Civil Affairs Officer Branch Description
Encompasses positions that require officers possessing specialized skills relating to the conduct and analysis of civil affairs operations and critical skills associated with politico-military awareness, and foreign language and cultural expertise that supports national policies or that can implement national objectives across the conflict spectrum.
A Civil Affairs Officer develops, plans, coordinates, commands, controls and evaluates strategic and tactical civil affairs operation policies, doctrine and activities for the Army, Joint, and Combined civil affairs programs. Civil Affairs Officers direct and participate in the conduct of civil affairs command support, foreign-internal defense, unconventional warfare, civil administration, and numerous other missions, both overt and covert, in peacetime or when activated for crisis or war.
Qualification. DA Pam 600-3 lists qualifications for entry and promotion in this branch.
Civil Affairs, General (38A)
Description of duties. Commands or serves on the staff of USAR civil affairs units. Identifies positions requiring general civil affairs experience.
The service member should have expertise in at least one civil affairs functional specialty through specific education or experience as a requirement. Some positions require specific training in certain special operational techniques as additional tracks to the Civil Affairs Officers Course or the Civil Affairs Officers Advanced Course.
Special Grading of Positions
Due to the amount of entry-level training and experience required for this AOC, many company and detachment level positions are graded for MAJ.
Civil affairs companies and detachments are commanded by Majors. This is necessitated due to the often sensitive nature of CA missions. Civil Affairs company and detachment commanders actually direct CA missions when deployed. They interface directly with high-ranking U.S. and foreign nationals and are required to act independently without immediate supervision.
Unique Duty Positions
- Brigade/Regiment/Battalion S5.
- Director of Civil-Military Operations.
- Strategic Civil Affairs Specialist.
- Government Functions Officer.
- Economic Functions Officer.
- Public Facilities Officer.
- Special Civil Functions Officer.