First off, who am I?
My name is SGT Harmon, and I am an active duty Soldier currently serving as a 56M (Chaplain Assistant). About nine months ago I decided that I wanted to try something different with my Army career, and so I started researching the Special Operations side of the house. (You can find information on the different Army SP OPS branches HERE.)
The branch that immediately caught my attention was 38B (Civil Affairs). I submitted my packet, and within weeks I received a letter saying that my packet had been accepted and that I was good to move on to the next phase: CAAS (Civil Affairs Assessment and Selection.)
About seven months ago I attended and passed the rigorous 10-day selection course at Camp McCall (Fort Bragg, NC). Please do not ask me what the selection course was like, I can not give out that information. However, I will say this: Do not show up unprepared! Ask your recruiter to send you a physical fitness schedule and stick to it! The course is designed to push you to the utmost both physically and mentally. After all, you are trying to enter a component of the U.S. Army Special Operations forces!
What is Civil Affairs?
According to the Special Operations Recruiting Battalion website, "Although Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations activities often complement each other, each battle system operates individually in support of field commanders. Civil Affairs Soldiers are the field commander's link to the civil authorities in his area of operations. With specialists in every area of the government, they can assist a host government meet its people's needs and maintain a stable and viable civil administration." You can read the full article HERE.
Each civil affairs team is made up of a captain; a team sergeant; a team NCO, who is usually the team engineer; and the team medic. Though each has their own specialties, the members of the team are able to fill everyone else’s roles, if necessary. Teams within the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) are rapidly deployable; advise the combatant commanders or ambassadors on regional, cultural and local issues; and act as liaisons to nongovernmental agencies, information operations and U.S. government agencies. (Read more HERE).
What are the qualification requirements?
Visit the US Army Civil Affairs Recruiting Facebook page for the latest.
As of now, these are the requirements:
- Rank SPC-SFC. Reference packet for TIG and TIS requirements.
- Must have WLC.
- ASVAB TECH Score 100 or above.
- PULHES 111221 or better.
- Security Verification, Interim.
- DLAB score of 65 or higher or current DLPT with results within 12 months if you are language qualified.
- Eligible for a Top Secret security clearance under provisions of AR 380-67.
- Possess a baccalaureate degree or enrolled in the degree completion program obtaining degree no later than the start date of qualification course.
- Possess a Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) score of 65 or above or have foreign language ability as demonstrated by an acceptable Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) score of 1/1 or higher.
- Be a YG 2010 Office.
- Male and Female Officers may apply.
ALL APPLICANTS MUST:
- Pass and be selected from the Civil Affairs Assessment and Selection course (Camp McCall, NC).
- Be Airborne qualified or willing to volunteer for airborne training.
- Possess an APFT card within 6 months (at least 70% in each event) & DA From 5500R Body fat content worksheet if needed.
- Pass a SERE-C physical. Current within one year.
- Agree to the Civil Affairs volunteer statement.
If you pass Selection, your next step will be to go through the Q-course. The qualification course (or Q-course) is a pipeline that consists of:
- Airborne school (if not already Airborne qualified) (3 weeks)
- Introduction to CA (2 weeks)
- Defense Language school (18-25 weeks)
- Civil Affairs NCO Academy (11 Weeks)
- CULEX (3 weeks)
- Graduation (1 week)
For those of you who would like to know more about what Civil Affairs is all about (or if you have already passed Selection and are studying for the Q-course), these sources contain some really good information:
Civil Affairs NCO Journal -Great information!
SWCS Academic Handbook
Casey Sean Harmon
SGT, U.S. Army