SOLLIMS Sampler Volume 8, Issue 1 - Page 11

B. TOPIC. Making Civil Affairs an Integral Part of the Army Team (2556) Observation. Challenges of Civil Affairs (CA) include the newness of the capability and the balance of its structure. Discussion. In terms of Army history, CA is a new capability (i.e., approximately 165 years behind Infantry, Field Artillery, and Engineer Branches). The concept of Civil Affairs is outsid e of direct combatant to combatant interface. This makes the Civil Affairs capability an item outside of the normal considerations or concerns of combat arms commanders, and, thus outside the Army’s cultural norms (i.e., how we do things). The historical active to reserve component balance of CA (for decades hovering at 3 to 97%, respectively) further facilitates the lack of understanding of the capability, as it limits the Army’s daily interaction with and use of the capability. My personal experience as a Civil Affairs officer, on five deployments and countless interactions with combat arms commanders, is that combat arms commanders have an initial skepticism of the value of Civil Affairs based on either a lack of knowledge about or previous bad experiences with the capability. However, my experience has also been that those same combat arms commanders can and will come to value the capability through regular, routine interaction with competent Civil Affairs personnel, when they are constantly present/involved members of the commander’s team. The Army’s current doctrine presents both a challenge and opportunity for the Civil Affairs Branch. The Army’s current operational concept/doctrine (ADP/ADRP 3-0 published in NOV 16) is predicated on decisive action consisting of offensive, defensive, and stability operations being conducted simultaneously, unified action with partners, and consolidation of gains to achieve sustainable desired outcomes. Current Army culture will make implementation of this operational concept a challenge. Civil Affairs can and should be a central figure in helping the Army to be successful in implementing this operational approach by facilitating stability operations, identifying and collaborating with non-military partners, and leading the consolidation of gains effort for commanders. Recommendation. The Civil Affairs Branch must continue to fight to attain a healthy balance of active to reserve component structure. The size of the active CA component must be large enough to ensure daily representation in and support to all active component Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), Divisions, and Corps (e.g., 30 to 70%, active to reserve ratio). Table of Contents | Quick Look | Contact PKSOI Page 10 of 28