Take Your Specialized Training Abroad
Army Civil Affairs Soldiers work closely in partnership with other government agencies or the militaries of allied nations. Persuasive and diplomatic negotiators, they work on the ground to ensure the U.S. interests are on the table and have a strong position when bargaining with foreign governments. They also work to protect civilians and reduce the root causes of instability around the world. They make sure Army commanders are aware of what civilian communities abroad might need when caught in crisis zones, while also helping to direct the distribution of humanitarian aid in both combat and non-combat zones.
As part of the Special Operations Forces, active-duty Civil Affairs Soldiers are selected through a tough evaluation process, followed by more training in government, diplomacy, and survival.
Small Teams Take on Global Missions
A Civil Affairs team is a team unlike any other. Tactical, highly-trained, and physically fit, these four roles each bring a specific expertise to any mission:
The “face and voice” of the team, this Officer is the highest-ranking member and is responsible for planning, coordinating, and leading missions
Civil Affairs Team Sergeant
The most senior enlisted Soldier on the team, the Team Sergeant is responsible for security and protection of the team
This enlisted Soldier leads the team to safely conduct civil engagements, infrastructure evaluations, and day-in-the-life analysis
Responsible for the team’s overall health, this enlisted Soldier provides a medical analysis of an operational area to help plan civil missions.
Train for a Rewarding Career Leading Foreign Relations
The training to be a Civil Affairs Soldier is rigorous, but only to ensure the teams can survive in tough landscapes, quickly analyze threats under pressure, and develop solutions to difficult problems around the world.
If you join Civil Affairs as a new active-duty or Army Reserve recruit, you’ll complete a seven-phase training program. If you’re an active-duty or Army Reserve non-commissioned Officer or Officer, you begin at Phase Four.
Phase 1: Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training
Combines Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training and focuses on combat tactics and reconnaissance
Phase 2: Basic Airborne School
Learn to safely jump from an aircraft and how to conduct airborne military operations
Phase 3: Preparation for Assessment and Selection
Complete intense mental and physical conditioning to prepare for the Civil Affairs selection process
Phase 4: Assessment and Selection
Find out if you’re selected to join Civil Affairs based on your character, courage, commitment, and intellect
Phase 5: Special Operations Forces Basic Leaders Course
Learn the basic skills needed to lead small teams of Soldiers and the skills needed to advance to the rank of Sergeant
Phase 6: Civil Affairs Qualification Course
Study Army doctrine and conflict operations, field training exercises, organized problem-solving, and a foreign language
Phase 7: Assignment
Get assigned as an enlisted Soldier to the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade at Fort Bragg; get assigned as an Officer to either the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade or the 83rd Civil Affairs Battalion at Fort Bragg
Additional Training for Medics
To become a Civil Affairs Medical Sergeant, you’ll attend 44 weeks of additional Special Operations Medic training, with an emphasis on trauma medicine field care
Civil Affairs Requirements and Next Steps
Depending on which path you take, there are different requirements you’ll need to meet in order to become part of a Civil Affairs team:
If you’re an active-duty Officer:
- Be eligible for a top secret security clearance
- Have obtained the rank of first lieutenant or captain
Common Questions About Civil Affairs
What makes a successful Civil Affairs Soldier?
A Civil Affairs Soldier is someone who is physically fit, tactically skilled, and culturally aware of their surroundings. They are able to conduct global missions in harsh environments that are politically sensitive or even hostile.
Can I be a Civil Affairs Soldier in the Army Reserve?
Yes, many Civil Affairs Soldiers are in the Army Reserve and they use their unique professional skills from the civilian sector to support the military and help stabilize conflict areas.
What happens if I’m not selected to become a Civil Affairs Soldier during training?
If you are not ultimately selected to join Civil Affairs during training, you will be assigned to a unit as a qualified 12B Combat Engineer.
Will I learn a foreign language as a Civil Affairs Soldier?
Yes, during training you will learn the language you’re assigned, which could include Russian, French, Indonesian, and Spanish, multiple dialects of Arabic, Chinese-Mandarin, Persian-Farsi, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, and Brazilian Portuguese.