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Civil Affairs Specialist (38A)

Construction and Engineering Army MOS Information
  • Enlisted
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve

Civil Affairs Soldiers operate in teams in support of both conventional and special operations forces. Civil Affairs specialists identify critical requirements needed by local citizens in combat or crisis situations. They also locate civil resources to support military operations, mitigate non-combatant injury or incident, minimize civilian interference with military operations, facilitate humanitarian assistance activities, and establish and maintain communication with civilian aid agencies and organizations.

Civil Affairs Specialists are primarily responsible for researching, coordinating, conducting and participating in the planning and production of civil affairs related documents, while enabling the civil-military operations of the supported commander. Some of your duties as a Civil Affairs Specialist may include:

  • Helping to plan U.S. government interagency procedures for national or regional emergencies
  • Assisting with civil-military planning and support
  • Coordinating military resources to support reconstitution or reconstruction activities
  • Supporting national disaster, defense or emergency assistance and response activities
  • Fostering and maintaining dialogue with civilian aid agencies and civilian relief and assistance organizations
  • Establishing mechanisms for emergency coordination and administration where political-economic structures have been incapacitated
  • Providing emergency coordination and administration where political-economic structures have been incapacitated


For initial entry Soldiers, job training begins with nine weeks of Basic Combat Training, where you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills, which will be followed by eleven weeks of Advanced Individual Training, where you’ll learn the skills of a Civil Affairs specialist and be assigned to a Army Reserve Civil Affairs unit. Airborne qualified active duty Noncommissioned Officers can reclassify as a Civil Affairs sergeants after successful completion of an intensive 20 week training program that includes language, negotiations and regional training. Some of the skills you’ll learn in Civil Affairs training include:

  • Acquiring analytical skills and ability to conduct research using a variety of methods to include standard library research, use of web browsers and other search engines and services
  • Conducting civil-military operations that includes humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and populace and resource control
  • Obtaining computing and advanced communication skills
  • Training with equipment to include vehicles, weapon systems and other Civil Affairs unique systems
  • Conducting an area assessment
  • Preparing maps and charts
  • Conducting a negotiation

Helpful Skills:

Helpful attributes include:

  • An interest in working with foreign militaries or government agencies
  • An ability to learn a foreign language and deal effectively with a foreign culture
  • An interest in operating as a member of a small team in an austere environment in both semi-permissive and hostile environments
  • An interest in conducting assessments of civil preparedness and infrastructures to assure proper reconstitution, and governmental and economic stability
  • An ability to organize and analyze information
  • An ability to write clearly and concisely

Advanced Responsibilities:

Advanced level Civil Affairs Specialists and Noncommissioned Officers coordinate for and supervise the execution of civil-military and Civil Affairs operations in support of military and non-military organizations. Experienced Civil Affairs operators will find themselves operating overseas in small teams working with host-nation officials or foreign militaries on programs designed to strengthen democratic institutions, increase stability, deter conflict or relieve human suffering.

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