I am wanting to change my career and am in my late 30's. I am starting a degree program in disaster and emergency management and some one said that the Army Reserve has something called the civil affairs corps that might be a good fit for me. Any one know anything about this? I am having a little trouble finding info on it. How do you join this division on the Reserves? Can they be diplomacy (I have very bad eyesight)? Any websites I can check out?
Yeah, I'm interested in CA as well but you're right info on it is really skimpy. It looks like they're mostly comprised of Reservists and have a more civilian slant to their job descriptions, and that they deal largely in public relations/diplomatic issues. Here are some webpages I looked into:
CA/PSYOP Recruiting Page
CA on Wikipedia
And here is an account of some stuff they did in Iraq which looks like a good read. I'll be ordering a copy.
Are you already in the military, or still considering? Maybe your local recruiter could be of better help. Best of luck, and please feel free to share any info!
Hopefully the following info will help in your research. I have many experiences working alongside Civil Affairs Soldiers, both Active Duty and Reserve and can honestly admit they provide a critical skill set needed to accomplish the missions U.S. Armed Forces face worldwide.
You are correct in your assumption that your degree of disaster and emergency management would make an easy transition to the Army Civil Affairs. It is important to point out that this is only one part of the Civil Affairs mission. The sites posted earlier will give you a good understanding on the Active Duty Civil Affairs requirements and functions. Many of the missions and general duties however will hold true in the Reserves as well. More than 90% of the Army’s Civil Affairs force resides in the Army Reserves and have a little different climate and community than the Active Duty Civil Affairs force. Reserve Civil Affairs rely on the diverse experience and professional knowledge of the member’s civilian occupation in addition to their military qualifications. I recommend you look into all options to see what might fit your interests best. You would have a very good chance of finding a reserve Civil Affairs unit near you. I am not a recruiter so I recommend contacting a recruiter for; specific information, locations, requirements, bonuses, and qualifications for joining the National Guard, Army Reserves, or Active Duty. This would include any possible waiver requirements for vision if it is determined you even need one.
U.S. Army Reserve Job Search Site Is a good location to get some information on the Army Reserve Civil Affairs (CA) training and skills both enlisted and officer you can add this site to the list above. Civil Affairs skills fall under the 38 series, 38B for enlisted is an entry level position however you civil affairs officers are not normally an entry level branch and use one of the Army’s other basic branches first then transition after their initial training. If you want to get first hand info, I recommend contacting a CA unit near you and asking some questions, most units are more than happy to answer any questions you may have and some Army Reserve and National Guard units will even let you stop by and tour the daily activities of the unit. A recruiter should be able to assist you in making contact or you can look up the unit in the state and government section of most local phone books.
In that you are looking at a degree in disaster and emergency management I recommend you also look into the National Guard, in that is one of their primary missions is to assist civil leaders during natural disasters, state emergencies and civil unrest. Every day on average 17 Governors call on their National Guard for everything from weather related assistance to suspected anthrax contamination. The National Guard does not have the overall number of Civil Affairs units the Army Reserves has, but it does have a few units around the country, most of which I believe reside in Texas. The National Guard does have a significant amount of Engineer and State Joint Force Headquarters units that conduct civil support missions not only within the U.S. but around the world. This reference may help you identify the different jobs available in the Guard and military in general. [URL=http://www.1800goguard.com/careers/mos/index.php ]Army National Guard Career List[/URL]
An additional bonus unique to the National Guard is that most if not all states provide some form of tuition reimbursement that could help pay for your degree. This tuition assistance is in addition to the Montgomery G.I. bill and in some states amounts to as much as 100% of tuition assistance depending on the number of hours you are taking.
Again I hope this helps best of luck to both of you,
MAJ Steve Odom
Command and General Staff College, FT Gordon, GA
Disclaimer: “The views expressed in this statement are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.”
Im a Civil Affairs Sergeant and just spent two years in Iraq conducting Civil Affairs missions, (on the reserve side). I can tell you all about CA if you want first hand experience. I LOVE my job and am actually trying to go active duty. They are very different though from the reserves. The overall mission is the same, liaison between military and civilians, developing rapport to achieve civilian cooperation, keeping civilians out of harms way, providing Humanitarian Assistance, etc. but active duty falls under Special Ops and they do things a bit different, small teams attached to Special Forces going to places like Africa and South America for short periods, they make up only 4% of Civil Affairs. Anyway, I could go on and on so if you're seriously interested, you can email me at email@example.com
Now, if anyone knows how to go from reserves to active duty and can tell me the process, I would greatly appreciate it! Apparently is very rare and there doesn't seem to be a standard procedure.
Thanks for the book recommendation. I have sent in an order for it.
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