Welcome to The Civil Affairs Association

CAA SymposiumEstablished in 1947

The Civil Affairs Association is a Veterans organization serving professionals of the United States’ Civil Affairs community. Our members populate all walks of life, have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, or are the descendants of those who have honorably served and have chosen to continue serving the communities where they live.

As a tax exempt Veteran’s organization, The Civil Affairs Association operates within the guidelines of Internal Revenue Code 501(c) (19). We are organized for educational, professional, fraternal, and social purposes, as well as promoting esprit-de-corps and information dissemination among past and present members of the Armed Services, as well as their descendants.

The Association is further created to serve as an advocate for the Civil Affairs specialty within the Department of Defense to ensure an adequate capability to perform any assigned mission or task involving Civil Affairs and its related activities in support of National Defense.

Membership requirements mandated by Congress requires at least 75% of the members must be past or present members of the United States Armed Forces. Other members authorized under the IRC Code include Cadets (including only students in college or university ROTC programs or at Armed Services academies) or Spouses, widows, widowers, ancestors or lineal descendants of individuals referenced above.

The Civil Affairs Association encourages your new or continued membership.

Civil-Military Roundtable and Issue Paper Launch on “The Future of Civil Affairs”

Friday, March 6th 2015

At the West Point Club, Hudson Room, U.S. Military Academy
West Point, NY 10996

Civil Affairs has long been called upon to facilitate transition from military to civilian control and from conflict to peace. Recently, it is helping to bring together whole-of-nation elements to engage partners and mitigate conflict. In short, Civil Affairs is a major national strategic capability that helps end and prevent wars. Along with Military Information Support (formerly PSYOP), it is the only part of the Joint Force specifically suited for Peace & Stability Operations. However, the future of Civil Affairs is not entirely certain, given shifts in U.S. foreign, national security, and defense policies and another historic military drawdown under budgetary pressures. In this critical moment, the Civil Affairs Association is reaching out to the community of practice, officers and NCOs among the most operationally experienced CA force in decades, to contribute to that discussion. This has resulted in the first Civil Affairs Issue Papers beginning to look at a host of issues, including: mission, doctrine, and operations; executive and legal authorities and Joint/Service proponent; force design, structure, and management; mix and integration of Active and Reserve Components; recruitment, career management, and education and training; and, interorganizational partnering. The first Issue Paper in this series is based on the papers presented for the panel discussions at the Civil Affairs Symposium at Valley Forge, PA last November.

General Schedule 

Thursday, March 5th: No host Happy Hour at the Thayer Hotel (evening)

Friday, March 6th: – Welcome and opening remarks
– Keynote speaker – Carter F. Ham, General, U.S. Army (ret.)
– Issue Paper roll-out: “The Future of Civil Affairs”
– Luncheon and presentation of Civil Affairs Association Annual Awards
– Roundtable – Update and discussion of the state of affairs among major U.S.,
NATO, and UN civil-military commands and institutions
– Nomination of the 2015-16 CA Issue Paper and Fall Symposium topic

Reservations with the Thayer Hotel, West Point, NY at special Roundtable rate can be made by clicking here
Roundtable Registration fee is $20 in advance, $25 cash upon arrival. Includes coffee and lunch.
To register in advance, click here

A complete agenda will be posted on the Association website soon.

Wanted: a new generation of Monuments Men for US army

Curators, art historians and museum directors sought to provide expert advice in combat zones
By Helen Stoilas
Art News

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew DeJesse (left), who is also an artist, is now on his second tour of Afghanistan as a civil affairs officer.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew DeJesse (left), who is also an artist, is now on his second tour of Afghanistan as a civil affairs officer.

28 January 2015

The US Army is looking to recruit the next generation of “Monuments Men and Women” to help preserve sites and cultural property in combat zones and to advise troops on heritage. After years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a new conflict in Syria, including the large-scale looting of ancient objects and the intentional destruction of heritage sites, the army recognises the need for experts in the field to advise commanders and work with civilian authorities after battles to help restore order. It is turning to museum directors, archaeologists and preservationists to fill these posts.

Broken system

Dating back to the original Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives programme established during the Second World War, the army has had cultural affairs officers to support preservation efforts in countries where US troops are involved. But for years, this was reactive responding to the looting of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad after the US-led invasion in 2003, for example or relied on the efforts of individual soldiers.
Continue Reading →

353rd CACOM Welcomes New Commanding General

by Sgt. Gregory Williams

353rd CACOM welcomes new commanding general

The Veteran Corps of Artillery State of New York test fired two 75 mm pack howitzer cannons during the 353rd Civil Affairs Command assumption of command ceremony Oct. 19, 2014 here. The corps is one of the nine historic military commands recognized by the National Defense Act and is comprised of volunteer reserve Soldiers.
FORT WADSWORTH, N.Y. – In 2015, After 29 years of serving in the U.S. Army Reserves and approaching his mandatory removal date a then Lt. Col. Glenn A. Goddard received a call that he would be the next commanding general for the 353rd Civil Affairs Command.

Following his acceptance of the position, the battle-tested officer reflected on his career and was thankful to be given an opportunity to continue to serve.

“I’m not ready to hang it up yet,” Brig. Gen. Glenn A. Goddard, commanding general of the 353rd CACOM, remembered saying, “This allows me to keep going on for a while because I love the missions, Soldiers, and challenges so bring it on.”

Goddard said the 353rd CACOM has done a great job of supporting U.S. Army Africa Command and U.S. Army European Command missions in the past, but he’s looking forward to making his unit the top civil affairs unit everyone calls for world-wide missions.

“I would like to take us to the next step and part of that is putting us on the speed dial with AFRICOM and EUCOM,” Goddard said. “When they have a problem that can be addressed by civil affairs, I want them to call us and say ‘I need your help’. It’s all about getting that face time with key personnel and staff leaders who we can convince them that we have the capability to solve their problem.”

Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Ammerman, commanding general of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), said Goddard is taking over a command with a great reputation and after deploying together in the past knows Goddard is an example of what a successful leader is.

“Then Lt. Col. Goddard was one of my battalion commanders when I was a brigade commander in Iraq,” Ammerman said. “I know him to be a leader that cares for the development and well being of his Soldiers. Having started as a private first class, Goddard hasn’t forgotten his roots and has the initiative, adaptability, and strategic perspective that will enable him to succeed. I believe that the most successful leaders are able to communicate their vision and intent while fully supporting their subordinate leaders.”

Ammerman was the previous commander of the 353rd and became USACAPOC(A)’s commander in June 2014. The two-star general said his previous experience as a CACOM commander helps him recognize the importance of the civil affairs mission as battle spaces are expanding.

Goddard said 77 percent of civil affairs Soldiers belong to the U.S. Army Reserves, but most commands rely on the active-duty component, which has fewer Soldiers with civil affairs field experience. Goddard hopes to help the Army recognize how Reserve Soldiers are the best available to deploy since he believes his Soldiers possess various elite special skill sets.

“What we do is a mental challenge because if I’m an infantry officer, I can look up a field manual and A, B, C and D will tell me how to take the hill,” Goddard said. “There is no book for what Soldiers in civil affairs do because this job requires a great deal of brain power and innovation.”

Goddard said he wants to build the 353rd into a command that is always ready to apply their civilian specialties in the filed because he believes it’s the key to getting the most challenging missions within the Army Reserve.

“Not only have I issued my command philosophy, but I will come by each unit once or twice a year to see that it’s filtering down and that every private is getting my message,” Goddard said. “When that word comes down we have to make sure that we’re ready to deploy and prove to the active that it’s no different than calling on an active-duty unit.”

Ammerman offered some words of advice to the new commander being familiar with the difficulties and challenges Goddard will face leading two brigades, eight battalions, and more than 200 Soldiers who staff the command itself.

“My advice to Brig. Gen. Goddard is to develop leaders, increase readiness, and support the success of his subordinate commands because as the world grows in complexity, there will always be a high demand for our skills by the Army.” Ammerman said. “USACAPOC(A) is only as good as its subordinate commands so with the 353rd being one of it’s commands, I feel that we’re in a good position to meet the needs of the Army. I don’t think there is any question that civil affairs is relevant to the missions in Europe and Africa today.”

As the Army continues to send Soldiers to Africa and Europe, Goddard said he hopes to do his part in making sure the Army and general public realize how important the civil affairs mission is.

“As far as the public goes, we need to get our message out there and explain what we do,” Goddard said. “I’ve never had a conversation with a civilian and explained what civil affairs Soldiers do and they didn’t think wow that’s fascinating. Civil affairs is going to go back to what it was in the 1990s, which was an elite unit that guys were lining up around the block to join because we do the cool stuff.”

CAA Symposium 2014

Shaping the Way Forward CAA panel 2014

Panel members:
BG Van Roosen (Director, Institure for Mil Support to Governance)
MG Ammerman (Commander USACA & PSYOPS Command)
Dr. Guttiere (Security and Development Policy Lead at Stanford)
BG Irizarry II (Army Reserve Command G-3/5/7)
LtCol “Rocky” Simon (Director, Marine Corps CMO School)

CA Association hosted symposium on future of CA. Professionals from across the force and IA discussed key issues to ensure CA remains a strategic asset for the future.

– Review of lessons learned from decade of war and identification of critical skills and capabilities for future based on lessons learned.
– Prepare CA for future to remain relevant, to include ability to serve as military government if required and supporting COCOMS.
– Field subject matter experts in functional specialties, such as governance, economics and utilities (essential services), to include how to train and maintain a cadre of SMEs.
– Remain closely tied with Interagency.
– Maintain key capabilities, such as civil recon and civil information management.
– Establish battle rhythm of publishing key issue papers for consideration by CA force.

MG Matthews and COL Kirlin 2014
MG Tom Matthews, former President of Civil Affairs Association, with Col Joseph Kirlin, current President of Civil Affairs Association

Marine Civil Affairs personnel



Marine personnel, left to right:
Col Leonard DeFrancisci, Col John Church, LtCol Mark Thieme, Col Jeffrey Lipson, LtCol Lou “Rocky” Simon