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.

352nd Civil Affairs Col. Richard S. Smudin takes command of 354th Civil Affairs Brigade

Brig. Gen. Stolte, commander of the 352nd Civil Affairs Command, passes the brigade colors to Col. Richard S. Smudin, incoming commander of the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade. Command Sgt. Maj. Ryan Whitson, command sergeant major of the 354th, is also pictured. The assumption of command ceremony was held at McGill Training Center March 8, 2015.

Brig. Gen. Stolte, commander of the 352nd Civil Affairs Command, passes the brigade colors to Col. Richard S. Smudin, incoming commander of the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade. Command Sgt. Maj. Ryan Whitson, command sergeant major of the 354th, is also pictured. The assumption of command ceremony was held at McGill Training Center March 8, 2015.

FORT MEADE, Md. — The brigade colors for a Maryland civil affairs unit were handed to an alumnus of Boston University during an assumption of command ceremony held March 8 at McGill Training Center here.

Brig. Gen. Alan Stolte, commander of the 352nd Civil Affairs Command, handed the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade colors Col. Richard S. Smudin. Stolte stated during his remarks that the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade is transitioning into capable hands.

“Rick was not selected to command by chance,” Stolte said. “He was selected because he had challenging assignments and did well with them throughout his military career.”

Also in attendance was Brig. Gen. Christopher Stockel, deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Brig. Gen. Glen Goddard, commander of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command in Staten Island, New York.

“I’d like to thank Brig. Gen. Stolte, Brig. Gen. Stockel, and Brig. Gen. Goddard for joining us here today,” Smudin said during his remarks. “This is an immense honor I’m being entrusted with and I’m in awe of the responsibility.”

He thanked those in attendance, with special recognition to his wife, Jennifer, and his family.

“I especially want to thank my family for being here. It goes without saying that it is not possible without them,” Smudin said. “I don’t say it often enough, but I will say now, thank you for very much for letting me be here today and for your support.”

During Smudin’s remarks he spoke directly to the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade Soldiers praising their professionalism and passion for the civil affairs mission.

“I am looking forward to mining your ideas and your energy and working this journey together to make this the best brigade in USACAPOC,” Smudin said in closing. “I look at this as a journey together and I can’t wait to get started.”

After the ceremony, Smudin’s wife and children shared how proud they are of Smudin’s accomplishments as husband and father.

During 27 years of military service, Smudin completed his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Boston University School of Management and a Masters of Business Administration from the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.

Smudin’s most recent assignments include Battalion Commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 304th Infantry Regiment (United States Military Academy), Chief of the Civil Information Management Cell at the 353d Civil Affairs Command, and Chief of the Functional Specialty Team at the 353d Civil Affairs Command. His operational deployments include service as the Mobilization Plans Officer at Fort Drum in 2003, Civil Affairs Team Leader in Baghdad, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II – III, and Division Engagements Officer for the Commander of Multi-National Division North at Contingency Operating Base Speicher Iraq during OIF 2007-2009.

Anthony Leyva New Commander at 426 th CA BN

change of command shot & edite by Chris Dye 2015

On February 7. 2015 Col. Mitch Schmidtke, commander of the 358 th CA BDE passed the battalion colors of the 426 CA BN from former commander, Lt. Col. Raymond Short, to the incoming battalion commander, Lt. Col. Anthony Leyva. Unit member families and friends, former unit members, and elected local leaders were at this change of command ceremony. Community leaders in attendance included State Senator Mike Morrell and State Assemblyman Marc Steinworth.

Lt. Col. Short commended the Soldiers of the battalion for their significant accomplishments attained during his 2 years of command. He recognized their successful demobilization from Afghanistan and their numerous professional military education accolades. He recognized the US Army Reserve Command Best Warrior, Staff Sgt. Kristopher Stallard. In closing, Lt. Col. Short reflected on his time as the battalion commander and endorsed his successor, Lt.Col. Leyva.

Lt. Col. Leyva previously was CACOM Air at the 352nd CA CMD. At the ceremony he praised the battalion’s recent achievements. Briefly at the ceremony, and then later in a meeting with unit members, he outlined his vision for the battalion’s future. This future includes upcoming Combat Training
Center rotations and other exercises which will prepare it to support civil military operations in PACOM.

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