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.

2015 Call for Civil Affairs Issue Papers

2015 Civil Affairs Symposium
Call for Civil Affairs Issue Papers
“Civil Affairs: A Force for Engagement and Conflict Prevention”
Civil Affairs (CA) has long been a major national strategic capability that helps transition from war to peace and from military to civilian lead and control after major conflict. Increasingly, however, CA is being required to engage partners to bring together whole-of-nation elements in:

      • · emerging security cooperation and security assistance operations performed by General
        Purpose Forces under the Regionally Aligned Force concept;
      • · “building partner capacity” missions, in cooperation with regional and multilateral organizations, partner nations, and possibly National Guard State Partnership Missions; and
      • · Special Operations in “persistent engagement.”


In conjunction with Military Information Support and Information Operations (MISO/IO) as well as

Foreign Area Officers (FAOs), CA comprises the only part of the Joint Force specifically suited for Peace &

Stability Operations under Joint Stability Operations Doctrine and the U.S. Army Functional Concept for

Engagement. Especially in Phase 0 (Shape and Influence), they can contribute to conflict analysis, including identifying sources of illicit power as well as the distribution and use of political and informal power, in order to mitigate the drivers of instability and not just threats. All this brings up two questions:

1. How as such does or should CA contribute to conflict prevention, in coordination with MISO/IO and FAOs as well as an array of government, non-government, and private sector civilian partners and regional and multilateral organizations?

2. What CA capabilities are required to support engagement in these ways?

The Civil Affairs Association and its partners are therefore reaching out to experienced civil military operators to contribute to that discussion by preparing a short Civil Affairs Issue Paper (10 pages, 12 font, 1.5 or double-spaced, or less) explaining their recommendations on some or all of the above questions, with additional consideration of Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities and Policy (DOTMLPF-P), as writers deem appropriate.

The Civil Affairs Association will publish the top five Issue Papers in the 2015-16 Civil Affairs Issue Papers at the Spring 2016 Roundtable. However, it will select the top three papers, likewise based on originality of thought, clarity of presentation, and feasibility of recommendations, for presentation and final voting by participants at the Civil Affairs Symposium in San Antonio, TX this fall.

First prize is a cash award of $500; second prize is $250; and third prize is $100. The deadline for submission of papers is Friday, 14 August 2015. Send the papers to Colonel (ret.) Christopher Holshek, Civil Issue Papers Editor, at holshek@hotmail.com.

Further information and updates, will be posted on The Civil Affairs Association website: http://www.civilaffairsassoc.org/


Edited by
Christopher Holshek
John C. Church, Jr.

“Their purpose is to provide a platform for the broader Civil Affairs community to communicate to important opinion leaders in the Executive and Legislative branches, as well as key military commands and institutions, what it thinks the way ahead should be for CA, utilizing experienced operators rather than the just the usual think-tank approach. This not only draws on the rich legacy of CA, but its remarkable talent. ”


Click here to read the entire set of papers

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.
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