The most important mission the Association performs on behalf of the Civil Affairs Regiment is to constantly develop platforms and tools to identify, improve, and advocate the many values-added of this unique and diverse national strategic land power capability. This is to inform and educate Army, Marine, and Joint commands, institutional, interagency, and political leaders including members of Congress, partner organizations, and the public and media.
From the annual fall symposia, including workshops run by Regimental institutions, to the spring roundtables, the Association’s singularly crowd-sourced platform for intellectual capitalization provides members of the Regiment a way to enable and capture experience-based insights on its way ahead. Deliverables, among them the Civil Affairs Issue Papers, help the CA community of practice communicate to the relevant community of policy on the results of its thematic discussions on its way ahead with critical military, interagency, allied, and other unified action partners, whose institutional and operational fates CA increasingly shares.
This urgently needed platform for the open exchange of ideas helps especially those with the greatest stake in the Regiment’s future – whether active, reserve, special operations and conventional, and Army or Marine – find their voice. The Association’s non-official Issue Papers and reports are source documents to enrich the formal institutional processes of CA force development along the lines of policy, doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF-P).
“The [CA] Association, working closely with the Proponent, has really been a catalyst for change, sort of like a startup incubator. I haven’t seen anything similar in other military branches or government organizations,” issue paper author Major Shafi Saiduddin observed. “The Symposium and Issue Papers have given us missing context and language,” added fellow author Major Giancarlo Newsome.
Adding to the core annual platform are the OneCA podcasts, online CA Journal, and social media sites. More recently, the Publication Advisory Board and Research Library enable older CA scholars help younger CA professionals find opportunities to help mainstream the discussion of civil affairs into the discussion of the larger Army and Joint Force.
In addition to helping the Regiment become a better learning organization, resulting in enhanced CA service delivery, the Association’s advocacy platforms also help shape and evolve a more powerful narrative for civil affairs professionals from all corners speak with a common voice to many audiences.
“The Association is doing a great service in getting civil affairs, the services, senior military leaders, and interagency partners to come together to think about these issues in a more integrated way,” retired Marine General Anthony Zinni concluded at a recent Roundtable.