True Civil Affairs Integration: From Three Tribes to One


In August of 1998, former Chief of Staff GEN Dennis Reimer published his white paper, One Team, One Fight, One Future, describing the importance for achieving Total Army integration by merging the Army's three components into one fully integrated service.1 In 2008, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued DoD Directive 1200.17 establishing policies to integrate active component (AC) and reserve component (RC). These policies included cross-component assignments linking both components as a total force.2 Four years later in 2012, then–Secretary of the Army John McHugh issued Army Directive 2012-08 with additional policies for the integration of the Army's AC and RC.3 By 2016, the Army implemented a pilot program, the Associated Units Pilot Program (AUPP), pairing units from all three components with a goal of a more integrated force.4 The program consisted of mostly brigade combat teams from the Army National Guard paired with active-duty divisions or vice versa. There are few sustainment units participating in the program. To date there are no Civil Affairs (CA) units participating in the AUPP and perhaps this change can deliver better integration across the CA Regiment.

To meet the Department of Defense's (DoD) total force concept and the Army Total Force Policy (ATFP), the CA proponent should develop a Civil Affairs Total Force Policy (CATFP). A CATFP would include organizational concepts to assist with the integration of AC and RC CA units to provide the Army a more interoperable and capable force. This policy would consist of different organizational structures that include a mixture of multi-component units, associate units, and fully integrated CA units across special operations forces (SOF) and conventional forces (CF). This effort could integrate the three tribes, AC (SOF/Conventional) and RC, to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. In turn, it can help strengthen the Civil Affairs brand, narrative, and value for the Joint Force.

This paper used a literature review of relevant articles, doctrine, policies, and reports on military services' organizational concepts for AC and RC integration for its findings. References include lessons learned by other services on organizational integration and how to best implement them for CA units. Findings will consist of case studies for each type of organizational structure to gain a better understanding for each: multi-component, associate units, and fully integrated units. Recommendations will address recommended changes across the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities (DOTMLP-F) factors. Overall, this paper contends that the integration of CA forces would improve readiness and appropriate resources to meet future operational requirements.

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