Civil Affairs Soldiers, along with a Navy medical team, conduct a key-leader engagement and site assessment at a prenatal clinic in Bangladesh in order to discuss future medical seminars.

Grains of Truth

The Role of Civil-Military Support Elements in Special Operations

By Maj. Jeffrey S. Han and Maj. Brion D. Youtz
Originally published in the July-September 2012 edition of Special Warfare

Purpose and mission of Civil-Military Engagement

The recently published national defense strategic guidance states, “Whenever possible, we will develop innovative, low-cost, and small-footprint approaches to achieve our security objectives, relying on exercises, rotational presence, and advisory capabilities.1 Small, flexible and centripetal forces by nature, special-operations Civil Affairs teams fit the bill for this strategy. CA elements plan and execute CA operations that range from integration into tactical missions with other special-operations forces to strategic deployment within a foreign country at the direction of a U.S. Ambassador. It is the latter scenario that will be the focus of this article.

U.S. Special Operations Command deploys civil-military support elements that are “SOF CA teams who plan, coordinate, facilitate, manage and lead programs and projects that support U.S. and host-nation objectives” under the Civil-Military Engagement Program.2 This program allows global combatant commanders to deploy, with the approval and endorsement of U.S. Ambassadors, small SOF CA teams to U.S. Embassies to conduct operations that are concurrently beneficial to U.S. defense, diplomacy and development objectives. The types of operations vary by region and country but FM 3-57, Civil Affairs Operations, offers a succinct summary:

Best described as nation assistance, CME operations identify and address critical civil vulnerabilities in undergoverned and ungoverned areas or high-threat environments where indigenous authorities or the interagency (specifically the country team and especially U.S. Agency for International Development) cannot engage…CME as a concept is USSOCOM’s contribution, and part of the Department of Defense’s strategy, to building partner capacity in a preventive, population-centric and indirect approach to enhance the capability, capacity and legitimacy of partnered indigenous governments. The successful execution of CME identifies the causes or drivers of instability or popular grievances of the indigenous population that violent extremist organizations can exploit by destabilizing the civil component of the operational environment.3

A typical CMSE deployment would seem to be very routine and bland in its lack of notable controversies and standout achievements, especially if viewed from standard weekly reports that describe interagency coordination meetings, key leader engagements, site visits and opening ceremonies for humanitarian assistance construction projects. What these reports do not capture, however, are subtle and unquantifiable measures of effectiveness such as the rapport and enduring relationships that SOF CA teams build with key host-nation officials, nongovernmental organizations and other international organizations which facilitate the achievement of the United States’ foreign policy and security goals. Maintaining a persistent presence in a country, a CMSE team becomes a highly effective tool for the Defense and State Departments and USAID, able to quickly respond to emerging situations while contributing to the effectiveness of long-term U.S. Government strategies.

Along with its subordinate teams, the company responsible for this mission collectively achieves a great deal without extraordinary fanfare. The purpose of this article is to highlight the achievements of our unit after returning from a CMSE deployment which can and should be considered routine. While we did have a successful rotation that can be lauded for several significant and unprecedented accomplishments, these were nothing more than what should be the baseline for every mission set with the outlook of increasing our SOF brethrens’ understanding of SOF CA, standardizing our support regardless of the theater of operations and reinforcing our value-added to country team goals and objectives.

How is this done?

The mission of CA forces is to support commanders by engaging the civil component of the operational environment to achieve CMO or other stated U.S. objectives and ensure the sustained legitimacy of the mission and the transparency and credibility of the military force before, during or after other military operations. Regardless of the setting in which they are assigned, whether it is a combat zone or a U.S. Embassy conference room, SOF CA teams provide a critical capability for combatant and special operations commanders. In order to make commanders cognizant of and more comfortable with employing this tool, teams must first and foremost build credibility with military leaders. SOF CA personnel are not intended to be “door-kickers” by trade; there are units with far greater means to achieve success with such skill sets. Our branch would not exist if its purpose was to merely compete with other elite organizations on these terms. High standards of fitness, discipline and individual and team force-protection capability are fundamental in ARSOF and SOF CA personnel and elements have all three. However, our greatest asset is the ability to gain access to, engage, understand and influence key areas and relevant individuals, groups and populations in full disclosure, thus enabling our military commanders and civilian leaders to achieve their objectives.

How do we gain this credibility?

Perhaps one of the most important capabilities that trained SOF CA Soldiers have is to quickly and effectively establish relationships with the interagency in order to collaborate, synchronize and ultimately achieve unity of effort with other branches of the U.S. Government. This characteristic is specifically highlighted in FM 3-57, which states “CME more directly supports a broader host-nation internal defense and development strategy through its support of the American Embassy, country team.” While the representatives of other government agencies usually cannot be tasked for support in military operations, their resources are extremely valuable and relationships are often mutually beneficial. In an era of increasingly ambiguous threats and corresponding unprecedented employment of the elements of national power as a counter, the promotion of military and interagency collaboration and unity of effort is critical.

In addition to fostering collaboration between U.S. Government entities, SOF CA teams are adept at seeking and capitalizing on opportunities to promote relations between the United States and countries in which we have a diplomatic or military presence. We are trained to gain the trust of host-nation representatives by becoming cultural and regional experts. However, speaking a certain language or studying a certain culture do not make one an expert in a country or region. The ability to quickly adapt to customs and courtesies, to respect taboos, to appreciate sources of pride: these are the skills that enable a commander to achieve his or her objectives. SOF CA personnel are screened and selected to ensure they have the aptitude, endurance and character for SOF CA. They develop their skills through a rigorous qualification course and comprehensive pre-mission training that enables them to tailor what they have learned for a particular area of operations and mission.

What it Takes

“Special operations differ from conventional operations in degree of physical and political risk, operational techniques, modes of employment … SOF are conducted in all environments, but are particularly well suited for denied and politically sensitive environments. SO can be tailored to achieve not only military objectives through application of SOF capabilities for which there are no broad conventional-force requirements, but also to support the application of the diplomatic, informational and economic instruments of national power.”5 The latter part (application of DIME) is especially true for CMSEs because they act as bridges between other SOF elements and the U.S. country team and strive to identify, implement and transition enduring interagency mitigating solutions to address underlying civil vulnerabilities

In order to ensure that missions are compatible with the capabilities of SOF, FM 3-05: Army Special Operations Forces states that commanders must ensure “ARSOF personnel undergo careful selection processes or mission-specific training beyond basic military skills to achieve entry-level SOF skills. Being proficient in these skills makes rapid replacement or generation of personnel or capabilities highly unlikely” and that “mature, experienced personnel” must “maintain a high level of competency in more than one military specialty.”6 These descriptions apply to the process for selecting and manning SO CA teams. It is far from adequate to devise a “cookie-cutter” training plan with a random group of assigned individuals. For this reason, the chemistry that develops at the company level and the leadership that fosters this camaraderie and shared sense of purpose are critical to mission success. Leaders who are able to influence the manning of CA teams will benefit from being able to devote more time to mission analysis and accomplishment rather than to building the necessary unit cohesion. Understanding the dynamics of special operations encompasses much more than simply understanding and executing the mission.

Formula for Success

The CMSE is task organized from the CA regionally aligned battalions of the USASOC-assigned CA brigade … Upon deployment, the CMSE falls under OPCON of the TSOC and provides direct support to the American Embassy of the country of employment.7

The company assembled for our recent Pacific Command CMSE mission is an example of an ideal balance of experience and raw talent that SOF CA units need to accomplish the objectives described earlier. Seventy-five percent of our company had successful overseas SOF CA experience. Successful is the operative word here because experience without proven results would only replicate mediocre performance. A poor performer can be especially detrimental on a small team in the high-profile working environment of an embassy or sensitive meetings with foreign-government officials. Successful team members, however, can build on their experiences and exponentially advance sophisticated initiatives that serve to advance strategic U.S. interests according to the supported commander and U.S. Ambassador’s intent. Many of our “repeat offenders,” as they are affectionately known at Special Operations Command Pacific, reestablished relationships and continued to develop relationships that had started in previous deployments. Our Civil Information Management noncommissioned officer-in-charge continued a mutually beneficial and productive professional collaboration with SOCPAC’s National Geospatial Agency liaison that began during a previous deployment. Reports from our teams provided up-to-date information for NGA’s mapping database while we gained exposure to highly sophisticated geospatial analysis tools. Team members who returned to a country after a previous rotation or visit were welcomed enthusiastically by local U.S. Embassy staff members who looked forward to working with known, friendly personalities.

Complementing this experience was a group of individuals who demonstrated the potential to perform well based on their skill sets and demeanor. A rigorous screening process throughout the Civil Affairs Qualification Course pipeline continues to graduate only those officers and noncommissioned officers best suited for our line of work. Through the course of our pre-mission training cycle, informal vetting based on interactions with experienced members validated the selection of these individuals. The new members of the team also brought experience from their backgrounds or previous military occupational specialties to the table.

Chemistry was critical to bringing these individuals together into a cohesive, productive organization. The company’s leadership planned several informal social events that included family members. These events were combined with internal team-building activities designed to build and reinforce camaraderie and trust throughout the company. We enjoyed spending time together, but worked to avoid the potential for group-think or an overly casual command climate with the appropriate distinction between personal and professional lives. The comfort level we had with one another at home served us very well during the deployment, resulting in an informal communication and support network that spanned seven countries across the Asia-Pacific region. Our families back home also came to instinctively turn to one another for assistance when they needed help during the deployment. There were several occasions when family members had medical emergencies that required transportation to the hospital or child care and immediately turned to other families within the company for assistance. These incidents were a testament to the extent of trust and mutual support within the company.

Training to fit the mission

Training for any mission starts with the basics. During our pre-deployment training cycle, advanced rifle and pistol marksmanship, fitness and survivability training were routine. When individuals struggled with certain events, there was more than enough expertise within the company to ensure that all members met the requirements. With this proactive and cooperative approach, these training events were almost effortless, because, as true professionals, our Soldiers understand them to be fundamental requirements and execute them as such.

After achieving an adequate baseline of ARSOF standards, we were able to progress to the implementation of more unorthodox ideas. This type of training was enhanced through the camaraderie we had within the company. Teams were able to progress to more advanced training such as an unanticipated, mentally and physically challenging urban evasion and survivability exercise that tested team members’ trust in their leadership and one another as well as their dedication to the mission. That almost all of the members of the company appreciated the exercise and considered it the best part of pre-mission training spoke to team members’ level of dedication and the cohesion within the unit. Furthermore, the ability to complete this type of exercise significantly increased team members’ confidence in working in uncertain environments. As a result, teams were able to not only operate in unfamiliar areas but excel in them as well.

Another positive outcome of training flexibility was the teams’ engagement with non-traditional outlets for training. Along with the skills developed through advanced training exercises, the teams’ increasing confidence led them to take calculated risks to further expand their knowledge base and ultimately make the mission more successful. The Cambodia CMSE reached out to a diaspora community through the University of Hawaii in order to learn more about Cambodian culture and gain perspectives about the country outside of standard academic research. The Indonesia team reached out to the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C. In this case, the team learned a valuable lesson in official coordination because the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta was unaware of the engagement and made a query that came down through our chain of command. Team members learned that a simple courtesy notification to the U.S. Mission in Jakarta would have avoided any misunderstandings. They were later able to apply this lesson in their interactions with Indonesian government officials, significantly enhancing their credibility among seasoned diplomats.

The end result was an organization composed of professional, highly skilled, yet personable SOF CA personnel who could easily counter typical stereotypical prejudices about military personnel which often negatively influences civilian-military interactions. In order to challenge these stereotypes, SOF CA teams must be as personable and transparent as possible. Throughout our pre-mission training, teams went out of their way to successfully interact with civilians, demonstrating that members could relate very effectively to people outside of the military. From the simplest of interactions such as a transaction at a hardware store to more sophisticated meetings with North Carolina county managers and planners, teams demonstrated their approachability and tact. The interpersonal skills teams honed during training set them up for success in dealing deftly with host-nation, international and non-governmental civilian officials in their assigned countries.

The organizational glue: the CMOC

The Civil-Military Operations Center is a standing capability formed by all CA units from the company level to the CACOM level. Army CA units are organized to provide the supported commander the manpower and equipment, to include a robust communications package, to form the nucleus of the CMOC. A CMOC is tailored to the specific tasks associated with the mission and normally augmented by assets (engineer, medical, transportation) available to the supported commander … The CMOC is the operations and support element of the CA unit as well as a mechanism for the coordination of CAO.8

For the CMSE mission, the Civil-Military Operations Center organic to the company evolves into the theater civil-military support element, the operations and support element that supports the forward-deployed teams. The TCMSE consisted of our assigned CMOC personnel and an augmentation of members of the CMSE teams that did not deploy forward initially. Having these team members (who became “desk officers”) working with the CMOC facilitated communication with their team leaders and team sergeants. An indication of the success of this task-organized element was the fact that every member of the TCMSE traveled to a country in the region in support of a team. These trips were not only seamless but mission enhancing. Typical issues faced by new personnel integrating with an existing team were nonexistent due to the strong foundation of camaraderie and trust that existed within the organization. The camaraderie the company developed during pre-mission training made it very easy for team leaders and team sergeants to contact the TCMSE and vice versa to obtain clarification or make requests. We maintained a connection with the forward-deployed teams on almost a daily basis through traditional and non-traditional communications means and continued to gain excellent situational awareness of their activities and issues.

This ease of working with teams empowered the CMOC to accomplish its primary task, which is to facilitate civil-information management for the company. “CIM is the process whereby civil information is collected, entered into a central database and internally fused with the supported element, higher headquarters, and other U.S. Government and Department of Defense agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations. This process ensures the timely availability of information for analysis and the widest possible dissemination of the raw and analyzed civil information to military and nonmilitary partners throughout the area of operations.”9 In practice, the information takes the form of geospatial information systems files, Excel spreadsheets and online databases on both classified and unclassified portals. The CMOC takes the raw products that teams produce and consolidates them, editing them for content and fusing them with information available from the supported command headquarters in order to create a civil common operating picture that the commander, his staff and subordinate units can use to make key decisions. During our rotation, the TCMSE was fully engaged in this process and worked extensively with the SOCPAC staff with accurate and up-to-date situational awareness of the PACOM region. As a theater composed of mostly permissible environments and countries, civil information was a critical component of the COCOM and TSOC commanders’ information set.


Conduct humanitarian, disaster relief and other operations. The nation has frequently called upon its Armed Forces to respond to a range of situations that threaten the safety and well-being of its citizens and those of other countries. U.S. forces possess rapidly deployable capabilities, including airlift and sealift, surveillance, medical evacuation and care, and communications that can be invaluable in supplementing lead relief agencies, by extending aid to victims of natural or man-made disasters, both at home and abroad. DoD will continue to develop joint doctrine and military response options to prevent and, if necessary, respond to mass atrocities. U.S. forces will also remain capable of conducting non-combatant evacuation operations for American citizens overseas on an emergency basis.10

In addition to coordination with teams, the TCMSE leveraged access to resources at our supported theater special operations command (SOCPAC) and combatant command (PACOM) headquarters. Building rapport with the representatives of civilian agencies working within these headquarters proved to be an especially valuable asset. We leveraged relationships with PACOM officials to gain seats at the Pacific Command Security Assistance Conference (PACSAC), a high-profile planning forum with wide-ranging implications for SOF CA missions. PACOM, DoD and Department of State officials learned about CMSEs, often for the first time, and their direct interactions with team leaders piqued interests and spurred ideas for the innovative application of SOF CA capabilities. Discussions generated unprecedented ideas for new regional initiatives, including requests for support from security cooperation officials in countries that currently do not have SOF support.
One of our desk officers took the initiative to contact the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management when the team in Indonesia requested some updated disaster-management handbooks for a program in which the team was involved. This initial outreach evolved into a semi-formal relationship that involved periodic discussions on potential training for our personnel and opportunities to participate in major disaster preparedness exercises and similar events within countries in the region. Maintaining these types of relationships will enable great cross-pollination and collaboration with one of the most prominent agencies within the DoD.

The COE provided seats for our deputy CMOC chief and a CMSE team member to attend a Humanitarian Assistance Response Training course. The primary instructor for the course was the PACOM Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance representative. Through this training, we came to better understand our role as military representatives during foreign-disaster situations and more about our interaction with the OFDA. We were able to exercise this training when Thailand declared a disaster due to heavy flooding at the end of our rotation. When SOCPAC began planning a potential response, the OFDA representative became a conduit of information from a key-interagency partner and enabled us to provide informed, timely updates to the SOCPAC commander.

Our teams set out with clear objectives as determined by SOCPAC and the country teams of the U.S. Embassies to which they were assigned. They developed civil-military engagement plans based on these objectives that consisted of innovative programs to influence key areas and relevant populations via building partner capacity, facilitating PACOM component events and increased engagements with host nation militaries. Two of the teams’ most notable accomplishments were theater security-cooperation plan event support and multiple build partner capacity initiatives.

Theater Security Cooperation Plans

CME’s population-centric and indirect approach is manifested in three lines of effort: Enable partners to combat violent extremist organizations; deter tacit and active support of violent extremist organizations; Erode support for extremist ideologies.11

As noted in FM 3-57, CA contributions to the TSCP can include liaison and coordination, education and training and area assessments.12 Inevitably, TSCP support can be a double-edged sword and draw a significant amount of criticism, primarily from a TSOC that is hesitant to have a SOF element tasked to support non-SOF programs for the Office of Defense Coordination. In our case, supporting TSCP events was not a burden, rather a means of gaining access to previously denied geographic areas. Each of our teams was able to leverage one or several TSCP events into a TSOC named area of interest and provide persistent U.S. access and influence. The partnership is mutually beneficial — equally important to the component executing the event. Our teams provided initial site scoping of any project or CA program sites, coordination and approval with local governments, and local knowledge when the advance and main parties arrive, thus ensuring optimal results.

During our rotation, there were two examples of TSCP coordination that illustrate the value of SOF CA involvement in component events. In Cambodia, the execution of Operation Pacific Angel was a tremendous success and provided positive public relations for both the U.S. Pacific Air Force and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces as cited in several local news outlets.13 In Indonesia, the CMSE team supported site surveys in advance of the visit of the hospital ship, the USS Mercy. The team was able to direct the event to North Sulawesi for the first time and serve the interests of both Indonesian and U.S. governments. Without the assistance of the CMSE, the U.S. Pacific Fleet would likely have conducted the event in a convenient area based on historical precedent, rather than contemporary needs. As planning for Operation Pacific Angel 2012 is underway in Nepal and a newly established CMSE there supports PACAF and the ODC in site scoping and local coordination, yet another example of mutually beneficial and valuable CMSE support to TSCP is taking shape.

Building Partner-Capacity Initiatives

Provide a Stabilizing Presence. U.S. forces will conduct a sustainable pace of presence operations abroad, including rotational deployments and bilateral and multilateral training exercises. These activities reinforce deterrence, help to build the capacity and competence of U.S., allied and partner forces for internal and external defense, strengthen alliance cohesion and increase U.S. influence. A reduction in resources will require innovative and creative solutions to maintain our support for allied and partner interoperability and building partner capacity.14

The DoD Irregular Warfare: Countering Irregular Threats Joint Operating Concept 2010 identifies foreign internal defense as one of the ways or actions or operations designed to address irregular threats in irregular warfare and defines irregular warfare as “a contest for legitimacy and influence over the relevant populations.” A simple conclusion is that among other grievances, the ability, inability or simply the population’s expectation of a government or government apparatus to execute some of their implied or specific duties can serve as the wedge for violent extremists organization introduction. While traditional military BPC initiatives focus on military units, SOF CA BPC initiatives may equally involve local government units where no military CA or CMO units exist.

During this rotation, one of our major BPC campaigns worked solely with a military unit, the Cambodian Royal Gendarmerie, while our medical BPC initiative in Sri Lanka focused on both military and civilian partners. Regardless of the partner, both clearly fall under the umbrella of FID and exemplify the statement that CME as a concept is USSOCOM’s contribution, and part of DoDs’ strategy, to building partner capacity in a preventive, population-centric, and indirect approach to enhance the capability, capacity, and legitimacy of partnered indigenous governments.15

 The Royal Gendarmerie in Cambodia is a great example of this core mission. A 2006 U.S. PACOM Strategic Study of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces recommended the development of a civil-military capability within the Royal Gendarmerie. For five years this was a neglected opportunity until our CMSE team conducted a capabilities assessment and designed a multi-year BPC campaign that gradually introduces new concepts starting with humanitarian assistance and disaster response and culminates with evolving the gendarmerie into a fully capable CMO organization with a similar force structure. The initial unit assessment is a cross-domain systems analysis similar to the DOTMLPF in the military but based upon the 15 emergency support functions as designated in the national response framework. These are 15 functions that apply in a disaster regardless of country and can be used as an initial and subsequent assessment.

In Sri Lanka, the CMSE conducted a number of key-leader engagements that pointed to the need for particular types of medical events such as eyeglass distribution and behavioral seminars covering topics such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The 30-year war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam took a tremendous toll on the emotional and mental health of people in affected areas in addition to the physical damage and trauma from which the country is still recovering. As the medical planners at SOCPAC sought to plan a high-impact, low-resource event for engagement, the CMSE was able to provide detailed assessments toward the effort. Sri Lanka has one of the best health systems in South and Southeast Asia, as indicated in the World Health Organization’s profile of the country.16 This caused the planners to tailor medical programs accordingly rather than to apply the rudimentary MEDCAP model to a country with an already robust basic healthcare infrastructure. As a result, these programs were very well received by the Ministry of Health, National Center for Disaster Management and other key government agencies. The representatives of these agencies appreciated the conscientious effort on the part of U.S. Government representatives to take the time to understand their needs and provide assistance accordingly. The favorable relationships that the team developed with these representatives also provided ample opportunities for the ambassador and other country team officials to maintain their engagements with the host nation.

In Bangladesh, multipurpose cyclone shelters and coastal crisis management centers are yet another example of partnership capacity-building through infrastructure development. Cyclone Sidr in 2007 was a terrible tragedy for the country but it provided an opportunity for the U.S. Government to demonstrate its commitment to the people of Bangladesh with not just short-term assistance but investment in sustainable infrastructure development. SOF CA personnel were among the first international response teams on the ground after the cyclone struck. There has been a CMSE rotation in the country ever since, complementing the Government of Bangladesh’s efforts to deter violent extremist organizations from gaining footholds in the country through improved infrastructure and services. The MPCS and CCMC programs have been at the forefront of this effort. Sound, durable structures provide the people of Bangladesh with the means to mitigate the effects of disasters as well as inviting community and education centers that foster cooperation and learning.17 The site selection and construction of these structures depends on CMSE teams venturing into remote areas and identifying suitable locations while gaining the buy-in and trust of key leaders at the local level. A team member’s native Bengali fluency was critical to rapidly building rapport with local officials and key leaders.

Looking Forward

Conduct stability and counterinsurgency operations. In the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States will emphasize non-military means and military-to-military cooperation to address instability and reduce the demand for significant U.S. force commitments to stability operations. U.S. forces will nevertheless be ready to conduct limited counterinsurgency and other stability operations if required, operating alongside coalition forces wherever possible. Accordingly, U.S. forces will retain and continue to refine the lessons learned, expertise, and specialized capabilities that have been developed over the past 10 years of counterinsurgency and stability operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, U.S. forces will no longer be sized to conduct large-scale, prolonged stability operations.18

With the size and resource constraints once again affecting the kinds of missions we conduct as a military force, the CME program and CMSE teams stand out as an extremely small footprint, cost-effective “bang-for-the-buck” for not only military commanders but ambassadors and other civilian U.S. Government officials as well. SOF CA personnel are a highly skilled, select group in which a small number of individuals amplify their actions through surgically precise impact. While the CME program is relatively new, CMSE teams have cumulatively demonstrated their ability to achieve operational and strategic successes. During our rotation, teams were able to capitalize on the foundation of their predecessors to further a number of U.S. defense and foreign policy goals.

In order to preserve SOF CA as an effective tool, it is critical to maintain the most important element: the men and women in our ranks. The SOF Truth that “Humans are more important than hardware” could not be more relevant to SOF CA. As debates carry on among our government’s leadership regarding budgets for various weapon systems and the size of personnel, we submit CMSE teams as examples of low-cost but highly perishable assets that must be carefully preserved to maintain their capabilities. This requires not an investment in financial resources as much as dedicated time and attention to recruiting and retaining the best possible people for the job. Such an effort offers unlimited potential to address some of the most confounding national security challenges we face today. However, the failure to recognize and respond to this necessity will ultimately destroy the capabilities we have developed over the past several years.   

Major Jeffery S. Han is the Civil-Military Operations chief assigned to 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade.

Major Brian D. Youtz is the executive officer at the 92nd Civil Affairs Battalion, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade.


1. Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense, 3.

2. Statement of Admiral Eric T. Olson, Commander United States Special Operations Command before the Senate Armed Services committee on the posture of Special Operations Forces, March 4, 2008.

3. FM 3-57 paragraphs 3-125 and 3-127.

4. Ibid, paragraph 1-1.

5. FM 3-05, pg ix.

6. Ibid, paragraph 1-60.

7. FM 3-57, paragraph 3-131.

8. Ibid, paragraph 2-3.

9. Ibid,

10. Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense, 6.

11. FM 3-57 paragraph 3-129.

12. Ibid, paragraph 2-134.

13. “Operation Pacific Angel 11-1 Treats near 5,000 Cambodian,” Agence Kampuochea Presse, 21 April 2012: “U.S. airmen commence civil-military assistance activities in Koh Kong province,” Nokorwat News Daily, 9 August 2011: “U.S., Cambodia partner for civil military assistance mission,” The Official Web Site of the U.S. Air Force, 9 August 2011:

14. Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense, 6.

15. FM3-57, paragraph 3-127.

16. The World Health Organization website:

17. “Reduced death rates from cyclones in Bangladesh: what more needs to be done?” Bulletin of the World Health Organization:

18. Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense, 6.

THIS issue

July-September 2012
Volume 25 | Issue 3

Special Warfare cover, July-September 2012

Special Warfare

Special Warfare is an authorized, official quarterly publication of the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, N.C. Its mission is to promote the professional development of special-operations forces by providing a forum for the examination of established doctrine and new ideas.

Views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect official Army position. This publication does not supersede any information presented in other official Army publications.