An Analysis of the U.S. Army Reserve's Use of Civilian-Acquired Skills
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Civil Affairs (CA) are activities that foster relations between military forces and civil societies. These activities improve mission effectiveness and help achieve military objectives. The post-9/11 shift from fighting traditional warfare to irregular warfare elevated the importance of “soft power” and CA activities. The number of CA units is expanding to meet U.S. national security obligations. Yet, the Center for Strategic and International Studies asserts that the demand for CA forces is outpacing the supply of CA forces. This shortfall gives rise to the importance of maximizing the efficiency of CA activities and forces. However, recent reforms in the U.S. Army have the potential to hinder the capability and efficiency of CA units to deliver its missions. Reform of the CA doctrine in 2006 included the decision to emphasize general competencies over functional specialties. This reform works against the ability of the U.S. Army Reserve to capitalize on its members’ unique functional expertise, which plays a significant role in performing well in CA operations and civil-military operations. The Report examines three policy alternatives that may improve the U.S. Army Reserve’s use of its soldiers’ civilian-acquired skills: (1) study and re-write the skill identifiers; (2) require CA personnel to apply for skill identifiers; and (3) remodel the U.S. Army Reserve Civilian Acquired Skills Database. These alternatives are weighed against the criteria of (1) improve the ability of the U.S. Army Reserve to identify the actual level of functional expertise currently resident in the CA force, (2) close the U.S. Army Reserve’s CA capability gap in order to better execute reconstruction and stabilization operations, and (3) enhance the U.S. Army Reserve’s participation in whole-of-government planning efforts related to CA activities.
DepartmentThe Sanford School of Public Policy
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Rights for Collection: Sanford School Master of Public Policy (MPP) Program Master’s Projects