US Special Operations Joint Civil Affairs Brief



  • LTC John Collison
  • 12 pages
  • For Official Use Only
  • October 2009



  • SECDEF Memorandum APR09
  • CDR, USSOCOM designated ‘Joint Proponent for Civil Affairs’
  • Working definition of ‘Joint Proponent’

–Since vetted with Joint Community as part of JP 3-22 (FID)

  • Assigns ‘coordinating authority to lead collaborative development’ for CA
  • Eight (8) specific responsibilities

–Lead development of joint CA Doctrine
–Lead development of joint CA training and education
–Lead identification of required joint CA capabilities
–Lead development of joint CA mission essential task list
–Lead development of joint CA strategy
–Coordinating to develop standards for interoperability of joint CA forces and equipment
–Through OSD and JS consult with other USG agencies on CA-related initiatives, strategies, concepts, plans and policies
–Assist in identifying critical CA skills, training and experience

USSOCOM Proponency Office

  • J33 CA is the DOD/Joint CA Proponency Office for USSOCOM
  • Coordination and integration for DOD/Joint Proponency within the command and with the Services and USJFCOM
  • Ensure interoperability in training, equipment, forces, doctrine
  • Enable capabilities to accomplish current and future CA missions

„…actively represent DoD CA with guidance, advocacy and support to create a more effective, professional, and capable CA community…‟
LTG Fridovich, 8 November 2008
CA Association Conference

6USSOCOM Proponent Responsibilities

  • Coordinate and integrate DOTMLPF requirements with the Services to ensure interoperability, specifically as it relates to doctrine, institutional training and combat development
  • Doctrine
  • Executed by USSOCOM J7
  • Develop joint CA doctrine –by ‘consensus’
  • Review Services CA doctrine for consistency with joint doctrine
  • Most developed / refined of Joint Proponent responsibilities
  • Training, Leader Development and Education
  • Responsibility of USSOCOM J7 –review / recommendations
  • Training –Service driven / ‘consensus’ for Army PoI as baseline
  • Education –Service and Joint driven
  • Services provide additional training to meet their respective Service requirements

USSOCOM ProponencyResponsibilities

  • Combat Development
  • The research, development, and testing of new doctrine and organization and its integration with new materiel into the Services to obtain the greatest combat effectiveness
  • USSOCOM’s responsibilities

–Combat Development for assigned Forces
–Facilitate the coordination of combat development between the Services for interoperability
–Recommend CA specific equipment to the Services

  • USSOCOM J8 is the EA for DOD/Joint CA combat development (force structure and equipment requirements
  • SORDAC(frmr SOAL) is the EA for DOD/Joint CA combat development (materiel development)
  • Personnel and Facilities outside the purview of USSOCOM’s DOD proponency responsibilities

CA and IW

  • DoDD 3000.07 Irregular Warfare (DEC08) (Policy Guidance)
  • Counter-Terrorism (CT) JP 3-26 (pending JS review)
  • Unconventional Warfare (UW)
  • Foreign Internal Defense (FID) JP 3-22 (est. NOV09)
  • Counterinsurgency (COIN) JP 3-24 (OCT09)
  • Stability Operations (StabOps)

“…that, in the context of IW, involve establishing…order in a fragile state.” (DoDD 3000.07)

  • Civil Affairs a critical element of 4 of 5 core activities (doctrine)
  • ‘Prolonged, irregular worldwide campaign’ (Strategic Guidance)
  • Persistent
  • Population-centric
  • Comprehensive / Whole of Government
  • Irregular Threats and Challenges


  • USSOCOM executes Joint CA Proponency to support creation of a more effective, professional, capable CA
  • USSOCOM J33-CA is primary office responsible
  • Other J-staffs execute critical duties / responsibilities
  • Services, COCOMs provide critical input
  • Services responsible for ‘title 10 -man, train, equip’
  • CA is, inherently, IW-focused
  • Population-centric
  • Comprehensive in Nature


Share this: