Restricted U.S. Army Civil Affairs Soldier Training Manual



  • STP 41-38B14-SM-TG
  • 272 pages
  • Distribution authorized to U.S. Government agencies and their contractors only to protect technical or operational information from automatic dissemination under the International Exchange Program or by other means.
  • January 31, 2008


This manual provides the information necessary for Civil Affairs (CA) Soldiers to train for military occupational specialty (MOS) proficiency and includes self-development information that can assist the Soldier in lifelong learning and career development. An overview of the Army training process details the linkage and importance of the various elements that comprise the Army training process.

The goal of training is to produce combat-ready CA Soldiers, teams, and units that have the ability to respond rapidly and appropriately to known or suspected enemy activity, to neutralize the enemy, and to mitigate the adverse effects on the civilian populace. This Soldier training publication (STP) contains the individual tasks, a trainer’s guide and four appendices to help guide the 38B Soldier is his training and career development. Appendix A contains a training strategy for team training. This is appropriate for all CA teams, civil liaison teams, CA planning teams and the CMOC. Appendix B describes various evaluation techniques and procedures for assessing training. Appendix C provides career development guidance and Appendix D contains self-development guidance to assist with life-long learning.

Prepare for a Media Interview 331-38B-1022

Conditions: As a Civil Affairs (CA) Soldier assigned to a civil-military operations center, you are tasked to assist with preparing for a media interview regarding current Civil Affairs operations. All required equipment and references are available.

Standards: Identify the type of media conducting the interview, obtain public affairs guidance (PAG) for conducting interviews in the area of operations (AO), observe all operations security (OPSEC) requirements and follow the published guidance for conducting interviews with the media.

Performance Steps

1. Identify media types.

a. The commander must know the type of media (print or broadcast), the visibility of the media (local, national, international, American, or foreign) and the style of the media (news, information, or entertainment) covering the operation.

b. An assessment of the media should address the authority under which media representatives are operating in the theater and their degree of access to military operations.
(1) To prepare for encounters with the media, commanders must accept and understand the role of the news organizations and the journalists in the theater, and their capabilities in getting information from the battlefield or AO.
(2) Commanders must provide media access to the force, keeping in mind the impact their technology will have on operational security.
(3) Commanders have a responsibility to ensure that their public affairs (PA) operations are positioned and resourced to adequately facilitate the media’s needs by identifying and providing support and resources to assist the media in their mission.
(4) Commanders and staff must assess the intensity of news media interest and anticipate the personnel, communications, transportation, and deployment requirements necessary to communicate through the news media during all stages of the operation.

c. It is important to remember media are not the enemy.
(1) While military professionals and journalists both serve the people, their philosophies, values, and basic outlook do not always correspond. These differences can easily lead to misunderstandings.
(2) The vast majority of journalists and the organizations they represent are committed to the ideals of providing responsible, accurate, balanced coverage.
(3) Good reporters will thoroughly investigate issues, and ask tough, challenging questions.

d. Commanders and news media representatives will establish basic ground rules that ensure the free flow of information while safeguarding classified materials or operational plans.

e. The Office of the Chief of Public Affairs is the sole authority for approving requests by foreign news media representatives to visit Army installations, activities, or agencies in the continental United States.
(1) Foreign news media representatives are always prohibited access to classified information, activities, and areas.
(2) Journalists in a combat zone will be credentialed by the United States (U.S.) military and will be required to abide by a clear set of military security ground rules that protect U.S. forces and their operations.
(3) Journalists will be provided access to all major military units. Special operations restrictions may limit access in some cases.

2. Coordinate with PA.

a. Public affairs guidance (PAG) should be used when preparing for an interview. It is the operational tool that guides commanders and their public affairs officers (PAOs) in the application of doctrine and policy during major military operations, exercises, and contingencies.

b. PAG provides mission specific guidance to support public discussion of the operation.

Performance Steps
(1) It establishes the command’s PA policies, identifies issues likely to be of interest, delineates the Army perspective, and recommends appropriate themes.
(2) It addresses the methods, timing, and authority for releasing information to news media representatives.
(3) PAOs will establish local forms and will exercise caution when issuing credentials to anyone outside the PA office.

c. When preparing for a media interview, planning is important to ensure command directives, Department of Defense guidance, regulations and directives stipulated by the commander’s intent, and mission requirements are included.

d. Determine the means of identifying correspondents with a legitimate need for gathering news about military affairs and fostering a professional relationship between the military and the media.
(1) Accreditation does not provide correspondents any special privileges.
(2) Accessing military areas, receiving information, and using facilities remain the commander’s prerogatives within the bounds of security.

3. Prepare for the interview.

a. CA Soldiers must always work through the PAO, as well as notify and get approval from their chain of command before talking to the press.

b. What CA Soldiers do before they meet the media is as important as what they do when they actually meet them.
(1) By being prepared, CA Soldiers will not only be more confident and comfortable, they will be able to get their story across to the audience.
(2) Often, the preparatory activities will determine the success or failure of a media interview.

c. When preparing for an interview, some steps that should be taken are:
(1) Be aware of your surroundings and follow local operations security measures when choosing a location for the interview.
(2) Set the amount of time allowed for the interview.
(3) Get the name and telephone number of the person you will be speaking to.
(4) Consider the type of questions the media will ask, and think through your responses. Ask for questions ahead of time. When possible, ask for PA assistance.
(5) Determine what questions you will not answer prior to the interview and inform the media of those questions prior to the interview. This will help in avoiding “No Comment” situations.
(6) Do your homework. Make sure you are familiar with the facts supporting the commander’s position and that they are up-to-date.

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