Civil Affairs Qualification Course: Week 1 in Review

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Boondocksaint375

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Found this on a blog, figured some one might be interested.

http://exnicios.blogspot.com/2007/08/civil-affairs-qualification-course-week.html
Civil Affairs Qualification Course: Week 1 in Review


CAQC is a 9 week course, and I'm now through week 1.

I'm publishing this in the hopes that future CAQC students might find it, and know a little about what they're getting themselves into. This is information

It should be noted that the composition of each successive class seems to vary wildly--from IRR officers, to mobilized reservists, to our Navy friends that I've mentioned a time or two. The course also breaks down into Mobilized classes and Active Duty classes, but as a Mobilized soldier (IRR or otherwise) you could potentially end up in either. All of these variables might affect how your course is organized, so take the following summary with a grain of salt.

That said, here's a basic summary of how things went down for Class 05-07 Mobilized.

Monday:
0530 Reported for Weigh-In. Told whether or not we are overweight.

Lectured at off and on all day. Not much new information is put out there. We are handed a schedule for the next 9 weeks, but asked to remain "flexible" as it was unclear how closely the schedule would follow reality.

As was previously reported, the class learns that we will have long weekends, and won't have organized physical training. Nice.

Off by 1500.

Tuesday
0730 Reported for accountability--off rest of day. Navy folks invoke logic, asking why we needed to report just to have the rest of the day off. Army folks, having long since learned to ignore logic's siren song, are simply grateful for the time off.

Wednesday
0515 Reported for Army Physical Fitness Test. 47% of us pass the test, 53% of us do not. Cadre begin to rethink the soundness of their "No organized physical training" outlook on life.

Remainder of day filled with more admin, and a class on the history of the Civil Affairs since their debut on the battlefield in 1775.

Off by 1530.

Thursday
0800 Take actual, honest to goodness CA class from 8 to 9. Learn about various Special Operations units in Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps. Each unit is different, with unique talents and capabilities. Each unit is the same, in their betterness than the CA Corps.

Fill up rest of the day with psychological review, and law classes. I learn that I'm a cold blooded optimist with an "Undistinguished" personality. Hard to argue with that.

I do argue with our legal instructor, a self described "pull the trigger" JAG. I take this to mean that he advocates shooting first, and coming up with hostile intent later. Still, I chuckle at his claim that "there aren't enough cigars and bourbon in Fayetteville to go over every in and out of Law of War." I think hey, this JAG is kinda funny. I think that less and less on the 2nd, 4th and 7th times he uses his joke. What're you gonna do.

Out by 1545.

Friday
0715 Report for "digital training". These are the Army computer classes where an instructor sits at the front of the classroom, explaining some Army computer system or other, in excruciating detail. OK, now click on File. Now open. Now select. And select the such and such...and on and on. Boring, but not overly painful. And the computer system is worth knowing.

Out by 1500.

And that, my friends, was week 1. Nothing too bad, and a smattering of useful/interesting info to boot.

Week 2 will be more digital training, and starting week 3 we get to the actual meat of the course--who a CA operator is, and what he does.
 

104TN

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-bump-

Blog's been pretty well updated. Good read.

An example of what you're missing:
That said, an interesting rumor was floating around the water cooler earlier today. Without giving away too much, we're hearing that the IRR Captains in the class 7 weeks in front of me are getting assigned to staff jobs, rather than Team Leader roles. Staff guys are as "in the rear with the gear" as is possible in this age of non-contiguous battle spaces. The Team Leaders, on the other hand, are the bubbas out on the front lines of freedom, bravely risking their necks to ensure that no Iraqi child goes to bed without a beanie baby.
 
K

Knocken

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What about weeks 2-9

Do you have any comments concenring weeks 2-9?

I am going to CAQC real soon but will return to home station following graduation.

Kev
 

Olive Drab

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Do you have any comments concenring weeks 2-9?

I am going to CAQC real soon but will return to home station following graduation

Kev
Are you going through SWC or the Mobilized CAQC course run by CAPOC at Bragg? I can get answers to any questions


Team Leaders? How large is the team a captain commands? I know next to nothing as to how CA is organized.

3+ aside from yourself
 

Josh466

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Ah, I was thinking since captains were team leaders in CA as well SF, I thought they might have a similar structure to SF. From what I've been told, in the past CA was largely composed of SF officers and NCOs.
 

TheGunDoctor

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originally posted on the blog, not by rick;94377]-bump-
The Team Leaders, on the other hand, are the bubbas out on the front lines of freedom, bravely risking their necks to ensure that no Iraqi child goes to bed without a beanie baby.

That's quite an insulting quote considering the fact that Civil Affairs is making a bigger difference in ending this conflict than most combat arms out there. As much as it pains me to say, you can't win the "wars" in Afghanistan and Iraq with guns, ammo, and trained killers. That's just not going to happen.

Both regions are obviously in the midst of civil unrest, tribal clashes, and an unhealthy sentiment towards the US. That being said, Civil Affairs Specialists do more to quell the violence and readjust the world's misconceptions about Americans.

And their business is not all smiles, care-packages, and "beanie babies" :uhh:. It requires a serious devotion to diplomatic measures and reasoning. The kind of interpersonal skills that I wish more leaders in our government possessed, so that they may prevent the global image of our nation from continuing to deteriorate into the form of a belligerent, conquest-driven empire.

In the eyes of many foreigners we are becoming the embodiment of destruction, which is the opposite of our efforts to provide protection for our families and freedom from tyranny for our fellow man. There are even countries out there that have refused to allow gundoctors (like myself) to become factory-trained on their manufactured weapon systems for the simple fact that as a nation we've displayed too much appetite for war. Romania is currently one of those countries.

The Civil Affairs Specialists are doing what our "official" envoys, ambassadors, and national representatives SHOULD be doing, which is to effectively establish a positive and beneficial relationship between the United States and the populations of other countries through a series of direct interaction, negotiations, and agreements. Thereby decreasing the number of misguided militias and insurgents that seek to take up arms against us.

It is utterly impossible to bring about tranquility with our currently simple-minded and otherwise naive mentality of "chasing down Al-Qaeda and terrorist affiliates." We have to effect the minds of our would-be enemies on a grandeur scale and change the way they feel about the American presence.

The strife in those regions can only end through an overwhelming amount of consensus amongst their sects. And THAT my friends, is the purpose of deploying Civil Affairs, diplomacy at it's finest. It takes intellect, it involves cunning, and most importantly; it requires charisma which many people in this world lack.

Any other means is futile without their contribution and other political measures. :2c:
 

Loki

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Interesting read.
I re-classed as a Civil Affairs Specialist from Infantry. I was in the Infantry for ten years and served in numerous capacities. I attended my re-class at Bragg among several other fun trips over there. The course was relatively good for an "Army Reserve course". I was assigned to a FID/UW Airborne CA unit at the time and selection for that unit was above typical CA Batt. due to mission support requirements. At that time (I don't know what it is now) we had to qualify on SOF standard PT, Pass Airborne physical, road march and swim test along with minimum of "Secret clearance". Then we had several old head "long tabbers" assigned as Team Sergeants (circa 2002). I loved CA and it was the highlight of my military career. We had opportunities to attend numerous schools and courses with regularity including language school at DLI. It was extremely challenging supporting some of the units and difficult as well as rewarding. I only wish I would have started CA sooner in my career. My team and I worked on many projects and assisted many folks as well as provided much needed support to our coalition and US elements.

Down-range the job was fantastic and requires many skills that the Army is not equipped to instruct. Only age, time and life experience brings that type of flexibility. In one assignment I worked with and supported US & Foreign SF units on all types of missions and locations throughout the AOR. As an E-6 at that time my level of responsibility, latitude and independent discretionary decision making was without parallel in any other MOS that I'm aware of in the Army.

The biggest problems faced were;
1. While on mission we worked as one or two man elements assigned to direct support to teams which required solid organizational and personal survival skills. Generally we lacked unit cohesion and a team in general. It is nothing like being part of a team, squad or tightly knit unit. Because assignments were relatively short term (1 to 2 weeks) embedded many times you didn't get a chance to know and become part of the team.​
2. You possess the ability to get yourself strung out far beyond your capabilities in the environment and must constantly assess your personal security, decisions. Constant evaluation of your true capabilities relative to E&E, commo plans and other priorities of work and responsibilities is a mandate. You can't get complacent or start making assumptions.​

CA without a doubt was my most rewarding assignment and job in the military and highly recommended it to anyone that thinks this maybe for them. One of my most rewarding missions was the discovery of a little boy who's arm was broken and infected. I was conducting a village assignment in the Zarenzi district next to Panjawa in Kandahar and found him in a hooch when we were walking around the area. The bone was protruding from his arm through the skin. I was able to return to that village get my own convoy and get him to medical aid and surgery to re-construct the arm. We ended up flying him to Kabul and repaired the arm. He fully recovered and was returned home by us as well approx. 6 weeks later. One of his family members (uncle accompanied him). Yea, we did allot of other types of missions as well. I got a picture of the kid along with the assessment some where. I have to go through a bunch to find it. So many other places and faces in the world to but this one stands out. So much for that place and time... Their fate is sealed.

I think allot has changed since dress right dress hoorah "Big Army" got their dirty hands on CA, don't know just hear it from buddies still serving. CA taskers still come under SOC but everyday garrison stuff remains under Big Army now from what I'm told.
Respectfully


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Civil_Affairs_and_Psychological_Operations_Command
 

Loki

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That's quite an insulting quote considering the fact that Civil Affairs is making a bigger difference in ending this conflict than most combat arms out there. As much as it pains me to say, you can't win the "wars" in Afghanistan and Iraq with guns, ammo, and trained killers. That's just not going to happen.

Both regions are obviously in the midst of civil unrest, tribal clashes, and an unhealthy sentiment towards the US. That being said, Civil Affairs Specialists do more to quell the violence and readjust the world's misconceptions about Americans.

And their business is not all smiles, care-packages, and "beanie babies" :uhh:. It requires a serious devotion to diplomatic measures and reasoning. The kind of interpersonal skills that I wish more leaders in our government possessed, so that they may prevent the global image of our nation from continuing to deteriorate into the form of a belligerent, conquest-driven empire.

In the eyes of many foreigners we are becoming the embodiment of destruction, which is the opposite of our efforts to provide protection for our families and freedom from tyranny for our fellow man. There are even countries out there that have refused to allow gundoctors (like myself) to become factory-trained on their manufactured weapon systems for the simple fact that as a nation we've displayed too much appetite for war. Romania is currently one of those countries.

The Civil Affairs Specialists are doing what our "official" envoys, ambassadors, and national representatives SHOULD be doing, which is to effectively establish a positive and beneficial relationship between the United States and the populations of other countries through a series of direct interaction, negotiations, and agreements. Thereby decreasing the number of misguided militias and insurgents that seek to take up arms against us.

It is utterly impossible to bring about tranquility with our currently simple-minded and otherwise naive mentality of "chasing down Al-Qaeda and terrorist affiliates." We have to effect the minds of our would-be enemies on a grandeur scale and change the way they feel about the American presence.

The strife in those regions can only end through an overwhelming amount of consensus amongst their sects. And THAT my friends, is the purpose of deploying Civil Affairs, diplomacy at it's finest. It takes intellect, it involves cunning, and most importantly; it requires charisma which many people in this world lack.

Any other means is futile without their contribution and other political measures. :2c:

Well said!
 
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