Posted on Jan 10, 2020
SPC Private First Class
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I am less than a year from my re-enlistment window and I have considered to try the selections for PSYOPS or Civil Affairs. But, I am having a hard time understanding the difference between the two. I have done a little bit of research and noted out a few differences but I still don’t have a decent understanding.

Also, I’ve noticed that PSYOPS soldiers would train as a 31B first and move on, or would need to receive training as an MP would. Does Civil Affairs have a requirement as such or no?

I pick up Specialist very soon and I have a 124 GT score along with college credits. I’ve served my contract as 91D (Generator Mechanic), now I am looking into better options and opportunities for career progression. My few choices are PSYOPS/CA.
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SFC Career Counselor
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First off, you don't need to wait till you're in your reenlistment window to attend any selection. But you do need to be eligible, which you are not yet for CA.
Second, the information you read about training as a 31B only applies to initial entry recruits. That's so when they fail, the Army has an MOS to sedn them to. In service selectees are sent straight to the MISO Q course at SWC.
Third, you have to visit a Special Operations recruiter to attend the Selection, so you should attend their brief and they will explain the job details of the two MOS's for you.
Fourth, have a backup plan because most people fail selections. Of course "you" won't becauae no one who attends a selection intends to fail. But you can easily be a non-select, so have a backup plan.
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SPC Private First Class
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3 mo
Roger SFC. I attended a briefing for psyops and CA during block leave. They explained to me the requirements such as being a SPC and everything else from that. I’ve been meaning to go back and contact them so I can get more insight on the differences, but the shifts that I’m working on hasn’t allowed me the time. So I came to Rally point to get more info on the two.

Thank you for pointing that out as well, 31B being for initial recruits. That makes a lot of sense and I will keep in mind to have a back up for this plan.

I wouldn’t say that I’m waiting for my re-enlistment window, but I’m waiting to see what I have available (for the back up plan).

At the point where I’m at now is about timing and how to move next into this process, now that I have a general/concrete plan.
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SPC Private First Class
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Thank you everyone but I found what I was looking for! I’m not sure of how to delete this post but I’ll keep it up with the comment.
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SPC Civil Affairs Specialist
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3 mo
Where’d you get your information from? I just reclassed haven’t went to school yet. Just been drilling with my CA team but no real work yet.
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SPC Private First Class
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3 mo
I’m about to send you the thread or do you know how I can tag you in the thread that I found? SPC (Join to see)
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SSG Product Manager
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3 mo
Leave it up. It'll help someone else in the future just like that other post helped you!
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MSG Brandon Lloyd
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Hey my man. Check this answer out and see if it has some of what you’re looking for


If you want to remain tactical and operate in independent three man tactical teams, working in forward operating areas with SF, Infantry and other specialized groups, maintain your high level of tactical, technical, and physical proficiency, and still retain your traditional role of training soldiers as an NCO then go PSYOP. CA does very little tactical training during reclass school (in reclass school that means they do absolutely ZERO tactical training). As PSYOP, You are on the ground conducting face to face relationship building constantly. You are learning local customs, values and beliefs and in turn utilize them to turn a target audiences behavior to one desired by the overall mission statement. It's a big picture MOS as many things take a great deal of time to bear fruit. Do you use a speaker and hand out leaflets? Sure, you can do just that, but only the small minded and unimaginative do that. MISO operations are more and more becoming the focus of the modern war effort and if I recall correctly between CA and PSYOP only one is advising the Joint Chiefs on developing the war effort to defeat and demoralize the enemy AND avoid turning the civilian population we are trying to liberate into an insurgent force.

Now. CA has its benefits. if you want immediate gratification and physical evidence of your accomplishments then go CA. You can follow the mission from conceptualization to completion. You will work with civilian military authority and get wells, businesses, infrastructure etc built and get things done. You have money at your disposal and can illicit change to facilitate developing countries towards modernism. However, since many of these progress resistant cultures work on status, CA is by necessity EXTREMELY top heavy. Where PSYOP's BN staff officer is usually a SSG or SFC, a CA company has a LTC, and a ton of other officers all the way down and only the CA team itself consists of real enlisted troops even if they still have a CPT or MAJ directly overseeing them. The rest of the enlisted will likely end up as admin and coffee getters though they are considered staff NCOs. The other benefit of CA is because they are as top heavy as they are, when we start talking about manning the USCAPOC command itself, there are way more choices from CA than PSYOP. So most of the command structure of USACAPOC, just because of sheer numbers, is chosen from the CA ranks. As you can imagine, the command tends to lean towards the CA side of things.
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SPC Private First Class
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3 mo
434c4e97
That’s it! That’s what i was looking for. I also found a thread under this post which help clarify a lot of my misunderstandings. Thank you for your help MSG!
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SFC Civil Affairs Recruiter
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3 mo
MSG some of your info about CA is kind of outdated. We do not have LTCs at the company level, our ops arent top heavy, we have plenty of tactical training. USACAPOC is not SOF CA. SOF CA is on par with an ODA, and a TPT/MIST.

The active/SOF side of CA is quite different from the Reserve side you described.
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