Posted on Sep 11, 2020
Military Family
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Hello,

I am working with a recruiter to join the Army Reserves as a Civil Affairs Specialist E-4. I have a college degree and am anticipating earning my Masters in International Affairs. I am joining the Reserves specifically to be in Civil Affairs and it is only possible to join Civil Affairs immediately as Enlisted. In the long term I would like to transfer to become an Officer in Civil Affairs. Does anyone know if it is even remotely feasible to transfer from CA Enlisted Reserves to CA Officer Reserves? I know generally, CA Officers are either O-2 or O-3 so it seems unlikely the jump from CA Enlisted to CA Officer.
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1SG Claims Assistant
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There are two ways to do what you are asking.
1. Commission as a officer through ROTC or another commissioning source, than attend CAQC once you've completed BOLC as whatever branch you are. You can't directly commission to 38A as it is not an accession branch.
2. Commission as an officer as I mention above, then receive the 38G (CA Functional Specialty) branch through having the right education and work background.

Option one is the more well travelled method, but I have seen three or four officers go the 38G route.
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MAJ Operations Officer (Opso)
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Like LTC John Mohor stated you cannot go straight into Civil Affairs as an officer. You first need to become a qualified officer in another branch then apply to become Civil Affairs again later. Below a link to see the qualifications but three big items are:
Be eligible for a Top Secret security clearance under provisions of AR 380-67
Be a First Lieutenant or Captain in a targeted year group
Possess a baccalaureate degree

https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/special-operations/civil-affairs/civil-affairs-req.html
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LTC John Mohor
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Probably the best way for you to gain that commission is to go for a direct commissioning board. There are career counselors that specialize in getting candidates identified in order to convene boards especially in the reserves. Part of the packet includes getting letters of recommendation from Officers or others commenting on your potential to receive a direct appointment. Since Civil Affairs isn’t considered a basic branch that a 2LT would start in you might need to start in another branch like AG then after your branched you can go to CA. Hope that helps
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LTC John Mohor
LTC John Mohor
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I’ll also add unless your really getting to old to join 40-42 years old getting in as an enlisted Soldier learning a little Civil Affairs and Soldiering at ground level won’t hurt you’re being an even better Officer at a later time. It might even open up Warrant Officer Opportunities. Good luck in your endeavors
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MAJ Civil Affairs Officer
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I'm a retired Army Reserve Civil Affairs Officer (direct commission, three deployments). In addition to what LTC Mohor said, I'd suggest that unless someone is coming into Civil Affairs from a Combat Arms MOS (or the SEALS, Marine Corps, etc.), they select a Combat Arms basic branch. On deployments, CA needs to understand how combat arms operate and think and how/where CA fits-in. The Infantry, Field Artillery or other Combat Arms units are generally the "land owner" that you'll need to work with them when planning CA missions to villages, etc. Combat Arms units are the ones CA teams will be operating with, directly, during a combat deployment.

Don't forget to communicate regularly with the Psychological Operations (PSYOP) units in your AO as well as the Information Operations POC at your Brigade. It will help make things run a lot smoother and help reduce redundancies. (It happens less than you might think)
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