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Gracie Golden, University of Pennsylvania Cultural Heritage Center, and subject matter expert on the European region of Georgia, provides the Soldiers of the 415th Civil Affairs Battalion, Kalamazoo, Mich., with solid examples of how seemingly beneficial restorations of cultural artifacts can in fact lead to the degradation of cultural heritage. The 415th CA Bn. is preparing to deploy to Eastern Europe for Atlantic Resolve later this spring and recently held a virtual training deep diving with cultural heritage experts in support of USACAPOC(A) 38G functional specialty teams and the upcoming mission, 23-24 March, 2021. Soldiers received overview training on a range of subjects including The Hague Convention, identification of trafficked objects, trust issues within cultural heritage and how artifact restoration can lead to culture loss.
Maj. Gen. Isaac Johnson, Jr., commanding general, U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) (center) and Ambassador David M. Satterfield(right of center), director at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, pose with USACAPOC(A) Soldiers after signing a Memorandum of Understanding, November 28, 2022. The MOU is aimed at providing additional training opportunities to the U.S. Army Reserve’s Military Government Specialists (38G). (US Army Reserve photo by Sgt. 1st Class Lisa M Litchfield)

A 38A Officer is a Civil Affairs Officer is a generalist across a wide range of Civilian related matters. The 38G, and its 18 specific skill identifiers, were created in order to support the Civil Affairs mission with additional professional expertise.

Civil Affairs Officers also rely upon other professionals that are not included in the 18 skill identifiers because the Army already has branches that provide expertise relating to the respective specialty. For this reason, the 38G program does not include specialties relating to medical, veterinarian, religious, international law or a variety of other civilian specialties since there are already civilian experts available to 38A Officers.

38G  Military Government Specialists are subject matter experts, technically qualified and experienced individuals, who advise, enable, and assist commanders and their direct civilian counterparts with stabilizing and providing governance expertise until appropriate civilian control is possible. 

Within their area of specialization, they possess the critical skills necessary to establish, support, or reestablish capability and capacity, as well as understand the regional and local impact of culture on that capability.

Economy & Infrastructure Sector
Government & Administration Sector
4A: Industry and Production   4C: Civil Administration
4F: Emergency Management   4D: Laws, Regulations, & Policies
5Y: Emergency Management   4E: Environment & Natural Resources
6C: Finance, Money & Banking    
6E: Commerce & Trade  
Rule of Law & Civil Security Sector
6F: Transportation   4G: Judiciary & Legal System
6G: Water & Sanitation   4H: Corrections
6R: Technology & Telecommunications   6H: Law & Border Enforcement
6U: Agri-Business & Food    
Public & Social Services Sector
    6D: Education
    6V: Heritage and Preservation
    6W: Archivist


The U.S. Army Reserve, specifically the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), contains the U.S. Army’s only Military Support to Governance (38G) positions.

There are three different echelons of U.S. Army Reserve Civil Affairs units that have Functional Specialty Teams with assigned Military Support to Governance (38G) Officers: 

Civil Affairs Commands

The Civil Affairs Command Functional Specialty Team supports U.S. Army Corps, Joint Task Forces, and Theater Commands with four Functional Specialty Teams, each with 14 assigned Military Support to Governance (38G) Officers, for a total of 54 assigned officers.

Civil Affairs Brigades

The Civil Affairs Brigade Functional Specialty Team supports U.S. Army Divisions with five assigned Military Support to Governance (38G) Officers.

Civil Affairs Battalions

The Civil Affairs Battalion Functional Specialty Team supports U.S. Army Brigades with five assigned Military Support to Governance (38G) Officers.

National Archives and Records AdministrationDuring World War II, Civil Affairs Officers were often specialized based on their civilian skill sets. A good example of these specialized CA Officers was told in the movie Monument’s Men. The movie tells the story of antiquity experts being commissioned to assist in the locating, authenticating, transporting and returning works of art that were stolen by the German Army during the course of the war. Following WW2, the Army moved away from CA Specialist and the CA Officers were general in nature, designated as “38As.” A review of the branch in the midst of the Global War on Terror, led to the return of the CA specialist concept (38G) in order to assist the general Civil Affairs Officers (38A).


Although the branch has now existed for several years, there were limited professionals that were granted the 38G branch because the specialty was limited to Officers currently holding another Army branch. Generally, civilian specialist that qualified for the branch were too old to join the military and professionals that were young enough to join the military didn’t have adequate experience to qualify as an expert in their field.


In 2019, Sec Def directed the services to use direct appointment authority in order to fill vacant positions with civilians that meet certain criteria. The direct appointment process has most frequently been used by the Army Medical Department of the US Army for Physicians, Chaplain Corps for Clergy and JAG for attorneys.


With a substantial need for CA Specialist (38G) and the new direct appointment, ability the United States Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) (USACAPOC(A)) is undergoing an aggressive recruiting effort to identify the best in brightest and offer the opportunity to serve in the United States Army Reserve.


Current efforts building the Military Support to Governance (38G) capacity within the U.S. Army Reserve are routine boards conducted by the Civil Affairs proponent - the U.S. Army JFK Special Warfare Center and School, to evaluate civilian experience for direct appointment as a Military Support to Governance (38G) Officer.

Branch Transfer Process


Seventy-seven years ago, the U.S. Army, the Harvard Group, and the American Council of Learned Societies worked together to create the original Monuments Men of World War II. We continue to celebrate that success today with our current partnerships with leaders in civilian industry. At this time we are seeking interest in partnering with theses industries: 

Current Memorandum of Agreements exist between USACAPOC(A) and Fresno State University, Notre Dame University, Rice University, the Smithsonian, Texas A&M University, the Water Council and the University of Wisconsin.