FORT BRAGG, NC – The 173 Soldiers who joined the Army Special Operations Community were left with two messages before joining their gaining units: they have an important job ahead of them, and the noncommissioned officers in their ranks will be entrusted with greater responsibility than at any time in their careers.
The preponderance of the graduates for both the Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Qualifications Courses will be assigned to the Army’s only active duty units for their respective braches – the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) and the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne), both based at Fort Bragg.
Speaking at the CAQC graduation Nov. 13, Col. Michael Warmack, commander of the 95th CAB, told graduates that the world is becoming less stable, and they have a large role in helping to calm that instability.
“I have a requirement to deploy Soldiers to forty countries worldwide,” Warmack said, adding that the graduates will work in a preventative role in these nations.
Warmack cautioned the 92 graduates, including five foreign military members and one U.S. Marine Corps officer, they will not fix the world’s problems, but will “be a catalyst” for change.
Addressing the noncommissioned officers in the graduating class, Warmack stressed the unique role of sergeants in the growing Army Civil Affairs community, entrusting them to “carry the banner for Civil Affairs.”
The 95th CAB, now 900 Soldiers strong and slated to grow to 1,700 men and women in the coming years, is “unlike any unit you have worked in before,” Warmack said.
To the gradating officers, he implored them to rely on and trust their NCOs, noting that 75 percent of each Civil Affairs team is comprised of sergeants.
During the Psychological Operations ceremony, Lt. Col. Wendy Graham, commander of the 8th Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne), spoke to the 81 graduates including seven foreign military members, four Air Force and two Marine Corps officers about the impact their small teams will have across the globe.
Graham currently has Military information Support Teams, comprised of 8th POB Soldiers, deployed across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility and told graduating PSYOP Soldiers they should expect to depart for world-wide missions soon.
“You are about to be deployed somewhere, at sometime, in a high visibility environment,” Graham said.
Like Warmack before her, Graham told graduates their role in shaping the nation’s foreign diplomacy will far outweigh their rank or the number of people they deploy with.
“Nowhere else in the military does a junior officer or NCO take on the tasks and responsibilities of developing persuasive programs to support the goals of an ambassador, ground component commander and almost being completely autonomous six thousand miles away from home.”