Filling Special Operations Gaps with Civilian Expertise   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The Department of Defense (DoD) Total Force, as described by former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, comprises active and reserve uniformed military components, civil servants, and government contractors. These categories of professionals constitute our nation's warfighting capability and capacity. In support of our congressionally mandated special operations activities and emerging nontraditional, unconventional tasks and requirements, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is committed to locating, assessing, selecting, developing, and providing the best mix of people equipped with the right skills at the precise moment on the battlefield. Our military history, documented as far back as the 16th century, is rich with stories of civilians on the battlefield. The numerous vignettes depicting sutlers furnishing commanders with supplies otherwise unobtainable is formidable evidence. Similar examples exist in every single military operation since the Revolutionary War. The categories of support provided at one time or another during this century include food, water, laundry, sanitation, shower service, security, recreation, translator/interpreter service, terminal and base camp operations, water and power production, livestock, medical service support, safe-cracking, and oil-fire fighting. The trend is clear: as technology advances and battlefield systems become more complex, the need for civilians increases. The same factors currently driving requirements for civilian expertise will eventually drive requirements for skills and competencies beyond those of current inventories of the uniformed service components of USSOCOM. Not since the World War II Office of Strategic Services has the need for outsourcing specialized expertise been greater."

Report Number:
JSOU Report 07-1
Public Domain
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