Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation

The Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation (CMC) serves as USAID’s primary point of contact with the Department of Defense (DoD). Known until November 2011 as the Office of Military Affairs (OMA), CMC works to align defense and development policies, plans and programs to leverage the unique capabilities of each agency to achieve better development outcomes.  The office responds to the National Security Strategy's demand that development be a strong and equal partner with diplomacy and defense in the achievement of national security. In 2008, the office drafted the Agency's Civilian-Military Cooperation Policy

Our Work

CMC manages the agency's day-to-day interface with DoD, including coordination on policy, planning, training, exercises and communications. It facilitates USAID input to key DoD doctrine such as the Quadrennial Defense Review and the Guidance for the Employement of the Force, as well as into operational plans, handbooks and joint publications. In addition, CMC produces familiarization courses on working with the military for USAID personnel and on the objectives and structure of both DoD and USAID.

The office coordinates with the Department of Defense (DoD) through a robust personnel exchange, which allows access and transparency in policy, planning and training. The agency hosts military officers at our headquarters, and USAID Foreign Service officers are embedded at  six the Unified Combatant Commands (U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Southern Command and with the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.These USAID  personnel advise the four-star combatant commanders on development matters and ensure close cooperation in planning, field operations and exercises. In turn, military representatives from the COCOMs serve within CMC and provide day-to-day coordination and management.

Our Approach

CMC’s goal is to better align development and defense and leverage the unique capabilities of USAID and DoD to achieve better development outcomes in pursuit of U.S. national security goals. It does so by pursuing three strategic objectives:

  • Strategic Objective 1: Policies of each organization recognize and enable appropriately defined roles and unique capabilities to achieve better development outcomes.
  • Strategic Objective 2: Plans and programs of each organization recognize, enable and leverage appropriately defined roles and unique capabilities to achieve better development outcomes.
  • Strategic Objective 3: Learning and outreach enable better development outcomes though applied understanding of roles and capabilities. 

Our Accomplishments

To date, CMC has:

  • Helped the DCHA Bureau establish a coordinated approach to planning for crisis operations;
  • Developed and implemented pre-deployment training for civilian-military teams deploying to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa;
  • Developed a USAID civil-military cooperation policy with broad participation by Agency representatives;
  • Synchronized USAID operational plans and programs with Regional Combatant Command Theater Security Cooperation programs and other DoD planning instruments;
  • Contributed key inputs from the development perspective into DoD’s Guidance for the Employment of the Force (GEF), the Pentagon's primary operational planning guidance, first issued in 2008 and updated every two years;
  • Provided critical development inputs into the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the first time USAID has been invited to do so; and
  • Coordinated DCHA Bureau plans with ongoing DoD planning efforts for Syria and the Middle East




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Last updated: June 13, 2014

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