The Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation (CMC) is part of the Bureau for Conflict, Prevention and Stabilization (CPS) and serves as USAID’s primary point of contact with the Department of Defense (DOD).
CMC is driven by its goal to align development and defense and leverage the unique capabilities of both partners to achieve better development outcomes in pursuit of U.S. national security goals and national values.
Our approach to USAID-DOD coordination is collaborative to ensure development and defense efforts are mutually reinforcing and not duplicative.
USAID and the Department of Defense have been partners since the 1960s. We work together to align policies, planning and programming, and learning and outreach to advance U.S. foreign policy.
CMC maintains steady communication and synchronization of efforts with the DOD through:
Personnel Exchange: USAID coordinates with DOD with a team of foreign service, civil service, active-duty military and technical professionals. This allows access and transparency between both agencies on policy, planning, outreach and education. Senior foreign service officers sit at six unified combatant commands (U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Southern Command) and at the Pentagon, to inform and advise DOD in pursuit of better development outcomes and promote cooperation, where appropriate.
At USAID, military personnel representing the commands inform USAID on DOD activities with development interests and also ensure access to all levels of DOD leadership.
USAID also hosts military liaisons from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and sponsors U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps fellows.
Policy Development: It is USAID policy for all its personnel to cooperate with DOD in support of the Agency’s mission to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity. CMC facilitates systematic exchange of feedback between USAID and DOD on relevant policies and strategies that affect USAID interests. The CMC policy team regularly convenes a USAID civilian-military cooperation steering committee composed of representatives from USAID regional and technical bureaus to advance cooperation on policy matters.
Training: CMC facilitates training for both USAID and DOD audiences through instructor-led courses, briefings and exercises. The office offers USAID's Development in Vulnerable Environments (DiVE) course to DOD staff that focuses on how USAID works with the U.S. military improve development outcomes and strengthen U.S. national security. For USAID staff, CMC offers a one-day “Working with the Military” course that serves as an introduction on how to foster civilian-military cooperation in support of development objectives. CMC’s training team also routinely facilitates short and long-term DOD-hosted training opportunities for USAID staff.
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