Jun 9, 2016
Civilians routinely deploy to support military missions abroad. Internationally, defense departments have drawn on internal civilian capabilities to relieve pressure on the uniformed military, and some of these initiatives have been formalized into organizational structures. There are several known challenges associated with deploying civilians to operational theaters, however. For instance, from where should the capability be drawn? How should deployable civilians be selected, prepared, and protected in theater? How can an organization best manage civilians while they are deployed, ensuring that they will have secure jobs upon their return? Moreover, from a recruitment standpoint, how can an organization ensure a steady pipeline of willing volunteers to deploy? How are civilians perceived by and how do they operate among their military colleagues? An end-to-end review of guidance across the civilian deployment process in the U.S. Department of Defense involved investigating the deployment approaches of analogous organizations, both U.S. and foreign. These comparative cases provided insights into best practices and informed the development of four models of civilian deployment. The effort was supported by interviews with representatives from 17 government agencies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Australia with well-established civilian deployment programs. This report describes the requirements that generate the need for deployable civilians, the types of missions civilians support, and the methods that organizations use to identify, select, track, and deploy civilians. Findings from the full study can be found in the companion RAND report, Expeditionary Civilians: Creating a Viable Practice of Department of Defense Civilian Deployment.