Army FA 59 Strategic Plans and Policy Functional Area: An Overview

In 1997 the Army created the FA59 Strategic Plans and Policy Functional Area as well as the OPM System (Officer Personnel Management System).  In this article we will be discussing and reviewing this particular position as it applies to the Army and military as a whole.

The Function and Purpose of an FA 59 Officer

The Department of the Army (DA) Pamphlet 600-3 describes in detail the functions of an FA 59 Officer.  Below is a summary of the description:

The Functional Area 59 Officer has responsibilities that pertain to the development and integration of plans and policies at the national and theater strategic levels.  Strategies, including concepts and policies are also implemented as seen fit by the FA 59 officers as they execute key and essential institutional and operational processes within the Army.  Additionally, these individuals perform necessary tasks and employment operations as they apply to joint and coalition land combat power.

The FA 59 Officer performs four very unique and precise functions within the Army.  These include the following:

  • Strategic Appraisals
  • Strategic and Operational Planning
  • JIIM Integration (this stands for joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational integrations)
  • Education as it applies to strategies

Here we will describe in detail all four of these unique functions to the FA 59 Officer within the Army.

Function #1: Strategic Appraisals

The FA 59 Officer is required to assess any and all strategic environments as they apply to the Army.  These environments tend to be complex and uncertain, but it is his or her responsibility to perform a comprehensive assessment.  By doing so, the FA 59 Officer is helping his or her organization to adjust their operations and plans to meet these ever-changing situations and uncertain environments.  So basically, this officer is keeping his unit, commanders and fellow troops safe from uncertainty.  In order to effectively be trained in this function, the FA 59 Officer must be fully educated in military history and international relations for him or her to properly understand how to tailor judgments when faced with difficult problems.

Function #2: Strategic and Operational Planning

This function is essential to the FA 59 Officer’s duties as it covers all actionable plans and recommendations set for the success of his or her organization.  This particular officer must offer his or her expertise as it applies to military forces and the commander for any and all strategic plans and functions.  To be fully equipped for this function, the aspiring FA 59 Officer must become educated in several interdisciplinary approaches to provide support for analyzing, assessing and executing operations and concepts towards any and all strategic efforts.  This function is probably considered the most important for planning and operating as a total unit.  Because of his education and military background, the FA 59 Officer is well equipped to operate as it applies to the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP).

Function #3: JIIM Integration

These skills as they apply to the FA 59 Officer aid in helping military organization to operate at their best.  The officer is in turn educated fully to offer perspectives as they apply to national powers, but they must remain non-partisan in their views and approaches as they apply to integrating service policies for particular strategies.  The FA 59 Officer’s knowledge towards JIIM integration skills allows him or her to lead planning and staff coordination with other JIIM partners.

Function #4: Strategic Education

The FA 59 Officer offers strategic education across the Department of Defense.  In this regard, the officer establishes networks to support any and all strategies and strategic planners.  This function allows for the FA 59 Officer to provide education in order to improve upon his or her JIIM integration skills.

Final Thoughts

The FA 59 Officer plays a very vital and important role to the Army as a whole.  Have you ever served or pursued a position in the Army as an FA 59 Officer?  Please share your experiences and expertise as it applies to this position, I would love to hear your thoughts.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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4 thoughts on “Army FA 59 Strategic Plans and Policy Functional Area: An Overview”

  1. As I type this, I am sure many of the FA 59 Officers are very hard at work studying the whole complicated situation going on in the Ukraine. It is hard to fathom just how complicated this position would be. I mentioned chess playing in my last comment, and I just have to say, it is more like chess on steroids.

    One thing I did notice you mentioned that the FA 59 officer must be Non-partisan in their views. Everything must be done with logic and sense, no taking sides. Keep this in mind if you plan on seeking this as a position you may want.

    By the way…great post!

  2. The FA59 Officer’s position and role in the success our military can’t be denied, that’s for sure! Their ability to assess a situation and properly strategize is a determining factor in their organization’s success or failure. While the soldiers in the field are definitely in the forefront and are those we instantly recognize, those behind the scenes make it possible for them to carry out their duties when protecting those at home and abroad. If you’re a thinker and a leader, this is a position to consider.

  3. This position sounds like the elite of the elite. All chess players, please apply. The Strategic Area 59 Officer has many responsibilities. We all know that in war time situations, strategies are what makes or breaks any military force. The man or woman that takes on this position must have a level head and be able to see what many others do not see.

    This is a position that I did not realize existed. Thank you for this overview. FA 59 Officer would be a great choice for any one that wants an important position in the United States Army.

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