While deployed with the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, British Army Maj. Robert Steel has an advantage when it comes to the partnership shared by the Coalition.Almost two years ago he and his family picked up and moved from their home from Sheffield, England, to Kansas after Steel was chosen to serve as the deputy of the strategic plans and policy section for the 1st Infantry Division."We've really been made to feel a welcome part of the community where we've been living at Fort Riley and that's been great," Steel said.The path to Riley started when Steel put the 1st Inf. Div. as his first choice of duty station, even though it's a running joke in the British Army that if you put a job on the list, that's the one you're guaranteed not to get, Steel said.Steel says his wife, Bryony, was thrilled when he told her he had gotten the assignment because ever since she was little she has wanted to live there. And now, after almost two years in Kansas, he says it has exceeded their best expectations."It's funny, actually, because imagine what you see a cowboy to look like on the TV back in the U.K. and you think, 'yeah, but that can't be how it really is,'" Steel said. "And then you come to Kansas and you go to a rodeo and you see people walking around in their Stetson hats, Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots and you realize, actually it is like that."But being able to immerse yourself in someone else's culture and learn a little bit about somewhere else in the world refreshes your perspective on things. Living in the Midwest specifically, it's entirely different from anywhere in the U.K. People are different. They have more time in the Midwest to stop to say 'hi' and talk."Steel says his daughter, Florence, has enjoyed her time in the States as well and doesn't want to leave."She has a full-on little American accent because she moved out here when she was just four," Steel said. "She's had a great time. The weather is so much better in the states than back home so she gets to spend time in the outdoors. You just don't get that back home because the weather is generally pretty gray."While his family has enjoyed the unexpected entertainment that the Midwest has to offer, Steel has gained a new understanding of the differences between the U.S. and U.K. Armies."There are more similarities in the way that we and the U.S. Army operate than there are differences," Steel said. "The planning process, while there are some differences, is fundamentally the same. Both Armies are built on very similar ethos."When you look at the values and standards in the British Army, they marry fairly closely with the warrior ethos, values and standards of the American Army."Steel is assigned to the 1st Inf. Div. as part of the Military Personnel Exchange Program. The MPEP is a bilateral agreement between the U.K. and the U.S. forces and send a number of people back and forth to embed for a couple of years, said Steel."In my experience of being in the army, we've always deployed as part of a Coalition, usually U.S.-led, so the benefit really is… I get an opportunity to see how the U.S. Army works and American officers get an opportunity to see how the British army works," Steel said."So when we deploy together on operations, the synergy is that much better because we understand each other's processes and a bit about the culture and how we think slightly differently about different things. That familiarity breeds efficiency when we deploy together in an environment like this one."