By DLIFC for STAND-TO!November 8, 2010
The Rapport Program
What is it'
The Rapport program is mandatory online basic language and cultural awareness training in Dari and Pashto for all servicemembers and civilians deploying to Afghanistan according to USFOR-A FRAGO 10-371. Iraqi Rapport is mandatory for Soldiers deploying to Iraq.
All three languages were made available Oct. 1, 2010 via the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) portal, while Rapport is accessible to all Services via the Joint Language University website.
What has the Army done'
Rapport was developed by the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), DoD's premier language provider, in response to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) needs and Counterinsurgency (COIN) Training Guidance, which called for the ability of every deployed person to greet locals in their own language (HQDA EXORD 273-10).
The program, approved by Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George Casey Jr., consists of approximately six-to-eight hours of training introducing culture, religion and way of life of a specific linguistic group and region. It also includes ten military survival tasks covering topics such as expressions of politeness, handling language barriers, commands, and basic questions. "Language needs to be expected rather than forced," said Gen. Casey during his visit to DLIFLC in June. Students must obtain a 70 percent passing rate to receive a certificate of completion. Successful completion is automatically entered into Army training records for personnel who enroll through AKO and the Army's Learning Management System.
For those servicemembers assigned to become a language and culture platoon level enabled leader, and who are not able to attend a course at a DLIFLC Language Training Detachment, the Institute provides its HeadStart2 program on its website at www.dliflc.edu. This program is a self-paced 80- to 100-hour self-study basic language course with an emphasis on language to carry out basic military survival skills. Headstart2 is also expected to be available via AKO in the near future.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future'
DLIFLC is currently working with other Services' learning management system personnel to make Rapport easily accessible. Meanwhile, the Institute is developing a "stand alone" on CD-ROM for servicemembers and civilians in the field without Internet connectivity. DLIFLC also provides language materials available for download or order, free of cost to deploying units, at www.dliflc.edu, under the Language Materials Distribution System.
Why is this Army Training Concept important to the Army'
Rapport training is mandatory for all Soldiers and DA civilians deploying to Afghanistan or Iraq. In accordance with the Army Culture and Foreign Language Strategy (ACFLS), DLIFLC is contributing to the warfight by enabling Soldiers and leaders to understand the "how and why" of foreign cultures and the roles that language, culture, religion, and geography have in military operations.
Cover of Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George Casey Jr.'s visit to DLIFLC on June 23 in Globe magazine, Vol. 33, No. 3, Fall/Summer 2010
Army Culture and Foreign Language Strategy (ACFLS)
Joint Language University
DLIFLC Annual Program Review 2010