Cultural Awareness and Language Capabilities

Tuesday April 4, 2006

What is it? Cultural awareness is the ability to understand the "how and why" of foreign cultures and the roles that culture, religion, and geography have in military operations. Foreign language capability extends beyond linguists, intelligence analysts, and interrogators to every Soldier and leader. It is an integral part of fostering a cultural awareness capability.

What has the Army done? The Army is pursuing a variety of initiatives to enhance its capability in cultural awareness and foreign language. In accordance with the Defense Language Transformation Roadmap, the Army is incorporating cultural awareness training into all levels of professional military education. The U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Huachuca, Arizona developed an 80-hour modular cultural awareness training program for deploying units and other branch schools. The Center for Army Lessons Learned at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas provides online training material in cultural awareness and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) at the Presidio of Monterey in Monterey, California incorporates cultural awareness in its language familiarization training for deploying units. They also provide other supplementary materials.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The Army continues to develop, update, and expand its offering of cultural awareness training and foreign language materials at all levels. The Army will continue to explore new and innovative ways in which to incorporate cultural awareness and foreign language capability training and education in its Soldier and leader development programs as well as unit predeployment training.

Why is this important to the Army? To enable the Army to operate in today's complex environments, Soldiers at all levels must possess some cultural awareness and foreign language capability. It is no longer sufficient for limited numbers of Soldiers in specialized skill sets and units to possess these capabilities.


The Seventeenth Annual Strategy Conference at the U.S. Army War College will be held April 11-13, 2006, at Carlisle Barracks, PA. This year's conference brings together top national security strategists, senior military leaders, media, university faculty and the policy making community to consider, discuss, and debate national security strategy and to help frame vital questions that offer insights on "A Nation at War."

Conference agenda and registration

Conference speakers and panelists

The Conference will be offered for the first time by streaming video connection over Army Knowledge Online. For times and access instructions visit


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Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.