Cultural Awareness and Foreign Language Capabilities

Friday July 20, 2007

What is it? Cultural awareness capability 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; ranging from the ability to communicate with the aid of language survival tools to high levels of proficiency in skilled linguists.

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 Training and Doctrine Command Culture Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, developed an 80-hour modular cultural awareness training program for deploying units and branch schools. This center also provides mobile training teams (MTTs) which bring cultural awareness training to units in their pre-deployment training. 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. DLIFLC also provides CD-ROM language survival kits to deploying Soldiers. Combat Training Centers (CTCs) have completely transformed, using native-speaking role players, to replicate the sights and culture of the contemporary operational environment. In pre-commissioning, U.S. Military Academy and ROTC have incorporated cultural awareness lessons into their curriculums.

The Army offers Soldiers a variety of ways to obtain foreign language skills and actively recruits native speakers from heritage communities. Language specialists primarily attend DLIFLC which offers online sustainment training through its Global Language Network and its Global Language Online Support System

- This topic was taken directly from the 2007 Army Posture Statement. To continue reading this topic in its entirety, click here.


- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Be Army Strong, and Army Smart. Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communication Guide.


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"For me, being ... a Soldier of the sea has been an incredible way to spend a sizeable chunk of my adult life. I'm proud of what I've done with those years not because of what I've become, but because of the opportunity to serve with so many great soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen." - Gen. Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a town hall meeting, July 18.


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