Tuesday December 6, 2011
What is it?
The Army Culture & Foreign Language Management Office was established in 2010 to lead the implementation of the Army Culture and Foreign Language Strategy (ACFLS) across the Army and Training and Doctrine Command and to integrate these culture and foreign language efforts with Army agencies, joint agencies, and other services.
What has the Army done?
The primary value of the program, as directed through the ACFLS, rests with the use of 15 Culture & Foreign Language Advisors (CFLAs). These cultural experts advise commanding generals and commandants at Centers of Excellence (CoEs) and schools across the continental U.S. Each CFLA is tasked with helping CoE leadership integrate culture and foreign language capability appropriate to each branch, military occupational specialty, and cohort.
Only the most qualified and highly motivated candidates are placed in these key positions. Each advisor holds a Ph.D. in the social and behavioral sciences and has expertise in teaching cultural practices.
Why is this important to the Army?
As the world becomes more connected, cultural competency is critical in replacing conflict with understanding, cooperation, and cohabitation. The Army needs Soldiers and leaders who are culturally competent to support its broad range of military planning and operational activities. This important facet of leadership also nests well within the Army's Leader Development Program and the Army Learning Model in the context of lifelong learning. Individuals perform better when they are culturally acclimated to the environment they are working in.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The CFLA enterprise is moving into its third year, and the program has been widely embraced at the CoEs and across the Army. As such, management of the CFLA enterprise transitioned from HQ TRADOC to the Combined Arms Center (CAC) on Oct. 1, 2011. This move better links the cultural competency program to other programs CAC oversees, such as leadership and learning.
U.S. military missions consistently demonstrate a critical need for cultural competency. Leaders and Soldiers who are culturally competent are force multipliers, yielding desired results with lasting effects. As such, the importance of cultural knowledge and application will continue to grow as a key enabler of military planning and operations.
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WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS
"We have to invest in transition services for our Soldiers ... This is a top priority. We must do everything we can to help these Soldiers who serve and sacrifice so they are not left in the cold."
- Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli, stressing upon the transition assistance for Soldiers leaving the Army, to be outcome-based with tangible results.
""I have never seen anything like this. They lose their jobs, their cars, their medical care, their houses, but when you ask them why, they say the same thing: 'That's what you do for your child.' They are my heroes."
- Judith Markelz, director of the Warrior and Family Support Center, eulogizing the sacrifices of the family members to be by their loved one's side
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