Adam L. Silverman, PhD*
As a result of several comments regarding the recent events in Afghanistan, COL Lang asked me if I would be willing to do up a post about what the Army is doing in regard to culture in its professional military education (PME). While I have some idea of what the Marines and Air Force do, I am really not able to speak in depth about their programs and will stick to the Army's, which is what I know best.
The US Army formulated the Army Culture and Foreign Language Strategy (ACFLS) a little over three years ago in order to address the recognized shortfall of cultural capabilities within the general purpose force of the Army for its ongoing operations; not only for Iraq and Afghanistan, but also the Philippines and for potential future operations as well. The ACFLS designated the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) as the proponent and ordered it to establish an office to begin implementation - currently known as the Army Culture and Foreign Language Directorate. This included staffing of culture and foreign language advisors (CFLAs) and establishing a way forward for culture in Army PME.