Cultural Minefields: Cultural Heritage Training in the U.S. Military
DEFENSE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY MANAGEMENT INST PATRICK AFB FL Patrick AFB United States
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Cultural competence is a vital component of many missions in todays military. Cultural competence enables one to further a mission, save resources, and save lives. Conversely, a lack of cultural competence may bring about challenges to mission completion, requirement for more resources, waste of resources, and destruction of lives. Cultural competence involves many components. One particular component is cultural heritage and protection of cultural property. Cultural property is comprised of the physical, social, and psychological components that define ones culture. This may be a representation of a deity, a sacred space, a social practice such as going to the market, or a belief such as a local legend Rush, 2012. Cultural heritage lays the foundation for vibrant, innovative and prosperous knowledge societies UNESCO, 2008. The cultures to which these items belong are the owners disregarding this fact may lead to severed connections, poor communication, retaliation, poor public relations, and even violence Matsuda, 1998.