Beyond Bombs, Bullets and Planes: Developing Airmen-Statements for the 21st Century
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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In response to lessons learned, the U.S. Air Force USAF launched a comprehensive program, in 2009, to make all Airmen cross-culturally competent 3C. As part of this program, the USAF has included cultural training in all levels of professional military education PME, expanded the cultural training content of pre-deployment training courses, and begun adjusting doctrine to better reflect the need for cultural considerations in planning and conducting operations. While this approach is a step in the right direction, it is not without flaws that may prevent it from meeting the needs of the 21st Century. By relying on the PME system to deliver cultural training, the program does not adequately support the continuous learning process needed to become 3C. In addition, the program fails to address the motivational aspect of cultural learning. In only addressing the cognitive and behavior aspects, the program misses opportunities to develop greater cultural understanding through self-initiated study. Finally, the program lacks an effective method or tool to assess, categorize, and track each Airmans cultural skills. Without these tools, the USAF will be unable to accurately gauge program success, will miss opportunities, to enhance each Airmans cultural skills, and will continue to inefficiently use personnel resources.
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