Cultural Self-Awareness as a Crucial Component of Military Cross-Cultural Competence
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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The United States is transitioning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and placing increased emphasis on a more holistic engagement with foreign and interagency partners in order to combat terrorism and foster better diplomatic relations, as emphasized in the National Security Strategy. This discussion will focus on cultural self-awareness as it relates to successful cross-cultural education in the military reinforcing the contention that service members need competence that is gained from education and experience that prepares them to engage with different cultures. The paper will analyze military cross-cultural competence using the academic disciplines of anthropology and psychology to provide entry points to develop the discussion. It is intended to demonstrate the central role of cultural self-awareness as a milestone in developing the cultural competence. With the emphasis on Irregular Warfare and interagency cooperation, intercultural exchanges will become more important to the success of national policy in the future. The success of the cross-cultural education will be depend on service members who can develop the skills necessary to function in interagency environments as well with foreign cultures. The development of cultural self-awareness is a crucial step towards achieving that essential cross-cultural competence.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations