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DLNSEO Culture Team
May 9, 2017

Protocol is a means by which people of all cultures can relate to each other. Whether you are an employee or spouse, have few representational responsibilities or are running your post’s protocol office, this booklet produced by the State department is a good starting point to prepare. 

What is Protocol?

Protocol is, in effect, the frame for the picture rather than the content of it. American casualness is sometimes interpreted as rudeness in other societies. What does it say if the representatives of the world’s most powerful nation are indifferent to...

DLNSEO Culture Team
April 10, 2017

Through a partnership with Penn State and NATO’s Allied Command Transformation - Future Solutions branch, the Extended Hands program leverages technology to foster understanding through dialogue across cultures in vastly different parts of the world. Extended Hand pairs cadets and military personnel from NATO nations with civilians in conflict-torn regions to have cross-cultural exchanges.

The program operates on two core principles:

Military personnel plan and conduct missions with greater efficacy when they have the skills to effectively communicate and build trust...
Culture Team
February 22, 2017

Most of us don’t enjoy having difficult conversations, period — but when they involve someone from our own culture, we can usually rely on some basic shared assumptions about what the interaction should look like.

When we have a difficult conversation with someone from a different culture, however, our task becomes harder by an order of magnitude. Now, not only do we have to address a potentially thorny subject, but we must do so while gracefully maneuvering around a series of cultural trip wires. To manage this issue it helps to understand the four most common communication...

Culture Team
February 22, 2017

By Colonel Bernard Banks

Reposted from Harvard Business Review

Global organizations need leaders with cultural dexterity — the ability and know-how to make a sale in Seoul just as effectively as they host a meeting in Riyadh. In a military career that took me around the world — Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, and Saudi Arabia — I learned that, when it comes to these skills, fortune favors the prepared.

Preparation starts, of course, with training in cross-cultural best practices, as well as more general “soft skills” like emotional intelligence and interpersonal...

Culture Team
February 16, 2017

By Valeria O'Berry 

Today, Marines must be proficient in foreign language and cultures around the world in order to be prepared for vital missions. This training comes from the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL) at Marine Corps University.

CAOCL is still very young, having been established in 2006 by retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, then-commander of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (currently secretary of defense), in order to ensure Marines and Marine units were equipped with sufficient regional, culture and operational language...

DLNSEO Culture Team
February 10, 2017

The U.S. Navy recently released a new application for mobile devices to support personnel and families stationed or deployed abroad.  The app assists with learning basic cultural awareness and language skills.  The app provides material for six fleet concentration areas: Bahrain, Italy, Japan, Spain, the Republic of Korea, and the Philippines. The Navy Center for Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (CLREC) plans to continue adding resources on language, history, geography, people, ethnic groups, religious institutions, societal norms, behaviors, etiquette,...

DLNSEO Culture Team
February 8, 2017

Marines participate in pre-deployment training that includes rapport-building exercises at Camp Lejeune, N.C. For units deploying to Afghanistan to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Army and Police, these exercises give them an opportunity to work with Afghan role players at a simulated forward operating base.

Photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins


Marines must first learn how to interact positively with their Afghan counterparts to be successful in their respective missions. “They’re practicing social perspective taking, cross-culture...