fellowship | CultureReady

The Japanese-American U.S. Army Intelligence Unit that helped win WWII

The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California, traces its roots to the secret World War II U.S. Army intelligence unit comprised of Japanese-Americans – the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). 

Then, as now, we needed to succeed militarily and also communicate with other cultures and nations. 

The MIS was started in late 1941 as a unit to train Japanese-Americans (Nisei) to conduct translation and interrogation activities. MIS men came mostly from Hawaii and the West Coast.

Human perception key in hard power, soft power, smart power

Back in 2009, news reports explained that a U.S. intelligence operative in Afghanistan had provided Viagra to an older tribal and community leader who had several younger wives. The story triggered humor, concern and insight about working closely with indigenous populations in Afghanistan elsewhere.

This case shows us that interacting with indigenous people – so that they may consider being friends of Americans instead of enemies – can be approached in various ways, conventional and unconventional.

Navy Research Project on Intuition

The U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) has begun a four-year project to identify, understand and use “intuitive decision-making” and what is being termed “implicit learning.”

Can this type of research enhance human relations across cultures? There seem to be indications that such training and skills could impact a wide range of U.S. efforts.

Using Individualism and Collectivism to Compare Cultures— A Critique of the Validity and Measurement of the Constructs: Comment on Oyserman et al.

Program Profile: The Olmsted Scholar Program

Each year, the Olmsted Scholar Program offers educational grants for two years of graduate study in a foreign language and other educational experiences in a foreign country to competitively selected career line officers from the four branches of the U.S. military.  The Foundation has the goal of selecting the most highly qualified officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps annually, with the number of Scholars selected based on the Foundation's financial ability to support them and the available pool of qualified candidates.