An Initial Framework for Enhancing Cultural Competency

Within the last two decades, we have seen as great a change in the nature of warfare and conflict as has been experienced in all of the previous millennium. Military commanders of the 1960s had as much if not more in common with generals such as Arminius and Publius Quinctilius Varus1 as they do with their modern-day counterparts. The demise of the superpower stand-off and the diminution of importance of the physical environment, in terms of both possession and site of conflict, has left our forces to operate in conditions for which their previous training has provided relatively little guidance and direction. However, in general our forces have been facile in understanding and adapting to the changes that these new circumstances have thrust upon them (Merlo, Szalma, & Hancock, 2007; Scales, 2006). With the hallmark of the professionalism that characterizes these Institutions, they have sought to understand these new demands and look to provide answers to the inherent problems now posed (Chiarelli & Smith, 2007).