Publication Date

2009

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Sora Friedman

Abstract

The character and duration of the conflicts the United States has been engaged in have influenced the U.S. military to identify a need to train soldiers to be more culturally aware. Soldiers now find themselves in the midst of a society, rather than a battlefield, trying to rebuild an entire nation. A soldier’s lack of cultural awareness and understanding can turn mistakes into problems, which increases the difficulty of successfully combating the enemy. The challenge for the U.S. military today is to develop culturally competent soldiers who will be successful at winning the “hearts and minds” of people in future operations in a world of culture.

The purpose of this orientation is to provide the U.S. soldier with knowledge and skills critical to living while on duty in Japan. The orientation will focus on developing “way-finding” skills, such as basic tools for communicating about everyday matters, “reading” social situations, increasing observational skills, and entering new living and military situations. Activities will include explorations of life in the city near the base including field trips, tours, discussion, language study review and practice, and exposure to living situations in Japan. Sessions in Japanese support and reinforce the sessions in English.

The on-base orientation will prepare new soldiers for various Japanese cultural experiences and communication with Japanese people. The orientation will help soldiers develop skills in communicating about practical matters in Japanese as well as skills for exploring the neighborhoods and surrounding cities in which they will be living and working. The on-base orientation will give soldiers practice in their new skills to make the most of their experience being stationed in Japan.

Disciplines

International and Intercultural Communication

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