CAOCL – An Organization and its People You Should Know About - Small Wars Journal

The first issue of Operational Culture, the newsletter of the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL) is on the streets. Go to the link for the full newsletter, what follows is the scuttlebutt from the Director - George Dallas. Good stuff - and best wishes to this USMC initiative that is paying off in ways not fully anticipated at its inception.

From the Director

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Operational Culture, the newsletter of the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL)—an easy-to-read synopsis of the latest trends in Marine Corps cultural learning and language familiarization. This is also a forum for discussion and debate about these important issues.

As you may know, Training and Education Command (TECOM) stood up CAOCL in the spring of 2005. We were created to help Marines plan and operate successfully in a joint expeditionary environment.

Equipping Marines with the essential regional, cultural, and language skills that enable them to effectively operate in any region of the world has been re-validated by the just-released “Marine Corps Vision and Strategy 2025.”

The Commandant’s new vision statement calls upon all Marines to acquire all the necessary cultural and communications skills to enable them to effectively navigate the “cultural terrain.” This means giving Marines the skills they need to operate in any current and potential operating conditions in order to effectively target persistent and emerging irregular, traditional, catastrophic, and disruptive threats.

Complementary to the Commandant’s vision and strategy is the Long War operational employment concept that makes the awareness of regional and cultural issues into the foundation of future Marine Corps operations. In particular, cultural awareness and language skills are now key tasks associated with building partnership capacity.

To that end, CAOCL’s three primary lines of operations – education, pre-deployment training, and regional studies – are connected by a language familiarization program that blends instructor- facilitated classes with self-paced, computer-based training.

To date, CAOCL has supported OIF and OEF. This focused effort will not waver. We are broadening our culture and language capacity to include the development of other regional and country specific packages that support security force activities and unit deployments to Africa, South America, and other global locations.

Your access to Rosetta Stone, CL-150, and other language training programs are part of our effort to develop and sustain individual language skills within the Corps. These courses can be taken via MarineNet or at any of our newly-opened Language Learning Resource Centers.

Additionally, we are expanding our education programs to include a more dynamic Enlisted and Officer PME. We are also creating a Culture and Strategic Studies program: a confederation of organizations that will provide research, seminars, and symposia. And, lastly, in the spring of 2009, we will release the Career Marine Regional Studies (CMRS) program.

Good things are happening here at CAOCL. However, we believe that our goal of constantly striving to improve service to the Marine Corps is enhanced by active communications with the people we train and educate. So let’s hear from you and start a dialogue!

Col George M. Dallas, USMC (Ret.)