Major Patrick J. Dillon (U.S. Army) will speak on the importance within the military to employ a full-time cultural advisor (CULAD) into the staff and the vital role they fill in the conduct of the mission. The CULAD works with the geographic commander to understand the culture of the given area in order to effectively communicate, negotiate, and work with the local populace.
Major Dillon will also touch on how important the military views cultural understanding. The way the military employs teams to study the Human Terrain of specific geographic areas, the investment that is placed throughout the military structure to incorporate cultural understanding on the battlefield as well as within their own ranks, and the weight placed on cultural considerations on tactical, organizational and strategic decisions.
Major Dillon will discuss his own experiences as a Tactical Psychological Operations Company Commander and how this cultural understanding was put into practice in Iraq and Afghanistan. He will touch on how different level commanders utilized (or failed to utilize) their cultural advisors, and how that played into their levels of success.
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- Multicultural Affairs