MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Air Force Culture and Language Center recently added Introduction to China, Introduction to Russia Culture courses, and a video library to its newly updated, free Culture Guide mobile app. The addition of the courses moves lock-step with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown Jr.’s strategic initiative, Accelerate Change or Lose, outlining four Action Orders and focusing on people, decision-making, competition, and adapting to change.
Airmen and Guardians will receive a Certificate of Completion ready to upload to their training record for credit when completing a course.
During his speech at the 6th Annual Air University Language, Regional Expertise and Culture Symposium in October, and later quoted in Air Force Magazine, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall highlighted the importance of understanding Chinese culture for integrated deterrence.
“Collectively, we Americans lack an adequate understanding of Chinese culture,” Kendall said. “We run a significant risk of misinterpretation and missed signals when we project our own perspectives upon Chinese actions and communications.”
In less than 60 minutes, each course gives service members the baseline general attributes of the cultures of the nation’s strategic competitors. An outline of the courses includes:
Introduction to China: The new China Culture course consists of two informative segments. Part 1 introduces the concept of culture, social behaviors, and how they define a culture’s native belief system. In Part 2, the user engages the 12 Domains of Culture concerning China, the nation’s history, religion, socio-political relations, and more.
Introduction to Russia: The new Russia Culture course consists of two intricate parts and takes about 40 minutes. The first half introduces conceptions and philosophies related to culture in general. Then, in Part 2, the course introduces Russia as a nation, its multifaceted history, and explores the socio-political climate that encompasses the federation in the 21st century.
The new video library includes education content for integrated deterrence organically produced and curated by AFCLC. Currently, the library consists of Introduction to the Air Force Culture and Language Center, Korean Peninsula History, and Quadrilateral Initiative.
“The concept of official education delivered through a mobile app completely untethered from government IT systems has never been done before,” said Howard Ward, AFCLC director. “At Air War College and Air University, we take pride in being the Air Force’s global classroom. The way to accelerate learning is through mobile devices, where learning can occur anytime, anywhere, and through delivery methods familiar to Airmen, Guardians, Total Force, and members of other services. To accelerate change in learning at enterprise scale, the path to an Airman or Guardian’s mind begins in their pocket.”
AFCLC’s Culture Guide app is available to all military service members and civilians through the App Store and Google Play and it is safe for Department of Defense mobile devices. More than 20,000 individuals are already utilizing the app, and for those individuals, an automatic update to Version 2.0 is now available.