The Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) Program, part of the Center for Information Warfare Training, offers cultural orientation training (COT) to Sailors to assist with better understanding the countries, cultures and languages they will encounter while serving abroad.
The LREC Program office, located on Information Warfare Training Center Corry Station, has been charged with providing training on foreign cultures and languages to prepare Navy personnel for global engagements to strengthen ties with enduring allies, cultivate relationships with emerging partners, thwart adversaries, and defeat enemies.
“Within the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy, there are two primary types of culture training: Culture General Training, which discusses what culture is and how cultural differences may affect mission; and Culture Specific Training, which presents the general values, beliefs, behaviors, and norms of a specific culture,” said Christopher Wise, LREC Program Manager.
Wise explained that on a practical level, when Sailors learn about a foreign cultures before they experience them, it helps prepare them for the unfamiliar, reduces the culture shock they may experience, especially when it is their first time overseas. The COTs help Sailors have a more enjoyable and productive time in a foreign environment while also fulfilling a DOD mandate.
“DoD recognizes that understanding foreign cultures and being able to communicate across cultural barriers are critical warfighting enablers, proven to save lives and to facilitate mission accomplishment through confrontation, conflict, stabilization, and peacetime operations,” said Wise. “Additionally, when Sailors learn about the foreign cultures they will encounter abroad it reduces the effects of culture shock, permitting them to be more comfortable with the unfamiliar, avoid culturally taboo behaviors, and, where appropriate, behave in culturally acceptable ways. In short, cultural training prepares Sailors to be better ambassadors of our nation and the Navy.”
The LREC Program has a library of COTs and other cultural training materials. Presently, materials are available for nearly 100 countries/cultures throughout the world. Most of the materials are available through Navy e-learning or on the Navy Global Deployer Application for mobile devices found on the Navy App Locker, Google Play Store, and Apple App Store sites. The LREC Program continually reviews and updates existing products and develops new products, however there is a lag between deployment on Navy e-Learning and migration of the products to the Navy Global Deployer App. The program also provides access to training materials developed by the U.S. Air Force’s Culture Center and the Army’s Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.
Anyone with access to Navy e-Learning may complete Navy’s cultural orientation training and anyone with a mobile device (e.g., app-capable PC; tablet; smart phone) may download and use the Global Deployer App. Deploying units and personnel are encouraged to contact the Navy’s LREC Program directly by emailing email@example.com.