Every year hundreds of cadets travel the globe, spending up to three weeks immersed in foreign cultures through the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP) Program. Three Hampton University Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets traveled to Liberia, Germany and Romania for the entire month of June, 2016. The cadets were immersed into foreign cultures and were exposed the reality that other countries have vastly different lifestyles, economic standing and world perspective.
Cadets travel in small groups led by a senior leader cadre. Trips typically incorporate approximately 20 cadets and a cadre member traveling in conjunction with a civilian agency or non-governmental agency. CULP cadets compete for this opportunity nationally against other Army ROTC cadets. This international internship is awarded on a competitive basis and take into account several factors, such as GPA, physical fitness, essay, and other pertinent selection criteria.
Cadet Pierce Watson traveled to Germany and has been hiking, visiting landmarks, completing adventurous courses, and participating in traditional Bavarian activities.
“I earned Gold in marksmanship, and I also earned the Edelweiss Award, which is awarded to those who are proficient in mountaineering. I was especially excited to have gotten the opportunity to network with a few German soldiers whom I plan to stay in contact with,” said Watson.
The program is not limited to joint military operations. Cadet Brian Battle also had the opportunity to assist with humanitarian efforts, such as assisting at various local orphanages in Liberia, Africa.
“Having the opportunity to come to Liberia has been a humbling experience… Interacting with the people here has truly given me a new perspective on life.”
The experiences within the program proved to be beneficial and life changing on both ends while participants were in each country. According to Cadet Command, in Fort Knox, KY, Cadets must attempt to understand and be informed about other cultures. In turn, relationships form and cultures within the U.S. will more than likely be studied and appreciated by others in a similar capacity.
“The Army's birthday was on June 14, so we decided to take our new counterparts out to town, and enjoy coffee and donuts in order to explain the history of such an important day. As our time began to close in Romania, we taught them American dances and were incredibly entertained,” said Cadet Donmanique Hardy.
International travel is vital to be successful in the workforce today. These students have already begun their international travel and plan to continue their pursuit of becoming an officer in the United States Army. Ultimately, the program was a success and these aforementioned cadets are continuously contributing to the legacy and promoting “The Standard of Excellence.”
To learn more about HU Army ROTC please visit; http://mil.hamptonu.edu
For more information about the CULP Program or for questions regarding ROTC, please contact; 2nd Lieutenant Brett Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (757) 727-5850.