Vanderbilt Army ROTC Cadets Participate in Army Cultural Program
Several Vanderbilt Army ROTC Cadets traveled abroad this past summer to participate in the Army's Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP) Program. The CULP is designed to stretch their intellect and challenge their current understanding of cultures and cultural awareness skills by immersing them in different societies. The goal of CULP Internships is to develop culturally competent leaders capable of functioning in an operational environment where they can build upon a base of cross-cultural competence with increased regional competence. This year, five cadets tra
veled around the world on various CULP trips. CDT Chris Colletta went to Vietnam, CDT Jessica Sanders went to Tanzania, CDT Chelsea McMahon went to Tunisia, CDT Leah Schofield went to Indonesia, and CDT Andrew Hall went to Thailand.
During these trips, cadets participate in projects and missions to enhance and improve their cultural experience. Cadets receive a leadership assessment in at least one squad leader position and participate in pre- and post-deployment language and cultural tests. Immersion in the foreign culture is also accompanied by assigned tours in
which the Cadets must develop and present written and oral academic products.
Outcome objectives include: culture and language immersion, increased development of leadership attributes, such as core leader competencies, and academic enrichment.
Cadet Chris Colletta traveled to China during the summer of 2010, Taiwan during the summer of 2011, and Vietnam this
past summer. CDT Colletta was one of the first uniformed military personnel to visit Vietnam since the Vietnam War. Concerning his many CULP experiences, he states that he "came away with many insights into Vietnamese culture and foreign cultures, in general, which will stay with [him] forever."
Cadet Chelsea McMahon traveled to Tunisia this past summer. CDT McMahon helped teach English at the Tunisia Naval Academy, interacting with both cadets and their instructors. She exclaims, "With the recent governmental transformations occurring in Tunisia, it was a unique experience being able to witness it firsthand. Going there through CULP allowed me the opportunity to create friendships with the men and women who were on the frontlines during their revolution- something I never would have gotten to experience otherwise."
All Cadets agreed that CULP has played a critical role in the development in their language proficiency skills, placing them above their peers and even other officers in the American military. CULP provides significant opportunities unlike any other military schooling. If you want to find out how you can attend a CULP trip, stop by the Vanderbilt Army ROTC headquarters for more information.