ROTC Cadets Headed Abroad to Study Languages and Cultures

Major Kristofer Thompson, the University's battalion executive officer, will serve as a country mission commander to Paraguay this summer for the Cultural Understanding and Language Program.

U.S. Army Cadet Command recently announced that one freshman and seven sophomore ROTC cadets from The University of Scranton were selected to participate in the command’s Cultural Understanding and Language Program (CULP) for summer 2013. The cadets will take part in 30-day programs focused on the language and culture of their assigned country. The cadets will participate in pre-deployment training at Fort Knox, Kent., and then deploy to their respective countries along with 15 to 20 ROTC cadets from across the nation, as well as a cadet command cadre advisor who will oversee the trip. The program is designed to expose cadets to cultures and language around the globe by allowing cadets to mix with both military and civilian personnel during their training.

The cadets engage in projects ranging from humanitarian assistance to teaching English to school children to training with military cadets from the host nation. Cadets selected to participate in this program include the following individuals:

  • Military Science Level II Cadet Mary Beery – Romania
  • Military Science Level II Cadet Ryan Bair — Georgia
  • Military Science Level II Cadet Kelly Tracy — Romania
  • Military Science Level II Cadet Ryan Caviston — Jordan
  • Military Science Level II Cadet Edward Rauch — Jordan
  • Military Science Level II Cadet Ryan Bisio — Saudi Arabia
  • Military Science Level II Cadet Neil Jayakar – Philippines
  • Military Science Level I Cadet Caitlyn Tschida – Togo

“After attending Project GO in Jordan last summer, I am looking to further my Arabic skills in Saudi Arabia," saod Cadet Bisio. "I hope to become more proficient in Saudi dialect, experience the diverse culture of the country, and build relations with local nationals.”

On being selected to deploy to Jordan, Cadet Caviston offered up the following, "As both a cadet and international studies and Arabic student, the opportunity to travel to Jordan is a fantastic chance to further both my Arabic studies and my professional development as a future officer. I believe that the CULP mission I have been assigned to will be a positive experience for all involved as both Jordanian and American cultures have a chance to learn from one another. My hope is that I can return from Jordan with a better understanding of Middle Eastern culture, as well as stronger knowledge of Arabic."

Additionally, four other cadets from the Royal Warrior Battalion who attend Wilkes University and King’s College were also selected to take part in CULP this summer.

Cadets are selected for this program based on their demonstrated interests in foreign languages, academics, performance in Military Science courses and the recommendation of the department’s cadre. This marks the second straight year cadets from The University of Scranton have been selected to take part in this training.  

Major Kristofer Thompson, Military Science Department’s executive officer, will also be participating in CULP this summer serving as a country mission commander. Major Thompson will deploy to Paraguay for more than 75 days in order to facilitate operations and logistics for those cadets and cadre deploying to that nation. This marks the second consecutive year that Major Thompson has helped support CULP. Last year, he served as a cadre advisor for a team of 20 cadets who deployed to Costa Rica to participate in humanitarian assistance operations, as well as teaching English to students in the local schools.

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