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Military Outreach

We have prepared over 1000 military officers since 2009 to be culturally effective upon deployment. We are committed to supporting research, community building, and making university expertise and resources available and accessible to military personal.  Military personnel, as well as members of the Department of Homeland Security, regularly participate in our events.

Military Outreach Program

We have trained over 1000 officers and numerous soldiers since formalizing the program in 2009.  After September 11, 2001, when requests for education and information about the Middle East increased exponentially, The Middle East Studies Center at The Ohio State University also re-doubled its military outreach efforts and began to develop an engagement strategy for military constituencies.  This has entailed all-day workshops focusing on Afghan cultural history, basic language acquisition for field operations in Afghanistan, and collaboration with the best scholars in the country to create simulation activities and instruction on body language in Iraq and Afghanistan. 


Soon after 2001, we began partnering with the Ohio National Guard, our local Lima Company of the Marine Corps, and university colleagues in military history and international security, and others, and began providing regular consultations with military and law enforcement leaders and trainers on an as-needed basis. The Director served on the committees of 3 ROTC students, and regularly presents to our ROTC program. In 2008 we further developed programs that would meet specific needs we had learned about through these interactions. On April 5, 2008, we presented to military families through "Operation Military Kids" in partnership with the Ohio National Guard.   In 2010 the director took part in two major military conferences organized by the Army, one on “Social Organizations in the Operational Environment,” and the “Fort Drum Forum on Iraq and Afghanistan for Trainers of Trainers.”  Since then we have trained representatives from U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and are regular speakers for Central Command's Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management at Wright-Patterson Airforce Base.

Selected activities we have hosted or co-sponsored include: a Pre-Departure Information Session for Officers (1/29/2009); An "Introduction to Afghan Culture" (4/4/2009) for the Ohio National Guard;  A Pre-departure Orientation for the Lima Company of the Marine Corps (8/22/2009). In 2010, we organized or co-sponsored 3 activities: A "Workshop on Iraq" for 20 officers from the combined armed forces (05/28/2010); A Presentation on Afghan Culture at the Fort Drum Conference for Army Officers (07/13/2010); A presentation for military and teachers at the annual Law and Citizenship Conference hosted by the Ohio Center for Law Related Education (9/27/2010).

We partnered with the University of Texas in the following grant cycle to organize activities targeting military audiences. In 2011 we co-organized a workshop for Army Officers at Camp Mabry (November 4-6,2011). University of Texas Arabic students helped us stage a role-playing scenario as part of the workshop.  The local press covered that story, and reported that it was the first of its kind. The workshop was funded by a grant from the National Security Education Program. 

We continued to participate in the Law and Citizenship Conference by presenting on how cultural differences can impact teaching or “field operations” (8/18/2011), and again in the following year on Afghan culture. In September of 2012 we held a workshop on Middle Eastern Identities which was attended by military and Homeland Security personnel.  The interview with our guest speakers can be listened to here: http://streaming.osu.edu/wosu/allsides/091912a.mp3 

Videos from the workshop on Afghan History and Culture (7/21/2009), for government, law enforcement and military trainers:

The video files below are in .rm format (RealPlayer) and will require you to download and play them with in the RealPlayer video software.

Video 1: Afghan01 (59:08 minutes)

Video 2: Afghan02 (60:11 minutes)

Video 3: Afghan03 (40:11 minutes)

Video 4: Afghan04 (60:32 minutes)

Video 5: Afghan05 (49:11 minutes)

Video 6: Afghan06 (62:22 minutes)

Video 7: Afghan07 (57:57 minutes)