USA — Defense Department Launches ‘Lessons Learned’ Blog

WASHINGTON — For any­one who has served in the U.S. mil­i­tary, whether in uni­form or as a fam­i­ly mem­ber, the con­cept of shar­ing lessons learned is a famil­iar one. A new Defense Depart­ment blog that launch­es today seeks to bring those lessons to an acces­si­ble online plat­form.

Titled “In Their Own Words: Lessons Learned in Today’s Mil­i­tary,” the blog aims to pro­vide a plat­form for ser­vice­mem­bers, vet­er­ans and fam­i­lies to share their thoughts and expe­ri­ences on a vari­ety of top­ics. Each month, the blog will fea­ture a dif­fer­ent top­ic rang­ing from lessons from mul­ti­ple deploy­ments to lessons from the mil­i­tary family. 

As a first top­ic, “In Their Own Words” fea­tures female ser­vice­mem­bers engaged in work that is unique to them. With the increas­ing preva­lence of “female engage­ment teams” in Afghanistan and the per­spec­tive of female ser­vice­mem­bers engaged in sim­i­lar work in Iraq, the land­scape is filled with lessons learned and expe­ri­ences to share. 

The blog post­ings in August will not be lim­it­ed to Iraq and Afghanistan, how­ev­er. L. Tam­my Duck­worth, assis­tant sec­re­tary of vet­er­ans affairs for pub­lic and inter­gov­ern­men­tal affairs and a major in the Illi­nois Army Nation­al Guard, will share the lessons she has learned while work­ing to increase the resources avail­able for the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of female vet­er­ans. A retired Navy cap­tain who forged what was a unique path at the time in the intel­li­gence field as a female offi­cer also will con­tribute a posting. 

The series kicks off with a post­ing from Marine Corps Lt. Col. Diana Staneszews­ki, who serves as an “AfPak Hand” in Afghanistan. The AfPak Hand pro­gram works to build bet­ter, long-term rela­tion­ships with the Afghan and Pak­istani peo­ple. Staneszews­ki works at build­ing these rela­tion­ships face to face in the lan­guage of the people. 

“As a West­ern woman who speaks Pash­to,” she writes, “I have blown more Afghan minds than you can imag­ine. I have been out­side the wire three times a week for the last four weeks. 

Every­where I go, I am con­stant­ly invit­ed to have tea with the men, and the boys and girls flock to me. Here is an exam­ple. I walk out on patrol with the men. I see a group of men in a lit­tle store. They ignore the entire patrol. I walk up say, ‘Hel­lo, how are you? My name is “Moskaa” — my Pash­to name, which means “smile,” is writ­ten on my hel­met and is on my out­er tac­ti­cal vest on a patch — and then everyone’s jaws drop.” 

Staneszews­ki shares her first-per­son expe­ri­ences with the peo­ple of Afghanistan in the blog. 

“The first ques­tion I get is where did I learn my Pash­to?” she writes. “The sec­ond ques­tion is where am I from? I always joke and say I am Kan­da­hari, and then say I am jok­ing [and that] I am Amer­i­can. The Afghans get the joke and smile. Then I keep speak­ing, ask­ing and answer­ing ques­tions, and soon they tell me, ‘Yes, you are Kan­da­hari. You are not Amer­i­can.’ Now, I accom­plish all this with my min­i­mal Pash­to famil­iar­iza­tion, a smile, and a lit­tle personality.” 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →