Regional Culture and Language Familiarization Program (RCLF)
“Globally Prepared – Regionally Focused” encapsulates the Marine Corps’ mission. As such, MROC Decision 38-2012 established RCLF as an integral component of being PME complete for grade.
As the United States’ premier crisis response force, the Marine Corps must be ready to deploy to any clime or place at any given time. This demands a flexible, responsive organization and a Corps of Marines with the regional, cultural, and language skills that inform planning and operations anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. Recognizing the time and resource investments required to develop regional, cultural, and language capabilities across the general purpose force, the Marine Corps adopted a long-term strategy designed to establish a set of core cultural concepts and skills throughout the Corps. Marines exercise these skills in specific regional studies as well as gain exposure to tactical language skills. The desired end state is a cultural capability for leaders to leverage in support of missions and requirements around the globe.
The RCLF Program is founded on culture general concepts and skills. Through this program, the Marine Corps instills in Marines transferable cultural concepts and skills that can be used in any operating environment and intercultural exchange. Marines gain insights into human behavior, alternative ways to problem solve, application of lessons learned from other areas of the world, and the ability to access and critically consume information. Marines are then provided regional and cultural content that displays these concepts and skills so that Marines can apply and reflect on them in specific context. The rationale for Marines’ being assigned a region is that it elevates the Marine Corps’ understanding of all parts of the world, not just those the Corps routinely engages, so as to heighten preparedness for the unexpected.
The RCLF Program has been reviewed by the American Council on Education in June 2017, and Marines who complete RCLF can receive six college credits (three semester hours in the lower-division baccalaureate/associates category in global and cultural awareness and three semester hours in the upper-division baccalaureate degree category in intercultural communication). Additionally, the language component (Headstart2) can help prepare Marines for a Defense Language Proficiency Test, affording Marines further opportunity for additional six credits in a given language.
Headstart2 languages are no longer a requirement to be RCLF complete for grade. However, Headstart2 languages will continue to be available and as always CAOCL encourages review of Headstart2 as the software covers military specific terminology that may not be known or covered in other language software and can help prepare Marines for a Defense Language Proficiency Test. Marines can find all HeadStart2 languages available on Joint Knowledge Online (JKO). Those Marine Corps Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) and programs requiring language proficiency will continue to receive those skills through established processes as outlined within MARADMIN 348/19 and will not garner them from RCLF.