Center for Regional and Security Studies (CRSS)
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Marine Corps University
Quantico, Virginia


CRSS provides regional, cultural, and security studies programming throughout the learning continuum and Marines’ careers in order to enhance Marines' cognitive advantage so they can anticipate and overcome challenges while operating in culturally complex environments.

"War is fundamentally an interactive social process." (MCDP 1 Warfighting)

"Culture will have an impact on many aspects of competition, including decision making and how information is perceived. Understanding the human dimension of competition is an area needing constant study by Marines." (MCDP 1-4 Competing)


April 19, 2021 Update: Due to recent changes, all LREC SME support requests, including those in the National Capital Region, now require unit-funded task orders on the LREC IDIQ contract. The first step is submitting a training support request (TSR) 45+ days ahead of time per the procedures specified below. CRSS maintains contract flexibility to provide units and individuals the Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) subject matter expert (SME) support necessary to support pre-deployment training, deployments, and other operational requirements.

Key LREC SME support-related updates:

What types of LREC SME support does CRSS offer?

Click here for our Course Catalog and here for Recommended Videos/Articles/Books for Further Learning


CRSS has two principal education activities: (1) the Regional and Culture Studies Program (RCSP) and 2) educational programming and support to Marine Corps University (MCU) and the broader USMC and DoD communities.

Distance Education (RCSP)

CRSS develops, executes, and manages the Regional and Culture Studies Program. This total force initiative is the Marine Corps’ distance learning program that instills, develops, and sustains foundational region and culture capabilities in our career Marines. The end state of this program is to enhance cross-cultural competence within the general purpose force. As Marines advance through their careers, they reflect on and deepen their learning about their assigned region and the world while honing their understanding of culture-general concepts and skills. The RCSP education continuum encompasses a foundation to operational culture, its considerations in tactical scenarios, the impact of culture on military operations, and the implications of operational culture on planning. It is designed to ensure Marines are globally prepared and regionally focused to effectively navigate culturally complex operating environments and relationships.

Residence Education

CRSS faculty teach at all Marine Corps University schools, offering core classes, electives, panels, lectures, and subject matter expertise to school-house exercises. Additionally, they mentor and advise students, provide faculty development and brown bag sessions, and offer their expertise to support university governance and policy processes. CRSS faculty offer breadth and depth on both area studies and culture general concepts and skills, providing Marines the tools to navigate the cultural complexities of contemporary operating environments, mission sets, and relationships.

Plans and Policy

CRSS works to formally incorporate LREC capability and concepts into Marine Corps and Joint processes, doctrine, and policies. Work includes, but is not limited to, supporting the LREC Operational Advisory Group (OAG), authoring and managing the execution of the Marine Corps LREC Strategy 2016-2020, ensuring LREC is consistently represented in service and joint doctrine, establishing training standards, and participating in other integration activities across the DOTMLPF combat development pillars. CRSS represents Commanding General Education Command as one of three proponents in the LREC OAG, which is led by MCCDC/CD&I as its advocate. 

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