Regional and Culture Studies Program (RCSP) (formerly RCLF)
April 30, 2021 Update: transition to incentive-based model complete
March 19, 2021 Update:
1. Effective 19 April 2021: RCSP Service School Codes (SSC) reflect on Marines' master brief sheets.
2. Effective 23 April 2021: Course restrictions were removed to allow those who completed "old" RCLF course codes to enroll in the current curriculum and earn SSCs. "Old" RCLF course codes are those ending in "A" (except for CLRSCRS01A) instead of "B", which were phased out from 2017–2018. Also, all retroactive SSCs have been awarded per paragraph 7 of the March 19, 2021 update below.
3. An RCSP update MARADMIN is in staffing.
In order to maximize opportunities for Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) competency development across the Marine Corps Total Force (TF), RCSP is transitioning to an incentive-based program management model. RCSP is now open to all ranks for enrollment. The direct incentives to develop LREC competencies through RCSP include: ACE recommended college credits, an increase in reserve retirement points, JEPES Continuing Education Units (CEU), and Service School Codes (SSC) that display on the Master Brief Sheet (MBS). This transition also involves ceasing regional assignments and rescinding RCSP as a PME requirement.
1. Open Enrollment: Effective 18 Mar 2021, RCSP is open to all ranks
- Due to ACE accreditation considerations, civilians are not eligible to enroll in RCSP, but the workbooks are available for download (see top of page) in support of personal and professional development
2. Regional Assignments: Effective 18 Mar 2021,
- RCSP no longer actively manages regions. Marines may enroll in any region(s) of study.
- All existing regional assignments are now meaningless. Ignore them. Data systems will eventually adjust to this change.
3. Relationship to PME: Effective 18 Mar 2021,
4. ACE Credits: In June 2017, the American Council of Education recommended up to 6 college credits for RCSP completion.
- RCSP as a PME requirement is rescinded. RCSP is now an incentivized PME opportunity, not a requirement. Marines are encouraged to complete RCSP blocks to develop operationally relevant LREC capabilities, thus making themselves more competitive for promotion. Direct incentives are specified below.
- The "RCLF Complete" flag is now meaningless, even for Marines who already completed RCLF/RCSP in-grade. Ignore it. Data systems will eventually adjust to this change. Leaders have visibility of Marines’ RCSP completion via the MOL Education page. Marines should specify RCSP completion (that is completed during the reporting period) in the MROW “PME/Self Education” section. Reporting seniors are encouraged to consider Marines’ completion of RCSP when evaluating Marines’ performance and future potential.
- Background: RCLF was originally declared "an integral component of being PME complete in grade" by a 2012 Marine Requirement Oversight Council (MROC) decision, which was reinforced by subsequent MARADMINS, most recently MARADMIN 348/19. MARADMIN 227/20 specified that "Previous RCLF guidance... remains applicable to RCSP." That RCSP-specific guidance is no longer valid; a comprehensive RCSP update MARADMIN is forthcoming.
- First time Block 1B completion - 3 semester hours in the lower-division baccalaureate/associates category in global and cultural awareness
- First time Block 2B completion - 3 semester hours in the upper-division baccalaureate degree category in intercultural communication
5. Reserve Retirement Points:
- Effective 5 Feb 2021, each RCSP block increased from 3 to 5 reserve retirement points for a total possible of 20.
- As of Jan 2020, points are awarded for first time completion of each curriculum level only, not for completing multiple regions at the same curriculum level.
6. JEPES CEUs: Effective 18 Mar 2021
- Block 1A grants 11 CEUs for first-time completion and 7 CEUs for each subsequent micro-region
- Block 1B grants 11 CEUs for first-time completion and 7 CEUs for each subsequent micro-region
- Block 2A grants 11 CEUs for first-time completion and 4 CEUs for each subsequent combatant command
- Block 2B grants 11 CEUs for first-time completion only (it's the same course for all regions)
- Some coursework is common across regions, which is why first-time completion of each curriculum level is worth more CEUs.
7. SSCs and the MBS:
- A56 is the SSC associated with Block 1B completion and reflects as "RCSP - Basic"
- A57 is the SSC associated with Block 2B completion and reflects as "RCSP - Intermediate"
- Both will be visible in MCTFS, the MOL>Personal Info>Education page under "Service Schools/Special Skills", and the MBS under "Education Summary - Military"
- Completion of Block 1A and 2A are not associated with an SSC, but they are visible on the MOL>Personal Info>Education page under "MARINENET Courses"
- Effective 9 Mar 2021, all completion of Blocks 1B (RCLF1B0000) and 2B (RCLF2B0000) will automatically send SSC completion to MCTFS along with course completion. There is not an SSC associated with Block 1A or 2A.
- Retroactive SSC awards is a one-time process via UD/MIPS diary entries and will date back to May 2017 when curriculum updates began to meet ACE accredited academic standards. If you completed one of the following course codes and do not see the corresponding SSC reflect in MCTFS/MOL/MBS by 23 April 2021, please take screenshots and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to fix the discrepancy:
- A57 "RCSP - Intermediate": RCLF2B0000 (post-Jan 2020) & CLRSCRS01A (pre-Jan 2020)
- A56 "RCSP - Basic": RCLF1B0000 (post-Jan 2020), CLRE4XX00B (May 2017-Jan 2020), and CLRO3XX00B (May 2017-Jan 2020)
- All RCLF course codes ending in “A” (except for CLRSCRS01A), while they met PME requirements at the time, were phased out from 2017–2018 and were not of equivalent academic standard as the course codes ending in “B” that replaced them. RCSP is now tied to LREC levels of proficiency per guiding documents and not PME, so Marines who desire the benefit of SSCs and college credits should complete the current curriculum. No course equivalence or retroactive SSC awards will be granted for course codes ending in “A” (except for CLRSCRS01A). Waivers will not be granted to enroll in the next level of the current curriculum based on completion of old course codes ending in “A”.
8. RCSP Completion and LREC Levels of Proficiency:
- "RCSP - Basic" is equivalent to the "Basic" level of proficiency per CJCSI 3126.01A and RP Level 1 (Novice) per DoDI 5160.70 (especially if also Headstart2 complete).
- "RCSP - Intermediate" is equivalent to the "Fully Proficient" level of proficiency per CJCSI 3126.01A. It is equivalent to RP Level 2 (Associate) per DoDI 5160.70, para 7.5.b through 7.5.d and (if Headstart2 complete) para 7.5.f; provided the individual also meets criteria in para 7.5.a and 7.5.e. With additional experience and language proficiency, it may correspond to RP Level 3 (Professional) if all criteria are met.
9. An RCSP update MARADMIN is forthcoming
January 7, 2021 Update:
1. New "RCSP 101 Overview Brief.mp4" (and much more!) available via CRSS's MarineNet Library. The library contains the following to support Marines' education:
- LREC Smart Pack
- Culture General Guidebook for Military Professionals
- All RCSP materials
- Several hundred language, regional, culture-specific, and culture-general instructional materials
2. New "Operationalizing the Cognitive Dimension" (.mp4). Downloadable from either our MarineNet Library or our PiX portal (account required for both). This 30-minute presentation summarizes how to practically apply 2 years of scholarly research, publication, and product development on the cognitive dimension of the information environment.
3. Reference MARADMIN 227/20 regarding CAOCL's divestment, establishment of CRSS, and the transition from RCLF to RCSP.
January 24, 2020 Update: New RCSP curriculum went live on MarineNet.
This update provided refreshed content, simplified the user experience and accreditation, and combined the officer and enlisted courses. With this update, our previous courses have been discontinued. Below are the new courses with the associated course codes (note: "xx" is a placeholder for the two digit region/CCMD code)
New Course Codes vs. Old Course Codes
- RCSP 1A now covers Officer Block 2 and Enlisted Block 3 (1stLt/CWO2/Sgt)
- RCSP 1B now covers Officer Block 3 and Enlisted Block 4 (Capt/CWO3/SSgt)
- RCSP 2A now covers Officer Block 4 and Enlisted Block 5 (Maj/CWO4/GySgt)
- RCSP 2B now covers Officer Block 5 and Enlisted Block 6 (LtCol/CWO5/1stSgt/MSgt)
- An Introduction to YourMicro-Region (RCLF1Axx00) replaced Enlisted Block 3 (CLRE3xx00A) and Officer Block 2 (CLRO2xx00A)
- Applied Region and Culture Studies (RCLF1Bxx00) replaced Enlisted Block 4 (CLRE4xx00B) and Officer Block 3 (CLRO3xx00B)
- Continued Region and Culture Studies (RCLF2Axx00) replaced Enlisted Block 5 (CLRE5xx00B) and Officer Block 4 (CLRO4xx00B)
- Advanced Region and Culture Studies (RCLF2Bxx00) replaced Enlisted Block 6 (CLRE6xx00A) and Officer Block 5 (CLRO5xx00A)
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 total 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 and 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 RCSP 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 many parts of the world, not just those the Corps routinely engages, so as to heighten preparedness for the unexpected.
The RCSP has been reviewed by the American Council on Education in June 2017, and Marines who complete RCSP 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). The language component (Headstart2) can help prepare Marines for a Defense Language Proficiency Test, affording Marines the opportunity for an additional six credits in a given language.
Headstart2 languages will continue to be available. CRSS encourages use of Headstart2, because the software covers military-specific terminology that may not be known or covered in other language software, and it can help prepare Marines for a Defense Language Proficiency Test. Marines can access HeadStart2 languages via Joint Knowledge Online (JKO). Marine Corps Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) and programs requiring language proficiency will continue to receive those skills through established processes outlined in MARADMIN 348/19, not from RCSP.