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Applications in Operational Culture

Perspectives from the Field

Paula Holmes-Eber, Patrice M. Scanlon, Andrea L. Hamlen

Six outstanding essays on operational culture by the officers at Command and Staff and College and the School of Advanced Warfighting. At MCU, the mission is to prepare Marines and fellow service members to meet the challenges of future operating environments. The officers who attend our program come not only to learn, but also to share their operational experiences and knowledge with each other, advancing our understanding of the new and changing warfare environments where they deploy.

Paula Holmes-Eber is professor of operational culture at Marine Corps University and the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Her teaching and writing specialty is the application of culture to military operations. She holds a doctorate in anthropology from Northwestern University and is the author of two other books: Operational Culture for the Warfighter (with Barak A. Salmoni), and Daughters of Tunis: Women, Family and Networks in a Muslim City.

Patrice M. Scanlon is director of the Leadership Communication Skills Center at Marine Corps University, where she teaches about and helps students develop effective communication and research skills. She earned her doctorate of education in human and organizational studies from George Washington University and has published several articles, book chapters, and studies on leadership, organizational learning, organizational culture, and social cognition.

Andrea L. Hamlen is a communications assistant in the Leadership Communication Skills Center at Marine Corps University, where she assists students in developing their research and writing skills. She has published articles as a freelance writer for a newspaper and is currently working on her masters of public policy degree at George Mason University




Chapter 1:
Maslow is Non-Deployable: Modifying Maslow’s Hierarchy for Contemporary Counterinsurgency
       Statement of the Problem
       Operational Culture Defined
       Understanding Ourselves through Maslow
       The Iraq Case: Reassessing Maslow
       Discussion of Findings

Chapter 2: The Use of Cultural Studies in Military Operations: A Model for Assessing Values-Based Differences
       Culture and Military Operations
       Cultural Values Defined
       Military Application of Cultural Intelligence
       A Cultural Values Model
       Applications of the Model to a Case Study: Kuwait
       Discussion of Findings

Chapter 3: Developing the Iraqi Army: The Long Fight in the Long War
       Background Information
       The Surge—Operation Fardh-Al Qanoon and the Awakening
       How the Surge Affected Logistics, Personnel, and Pay Iraqi Brigade (1st BDE, 2d Div) Progress in Mosul, Iraq

Chapter 4: The Way Ahead: Reclaiming the Pashtun Tribes through Joint Tribal Engagement
       Afghanistan at the Crossroads
       Tribal Engagement: The Center of Gravity
       The Pashtun: A House Divided
       Reengaging the Pashtuns to Strengthen Kabul’s Legitimacy
       Breakdown and Relationship of the Joint Teams

Chapter 5: The Application of Cultural Military Education for 2025
       Cultural Anthropology and Irregular Warfare Operations
       Getting Culture on Board
       The Reinvention of the Wheel: Culture in Past Military Operations
       Educating for the Future

Chapter 6: Operational Culture: Is the Australian Army Driving the Train or Left Standing at the Station?
       Defining Culture
       Culture and Future Warfare
       The Australian Army: Operational Culture in Education and Training

6 x 9
188 pages
PDF download

Marine Corps University