| Sponsor's Roles | Hints & Tips | Country Information | Customs Considerations | Considerations in Conversation | Recognition Program
a.The International Fellows Program (IFP) adds another dimension to the U.S. Army War College which significantly broadens the academic environment for both students and faculty. The association with senior international officers destined for high level leadership positions in their respective armies can do much to improve the mutual understanding of national security problems, operations, and preparedness.
b. There are 1215 officers representing 115 nations that have graduated from the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) program at Carlisle Barracks since 1978. These officers represent the best of their countries' armed forces and many will attain the highest positions in their armed forces and play important roles in their governments. The USAWC has the opportunity to positively influence many of the world's future military leaders. Consequently, the USAWC has an international responsibility to fulfill by ensuring that the Fellow receives a constructive and realistic impression of the United States. To help ensure this responsibility is met, sponsors representing the USAWC, Carlisle Barracks and the Carlisle community are designated for each Fellow and his family.
c. The International Fellow's sponsorship program consists of three sponsors. Each IF will have a Carlisle Barracks Sponsor, a Community Sponsor and an Seminar Sponsor. The Carlisle Barracks Sponsor, in cooperation with the IF Office, is responsible for the logistical and administrative arrangements necessary to make the Fellow's year in the United States professionally and personally rewarding.
The Seminar Sponsor is a fellow classmate who assists the IF in adjusting to the requirements and schedules of the U.S. Army War College's classroom. The Community Sponsors' responsibilities are primarily social, but may include logistical and administrative assistance as well. If you would like to be a sponsor, you may use our online form or complete the Sponsor Application and deliver it to the IF Office either by mail, fax or email. To ensure they get your application use the information below:
d.The Fellows come to Carlisle Barracks with great aspirations. For about one-half of them, this will be their first trip to the United States; others will have already attended one or more U.S. service schools. Many of them have also attended a previous foreign staff college course. Sponsors are critical to the success of the International Fellows Program.
Carlisle Barracks Sponsor
Here are some hints and tips to better assist you in becoming a great sponsor. These are not requirements nor are they all inclusive.
Write your Fellow an early letter to introduce yourself. Tell him that you will meet him when he arrives and that you will help him get settled.
Help assure that your Fellow's arrival is a pleasant experience by:
Acquaint your Fellow and his family with our customs and way of life. They want to make friends and learn as much as possible.
You should be knowledgeable of:
Some knowledge of the native land of your Fellow is important. The knowledge will provide an easy conversation basis and will impress the Fellow that you have taken the time and effort to learn about his country. You will find it most useful, for example, to become familiar with:
Location and size of country, particularly in relation to other nations:
You should know the same facts about your own country, state and local community, so these can be shared with the Fellow and his family. You will often find that they have done their homework.
Culturegrams on your Fellow's country are provided by the IFP Office. Other materials are readily available in the USAWC library.
Most Fellows (there are exceptions) do not voluntarily discuss their private lives as openly as Americans. They are often more formal in their relationships with each other. In many countries even people who have been acquainted for years still address each other as "Mr." or "Mrs." This reflects custom, not anti-social attitudes.
People from various parts of the world sometimes have a different "comfort distance." That is, some tend to stand much closer to each other when they converse than we do. Indeed, some of them cannot talk comfortably unless they are very close to their conversational partners. If we back off when they stand close to us, they wonder whether we are being cold and distant. For others, the "comfort distance" is even greater than ours.
Dinner to many Fellows means an evening meal (and to some very late) and not, as we sometimes use it, a meal in the middle of the day. Be sure that if you invite him to "dinner," you inform him of the time of day you want him to arrive. Punctuality is not as important in many societies as it is in the United States; therefore, do not be discouraged or offended if a Fellow arrives 15-30 minutes later than the prescribed time.
The Fellows' capabilities with English will vary considerably from one individual to the next. One of the most difficult but important things to remember when there is a language problem is to speak clearly at a moderate pace and in a normal tone. Many of us tend to raise our voices in the effort to conquer a language problem, knowing all the time it does not help a bit.
Your importance as an ambassador of goodwill for the United States cannot be overstated. Good diplomatic relations on any level require tact, patience, and understanding.
Your guest should know that your attitudes and expressions of opinion may not necessarily agree with those of other Americans. Fellows should be left in no doubt that the thoughts you express are your own.
While being a host family seeking to convey an accurate impression of Americans, you are not a sales agent for the United States. Propagandizing is all too easily spotted and therefore self-defeating.
While our form of government is cherished by us, we have to acknowledge, it may not be most suitable for our visitors' homelands.
You will also be dealing with the fact that while the material accomplishments of the United States are well known, our cultural and social values are equally or more significant and often not as well known.
There is nothing wrong with relaxing and reflecting if there is a lull in the conversation. Silence is a universal language that can convey respect and understanding that many words might fail to convey.
Rest assured that our visitors are probably informed, at least in some manner, about our national and local problems. You need not avoid discussing them. You can explain many events and customs in terms of our cultural background and history. But it is not necessary to attempt to justify all that happens in the United States.
The opinions and reactions of your Fellow may not coincide with your own. This is where mutual understanding and respect are a "must."
You will foster respect and learn a great deal by encouraging your Fellow and his family to talk about themselves, their country and ideas.
Some of the sports and activities that we take for granted may prove quite new and interesting to our visitors. The following local attractions are also possible new experiences for them:
Public Library, Special Discussion Groups, Supermarket, Adult Education Classes, Drive-in Bank, Shopping Centers, Drive-in Movie, Museums, Drive-in Restaurant, Sports Places, P.T.A. Meetings, Historical Sites, Flea Markets (Silver Springs)
A steady flow of conversation in English may tire your guests. Allow them some silent intervals for observing, absorbing and resting. It is helpful to reserve time after touring to review what you have seen and answer any questions that remain, or urge your guests to tell you of similar activities in their country.
This program is an important aspect of the International Fellows' Program. It seeks to provide an accurate picture of the United States. As a sponsor you are a key to its effectiveness. The DOD Field Studies Program covers the broad spectrum of life in the United States. The underlying aim is presentation of a true picture of the United States. Your role in assisting the Fellow to achieve a balanced understanding of the United States is one which can have a lasting impression and impact. This is not an exercise in salesmanship; it is one of just being yourself. We are the United States in the eyes of the Fellow and his family.
An implied goal of the DOD Field Studies Program is also for us to gain knowledge about our international guests and their countries and cultures. The Fellows desire to present a true picture of themselves as well. It is through our mutual associations that all gain a clearer understanding of the interrelated, multicultural heritage of today's world.
The Fellows and their families are subject to federal, state and local laws; and to Army, post, and school regulations, but not the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). They are afforded the same basic privileges as U.S. officers and dependents; e.g., exchange, commissary, etc. However, there are some differences, and questions should be referred to the IFP Director. For instance, the provision of medical support is a complicated issue. Be sure to confer with the IFP Office prior to making recommendations about routine medical or dental care. The IFP Director will provide individual assistance in this vital area.
Here is a list of some helpful terminology that you may encounter during your sponsorship experience.
The Fellows fall into one of two basic categories of Foreign Military Trainees:
Invitational Travel Order (ITO): This is the authorization for the Fellow to travel for the purpose of training under an approved and funded program. ITOs are rather complex and are different for each country. The IFP Office staff is familiar with the ITOs and will be happy to explain any aspect of the ITO with sponsors.