Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency
Posted: August 26, 2013
Cadet Maino running in formation down a mountain singing cadences in French.
Texas Army Cadet, Promise Maino, was selected to go on a CULP mil-to-mil mission and workedwith cadets in the Togolese Officer Training Center (EFOFAT), teaching them English (their native language is French).
“We stayed a couple days in Lome, which is the capitol of Togo and on the coast of West Africa. I was able to experience places such as Togo's Defense Headquarters and met the Joint Chief of Staff, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Staff of the Navy and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. We also visited a US-funded UN Peacekeeping Training Facility and met the OIC there, an Army Captain.
Then we traveled to Kara in the northern part of Togo via bus on unpaved roads, complete with three military police escorts and a truck with a 50cal behind us. In fact everything we did, we had security guards. Once we got to Kara, we started teaching the cadets. One morning we climbed the highest peak in Togo with the cadets and ran about 3 miles back to the EFOFAT. In Kara, we also met the Queen and the Prefect, as well as visiting the Commando Training Center and their Airborne School and were shown all sorts of battle drills.
Takeaway: The Togolese were all very gracious and treated us like royalty. We would be walking down the streets passing random villagers sitting outside their homes and everyone would offer us to come eat and drink with them. It was refreshing to see them be so willing to give us what little they had in the name of hospitality.”