Cadets selected for Army ROTC cultural internships

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On January 20, 2010

Two students from Missouri University of Science and Technology were chosen for the Army ROTC’s Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP) internship program this summer.

John Edwards, a junior majoring in civil engineering from Webster Groves, Mo., and Perla Kimes, an ROTC student from Lebanon, Mo., were selected to participate in the program. Felicia Gililland, an ROTC student from Dixon, Mo., was named as an alternate. Kimes and Gililland are enrolled in Missouri S&T’s ROTC courses while students at Columbia College.

Only 50-60 percent of all national applicants are chosen to participate in the program.

The CULP internships were created to develop leaders capable of positive interactions with other cultures and their governments, and who possess the language skills to effectively communicate cultural sensitivities when interacting with both American and international media.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for our young officers-to-be to get experience with other cultures,” says Lt. Col. Brenden Burke, professor of military science at Missouri S&T. “This program will build stronger officers.”

Edwards will go to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) at Fort Benning, Ga., where he will attend classes with members of the Dominican Republic’s military. He will also have the opportunity to go to Airborne School to learn to parachute out of airplanes.

Kimes will go to Ghana, Africa, where she will spend her time teaching conversational English to school children and learning about the Ghana culture.

“The Army is not only a combat force these days,” says Burke. “The CULP program will help community relations, and may help prevent future conflicts.”

The selection process included an in-depth review of the strength, quality and completeness of applications; chain of command’s recommendations and student availability were also considered. The cadets’ language abilities, soldier skills and preferences were matched with the program’s goals when determining placement.

Other CULP Internship locations included China, Indonesia, Japan, Morocco, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Botswana, Costa Rica, Czech Republic and Vietnam. To qualify, cadets must be contracted with the Army ROTC program and actively pursuing a commission in either the active duty Army, Army Reserves or Army National Guard. Students with a minimum of four semesters to graduate are eligible to join the Army ROTC program and compete for similar internships.

For more information, contact Burke at 573-341-6802 or

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On January 20, 2010. Posted in Army ROTC Stonehenge Battalion, People, Top Headlines