Northern Michigan University student Patrick Schiller, U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet, attended a three-week culture, understanding and language proficiency course with Djiboutian Army cadets in Djibouti, Africa, July 16-Aug. 6.
Schiller was chosen through an application process based on the cadet's merit, fitness and grades. He was one of 30 cadets selected from universities across the U.S.
The CULP course was held at the Djiboutian Military Academy in Arta, about an hour away from Djibouti city.
During the course, U.S. and Djiboutian cadets dedicated about 72 hours to language and cultural exchange, hiked eight miles in the Arta Mountains, completed a course on weapons operations, saw a demonstration of a French obstacle course and visited the French naval base.
They also shared their best practices and learned about each other's military traditions, troop leader procedures and attended a first-aid class.
"The ultimate goal for them is to see what it is like in a deployed environment so when they do deploy as an officer they will know what to expect," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Brittany Ingram, ROTC cadre. Ingram added that the course provided the students a great opportunity to learn about the U.S. military's mission in East Africa while building up a strong rapport with their Djiboutian counterparts.
Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa hosted the U.S. cadets, providing daily necessities during their stay in Djibouti including living quarters, food and transportation. CJTF-HOA's mission in Eastern Africa is to enable and strengthen Eastern African partners, shape regional security and stability, and continue to forge relationships.
U.S. Army ROTC is the largest commissioning source in the U.S. military, comprising 273 host programs spread out over 1,100 partnership and affiliate schools across the country.
This release was prepared by the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Public Affairs Office.