Culture & Foreign Language Program

Army Commands

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The Operational Environment: The Future is Today

Current United States Army doctrine affirms the "requirement for Soldiers to possess a broad foundation of learning to better prepare them to meet future challenges across the spectrum of conflict." (The U.S. Army Learning Concept for 2015, 20 January 2011).

One of these challenges is culture and language:

"The Army operates with and among other cultures, engaging adaptive enemies where indigenous populations, varying cultures, divergent politics, and wholly different religions intersect. This requires developing Soldiers who understand that the context of the problem matters and that their understanding of the non-military world of foreign societies and cultures be broadened. Soldiers and leaders need to learn general cultural skills that may be applied to any environment as well as just-in-time information that is specific to their area of operations." (Army Learning Concept, p 6)

The Army will do this as part of a Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) Force—at all levels.

Army Culture and Foreign Language and ALU

In 2007 Army leadership directed TRADOC to develop a service-wide solution for career continuum and pre-deployment learning about foreign cultures and languages. The desired end state is to "build and sustain an Army with the right blend of language and cultural skills to facilitate Full Spectrum Operations in the 21st Century."

As the premier trainer and educator of Sustainment leaders, ALU and the Sustainment Center of Excellence (SCoE) are central to meeting that end state, through the Culture & Foreign Language Program (ALU-CFL). 

Scheme of Maneuver for ALU-CFL:
  • Sustainment community-specific culture instruction at all ALU schools
  • Collaboration with curriculum developers and Instructors
  • Exercise Support
  • Text and web-based culture learning tools
  • Language learning opportunities maximizing Army and Joint resources
  • Coordination with other Centers of Excellence to ensure common core competencies as well as skills particular to the logistics fields
  • Guest speakers from area universities
  • Research on sustainment-specific contributions to the Army’s culture and foreign language capabilities
The ALU/SCoE Culture and Foreign Language Adviser (CFLA) is the focal point for these initiatives.

Learning Resources and Doctrinal Publications

The ALU Library is the major university repository for text and on-line resources dedicated to sustainment community culture and foreign language learning, and a portal to several Army, U.S. Government, and other resources. The Library’s culture and language resources are meant to serve current ALU students and instructors, alumni, and Soldiers from throughout the Sustainment community.

The ALU-CFL Program is part of the Army-wide strategy, and is nested in the following doctrinal publications: Contact the ALU Culture and Foreign Language Advisor at; (804) 765-0745, or (804) 765-0257, or e-mail us at

Go to the Library’s ALU-CFL resources

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