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Regional Expertise and Cultural Proficiency

The Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes the importance of language, regional expertise, and culture capabilities to mission success, and has been taking a number of steps to ensure that language, as well as regional expertise and culture (REC) capability requirements will be identified and appropriately resourced in the DoD planning process. This report describes the development of an operational tool for planners that enables them to identify REC capability requirements during the planning process. In order to accomplish this, an initial set of REC competencies was developed, and focus groups were conducted with planners at three locations to gain feedback on the appropriateness and comprehensiveness of the competencies. Based on these discussion groups a draft model of REC competencies was developed and 788 military personnel were surveyed regarding the importance of these competencies when working in regional settings. A planning tool was developed that identifies and describes the critical REC competencies for planners, and organizes them to create a set of REC profiles that link with the existing skill levels described in DoDI 5160.70. An evaluation of the tool and recommendations regarding assessment of the competencies are discussed.