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After Action Reviews in Korea


(Note: This transcript has been edited for readability.)

"They'll be more relaxed around us if their superiors are not in the room. We frequently, when we do AARs—after action reviews—with them, we will do an informal AAR with just the people who actually participated in the exercise so that we can capture the real lessons learned from it. And then we'll sit down and have a scrub of the bullets and select just a few that the Koreans are comfortable showing to their superiors. Then we'll turn around and have the formal AAR with their superiors, with their leadership, and then the Koreans—the Koreans are very averse to any comments that might be negative. Saying it was a failure. They want to highlight all the good they did and it was successful. Unlike us, where we do target what did we do wrong so we can learn to do better. The informal AAR will take place for like the first two hours, and during that time, we're having our AAR, we're building the slides, PowerPoint, and so they know we're putting the finalizing touches on the slides, making sure everything matches, translating between the languages so everything matches. And then when they come in, they know that we're going to brief them on the outcome of that informal AAR."

A service member discusses formal and informal after action reviews.