ROTC Professor, Cadets Travel Abroad for Military Exchange Program
U.S. Army Major Michael P. Moricas, assistant professor of military science, and five Providence College Army ROTC cadets traveled overseas this summer and became immersed in foreign culture. They learned from their host nations’ military, but more importantly, were educated about how other societies around the world view the U.S.
Moricas led 11 cadets from across the United States in an ROTC program called Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency (CULP). Five PC cadets also participated in the program and travelled to different countries with other ROTC leaders.
CULP is an immersion program and overseas training mission in which ROTC cadets spend up to three weeks in another country. They volunteer at humanitarian service projects, interact and train with their host nation’s military, and more importantly, learn about their assigned country’s culture and history.
After a few days of training, Moricas embarked with his cadets from Fort Knox, Ky. They arrived in Lithuania, where they stayed within the local community. Additionally, they regularly visited the U.S. Embassy and met with the U.S. Ambassador, Deborah A. McCarthy.
Moricas directed his cadets in the classroom where they taught English language classes to Lithuanian armed forces and first responders, as well as civilians from non-governmental agencies. Through U.S. Embassy oversight they also visited children’s rehabilitation hospitals, volunteered at community outreach programs, and participated in national holiday celebrations. Moricas indicated that these immersions help educate future leaders in ways the classroom cannot.
“It was a truly meaningful experience for the cadets. Just by having the sheer experience of leaving their state and country, they were pushed out of their comfort zone and pushed to lead in a foreign environment,” Moricas said. “It was a formative trip that I know will stay with them forever and shape their futures as leaders. They’re more self-aware.”
The students competed for a spot in CULP through a highly competitive process. This application process considers G.P.A., physical fitness, and an essay, as well as other criteria.
John Jovan III ’16 (Southbridge, Mass.) spent three weeks in Moldova and stayed with his group at the Moldovan Military Academy. They interacted with the academy’s English-speaking cadets, helping them to practice their English. The Moldovan cadets also taught Jovan and his group about their military equipment and structure, their country’s history, and their Romanian language.
Jovan, who had never left the United States before, learned firsthand the story of a young country.
“I didn’t know much about Moldova when I arrived there, but I gained an appreciation for the country and its history,” Jovan said. “The cadets we worked with were always positive, and it was inspiring to see how they wanted to end corruption and prepare themselves to have a better future. That really helped me appreciate what we have here in America.”
The other four PC cadets who took part in CULP were:
• Adam Comeaux ’16 (Columbia, Md.) — traveled to Lithuania
• Connor Lewis ’15 (Farmingdale, N.Y.) — traveled to Moldova
• Brian Motherway ’15 (Skillman, N.J.) — traveled to the Slovak Republic
• Kevin Donovan ’15 (Whitman, Mass.) — traveled to Thailand
— Nick Tavares ’16
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