The Department of Politics and International Relations will host foreign military officials from the U.S. Army War College, Thursday, Feb. 21.
The 35 officials represent 33 countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, including Colonel Ingrid M. Gjerde from Norway, the only female in the cohort. The foreign military officials, also referred to as international fellows, are completing an academic master’s degree program with the War College.
“This is all part of the U.S. Army’s way to ensure we have good relations with people of the world,” said Rebecca Mae Salokar, chairwoman of the Department of Politics and International Relations and professor of political science. “It’s an honor to host these foreign officials and U.S. Army War College. It’s the first time FIU has done anything like this. Since the military is the pathway to power in many of these countries, many of these high-ranking officials are their country’s future leaders. It’s a very special event and speaks well about FIU. ”
The international fellows are touring different military command centers across the country, including the U.S. Southern Command in Doral and the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Key West. They will spend a day at FIU where they will get a walking tour of campus, listen to presentations by faculty, and engage in interactive question-and-answer sessions.
Judith Stiehm, professor of political science, will give a talk titled “Women in the Military.” Stiehm has served as a visiting professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Army War College and published the book The U. S. Army War College: Military Education in a Democracy (2002).
“In other nations — not so much Europe or those affiliated with NATO — women in the military is a big issue,” Stiehm said. “This is a subject matter they don’t have much experience with, but I think they’re definitely interested in it. It’s going to be an eye-opening experience. They’ll be able to walk away with solid information and the opportunity to reflect on it.”
The U.S. Army War College is located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The college educates and develops senior leaders at the service and strategic levels, while advancing knowledge in the global application of landpower. It was created in 1901 as a solution to the military failings uncovered during the Spanish-American War.
By Evelyn S. Perez