Home » Afghanistan » U.S. Air Force encourages cultural immersion

U.S. Air Force encourages cultural immersion

At least the M is the same backwards.

A copy of a 2009 U.S. Air Force Airman’s Manual has just fallen into my hands.

The manual offers instructions on what to do in a variety of hostile situations, as well as advice to airmen to change their socks daily, wash their hands after using the bathroom, and learn the word “halt” in the language of the country in which they are stationed.

Following are additional bits of advice regarding cultural adaptation:

Terrorists don’t discriminate! If you’re an American, you’re a potential terrorist target. Your dress, conduct, and mannerisms should not attract attention. Make an effort to blend in.” [No advice is offered as to how blend in in countries in which the majority of the local population does not wear camouflage.]

***

It’s normal to have feelings of uneasiness after you arrive at your deployment location. But, don’t become consumed by fear. Slowly adjust to your new surroundings, learn all you can from more experienced people, and follow your training.” [Judging from the accompanying photograph, new surroundings include McDonald’s establishments with turbaned and veiled clientele.]

***

Hate is a profound feeling that makes some people do terrible and irrational things. Because you’re a U.S. military member, there are some very dangerous people in this world who hate you and hate what you stand for. So, be suspicious, but not reckless!”

***

Pull the trigger when required… many people are counting on you![emphasis in original]

I personally feel much more secure knowing that Afghan wedding parties will not be able to indiscriminately target me in the future. For any U.S. airmen requiring further encouragement, I am transcribing the “Airman’s Creed” included in the manual:

I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN.

I AM A WARRIOR.

I HAVE ANSWERED MY NATION’S CALL.

 

I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN.

MY MISSION IS TO FLY, FIGHT, AND WIN.

I AM FAITHFUL TO A PROUD HERITAGE,

A TRADITION OF HONOR,

AND A LEGACY OF VALOR.

 

I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN,

GUARDIAN OF FREEDOM AND JUSTICE,

MY NATION’S SWORD AND SHIELD,

ITS SENTRY AND AVENGER.

I DEFEND MY COUNTRY WITH MY LIFE.

 

I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN:

WINGMAN, LEADER, WARRIOR.

I WILL NEVER LEAVE AN AIRMAN BEHIND,

I WILL NEVER FALTER,

AND I WILL NOT FAIL.”

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