Regardless of where they are found, military organizations comprise myriad interacting individuals, teams, and systems that must function effectively on multiple levels across time, space, and culture. The U.S. military alone includes more than 1.5 million personnel within its active, reserve, civilian, and contractor components. Increasingly, these people are required to interact in intimate ways with others whose backgrounds differ significantly from their own. This is of concern to domestic national forces, which must integrate people from diverse ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, and gender groups, in addition to preparing them to work across international boundaries. This entry describes various contexts in which the acquisition of intercultural competence is an increasingly essential dimension of military practice, provides a brief look at how the U.S. military and others ...

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