Greetings from Europe

​I'm Captain Jim Rodgers, an officer in the US Army Reserve and a civilian employee of the US Army.  I live and work in Italy, working for an Army garrison in my civilian career and, as a reservist, as a Team Chief in an Army Reserve Civil Affairs company, part of the 457th Civil Affairs Battalion in Germany.  There are a lot of amazing things about Europe.

One of the great professional opportunities about being stationed here is the opportunity to work with our allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
 
In addition to my everyday work with the Italians, I recently had the chance to participate in the Reserve Officer Foreign Exchange Program (ROFEP).  This program sends American reserve component officers to live and work with our NATO partners for a few weeks.  In my case, I went to Denmark, where I was hosted by the Danish Home Guard, Denmark's reserve component.  I, along with one other American officer, was an exchange officer in the "New Wars Seminar".
 
This course was a joint program between the Royal Danish Defense College and the University of Copenhagen's Center for African Studies.  Taught in English, my classmates were a mix of civilian graduate students and Danish officers.
 
We examined the nature of conflict in recent years, debating the theory that warfare had dramatically changed in either nature or character (hence "New Wars" vs. "Old Wars"), with a particular focus on Africa.  There were numerous guest lectures and some outstanding discussions.  I participated in a team project assessing the Mali conflict and, in my final paper, took the position that the "New Wars" aren't really all that new.
 
It was an outstanding course and a wonderful opportunity.  I had worked on African issues as a staff officer before, and it was great to compare and discuss experiences.  The Danes were both very friendly and exceptionally professional.  It was a group of outstanding officers and students and I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to work with them.  The ROFEP program takes place every year, with Denmark, the United Kingdom and Germany partnering with the US to cross-train our reserve component officers.
 
Photos from the trip:
 
 

1 comment on this blog post

  1. How did you make this happen? How did you deal with BMT and AST being OCONUS? I might be presented with the same situation and glad to know this is doable.
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