Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers
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CIOR provides intercultural understanding

Intercultural understanding and English skills are essential for a successful work within a NATO staff. These skills can be gained due to the work within the CIOR community.

"You are a reserve officer ? ..."

… I thought you are a general staff officer!”, Ltc. (R) Dr. Marc Lemmermann (DEU) was asked by an active officer just after three weeks of service at RC North ISAF.

This example shows how competent reservists can support missions shoulder to shoulder with their active counterparts. Moreover, this also shows how valuable CIOR delegate`s experience is for NATO`s missions. Ltc. Lemmermann is chairman of the DefSec committee, which is CIOR’s own think tank for security issues.

Seven reserve officers of the German delegation went in total on ten missions to Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan in the last years. In fact, Maj. (R) Hauke Disselbeck and 1stLt. (R) Alexander Streitparth even met while serving in Kosovo and Cpt. (R) Jörg Schnurre met his American CIOR colleague Lt.Cmdr. (R) Scot Cregan in Kabul.

CIOR is a benefit for NATO’s reserve officers

Asked how he could explain the huge number of CIOR officers serving abroad, LTC Lemmermann said: “I believe you gain much intercultural understanding while working in the different CIOR committees. And you see how interesting the kind of working can be.”

In fact reserve officers from 36 participating nations within and beyond NATO are involved in CIOR. This means that 36 military and civilian cultures are clashing together. In order to work effectively the single reserve officers have to learn to communicate with colleagues from other nations, which implies not only the knowledge of the (English) language, but also about the other culture.

The experience reserve officers gain within the CIOR community due to the work with colleagues from other nations prepares them for an international staff work. Knowing the English language skills and an understanding of each other’s culture is essential for gaining NATO’s missions goals on the Balkans or the Hindu Kush.

© 2012 Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers