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West Point cadets brief Army South deputy commanding general

By Maj. George Gurrola and Capt. John Schield | USMA Department of Foreign Languages and U.S. Army South | May 15, 2020

WEST POINT, New York —

During this year’s Projects Day at the U.S. Military Academy April 30, the Department of Foreign Languages virtually hosted U.S. Army South’s Deputy Commanding General-Interoperability General-de-Brigadia Alcides V. Faria Jr.

The Spanish group, Class of 2020 Cadets Alex Bayer, Jack Provost and Michael King, briefed Faria on China’s influence in Argentina and Chile. The Portuguese group, Class of 2020 Cadets Brandon Roseborough, Wonha Kim and Christian Halcomb, discussed China’s influence in Brazil.

Both briefs were conducted in Spanish and Portuguese, respectively, demonstrating the cadets’ ability to communicate and analyze complex problems in support of an Army service component.

Faria’s lecture, titled “Brazil Army Perspective of South American Security Concerns,” provided cadets a unique glimpse into South American security challenges and how the Brazilian army tackles these issues.

“This is a very good opportunity to show a different perspective from a partner… to make people think a different way,” Faria said of the opportunity to attend Projects Day and give a guest lecture.

Throughout this section of Projects Day, more than 200 participants from across U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Army South, West Point, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation and many other education institutions participated.

As part of the DFL capstone course, the cadet groups collaborated with officers and analysts from U.S. Army South. The presentation to the DCGI was a culmination of months of research and interviews. In January, both cadet groups traveled to Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio to visit with key stakeholders at U.S. Army South Headquarters.

Cadets were able to interact and discuss their research with officers from the Security Cooperation Division including partner nation liaison officers from Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil and more. Maj. Ruben Ramos, U.S. Army South’s Chile and Argentina desk officer, was instrumental in driving the collaboration between both organizations.

The cadets were able to broaden their perspective on how the U.S. Army South partners with other countries and embodies the motto, “Defense and Fraternity.”

“It is important, as a senior officer, to educate our future leaders by expanding their horizons of thought and making them deconstruct challenges through the lenses of other cultures,” Faria said.

The Department of Foreign Languages seeks to develop leaders of character through education in the languages and regional knowledge. The faculty and staff seek to instill cultural and linguistic proficiency to help cadets thrive in tomorrow’s security environment.

West Point academic departments conducted the Remote Projects Day to virtually showcase their cadets’ senior theses, capstone design projects, and multi-year interdisciplinary research efforts. Remote Projects Day events highlighted the combined intellectual capital of cadets, faculty, and external collaborators from across the Army, Department of Defense and beyond.