University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies Courses

UFMCS Resident Courses:

9E-SI/ASI7G/920-ASI7G RED TEAM LEADER
Red Team Leaders Course (18 wks. ASI 7G): The course emphasizes critical thinking skills, fostering cultural empathy, self awareness and reflection, groupthink mitigation strategies, and Red Team methodologies. Planning processes include the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP), the Joint Operations Planning Process (JOPP), and Army Design Methodology (ADM). Students apply these methods and processes to a broad range of case and country studies. The program includes interagency classes and classified planning exercises with Joint and Interagency partners.

9E-SI/ASI7G/920-ASI7G ALT STOP-GAP RED TEAM LEADER
Stop-Gap Red Team Leaders Course (9 wks, ASI 7G): The course emphasizes critical thinking skills, fostering cultural empathy, self awareness and reflection, groupthink mitigation strategies, and Red Team methodologies. Planning processes include the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) and the use of Red Team Tools. Students apply Red Team methods and processes to a limited range of case and country studies.

9E-SI/ASI7J/920-ASI7J RED TEAM MEMBER
Red Team Members Course (6 wks, ASI 7J): The course emphasizes critical thinking skills, fostering cultural empathy, self awareness and reflection, groupthink mitigation strategies, and Red Team methodologies. The course is designed to help students anticipate change, reduce uncertainty, and improve operational decision making.

9E-F16/920-F6 CRITICAL THINKING FOR RED TEAM PRACTITIONER
Critical Thinking for Red Team Practitioners (2 wk, no ASI): The course familiarizes students with critical thinking skills, cultural empathy, and groupthink mitigation strategies to help them challenge assumptions and consider alternative perspectives in support of better decision making.

9E-F30/920-F21 RED TEAM MOBILE TRAINING
Red Team Hybrid Course (2-28 days, no ASI): Custom tailored curriculum for organizations with specific requirements related to planning and operations, critical review and analysis of existing plans, and generation of solutions to organizational problems through groupthink mitigation strategies.

UFMCS can provide all courses above as MTT. For more information contact UFMCS Operations at 913-684-4336 or 913-684-4352. Click here for our Information Brochure .


UFMCS Class Schedule


UFMCS Curriculum

The University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies (UFMCS) is a TRADOC sponsored, TFNC School that provides education programs for the US Army, Joint Community, Inter-Agencies, and Coalition Partners that is designed to make critical thinking something leaders embody versus something leaders do. Critical thinking is the fundamental building block of Agile, Adaptive Leaders and Mission Command. UFMCS provides a ‘boot camp’ for the development of a critical thinking world view through the use of processes and tools.

The UFMCS curriculum centers around five elements:

  • Applied Critical Thinking: Support for planning and decision making--deconstructing arguments, examining analogies, challenging assumptions and exploring alternatives.
  • Fostering Cultural Empathy: Developing better questions about culture, in order to facilitate strategic and operational decision making which is informed by cultural empathy.

  • Self Awareness and Reflection: Understanding how our values and beliefs affect how we think and decide…and how that differs for others.
  • Decision Support and Groupthink Mitigation: The challenges inherent in hierarchical environments, elite teams that value relationships more than the decision, high risk work, etc. Remedy – small group techniques, anonymous feedback, liberating structures.
  • Red Teaming Tools: Frameworks for developing alternative perspectives; Pre-Mortem Analysis, 4 Ways of Seeing, etc.

Most of us are disinclined to naturally challenge prevailing thoughts. At UFMCS, we challenge students to examine things they hold sacrosanct. We expose them to the ethnocentrism of their own thinking, their overreliance on methodism (MDMP, for example), their tendency to default to Western/Aristotelian logic, their lack of appreciation for the frames that subconsciously capture their thinking, their failure to avoid common cognitive biases, and their predisposition to seek consensus while exhibiting classic symptoms of groupthink.

How humans think, why they don’t think as well as they could, how other cultures think differently, and how can we learn to think better are the core concepts of our critical thinking curriculum. We integrate these concepts in readings, contexts, and exercises. We provide students with tools to help them view problems from alternative perspectives, and to challenge to their own biases. We teach them to identify and examine the metaphors and analogies they use, and how to test them for appropriateness. We spend time examining values and worldviews from other cultural perspectives. Our intent is to inculcate behaviors designed to make critical thinking a discipline, not a habit. The outcome of this process is a student with a bundle of cognitive capabilities, at the heart of which is a better ability to apply one’s normal thought processes, and their common sense, to the circumstances of a given situation.

What our students learn

  • All culture is local - Tools designed to force planners to contend with other frames of reference, and to better understand others’ perspectives.
  • While orders come from the top-down, understanding flows from the bottom up - how to co-create context between those with the best local understanding, and those controlling resources and setting priorities.
  • Groupthink is a human phenomenon - good leadership can mitigate groupthink, it cannot preclude it. Methods to Think-Write-Share, talk in small groups, and use role play. The only way to develop divergent thought and still make a timely decision is to improve our processes for thinking, planning and deciding.
  • Self-awareness, introspection, and empathy change your worldview – before you can be open to how others think, you first need to understand how you think and why you think that way.
  • In order to make better decisions planners need to be more divergent in thought before they converge on a COA.
  • Generating a course of action is not equal to generating a truth – it is only a hypothesis. The COA you select is one of a universe of possibilities. Knowing that allows you to be more adaptive as the operational environment changes.
  • The more complex the problem, the less willing we are to let go of our frames. Once we think we understand something complex in an easy to articulate way – we resist changing our minds - there are tools and methods that help you maintain an open mind in the face of complexity - we will teach them to you.
  • Developing alternative perspectives in the planning process is an unnatural act and requires tools beyond MDMP to generate options.
Pillars of UFMCS Curricula

Click here for our Information Brochure .