The Institute of World Politics’s Center for the Study of Culture and Security is pleased to host the second annual training briefings in public diplomacy for new warrant officer bandmasters and Army band officers from the U.S. Army School of Music, Naval Amphibious Base (Little Creek), Norfolk VA. The reason for this training is that Army bands stationed overseas and performing for foreign national citizens are, in fact, agents of public diplomacy for the United States. Therefore, it is important for new bandmasters and officers to gain knowledge in public diplomacy in preparation for their eventual overseas assignments as leaders, commanders and conductors of Army bands.
The newly promoted warrant officer bandmasters and Army band officers of this year’s class will receive a series of briefings in public diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, cultural intelligence and musical diplomacy. They will learn how music was used historically as a tool for promoting freedom and democracy to the Eastern European bloc countries and former U.S.S.R. during the Cold War through the broadcasts of American jazz by Willis Conover on the Voice of America. They will also hear how music is currently being used in support of the GWOT (Global War on Terror) and the “long war” or “war of ideas” as part of the programming of Radio Deewa to the Afghan-Pakistan border. They will gain an understanding of propaganda in its totality and understand how their bands serve as advocates for the U.S. government in foreign lands by the rendering of “soft power” through music.
The training briefers include Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon, Director of the Center for the Study of Culture and Security; Captain (Retired) Rick Barnes, Ph.D., formerly with the U.S. Army element, Armed Forces School of Music and now with Voice of America; Mr. Alan L. Heil, Jr., a former, retired acting director of the Voice of America currently with the Public Diplomacy Council at George Washington University and author of Voice of America: A History; and Mr. Muhammad Almgir, a music personality with Radio Deewa. This series of training briefings will take place at the IWP on Thursday, June 24th at 3:00 p.m.