The military leaders of the United States come into contact with citizens and military leaders of many nations as a consequence of the role the U.S. has assumed in the world today. Relationships between nations require a unique consideration of many political, economic, and military factors. It is not enough to know one's own strengths, weaknesses, and general characteristics. The solution to difficulties that arise between nations requires a knowledge and depth of understanding of the particular nations involved. The theme for the Olmsted Program might as well be "Know Your Neighbor." The purpose of the Olmsted Program is to "broadly educate those young career military line officers who exhibit extraordinary potential for becoming this country’s future military leaders."
The Olmsted Program encompasses the vision of military officers and their families immersing themselves in a foreign culture of choice while the officer studies a foreign language in a field of his/her choice. The scholar is expected to become familiar with the institutions, characteristics, customs, and people of the host nation. They are expected to travel extensively and acquire a familiarity with the host country. Scholars have formed warm and enduring friendships with natives of the host country.
The program annually offers an educational grant for a two-year period of study at a foreign university. The number of Air Force officers approved to be released for this program will vary annually subject to approval by the Air Force Education Requirements Board and AFPC. Interested officers should visit the AFPC web site at http://ask.afpc.randolph.af.mil/ and select Career Planning/Force Development/Officer Developmental Education, then look under Misc Program Information and select Other Development Education Programs. Also be sure to visit the Olmsted Foundation’s web page at http://www.olmstedfoundation.org/.
Not until after AFPC announces the selectees does AFIT/CI become involved in the process. Selectees usually attend up to one year of language training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA or Washington, D.C. prior to going overseas. For more information visit the AFPC Olmsted Scholar Program and Olmsted Foundation web pages or contact your local MPF.
"The greatest leaders must be educated broadly." Major General George H. Olmsted, USAR, Retired