Understanding Cultural Humility Through the Lens of a Military Culture

  • Margaret Lane SUNY Brockport
Keywords: military culture, cultural humility, civilian culture, cultural identity

Abstract

The author’s background for over the past 20 years has been working with the military veteran population and active duty military members in the Veterans Administration (VA). Her practice has comprised many components of VA health care, including medical and behavioral health. Regardless of which facet of care her practice has led her to, one element has always been the driving focus for her to convey to those who do not primarily work with veterans—the understanding and recognition of veterans and military members as a separate cultural identity. This narrative seeks to create a space for exploration and understanding of the differences between civilian cultures and military cultures by utilizing a cultural humility framework. The author’s overall aim is to inform and recognize military cultural differences through the lens of a shared, collectivistic, and militaristic cultural enmeshment, thus increasing present cultural competency and linguistic knowledge beyond categorical denotations and moving toward continued cultural learning and true expression that lead to deeper implications. Providers’ perceptions of their own cultural humility play a vital role in understanding and treating military members. It is in the understanding of military structure, language, commitment to their unit, service to their country, and how military members embrace honor and service, that true cultural humility begins to form (Tschaepe, 2018). The author believes it is vital that the military populations are recognized not only for their specialized services in protecting their country, but also for their unique and distinct culture that comprises the United States military community.

Published
2019-10-15
Section
Cultural Humility in Practice