working at U.S. southern Command and africom
Prior to beginning the Security Studies Program at Georgetown, I had worked as a realtor in San Francisco. I still have my license so I quickly called an old friend who manages a large real estate firm in the city and asked if he needed some help over the summer. Luckily, he was in need of assistance so I worked for him for six weeks as a realtor. During that time I helped him refine his marketing strategy, and even managed to sell a home in the city.
Around mid-July, low and behold, I received a call from AFRICOM saying that funding had been allocated, and if I was still interested in working in the J1 for the remainder of the summer. Naturally, I agreed, and this is where I am currently working.
What is the best day you had on your trip?
Every year AFRICOM hosts their own Olympics. During this occasion the different directorates that make up the command (J1, J2, J3, etc.) form teams to compete in different sporting events that are put on by the command. Members of the command are free to pick the events that they wish to participate in, and in my case I partook in the 400m relay, and the AFRICOM Special Operations Mystery Event. The mystery event was organized and carried out by members of the Special Operations Command, and was a grueling obstacle course that included a hatchet throw, spear thrust, and weapons qualification with an AK-47. Not only was this experience amazing, I was able to compete on a team that included two airmen, and a coast guardsman; definitely one of the benefits of serving at a joint command is being able to serve and learn from the other services.
How does your internship sponsor or agency contribute to the mission of national security?
U.S. AFRICOM provides a crucial role in supporting U.S. national security strategic policies for the entire continent of Africa. Part of the operational and tactical roles of AFRICOM personnel are to engage with regional partners and conduct joint training and readiness exercises. By doing this, the U.S. hopes to strengthen African partner nations’ capability to mitigate internal and external threats on their own, thereby increasing overall security in the region.
Tell us about your favorite meal. What is it?
My favorite food in Germany has to be the Wiener Schnitzel. It consists of a thinly breaded cutlet that is made from veal. Here in Stuttgart it is often served with Swabian potatoes; a type of potato salad that is served warm and has been previously marinated in broth. The black forest cake they serve here is also legendary.