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AFCLC Consultant Spotlight: Dr. Dan Uribe

  • Published
  • By Mikala McCurry, AFCLC Outreach Team

After a 34-year career serving in the United States Air Force, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Dan Uribe recently retired and brought his knowledge, experience, and expertise to the Air Force Culture and Language Center as a consultant focused on the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility.

Dr. Uribe spent most of his Air Force career in technical, international, and higher education assignments. He served as Permanent Professor and Head for the Department of Foreign Languages and International Programs at the United States Air Force Academy for 12 years before culminating his military career as the Vice Dean for Curriculum and Strategy.

“I first started using my background in foreign languages as an instructor of Spanish and Astronautical Engineering at USAFA. The language department sponsored me for a Ph.D. to return as a senior faculty member, which gave me a more intense focus on the culture and language side of my expertise,” he explained.

Since joining the team at AFCLC, Dr. Uribe’s primary focus has included developing educational content for the general-purpose force, and teaching courses focused on SOUTHCOM to USAF senior leaders. 

“My favorite topic to teach and talk about is the culture and languages of Latin America. Latin America is a diverse and complex region of the world, and it is important to understand the cultural context of the region. Understanding current events through that lens gives us a better understanding of the ‘why,’” he said. “If we have a better understanding of that ‘why’ throughout the force, then we’re better able to carry out our mission of strengthening partnerships and understanding our adversaries.”

Since becoming a consultant with AFCLC, Dr. Uribe has seen firsthand how the emphasis on culture and language skills, as essential to mission readiness, has become more paramount within the Air Force.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue working in this area because I think it’s critically important. Developing more culture and language skills in the Air Force is a vision we had years ago, and it’s really neat to see it come to fruition,” he said. “A lot of times in the Air Force, particularly on the technical side, you work on the development of a weapon system, and you might or might not see it come to fruition during your career. With LEAP, it’s been rewarding to see it grow from an idea back in 2007 to a Program of Record, and now seeing a program connecting language and culture capabilities to real needs in the Air Force.”

The transition from active duty to a civilian consultant has been rewarding for Dr. Uribe as he enjoys working with the faculty and staff to help AFCLC execute the Air Force mission. 

“The best part of this job is seeing what we’re doing on a daily basis directly contributes to the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr.’s priorities, which directly support our national defense strategy,” Dr. Uribe said. “That’s always been a huge motivational factor for me, and I’m glad I’m still able to contribute in some small way to the mission while working with wonderful colleagues who make me feel like I’m part of the family.”

Outside of teaching, researching, and consulting, Dr. Uribe enjoys golfing, traveling, and spending time with family.

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