SME Guest Lecture Program

The Subject Matter Expert (SME) Guest Lecture Initiative introduces ROTC cadets and midshipmen to the basics of cultural property protection (CPP) in military operations: legal and regulatory drivers, key cultural heritage concepts, strategic implications of protecting (and failing to protect) cultural property, including case studies from actual military operations. This material is currently being integrated into course curricula for the various ROTC branch programs.

The SME guest lecture is a 50-minute training module that addresses all the above material and more. There are several advantages to having an SME present the material live and in a single block. First, CPP concepts can be covered in more depth, in their own context, and with an opportunity for audience questions.

These lectures encourage understanding and mutual appreciation between the academic and military communities through person-to-person interactions. They also encourage networking: you can choose to offer yourself as a point of contact for these young future officers, someone whom they could contact throughout the remainder of their military careers should they encounter a cultural property related challenge.

Who should volunteer?

We encourage volunteers who are professors of archaeology or art history and other members of the academic or professional communities who deal with material culture or cultural resource management. While many of our products and training materials explicitly address the archaeology community, we welcome volunteers from a variety of fields.

Why should you volunteer?

As noted in this brochure {not available}, the academic and professional community can make a real difference in training our military personnel to be responsible stewards of global heritage. By taking part in this SME lecture initiative, you can:

  1. Encourage understanding and mutual appreciation between the academic and military communities.
  2. Facilitate networking, communication, and exchange of knowledge between cultural heritage/cultural property experts and military science programs.
  3. Play an active role in protecting cultural property that may be threatened by conflict or crisis.

Download our SME support materials

On this page, you will find links to products that will support you in contacting ROTC units, building your guest lecture, and engaging with the ROTC cadets, midshipmen, and cadre.

PowerPoint Primer. Below and to the right are links to the first branch-specific PowerPoint primers and suggested lecture script developed by MilCHAG for Guest Lecturers.

The first 25 to 30 minutes of the lecture covers all of the core CPP concepts when viewed within a military context.

The remaining 20-25 minutes will consist of your own lecture material about your area of expertise, with personal experiences and anecdotes, followed by a Q&A session. Click to download the Army ROTC primer presentation {not available} and sample script {not available}. ROTC primers for other branches are now in development.

Guest Lecturer’s Guide to the Military. This short document provides advice for building your portion of the SME lecture, and answers common questions and concerns for those who may not have worked with the military before. Click to view the Guest Lecturer’s Guide to the Military for Cultural Property SME Instructors. {not available}

Sharing your expertise with the next generation of military leaders on an important topic will be a beneficial experience. ROTC cadets, midshipmen, and staff will thank you for your service.