Joyenda yabenda ast
 -Dari Proverb

Literal translation : a seeker a founder is

This proverb means that a seeker is a finder. If you are determined to do something and you don’t give up, you will eventually succeed.


57 Old Freight Yard
Northfield, VT 05663



Robert R Greene Sands, PhD
Director of ISCL and Senior Research Fellow 

Anthropologist Robert R. Greene Sands is Director and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Culture and Language (ISCL) at Norwich University. Dr. Sands teaches in the Norwich University College of Graduate and Continuing Studies and is Editor of the ISCL’s online Journal of Culture, Language and International Security (JCLIS). From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Sands was Culture Chair, then Chair, of the Cross-Cultural Competence Department, and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Air Force Culture and Language Center (AFCLC) and Air University at Maxwell AFB, AL. He was also Director of the Minerva Initiative for Energy and Environmental Security during his tenure at Air University. Dr. Sands is a consultant supporting the development of culture and cross-cultural competence programs across the Department of Defense. He is also an accomplished presenter and speaker and has presented to organizations such as AFRICOM, 17th Air Force, the US Air Force Expeditionary Center, the Joint Chaplains College, and Special Operations Command, the JAG School, Advanced Air Mobility Operations, Joint Military Attaché School, Joint Foreign Area Officer Phase One course, Defense and National Intelligence professionals, among others. Dr. Sands has authored seven books and numerous chapters and articles on topics such as cross-cultural competence, environmental security, building partnerships and sustainability, sport and culture, ethnographic theory, and the cognitive origins of religion.  His seventh book (co-authored with Allison Greene-Sands) is Cross-Cultural Competence for a 21st Century Military Culture: the Flipside of COIN (2013, Lexington Books). Dr. Sands holds a BA from Illinois State University, an MA from Iowa State University and a PhD from University of Illinois, all in anthropology.

Dr. Sands has contributed to the DoD perspective on the significance of culture and language in several different and meaningful ways.  He is one of the leading experts on the importance of cross-cultural competence to support mission and operational success.  He has designed several innovative online and blended courses on culture, cross-cultural competence and culture and language.   Dr. Sands has researched and published on cross-cultural competence, the importance of culture to military populations and the use of environmental and cultural security in partnership building.

Recent Publications

(with Megan Dove-Steinkamp) “Finding Meaning Inside the Box: Understanding RPA Crew Resilience.”  Small Wars Journal (10 September), 2015,

“Culture Clash.”  Journal of Culture, Language and International Security, 2 (1), 2015,

“We Built a Culture MOOC for Soldiers Everywhere (and Marines, and Airmen, and US AID personnel and others).” Small Wars Journal (27 June), 2015, 

“Training for the Perfect Storm.”  Journal of Culture, Language and International Security 2 (1), 2015,


Sands, R. Greene.  "Finding a Common Thread: Implications for the Future of Culture and Language Programs in Support of International Security."  Journal of Culture, Language and International Security 1(1): 3-21, 2014

Devisser, P. and Sands, R. Greene.  "Integrating Culture General and Cross-Cultural Competence & Communication Skills: Possibilities for the Future of Military Language and Culture Programs."   Journal of Culture, Language and International Security 1(1): 34-69, 2014

Sands, Robert R. Greene & Allison Greene-Sand (eds).   Cross-Cultural Competence for a 21st Century Military Culture, the Flipside of COIN. Lexington Books, 2014

Sands, Robert R. Greene.   “COIN and Beyond.” In Robert Greene Sands & Allison Greene-Sands, (eds), Cross-Cultural Competence for a 21st Century Military: Culture, the Flipside of COIN.  Lexington, 2014.

Sands, Robert Greene.   “3C, the Flipside of COIN.”  In Robert Greene Sands & Allison Greene-Sands, Cross-Cultural Competence for a 21st Century Military: Culture, the Flipside of COIN (eds), Lexington, 2014.

Sands, Robert R. Greene.  "Thinking Differently: Unlocking the Human Domain in Support of the 21st Century Intelligence Mission." Small Wars Journal, (20 Aug), 2013.

Sands, Robert R. Greene & Thomas J. Haines. “Promoting Cross-Cultural Competence in Intelligence Professionals: A new perspective on alternative analysis and the intelligence process.” Small Wars Journal, (25 April), 2013.

Sands, Robert R. Greene. “Language and Culture in the Department of Defense: Synergizing complimentary instruction and building LREC competency.”  Small Wars Journal, (8 March), 2013.

Sands, Robert. R. Greene. “A Baseline of Cross-Cultural Competence: The Decisive Edge for a 21st Century US Military Mission.” Society for Applied Anthropology News (Feb): 2013:17-22.

Sands, Robert. R. Greene. “Cultural Relativism and the Convergence of Ethnography and Cross-Cultural Competence.” Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin (MIPB) (January/March), 2012: 13-18,