Conference creates new military, civilian relationship

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Michael Hong
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Jonathan Cristol, a fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York City, participated in the 87th Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) held August 6-12, 2017. Cristol was nominated to participate in JCOC by Col. David P. Pavey, commander 514th Air Mobility Wing.

JCOC’s goal is to help bridge the divide between military and civilians by educating senior level business and community leaders on National Defense policies and programs. In addition, the programs enables civilian leaders to meet with military members, to include our own Reserve Citizen Airmen, to gain their perspective on what it means to serve.

“It did a great job of showcasing the lower ranks,” said Cristol. “You don’t usually think about the cook on a nuclear submarine even though that cook has a very important job.”

Cristol organizes and hosts a variety of events, ranging from private to public that focus on aspects of international security. He also writes and speaks on issues pertaining to Middle East politics, and United States foreign policy in the Middle East and East Asia.

In the past, Cristol has worked with Air Force members invited to events he has hosted or organized.

After visiting various northeast military installations, representing all five branches of the military, and witnessing the capabilities of military operations, Cristol indicated that, in the future, he wanted to work with members of U.S. military branches beyond the Air Force as well.

The JCOC program is the oldest and most prestigious public liaison program in the Department of Defense and the only one sponsored by the Secretary of Defense. Participants attended briefings by senior military and civilian officials at the Pentagon, then embarked on a six-day journey to visit various military installations.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Cristol. “It allowed me, as a writer, to add more color to the people in the military.”