Contact Us Press Releases AFRICOM Portal
Military Intelligence Officers Course Participants Visit Local Orphanage in Burkina Faso
Under the heat of the Burkinabé sun, Marines and their students from five nations were welcomed by the sounds of traditional African drums, excited children, and  gifts of bright pink flowers presented in simple glass jars.  This moment marked the
Military Intelligence Non-Commissioned Officer Course, 14-1, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Officer In Charge, Captain Justin Moeykens poses with Burkinabe Elementary Students and Orphans during a community relations event on November 30th, 2013. (Photo by Courtesy Asset)
2 photos: Military Intelligence Officers Course Participants Visit Local Orphanage in Burkina Faso
Photo 1 of 2: Military Intelligence Non-Commissioned Officer Course, 14-1, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Officer In Charge, Captain Justin Moeykens poses with Burkinabe Elementary Students and Orphans during a community relations event on November 30th, 2013. (Photo by Courtesy Asset) Download full-resolution version
Military Intelligence Non-Commissioned Officer Course, 14-1, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Chadian and Nigerien Students take an interest in student and orphan school assignments during a community relations event on November 30th, 2013.
2 photos: Military Intelligence Officers Course Participants Visit Local Orphanage in Burkina Faso
Photo 2 of 2: Military Intelligence Non-Commissioned Officer Course, 14-1, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Chadian and Nigerien Students take an interest in student and orphan school assignments during a community relations event on November 30th, 2013. Download full-resolution version
Military Intelligence Non-Commissioned Officer Course, 14-1, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Officer In Charge, Captain Justin Moeykens poses with Burkinabe Elementary Students and Orphans during a community relations event on November 30th, 2013. (Photo by Courtesy Asset)
Military Intelligence Non-Commissioned Officer Course, 14-1, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Chadian and Nigerien Students take an interest in student and orphan school assignments during a community relations event on November 30th, 2013.

Under the heat of the Burkinabé sun, Marines and their students from five nations were welcomed by the sounds of traditional African drums, excited children, and  gifts of bright pink flowers presented in simple glass jars.  This moment marked the start of the Military Intelligence Non-Commissioned Officer Course – Africa’s (MINOC-A) community relations project, Nov. 30.

Over the previous six weeks, 29 Staff noncommissioned officer students from Tunisia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Niger had been engulfed in their development as intelligence professionals.

Their extensive intelligence training was provided by a small cadre from U.S. Marine Corps Force Europe and Africa, but by visiting a local orphanage and school, the gears shifted to focusing on their equally important development as staff NCOs.  This visit focused on cultivating a balance between involvement in the community and the profession of arms.

The objective of the visit was to build camaraderie between and across the nationalities of students, but also provide a positive influence on the lives of children who may not otherwise have male role models.  Students, and Marines alike, naturally gravitated to the children, reviewing their developing academic capabilities at miniature desks, posing for photos with big grins, and cheering at the presentation of whimsical song and dance.

In gratitude for the gracious hospitality of our five to ten-year-old hosts, as a class, the MINOC-A students presented small gifts to show appreciation.  Basic school and art supplies, a soccer ball, children’s clothing, and a monetary gift donated from the students were presented to the orphanage administrators for the children.

One of our hosts, an orphan boy no older than five or six and the honorary recipient of the soccer ball from a Tunisian MINOC-A student, coincidently was wearing a t-shirt that stated in bright yellow bubble letters, “Smile Makes U FeeL BeTTer.” If that is the case, I think everyone was feeling pretty good that day.

Editor’s Note: Capt. Justin Moeykens, the MINOC-A officer-in-charge with U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, presents a first-person perspective while working with African partners in Burkina Faso.

PARTNERSHIPS OPERATIONS READINESS