By: Albert Angel
Between October 2018 and November 2019, two graduates from schools associated with the Salesians of Don Bosco, one from the UK and the other from the USA, found themselves deployed to North Africa with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Colonel Raymond Hughes, British Army, is the Senior British Military Advisor and graduated from Salesian College in Liverpool, England. Captain Albert Angel, US Navy, is the Senior American Military Advisor and graduated from Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead, California, USA. During their recent operational tour, Ray and Albert worked hand-in-hand to support the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General to fulfil the tenets of the UN mandate to build and unify Libyan security institutions and forces; operating under civilian democratic control of legitimate state institutions; with security actors who are professional and responsive to civilian security needs in accordance with international human rights standards. Both men agreed that the Salesian education they received academically stood them in good stead for their career in the Armed Services and was instrumental in completing the rigorous requirements at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, respectively. The skills that facilitate leadership and effective collaboration, including: integrity, self-discipline, work ethic, planning, time management, delegation, and conflict resolution are all integral student outcomes at Salesian institutions and highly valued in the military. Understanding the global nature of many social problems from a Salesian perspective has further helped both men apply their skills to finding a resolution to the crisis in Libya.