I served for over twenty years as a specialist on China within the United States Marine Corps. In this capacity, my job was to understand China as a culture, nation, and country so that I could provide insight and guidance to the generals, ambassadors, and policymakers for whom I worked. Early in this process I realized that those I was studying were approaching security policy from a different perspective and using a different lens to conceive, understand, and determine appropriate action in the world. I used this knowledge as an operational planner, diplomat, strategic analyst, and professor to help shape and execute US policy in the Indo-Pacific. Since retiring from the military, I have returned to academia to refine my theories and prepare for my next career as a professor and policy advocate.