The end of the Cold War marks a changed nature of conflicts - in the modern world, asymmetric wars, counter-insurgencies and counter-terrorism are not only highly relevant threats but also the ones that require perhaps the greatest need for the knowledge of cultural factors. Though the significance of cultural and religious knowledge during international operations is ever more strongly acknowledged, however, the absence of the standardization of cultural awareness of military personnel at NATO level leaves the area of cultural awareness teaching of military personnel participating in international operations the responsibility of national states. This, in turn, exercises influence on countries working in a joint coalition while interpreting, in a different way, the military personnel’s cultural awareness and need for it during international operations. The article surveys the diversity of cultural awareness terms and concepts in both academic and military contexts. At the same time, making use of the model of cultural awareness competences formulated by Allison Abbe, the author analyses the manifestation of cultural awareness in the military doctrines and other documents regulating the activity of the armed forces and military service of major NATO states and Lithuania. Lithuania and three major NATO states - the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada - which have institutionalized cultural awareness teaching of military personnel, have been chosen as the object of the analysis. In this comparative context, the analysis of the Lithuanian case becomes a critical one: it enables one to compare and assess the contribution of a national state to the cultural development of military personnel in the context of major NATO states.