The Most Exclusive Little Coffee Shop In Kabul, Afghanistan

Gratitude Café is the exact opposite of an officers’ club. At this U.S. military-run java joint, only senior leaders are allowed to work the counter.

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To get a cup of coffee at Gratitude Café, you’re going to need a heavily armed escort and the right paperwork. The tiny coffee shop is located in the U.S. Air Force’s Forward Operating Base Oqab (which means “eagle” in the Afghan language), a small compound of only a few acres surrounded by concrete walls and barbed wire in a corner of Kabul International Airport on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. It’s home to roughly a dozen senior-level officers and approximately 40 security personnel. Another 230 or so troops call it their home base, though they are housed nearby.

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Matthew Fritz is a leader and mentor in the field of complex organizational change, emotional intelligence, and organization strategy. A successful DoD senior-acquisition program manager and test leader, Matt has earned documented success in the areas of test and evaluation, assessment, technology development and flight operations. He has specialized experience in cost, schedule and performance management and is an active duty Field-Grade Officer with command-experience in the United States Air Force. Matt is also a certified acquisition professional, as well as a certified Emotional Intelligence Trainer/Practitioner. He is the Author of an instructional book entitled, “Leveraging Your LinkedIn Profile for Success” and actively blogs with other military leaders at, as well as his personal blog at He and his wife, Stacy, enjoy life with their daughter and son in New Mexico.

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