St. Jerome becomes patron of military linguists

St. Jerome becomes patron of military linguists

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – During a humble ceremony at the Presidio of Monterey Chapel Sept. 11, St. Jerome became inducted as the patron saint of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and of military linguists. St. Jerome, who lived from 347 to 420, has been associated with writing, cataloging and translating works of history, biographies, and biblical translations and is traditionally regarded as the most learned of the Latin Fathers. Therefore it is fitting that he be chosen as the patron saint of linguists, according to Chaplain Maj. Chan-young Ham, DLIFLC command chaplain. “St. Jerome was dedicated to his work as a translator and linguist. He was disciplined and he believed in what he was doing, pushing himself to be an expert in language and the understanding of them,” said Ham. “He was internationally influenced,” Ham continued. “He traveled the world and respected other cultures, while dialoging with many to discuss scholarship and the truth.” The tradition of patron saints as guardians over areas of life, to include occupations, dates back to as early as the fourth century. Linguists now join with other military career fields who have followed in this tradition. St. Michael, paratroopers, and St. Barbara, field artillery, are examples of military occupations that have previously inducted a patron saint. Father George Khoury, associate professor of Levantine at the Institute, inducted St. Jerome at the Presidio Chapel and blessed the pendants with holy water, which were then given to all in attendance. He and Col. Phil Deppert, commandant of DLIFLC, unveiled the St. Jerome icon that will be displayed in...
FAO program guest speaker on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions

FAO program guest speaker on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly U.S. Army officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Dr. Wade Huntley, academic director of the Regional Security Education Program at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, spoke to U.S. Army Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center along with students from the Institute’s Korean School, Aug. 16, about North Korea and its nuclear weapons program. Huntley’s talk came merely two weeks after North Korea’s threat to strike the U.S. Territory of Guam prompting U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, to say that, “The United States and our allies have the demonstrated capabilities and unquestionable commitment to defend ourselves from an attack,” and also stated that, “The DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.” Huntley subtitled his talk “Dr. Strange Kim (Jong Un)… or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the crazy dictator with the bomb.” Kim Jong Un took power in North Korea in 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il. “Why does North Korea do anything it does?” asked Huntley, who explained that the motives of the world’s most secretive and isolated regime are sometimes baffling. “Most analysts come to a consensus that the primary focus of North Korea is regime survival.” Huntley continued with a detailed lecture on North Korea’s quest to obtain the bomb. Beyond the Cold War South Korea...
Teacher Feature: Coming full circle from student to teacher

Teacher Feature: Coming full circle from student to teacher

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Standing at a height of only four feet, 11 inches, one could be forgiven for thinking that Josephine “Josie” Petkovski may feel intimidated by the military uniforms that surround her every day. Though short in stature, she is not. She has worn two of them as a Veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. Petkovski is a new teacher at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Asian School II, better known as the Korean School. She is also an alumnas of the Institute where she now teaches, having graduated from the Chinese Mandarin course in 2004. So, Petkovski knows a thing or two about both learning languages and being in the military. Originally from Busan, South Korea, she presently resides in San Juan Bautista, California, with her family, husband and a six-year-old daughter. She first visited the U.S. in the 1980s to attend a wedding in Minnesota and visit her relatives in Florida. She then traveled for two months from Colorado to Florida to Chicago by Greyhound bus. Later, she permanently moved to the U.S. in 1990 and in 1991 joined the U.S. Army Reserves, seeking education benefits. Military life in the fleet and field “One day I was sitting on the couch in the living room and I saw this commercial – Be all that you can be,” said Petkovski of the Army’s recruiting slogan from 1980 to 2001. The Army opportunities looked better to her than part-time retail or food service jobs, but when she entered the recruiter’s office he told her that she is “not...
NPS German Students Support Proficiency Badge for DLIFLC Personnel

NPS German Students Support Proficiency Badge for DLIFLC Personnel

By MC1 Lewis Hunsaker Naval Postgraduate School Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – A total of 24-service members from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GAFPB) during the quarterly relay race at Soldier Field, July 21. The GAFPB is one of the few approved foreign awards that can be worn on U.S. military uniforms. Traditionally, it is also one of the most sought after awards and can be earned by service members of any rank. The competition tests the agility, endurance, strength, and mental toughness of the participants. Before presenting the newly earned badges, NPS faculty member German Army Col. Peter Frank, addressed students, staff, and faculty in attendance. “Germany is proud to be an ally, partner, and friend to the United States,” said Frank. “We are proud to be brother-in-arms with the U.S. Armed Forces. However, partnership and friendship are only words, we have to practice cooperation and I believe that training together with other services is the best form of comradeship.” Over a three-month period, service members were tested in the areas of; first aid, Nuclear Biological Chemical, Mission Oriented Protective Posture test, 9mm pistol shooting, ruck march, 100-meter swim in uniform, and basic fitness test. “Today, all of the awardees have completed these requirements and have earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge in the gold, silver or bronze category,” added Frank. Beginning three years ago the GAFPB become a tradition when German officers stationed at NPS began offering this course to the service members at DLIFLC. Every year, new officers from the Federal Armed Forces of...
How language opened doors for some alumni

How language opened doors for some alumni

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Studying foreign languages in Monterey has been a platform from which many Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center alumni have launched successful careers. It’s given them the language skillsets needed to conduct business in the international landscape. Below are just a few of many testimonies of former students who believe that everything they became began at DLI. From DLI to Vice President in Procter & Gamble Imagine being a private in the U.S. Army at the Defense Language Institute in 1969 learning Russian. Then imagine using a two-track reel-to-reel tape recorder weighing about 20 pounds, along with another 20 to 30 pounds of books. Now fast forward, and imagine being a vice president for one of Procter & Gamble’s first manufacturing plants and newest subsidiary in Eastern Europe. If you are a DLI graduate, this could be your destiny. “Graduating from the Russian Program at DLI was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life,” said Bill Harter, who graduated from Columbia University Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor degree in Slavic Languages in 1975. Three months later, Harter got a job with P&G which led him to traveling around the world, to promote some of the products our lives would be impossible to imagine without: Ivory soap, Pampers, Mr. Clean, etc. “I traveled throughout Central Europe, Turkey, the Balkans, Central Asia, and picked up a few more languages such as German and some Dutch,” said Harter. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of East and West Germany, Harter found himself jettisoned once...
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