Institute’s 75th anniversary a success

Institute’s 75th anniversary a success

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The 75th anniversary of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, with events taking place Nov. 4-5, was deemed a success by organizers, attendees and alumni. “I cannot thank you enough for all the time, effort and energy that made this entire anniversary week such a success,” said Col. Phil Deppert, DLIFLC commandant. “You really define what makes DLIFLC such a national treasure – tireless dedication, selfless service and passion for what you do.” The Institute inducted seven new members into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Presidio of Monterey Nov. 4 with more than 200 people attending in person at the Weckerling Center ballroom. Video from the induction ceremony posted on social media received more than 1,400 views with Facebook users congratulating the inductees in real time. “Alan and Sue Kohler – that was quite some honor Maj. Gen. Adkins paid you two,” said one Facebook user. “Loved his speech. Please extend my congratulations on his induction into the DLI Hall of Fame.” “Alan and I were honored to attend the Hall of Fame induction of our good friend, Jim Adkins. We were thrilled to meet another Hall of Fame inductee, Mr. Walter Scurei,” said another Facebook user. “Mr. Scurei established the four-year Alumni Scholarship. Our daughter, Olivia, was a grateful recipient of one of these scholarships.” After the Hall of Fame ceremony, the Black Daggers, the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command parachute demonstration team, jumped into Soldier Field on the Presidio. One team member, DLIFLC alumnus Master Sgt. Sunnydale Hyde, delivered the commandant...
Nisei celebrate 75 years of military legacy

Nisei celebrate 75 years of military legacy

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   SAN FRANCISCO – The National Japanese American Historical Society, the Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, and the commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Col. Phil Deppert, gathered on Crissy Field at the Presidio of San Francisco Nov. 12 to honor Nisei Veterans and mark the 75th anniversary of the Military Intelligence Service, which began there in 1941. At that same location, 58 Nisei and two Caucasian Soldiers began studying Japanese in a small school established in an abandoned airplane hangar in November 1941, known as the Fourth Army Intelligence School. Today, that hangar is the home of the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center, which pays tribute to Nisei Soldiers of World War II each year. “This humble building is a place where history happened. What can we learn here?” asked Dr. James McNaughton, the keynote speaker who is the director of the Army Center for Military History and previously the command historian at DLIFLC. McNaughton described that in the early days of the school before the war, the hangar served as a barracks and classrooms with most of the Nisei’s daily lives centered on that building as well as the chow hall up the hill. When the attack on Pearl Harbor came in December 1941, “the Army decided not to shut down this school, but the students made a more important decision. They would continue preparing to defend their country,” McNaughton said. “They made the decision to continue to serve their country. They continued here even while their families were being removed from the West Coast,”...
“Seven famous Lopez brothers” build dynasty of linguists

“Seven famous Lopez brothers” build dynasty of linguists

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – In the early 1950s, seven brothers from Albuquerque, New Mexico, enlisted in the U.S. Navy joining the Naval Security Group, thus beginning a three-generation family tradition of service as linguists with most attending the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center or its predecessor schools. Returning for the Institute’s 75th Anniversary Ball Nov. 5, four of the original seven brothers – Stanley, Edward, Delbert and Gordon – sat at a table along with other linguist family members who gathered to enjoy the festivities. “There has likely been a Lopez at every major skirmish, battle or war the Navy participated in over the last 50 years,” said retired U.S. Navy Captain Bryan Lopez, Stanley’s son and a Russian linguist. Although everyone in the family is a Spanish heritage speaker, most learned additional languages through their Navy service at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center or a predecessor school. The first generation The first brothers to serve became known throughout the Navy as the “seven famous Lopez brothers” due to all of them serving in the Naval Security Group at one time. The legacy that they started would lead the family to more than 240 combined years of service in the Navy. The Lopez family’s service began with the two oldest of the seven brothers, Arthur and Larry, who joined the Navy together in 1951. Arthur chose the communications path and would serve all over the world, but all the others became cryptolinguists. Larry, already a native Spanish speaker along with the rest of the family, learned Bulgarian at the University of...
75th Anniversary celebration begins

75th Anniversary celebration begins

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, California, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year as the provider of culturally-based foreign language education, training and sustainment for the Department of Defense going back to 1941. “Time and time again, the Nation’s leadership – military or civilian – must make informed decisions that rely on insight provided by a professional military linguist somewhere in that decision cycle,” said Col. Phil Deppert, who is the current commandant at the Institute. “Thankfully, those that preceded us at DLIFLC had the vision, foresight, instinct and agility to transform themselves and the institute to respond to our Nation’s needs.” A multitude of celebration events are scheduled for early November. The Black Daggers, the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command parachute demonstration team, will jump into Soldier Field at the Presidio for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony Nov. 4. “This is actually a dream. I get to go back not only as a member of the Special Operations Command but as a linguist representing the Army,” said Master Sgt. Sunnydale Hyde, a DLIFLC graduate and member of the Black Daggers. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place to honor those persons who have contributed significantly to language training, use thereof, or policy contributions within DOD. The following day, Nov. 5, an anniversary ball will take place to celebrate the extraordinary efforts of its students, instructors, staff and alumni throughout the years. The Institute’s roots were established on the eve of World War II. Considering the strained relations between...
Thinking outside the box: TRADOC Command Sgt. Maj. amazed with DLIFLC

Thinking outside the box: TRADOC Command Sgt. Maj. amazed with DLIFLC

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, the most senior enlisted leader in the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, California, for an informational tour of the Institute Oct. 25. “I really had a great day out here at DLI. It’s really impressive the amount of effort that’s going into developing our Soldiers,” said Davenport. As TRADOC Command Sergeant Major, Davenport is responsible for helping to ensure that the U.S. Army is the best trained, led and organized modern land power in the world. “I see DLI’s role in preparing Soldiers for deployments, whether operational or regionally aligned forces, as paramount and it goes back to having an understanding of the culture and some awareness of the language,” said Davenport. Davenport was most enthusiastic and excited about seeing the Institute’s technology, saying that he’s a “tech guy,” and has committed to ensuring DLIFLC’s online products are utilized by the total force, calling it “thinking outside the box.” After a briefing from Dr. Branka Sarac, director of technology integration, and Dr. Tamas Marius, director of language technology evaluation and assessment, Davenport has gained a vision of furthering Army online language training. “I think the work that DLI is doing via online training is hugely important. Rather than getting the Soldier here for training, you’re getting the training to where the point of need is, where the Soldier is,” said Davenport. Davenport believes that Soldiers should learn at least a few simple phrases such as “Please,” “Thank you,” or “How...
FAO program guest speaker on developments in Turkey

FAO program guest speaker on developments in Turkey

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   Editor’s note: This article is a feature from the Foreign Area Officer program’s monthly officer professional development series at DLIFLC. MONTEREY, Calif. – Ryan Gingeras, associate professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, spoke to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center about recent events in Turkey Oct. 19. “Because of the July 15th failed coup attempt this year the Turkish military is weakened, demoralized and has lost a lot,” said Gingeras. “One of the worst sectors affected was the press with the purging and prosecuting of opponents, and anti-American sentiment postured by the government is now at its highest.” The failed military-lead coup attempt only strengthened the power of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seen as a pillar of the state, according to Gingeras. There is now an increased drive to strengthen the position of the president and the central government leading to mass purges and arrests. Erdogan’s government alleges the coup’s leader to be of the Gulen Movement, a pacifist, modern-oriented version of Islam that is designated a terrorist organization in Turkey. The movement’s founder, Fethullah Gulen, lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S., thus leading to anti-American sentiment associated with the coup. “The actual details of the coup are not entirely clear. The full size of those who participated in it, who the ringleaders were, is not fully known,” said Gingeras, making it unclear if the Gulen Movement was behind the attempt. “But what is clear is that the government has feared...
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