Memorial Day Observance 2017

Memorial Day Observance 2017

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center observed Memorial Day during a ceremony on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey, California, May 25 and honored three fallen linguists from the Vietnam War era. Col. Phil Deppert, commandant, and Ben De La Selva, founder of the DLI Alumni Association, unveiled the plaque of the Institute’s graduates who lost their lives in Southeast Asia with the three service member’s names added. Sgt. Clarence L. ‘Boone’ McNeill was killed in action February 5, 1969 when the aircraft on which he was serving as an Airborne Cryptologic Linguist was downed by enemy fire over Laos. Spc. 5 Richard Jay Hentz went missing March 4, 1971 when the aircraft on which he was serving as a Voice Interceptor was downed by enemy fire over Vietnam. Staff Sgt. Todd Michael Melton was killed in action February 5, 1973 when the aircraft on which he was serving as an Airborne Cryptologic Linguist was downed by enemy fire over southern Laos. The Institute has honored fallen linguists dating back to 1963, when official documentation began, which includes more than 330 graduates who gave their lives for their country. The annual ceremony consists of a formation of troops in their dress uniforms representing all four service detachments, ceremonial cannon fire and the playing of taps. Memorial Day dates back to the end of the Civil War as towns across America honored those who died in the war. The tradition continued as the U.S. fought in other wars, and it became an official federal holiday in 1971 as...
Russian students bring home essay contest awards

Russian students bring home essay contest awards

By Master Sgt. Igor Poklad DTRA Linguist Liaison Office   MONTEREY, Calif. – Seven students at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Interpreting Course and one Advanced Russian student received awards from the American Council of Teachers of Russian for their entries in the “18th Annual National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest.” All eight students were recognized May 23 at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Continuing Education Directorate located in Seaside, California. Staff Sgt. Hunter Behrens received a silver medal in Category A, Level 4 (Students who do not and have never spoken Russian or any other Slavic language at home, who have had more than 400 contact hours of instruction in Russian). Sgt. Samuel DeBolt, Staff Sgt. Kyle Tomaszewski and Staff Sgt. Yadgar Raswll received honorable mention in this category. Sgt. Aaron Jaramillo received Honorable Mention in Category A, Level 3 (Students who do not and have never spoken Russian or any other Slavic language at home and have had more than 250 contact hours, but fewer than 400 contact hours of instruction in Russian). Tech. Sgt. Dmitriy Sklyar and Sgt. Khurshed Madaminov received a silver medal in Category C, Level 4 (Students who speak Russian with their families, and who attended school for fewer than five years in Russia or the former Soviet Union and may have had to relearn reading and writing skills after emigration, and who have had fewer than 60 contact hours of instruction in college). Petty Officer 1st Class Eugenijus Kulesovas received a bronze medal in this category. In this year’s contest, 1,326 essays were submitted from 67 universities, colleges, and institutions from...
Defense Language Institute celebrates Language Day 2017

Defense Language Institute celebrates Language Day 2017

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. –  An estimated 5,000 people attended DLIFLC’s annual Language Day Open House event on Friday, May 12th, on the Presidio of Monterey. It was a fun-filled day with more than 40 cultural performances, dance, song, special presentations and classroom demonstrations. Students, from of all four branches of the services, along with instructors, prepare for months before the annual event that draws in thousands of high school students and educators from all over northern California and as far away as Brazil. “I look forward to this event every year and try to come back to participate in some of the workshops,” said Mirko Hall, professor of German Studies and Chair of Languages, Cultures and Literatures at Converse College, South Carolina. Hall graduated from the Modern Standard Arabic program in 1992. Adding to the excitement this year was the introduction of live streaming for the event, which enabled an additional 900 people to view the event. “We watched it from Spain – thanks for live-streaming it so we could see our son!” said one couple via DLIFLC’s Facebook page. According to YouTube analytics, viewers from 20 different countries saw the event live. The Commander of the Presidio of Monterey, Col. Lawrence Brown, used the occasion of Language Day and the open post to invite Vietnam veterans to recognize sacrifice for the nation. Sixty one veterans were presented the U.S. Army’s pin recognizing their service during the 1960s and 1970s. Language Day normally takes place on the second Friday in May each year. The exact date of the next open house event will take...
Students succeed again in Mandarin speech contest

Students succeed again in Mandarin speech contest

By Siyi (Lois) Gao DLIFLC Asian School I   SAN FRANCISCO – Sixty-eight Mandarin Chinese language students at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center participated in the 42nd Annual Mandarin Speech contest in San Francisco April 22, with 31 DLI students winning awards. This year, 415 registered contestants from 38 schools and universities in California participated in this contest, in which the DLIFLC students competed with students from U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Davis, U.C. Irvine, the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and many others. According to the event organizer, the Chinese Language Teachers Association of California, DLIFLC students won a total of 31 prizes including six first-place winners, six second-place winners, four third-place winners, and 15 honorable mentions. Professor Patrick Lin, academic specialist at DLIFLC’s Asian School I, was impressed by the results. “Considering DLIFLC students participated in just 10 contestant groups, this result is really excellent,” said Lin. “DLI students outperformed their rivals from other universities and colleges again this year, showcasing the high quality of our Chinese program, which we are all proud of.  I think there are three factors contributing to our students’ great success in the contest – hard work by our Chinese language faculty, high motivation by our students, and strong support from the school management.” Dr. Janette Edwards, dean of Asian School I, along with 58 Chinese faculty members, attended the speech contest to support the event held at Lowell High School in San Francisco. Edwards was also one of the award presenters during the award ceremony at the end of the day-long event. “I am so pleased, but not at...
Impact most important about DLI, says general

Impact most important about DLI, says general

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy, commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California April 13 to see first-hand the Army’s foreign language training mission. “You can’t look at the size of an organization to determine its importance. You have to look at the size of its impact,” said Lundy in an interview.  “When you look at the number of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who walk out of these gates with the skills that they have, the things they are going to go out and do will directly inform national-level decisions.” Lundy spent time observing classes in Russian, French and Spanish and spoke to students, of all four branches of the service, about the importance of their studies to national security. “When I spoke to the students, none of them said it was easy,” said Lundy, exiting a Russian language classroom where students were a bit more than half way through their 47-week course. During a working lunch with the DLIFLC Provost, management and the eight deans of the 17 languages currently taught at the institute, Lundy wanted to specifically address them to explain the significance of their work within the larger context of the military and national defense. “One of the main points I wanted to drive home is the impact they (instructors) have on our nation….it is not just our Army or our Joint Force. When you think about the importance of our Soldiers out there, one of the key things we have to...
From DLI to VP in Procter & Gamble’s Eastern European division

From DLI to VP in Procter & Gamble’s Eastern European division

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – 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 again into Eastern Europe, right in the middle of the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution in late 1989, when most Eastern European nations were freeing themselves of the then Soviet Union’s oppressive control. “I am very proud of the Rakona manufacturing plant acquisition. We negotiated with the then Czechoslovak government for about 18 months and P&G became the first company to acquire 100 percent of a government owned business…via special...
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