Taekwondo demonstration team performs at Presidio

Taekwondo demonstration team performs at Presidio

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Kukkiwon Taekwondo Demonstration Team performed the traditional Korean martial art for students at the Presidio of Monterey, California, Price Fitness Center Aug. 3. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Asian School II hosted the event. Following the demonstration, the team answered questions in Korean for the benefit of the students. Kukkiwon, known as the World Taekwondo Headquarters, is the center of taekwondo culture in Korea with teams touring about 120 countries as ambassadors of the traditional martial art for the past 40 years. SEE MORE...
Former Arabic student speaks at UN

Former Arabic student speaks at UN

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Spc. David Chestnut, an Arabic language graduate from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City July 26-29 as a winner of the “Many Languages, One World” essay contest. “When I submitted the essay I didn’t think that I was of that high of a caliber, but I wanted to see where I stand,” said Chestnut. “It was very overwhelming and exciting when I got the email saying I won.” The contest challenges students to write about how multilingualism fosters global citizenship and cultural understanding. It must be written in a language other than their first language and be an official language of the U.N. – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish. “I didn’t know too much about the globalism aspect of it so I had to really break it down and think about how culture and language would tie everything together, then try to figure out how to do it in Arabic,” said Chestnut. Chestnut wrote in his essay that there are countless phrases in numerous languages specific to the culture and without knowledge and cultural insight, learning a language would be like piecing together an incomplete puzzle. Following his graduation from DLIFLC, Chestnut was excited to speak at the U.N. because it was an opportunity to critically think in his new language. “Instead of having time to revise, I’ll get to see how well I can think of things on the spot and improvise with the language. Not everything will be scripted. That will really show...
New DASD for training and education visits DLIFLC

New DASD for training and education visits DLIFLC

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Ms. Diana Banks, assigned as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for force training and education, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), in Washington, D.C., visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center July 25. Banks, new to the job since July 6, wanted to get to learn more about the institute’s mission as it constitutes a part of her portfolio. During her several hour visit to the Presidio, Banks observed a Korean and Arabic Iraqi dialect language class. “The classroom was amazing,” said Banks referring to the Korean language students. “The level of instruction is top notch and students are motivated. They clearly see the connection between what they are doing and the national security mission at large, which is great.” Banks explained that her office, a relatively new part of the USD P&R, is charged with making sure that there is a ready force and that the services are putting a joint effort into education and training in order to defend the nation in the future. “The Force Education and Training directorate was specifically put together with some of the readiness pieces that affect individual service members directly, such as education training, final readiness, etc. Putting those all together under one directorate (was the goal) so we could get some synergies out of policy coordination,” Banks said. Banks recognizes the necessity for learning foreign language and culture within the ranks of the military and the Department of Defense, stating that it reflects the very diversity of our nation’s composition. “The need for people to...
75th Anniversary Special: The Nisei legacy

75th Anniversary Special: The Nisei legacy

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Just prior to and then during World War II, foreign language became associated with military intelligence missions. Before then, and dating back to the dawn of the United States as a nation, language served more of a diplomatic function, or for the practical purposes of deciphering scientific and engineering texts such as those written in French during the Napoleonic Era. In order for cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, to understand their lessons, they had to be able to read French. “At the time, all of the engineering texts, especially military engineering, were imported from France,” said Col. Greg Ebner, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages at West Point. “Initially established as an engineering school, West Point sent faculty members over to France to procure engineering textbooks.” West Point added more languages to its undergraduate program over the years largely based upon the geopolitical environment. Spanish was added to the curriculum following the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War and German after World War I, according to Ebner. Some U.S. Army officers were game changers in the field of language training for enlisted troops, such as Gen. Joseph Stilwell who had been intimately involved with China since the 1920s and into World War II. He and Gen. George Marshall taught and studied Chinese as officers stationed in China and Stilwell helped established a language program in 1924 to teach U.S. Soldiers in China the rudiments of spoken Chinese. At the Presidio of San Francisco, considering the strained relations between Japan and the U.S. leading up to World...
FAO program guest speaker on current China topics

FAO program guest speaker on current China topics

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. – Kathleen Walsh, associate professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College China Maritime Studies Institute, presented lectures on China at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center July 21. Walsh spoke about two current topics of interest in international affairs in her presentation titled “21st Century China: U.S. partner, rival or adversary?” to students studying Mandarin Chinese and to Foreign Area Officers in language training at the institute. “Western scholars don’t truly understand China. They try to predict where China might fail, but they are not doing a very good job of explaining why China has succeeded despite all the challenges and obstacles,” said Walsh. The first topic covered the South China Sea and a recent ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, Netherlands. On July 12, the court ruled in favor of the Philippines in the 2013 case Republic of Philippines v. People’s Republic of China in the Spratly Islands dispute. The Spratly Islands are a cluster of more than 100 reefs, sandbanks and islets in the South China Sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, China and Taiwan all lay claim to some or all of the islands. The court’s ruling states that China’s claim of having historic rights to the islands is invalid under international law because China has artificially built up islands of interest, while technically no feature in the Spratly Islands meats the definition of the United Nations Convention...
229th MI Battalion changes command

229th MI Battalion changes command

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Lt. Col. Derrick C. Long relinquished command of the 229th Military Intelligence Battalion to Lt. Col. Tony K. Sabo during a ceremony on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey, California, July 8. In his farewell remarks, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Commandant, Col. Phil Deppert, praised Long for his exceptional leadership skills and for maintaining a positive and productive environment in one of the largest battalion in the Army, numbering more than 1,900 Soldiers. “You have been fully responsible for executing every mission in your organization, and Derrick, you have done that very well…You have set that stage and enabled that success over time,” said Deppert. In his outgoing remarks, Long addressed the service members, students of the 23 languages taught at the institute, saying “You are the heart of this institute, and I proud and humbled to have served with you.” Sabo took command of the 229th MI Battalion by accepting the guidon from the Commandant, symbolically taking charge of the battalion. Sabo is a 1993 Mandarin Chinese graduate and spent her first years in the military in the 229th’s Alpha Company. “I walked the same walk, ran down the same hills….and will do all I can to make sure you become confident, committed and successful Soldiers,” said Sabo, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language, a master’s degree in English, and a second master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Georgetown University. Soldiers of the 229th MI Battalion assigned to DLIFLC facilitate the production of qualified warrior linguists and sustains Soldiers...
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