DLIFLC receives new Command Sergeant Major

DLIFLC receives new Command Sergeant Major

June 3, 2016 By Amber Whittington DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – After serving successfully at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center for two years, Command Sgt. Major Matildo Coppi relinquished his role as the institute’s most senior enlisted leader to Command Sgt. Major Ramsey on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey, California, June 3. “You are our nation’s future …and you will continue to thrive because of the unity of services,” said Coppi in his final remarks to students standing in formation before him, Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines. The change of responsibility ceremony was presided over by Col. Phillip J. Deppert, commandant of DLIFLC. “Senior enlisted leaders are important because we command together, drive positive change together and lead together,” said Deppert about serving with Coppi. Making references to Hollywood movies that featured strong leadership personalities, he said “For America, the sergeant is the Army.” Several of Coppi’s achievements during his two-year tenure included the improvement of Non-Commissioned Officer development, the augmentation of number of Military Language Instructors in the schools, and efforts toward allowing service members to choose the foreign language they want to study. Coppi will move on to the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he was selected to attend a special Master program in education for a year, after which he will teach at the academy. Ramsey arrived in Monterey after serving as the G2 Sgt. Maj. for 5th Theater Signal Command Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany. “I know what you are capable of accomplishing,” said Ramsey, who has served at DLIFLC three times in the...
Eight awards in Russian essay contest

Eight awards in Russian essay contest

By Chief Petty Officer Ted Hellene DTRA Interpreting Course   MONTEREY, Calif. – Eight Russian language students at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center received awards from the American Council of Teachers of Russian for their entries in the 17th Annual National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest at the DOD Center Monterey Bay in Seaside, California, May 31. Sgt. Van Walther received a bronze medal in Category A, Level 3 (Students who do not and did not ever speak 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). Staff Sgt. Olga Messier received a silver medal in Category C, Level 5 (Students who speak Russian with their families, and who attended school for 5 or more years in Russia or the former Soviet Union and have not had to relearn reading and writing skills after emigration). Staff Sgt. Anna Lyubarskaya received honorable mention 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 2nd Class Julia Shkunda won a gold medal in category B, Level 4 (Heritage speakers of a Slavic Language other than Russian, who have had more than 400 contact hours of instruction in Russian). Petty Officer 1st Class Gheorghe Cormos received honorable mention in Category A, Level 4 and 5 (Students who do not...
Memorial Day observance at the Presidio of Monterey

Memorial Day observance at the Presidio of Monterey

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 26. 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. Retired U.S. Air Force Col. William “Terry” Bare, former assistant commandant at DLIFLC from 2008 to 2011 and guest speaker at the event, encouraged the attendees to observe the Memorial Day holiday as a day of reflection and remembrance and not just a long weekend. “So here’s my challenge to you. Think about on Memorial Day those Americans from the late 1770s to the current day, those 1.5 million veterans, who gave their lives for all,” said Bare. Bare is the executive director of the Monterey County Veterans Transition Center and serves on a program that helps veterans in need. “I believe as a nation and a community we owe them our best effort,” said Bare. Following the remarks, Col. Phillip 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 the Global War on Terrorism. This year, there were no names to add to the plaque, a list which includes 330 DLIFLC graduates who gave their lives for their nation since 1963, when official documentation began. 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...
FAO program guest speaker on Boko Haram

FAO program guest speaker on Boko Haram

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. – Daniel Eizenga, a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida and a researcher with Sahel Research Group, shared his understanding of Boko Haram with Foreign Area Officers in language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center May 19. “The point I want to drive home is that some will argue this is a Nigeria specific problem, but Boko Haram is a regional phenomenon,” said Eizenga. Eizenga began with the history and geography of the ethnically, religiously and linguistically diverse region where Boko Haram has gained influence. The Francophone Sahel, as it is referred to in the academic community, is the crossroads between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa and was previously colonized by the French. According to Boko Haram, colonization brought Western systems to Africa and thus these things brought corruption, said Eizenga. Boko Haram emerged in the 1990s as an extension of Al Qaeda to overthrow Western influence. It operates in northeastern Nigeria and parts of Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The U.S. State Department classifies Boko Haram as a terrorist organization and Nigeria sees it as an insurgency and Jihadi organization. More recently, Boko Haram has pledged its allegiance to and adopted the black flag of ISIL, which has plagued parts of Iraq, Syria and even Libya. Approximately 2.5 million people have been displaced by Boko Haram, which creates a huge humanitarian crisis. It has destroyed entire villages and massacred populations, said Eizenga. “Despite all of this,...
Commandant speaks at ROTC commissioning at Berkeley

Commandant speaks at ROTC commissioning at Berkeley

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   BERKELEY, Calif. – The commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Col. Phillip J. Deppert, was the guest speaker at an Army ROTC commissioning ceremony for recent graduates at the University of California, Berkeley, May 14. The ROTC battalion at Berkeley also commissioned cadets studying at California State University, East Bay, in Hayward, California. “No ceremony is more symbolic and memorable than a commissioning ceremony in the start of an officer’s career,” said Deppert, beginning his remarks. “You are about to take your place in an ancient and honorable calling. Serving in the Army isn’t just a job, but a profession, more specifically a profession of arms that requires expertise, trust, development and value-based ethics,” Deppert continued. Nine ROTC cadets commissioned as second lieutenants into the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard who will go on to serve as officers in the armor, military intelligence, air defense artillery, field artillery, infantry and military police corps. “Although this profession comes with an enormous responsibility, understand that a career of an Army officer is a wonderful experience,” said Deppert. Deppert is an Army ROTC alumnus having commissioned through the program at Ripon College, Wisconsin, in 1990. “You will learn every day in the Army, but don’t forget to have fun. It is about balance,” said Deppert. “Even after 26 years, I am still having fun every single day.” This year marks the 100th anniversary of Army ROTC. Since then, more than 600,000 officers have commissioned through ROTC. Army ROTC started with 35 initial programs in 1916 that included the University of California,...
2016 Language Day celebration

2016 Language Day celebration

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center held its annual Language Day at the Presidio of Monterey, California, May 13 to promote and encourage cultural understanding and customs from around the world. Approximately 5,000 people attended the event, which features cultural displays and activities as well as ethnic foods served by local international vendors on the Presidio’s Soldier Field every year. “This is a total team effort, a phenomenal event and a unique experience,” said Col. Phillip J. Deppert, commandant of the institute, as he addressed the crowd on Soldier Field. “We exist here because of you and our partnerships outside these gates.” DLIFLC partnered with the City of Monterey to host the Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival May 14, a similar event the following day. The city’s festival featured music, flags, international crafts and food, dancers from many diverse cultures and a whole array of exhibitions to celebrate the diverse culture of Monterey. The city modeled their event after DLIFLC’S Language Day. Language Day is an open house that showcases the institute’s excellence in foreign language study and the diversity of its faculty and students. Performances representing the 23 languages taught by the institute were provided by students and faculty members on the main stage area situated on Soldier Field. Cultural displays for visitors to see firsthand how language is taught at the institute were held in the classrooms adjacent to the festivities. The tradition of hosting an annual Language Day at the Presidio has been ongoing for more than 60 years and every year it...
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