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...
DLIFLC graduates to transfer units to four-year college

DLIFLC graduates to transfer units to four-year college

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. –The commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center signed an academic articulation agreement Tuesday with the California University of Pennsylvania that will enhance the transferability of units between DLIFLC’s Associate of Arts Degree Program in Modern Standard Arabic and CAL U’s Bachelor Degree in Arabic Language and Culture. “This is the first time DLI has signed such an agreement with another accredited university for the transfer of 45 credits applied directly to a four-year Bachelor’s degree,” said DLIFLC Commandant Col. Phillip Deppert. “This is just the beginning. We expect to sign several more similar agreements with other universities in the near future.” “The agreement between CALU and DLIFLC agrees to grant DLIFLC students 45 transfer credits. The agreement also recognizes and accepts ACE-recommended credits as appropriate toward degree completion,” said Dr. Jack Franke, DLIFLC Accreditation Assistant and Institutional Researcher. As an accredited institution since 2002, DLIFLC has awarded more than 12,000 AA degrees in foreign language to students who have successfully passed their course and transferred 15 units in subjects such as math and English which are not a part of the DLIFLC program. “In the past, it was quite possible that despite the fact that DLI is accredited, universities had the ability to pick and choose what they wanted to accept as transferable units. Now, our graduates will be able to directly transfer their work to another university and get all the units they earned here,” explained Franke. “We are especially proud of this achievement because it puts us even closer to the Army University concept that...
DLIFLC students win big in Mandarin speech contest

DLIFLC students win big in Mandarin speech contest

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Service members studying Mandarin Chinese at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center participated in the 41st Annual Mandarin Speech Contest in San Francisco April 23, with 36 DLIFLC students winning awards. This year, 451 registered contestants from Northern California schools and universities such as Stanford, Berkeley, San Francisco State University, the University of San Francisco, and the University of California – Davis, competed in the contest. Teachers in DLIFLC’s Chinese department encourage their students to participate in the annual contest, which many of them see as a measure of both faculty and student success. “With Asian School I leadership’s continuous strong support, DLI students have been participating in this speech contest for many years, which has become an effective driving force in promoting student proficiency,” said Dr. Liwei Gao, assistant dean of DLIFLC’s Asian School I. Sixty eight Chinese Mandarin students at DLIFLC registered for the contest and won a total of 36 prizes that included six first place winners, 10 second place winners, four third place winners and 16 honorable mentions. “This is the best result that we have had so far. DLI students outperformed their rivals from all other participating colleges and universities,” said Gao. During the contest, students deliver a three to five-minute speech which they wrote, memorized, and delivered on their own, on any appropriate topic the student chose to speak on, appropriate to his or her level of training. Teachers at DLIFLC such as Kevin Yang and Yunhua Zhang also participated as judges in the contest, though they did not judge their own...
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