DLIFLC student among winners of UN essay contest

DLIFLC student among winners of UN essay contest

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Specialist Caitlin League, an Arabic language student at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, California, spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City July 24. For League, speaking at the U.N. was not something she expected to do when she came to DLIFLC. “I was dumbfounded when I got the letter saying I had been selected,” said League. “The closer the U.N. got the more nervous I became because I had only been learning for a little over a year when we went in July,” said League. It all began in March 2015 when League’s chief military language instructor encouraged all Middle East school students to enter the “Many Languages, One World” international essay contest. She was only about 10 months into her Arabic program at DLIFLC. The essay topic “should relate to the post-2015 global development agenda, in the context of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, and the definition of new goals reflecting the imperative of global sustainable development that recognizes, and is enriched by, cultural and linguistic diversity.” “Just the topic alone was enough to deter a lot of people,” said League. “Fortunately, the organizers provided us with a lot of links to information to help us get started.” The essay contest rules further stipulated that the essay be written in a language other than their first language and be an official language of the United Nations – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish. “I chose to write in Arabic about the importance of cultural diversity in...
Chapman says farewell as Deppert assumes command

Chapman says farewell as Deppert assumes command

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – After serving successfully for more than a year, Col. David K. Chapman relinquished command of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, California, to Col. Phillip J. Deppert July 29. The change of command ceremony was presided over by Kirby Brown, deputy to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, who paid his first visit to the institute. “You have no idea what an amazing institution this is. Out of all the schools and centers in the Army, this institute has the most unique, toughest and challenging mission of any of the schools,” said Brown in his remarks after spending time engaging with service members undergoing language training earlier in the day. “When you talk to them you are in for one heck of an impressive experience. They are articulate in their work and dedication to learn a language, which is not to learn just a language, but to learn a culture,” said Brown. Brown further highlighted several achievements during Chapman’s tenure, saying Chapman has “driven DLIFLC forward in an absolutely outstanding manner.” Chapman, in his farewell remarks, recognized what he called a “world class faculty” and thanked them for their dedication and all they do for the institute. “DLIFLC is the standard in language acquisition, testing and maintenance. No one does what you do and no one does it on this scale,” said Chapman. “I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead such an amazing organization and I wish you all the best,” said Chapman. Chapman also enjoyed the Presidio...
Service members earn prestigious German military badge

Service members earn prestigious German military badge

By Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Bickel DLIFLC   MONTEREY, Calif. – Sixteen service members assigned to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, California, and two service members in local reserve units earned the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency. German Army Colonel Peter Frank awarded the badges following the DLIFLC’s Commandant’s Run July 24. Participants tested for the proficiency badge July 13 to 16 at Old Fort Ord in Seaside, California, with help from six German Army and Air Force officers. Eighteen of the 21 personnel who tried out qualified, with eight service members earning the gold badge and 10 earning the silver badge. The German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency is one of several hundred foreign awards approved for wear on U.S. military uniforms. This was the first time DLIFLC conducted qualification events to earn the proficiency badge. “This was a good opportunity to get out into the field and do things I don’t get to do on a daily basis,” said 1st. Lt. Joy Palmer, DLIFLC executive officer. “I also enjoyed working with the German officers whom I just met from the Naval Postgraduate school.” Palmer is one of the recipients of the gold badge. “It’s an honor to be able to earn this award. I’ll always wear it with pride,” said Palmer. To qualify, participants are tested in their physical prowess, marksmanship skills, first aid, and knowledge of nuclear, biological and chemical protective gear. A 100 meter swim, basic fitness test and a ruck march tested physical fitness. Participants swam while wearing their combat uniform in under four minutes without...
Chapman leads his final Commandant’s Run; says farewell to troops

Chapman leads his final Commandant’s Run; says farewell to troops

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – About 3,000 service members, along with some family members, joined Col. David K. Chapman as he led his final run as commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center July 24. The Commandant’s Run, as it is called, began at the Price Fitness Center athletic field and wound through the Presidio of Monterey, California, for a distance of about two miles. Army, Marine, Navy and Air Force units held their guidons high and called cadence throughout as they made their way to the finish line at Soldier Field. Throughout the U.S. Armed Forces these types of unit runs are designed to be challenging, team-building activities for service members. The runs are usually conducted within individual services, but at DLIFLC, the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force all have the unique opportunity to run together. “This reminds us that we’re all in one military, and we’re all on the same team,” said Chapman at the conclusion on Soldier Field. He continued by giving the service members and families a congratulatory “well done” along with an informal good bye. Chapman changes command July...
Expert on Islamic State speaks to DLIFLC students

Expert on Islamic State speaks to DLIFLC students

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Cole Bunzel, adjunct professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University and leading academic expert on the background of the Islamic State, spoke to Arabic language students at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center July 17. The Islamic State became a growing concern for U.S. military leaders after it took control of most of Northern Iraq in 2014. Lectures such as this give students an opportunity to learn about potential issues they could be dealing with in their future careers. Bunzel’s discussion focused on the ideology of the Islamic State and its desire to reestablish the Islamic Caliphate. “The Caliphate is the state of the Prophet Muhammed. The successor to the prophet is the caliph,” said Bunzel. “It ceased to exist in Islamic history after the Mongols abolished it when they sacked Baghdad in 1258. The Islamic State today believes that the Caliphate is the only legitimate state in the world.” Bunzel discussed the rise of the Islamic State, beginning with al-Qaeda’s desire to establish a Caliphate in Iraq during the Iraqi insurgency in the early 2000s. Known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, it was led by Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi until he was killed by U.S. airstrikes June 7, 2006. The period between 2006 and 2013 the Islamic State became known as the “paper state,” said Bunzel, as their claim to have founded a state was not being taken seriously and the state existed only on paper or online. “Outside the narrow world of the jihadi Internet, the announcement of an Islamic State in Iraq drew little attention,” said...
Commandant says farewell at faculty potluck luncheon

Commandant says farewell at faculty potluck luncheon

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – More than 150 faculty and staff of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center said farewell to Col. David K. Chapman, DLIFLC commandant, during a luncheon at Khalil Hall on the Presidio of Monterey, California, July 16. “Thank you faculty for all you do. You made my job so much easier. All those great ideas came from you. All I had to do was go along with it,” said Chapman, referring to some of the academic initiatives he spearheaded with faculty input. “A three-time grad of DLIFLC, a true professional, and a very caring and compassionate person are all the more reasons we will miss Col. Chapman,” said DLIFLC Chief of Staff, Steve Collins. “We know he will stay in touch and will be looking to see if we can keep the momentum going on the many great initiatives he started.” Although serving as commandant for only about a year, Chapman has been very busy with many initiatives that effect students and faculty and better the institute. Even after his change of command, scheduled for July 29, Chapman plans to remain an advocate for DLIFLC, in support of the institute’s future success. “We thank you for your genuine concern for our faculty and students, for hosting faculty luncheons, for visiting the schools, and augmenting our overseas immersion program,” said Dr. Jim Zhao, associate provost of Undergraduate Education. Although the faculty played host for Chapman at the potluck luncheon, he hosted faculty members for lunch in his home on a monthly basis throughout his year in command in order to...
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