Institute welcomes new assistant commandant

Institute welcomes new assistant commandant

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Colonel Ginger Wallace relinquished responsibility of her position as assistant commandant at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center during a change of command ceremony June 26 on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey, California. Colonel Keith Logeman assumed responsibility as DLIFLC assistant commandant, which also includes command of the U.S. Air Force’s 517th Training Group. “I am passionate about this institute and this training group. I am convinced you are the right person to take both organizations to even bigger successes,” said Wallace to Logeman. “I have known Ginger since we were captains at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and the last ten days she’s continued to teach me about this amazing institute as she did then,” said Logeman. Wallace also thanked DLIFLC instructors for teaching students more than six to seven hours per day. “You are the heart and soul of this institute,” she said. As assistant commandant, Wallace was responsible for more than 1,800 faculty members and 250 joint-service staff providing language training and operational support. As Commander of the 517th Training Group, she lead two squadrons composed of 1,200 Airmen, the majority of whom are cryptologic linguists. For her leadership and service, Wallace was awarded the Legion of Merit, one of the U.S. Armed Forces’ highest awards, from Col. Kimberlee Joos, commander of the 17th Training Wing, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, which is responsible for the 517th Training Group. Logeman will assume these same responsibilities from Wallace, but first thanked his family for their patience in the many moves that military families must endure....
From the Korean War to K-pop, Korean speech contest has it all

From the Korean War to K-pop, Korean speech contest has it all

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Korean School at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, California, held the 13th Annual Korean Speech Contest June 26. The contest provides students with an opportunity to showcase their Korean language ability and cultural awareness. Lance Cpl. Ean Johansen won first place with his speech titled “A Marine’s Korean love” where he spoke about his enjoyment of Korean popular music known as K-pop. “I think that students who listen to K-pop learn Korean better than students who do not listen to K-pop,” said Johansen in Korean during his speech. Johansen, who is three months into the Korean program, was recognized on stage by DLIFLC Commandant Col. David Chapman and received his first-place certificate. “I did really well in high school and I came here and thought Korean would be hard but not too bad. At the end of the first unit I was blown away,” said Johansen about studying Korean. “It’s amazing how much we do every day, but after three months I can hold conversations with native Koreans.” Seaman Martina Wilson won second place with her speech titled “A division of Korea and unification.” Wilson went on an overseas immersion to Korea to gain a better understanding of the language and culture. While there she conducted a survey on reunification of North and South Korea and used the results in her speech. “I spoke about the changing attitude towards the reunification of Korea,” said Wilson. “My project while in Korea was an opinion poll of what Koreans thought about reunification. I was stunned...
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense recognizes importance of linguists

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense recognizes importance of linguists

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center welcomed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness, Daniel P. Feehan, to the institute at the Presidio of Monterey, California, June 25. “The work that’s done here 100 percent saved the lives of my Soldiers, saved my life, and will continue to do so,” said Feehan, a U.S. Army Iraq veteran, with firsthand knowledge of the value of military linguists and acknowledges the vital role they play in the field. Within his scope of duties, Feehan is responsible for policy and oversight of joint training, education, training innovation and capability modernization, and advanced distributed learning technologies for the Federal Government and the Defense Language and National Security Education Office. During his visit senior DLIFLC leadership briefed Feehan on the institute’s goals to reach higher proficiency levels, faculty compensation, and distance learning capabilities, including online learning materials offered to not only the military services but also the public. “I think he was pretty surprised to see the variety of online learning materials we offer and that most of the products are available online and are accessible and free to the public as well,” said Branka Sarac, director of Technology Integration at the DLIFLC Directorate of Continuing Education. During the day, Feehan visited classrooms, spoke with instructors and students of Arabic Levantine, and toured the Directorate of Continuing Education, as well as the Isolation Immersion facility for local immersion exercises. “My take-away from here today is that you are incredibly unique,” Feehan told senior DLIFLC staff during his final meeting of the day. “The...
311th Training Squadron changes command

311th Training Squadron changes command

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Lt. Col. Thomas Coakley relinquished command of the 311th Training Squadron to Lt. Col. James “Brian” McCullough during a change of command ceremony on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey, California, June 19. The 311th Training Squadron is part of the U.S. Air Force 517th Training Group, which develops airmen skills and instills Air Force values while airmen train to become linguists at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. In his final remarks to the squadron, Coakley reflected back on some of his best memories from his time in command and remarked on the squadron’s professionalism. “When I look at the 311th Training Squadron I see a team of professionals; bright airmen working shoulder to shoulder in their commitment to the corps values; industrious and hardworking; proud and eager to be part of something that transcends individuality,” said Coakley. Coakley will return to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado for his next assignment. McCullough, now the new commander, thanked the Coakley for his service and accepted the challenge of leading the...
DLIFLC Commandant teaches FAOs how to navigate through careers

DLIFLC Commandant teaches FAOs how to navigate through careers

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Commandant, Col. David Chapman, told a group of Foreign Area Officers in training June 12, that performance, reputation, and the learning of foreign languages and culture are some of the most important things to keep in mind while building their careers. “Performance trumps everything,” said Chapman, adding that reputation is equally as important because of opportunities to serve in unique positions at home and around the world. “Your reputation has already started, right here today, and the first impression is really, really important,” said Chapman, who has served at U.S. Embassies in Moscow, Russia, Kiev, Ukraine, Belgrade, Serbia, and Athens, Greece, with an upcoming assignment at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France. “It is serious business, guard your reputation.” “Stay current, read. And I don’t mean only read what is assigned to you, but understand current events, about art, history. You have to be able to have breadth of knowledge, and language is the ice-breaker.” DLIFLC hosted the Joint Foreign Area Officer Course June 8-12 at the Weckerling Center on the Presidio of Monterey. FAOs, who come from the four branches of the U.S. military, are regionally focused and are considered experts on political-military issues. Once their FAO training is completed, they are expected to serve as defense attachés, security cooperation officers and political-military planners worldwide. Three speakers were invited to share their experience gained during their work either at combatant command headquarters, as attachés, or in special operations environments. Keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Matthew L. Brand, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic...
Studying Russian in the European Union

Studying Russian in the European Union

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   DAUGAVPILS, Latvia – When the political situation became heated in the Ukraine in late 2013, the U.S. Embassy in Riga, Latvia, received an urgent call. U.S. students studying Russian needed a place to continue their studies – and what better place but within the European Union, in a country where 50 percent of the population speaks Russian? “In fact, about 90 percent of the people here in Daugavpils speak Russian and use it all the time. Because we are located at the eastern most part of Latvia, most who live here are ethnic Russian,” says Sergey Simonov, the director and program manager of a company that has partnered with Daugavpils University to make the program possible. With a unique approach of customized individual and small group courses in Russian, taught by highly qualified professors, the program specializes in literature and post-Soviet studies and instructs more than 150 students from various countries annually. “The best thing about our program is that we have such a wonderful partnership with the Daugavpils University linguistics department. We expect our program to grow, precisely because of that excellent quality, convenient location and the fact that it is very safe here. Daugavpils is the best kept secret,” says Simonov, with a grin. “I spend about two hours per day talking with my family. We talk about everything that happened during the day, about life in the U.S., life here, and cover just about every topic imaginable,” said Army Spc. Taylor Johnson. In a local restaurant, friendly servers enjoy chatting in Russian with students who are trying to practice...
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