DLIFLC students win in annual Russian essay contest

DLIFLC students win in annual Russian essay contest

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Six 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 National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest. Dr. Betty Lou Leaver, DLIFLC Provost, presented the awards to four of the students June 3. Staff Sgt. Arturas Karizskis won a gold medal, Spc. Aleksandr Didarov won a bronze medal, and Staff Sgt. Ilya Volovik and Staff Sgt. Almaz Jamankulov received honorable mention. “This is the only competition of its type in that it is not only native English speakers learning Russian competing, but also the best of heritage Russian speakers,” said Leaver. The contest is divided into categories depending on the source of the student’s Russian capability. All of the DLIFLC students participated in Category C of the contest, intended for students born to Russian speaking families but received most or all of their education in English. Volovik, who received honorable mention, praised his instructors for their mentorship and helping him succeed. “We couldn’t have gotten these awards without the great teachers we have here,” said Volovik. “The credit really goes out to them.” The contest included more than 1,000 participants from 68 universities, colleges and institutions. This year’s topic was “A very interesting day in my life.” The contest has been held annually since 1999. Students’ essays are judged by leading professors of Russian language studies at Moscow State University. Gold, silver or bronze certificates of accomplishment are awarded, along with honorable...
Naval Attachés visit DLIFLC

Naval Attachés visit DLIFLC

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, California, hosted about 40 foreign naval attachés and their spouses June 1. DLIFLC Commandant, Col. David K. Chapman, welcomed the attachés to the institute and gave them an overview of how DLIFLC trains linguists for the armed services. Chapman, a Foreign Area Officer and three-time graduate of DLIFLC, spoke about his own experience learning Russian, Serbian-Croatian, and Greek. “People often don’t realize how big we are, they assume that we are a single ‘institute’ or building, but when they come here, they are amazed by all the things we do, the capabilities that we have, and the number of military service members we train,” said Chapman, explaining that the perception about DLIFLC is often that it is a small school that only trains foreign area officers. DLIFLC trains approximately 3,500 service members in 23 languages, most of whom are new to the military. The attachés visited classrooms in the European and Latin American school to get a firsthand look at just a fraction of the languages offered. Defense, Military, Naval, and Air Attaché of Finland Capt. Timo Stahlhammar observed a Serbian-Croatian class and was impressed with the students’ learning, especially that they were so young and new to the military. “I didn’t understand anything that was being said, but hearing the students speak to each other I could tell that they were communicating,” said Stahlhammar. Stahlhammar commended the students and their instructor for their hard work and success. He encouraged the students to keep up their language skills once...
DLIFLC students to attend West Point

DLIFLC students to attend West Point

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Two recent graduates from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, California, have been accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Both students will begin their studies this fall. Every year, Rep. Sam Farr, of the 20th Congressional District of California, sponsors a reception held at the Presidio of Monterey’s historic Weckerling Center to congratulate students from his district who have been accepted to the prestigious academy. This year, Farr invited appointees, their families, and two DLIFLC graduates to celebrate the event May 27. “It’s a rough experience during the first year at an academy,” said Farr. “It’s good to know somebody else from the neighborhood and that is why we hold this reception every year.” Farr said the selection process was not something he did alone, but that he established a board of review consisting of military academy graduates who reside with his district, including DLIFLC’s Col. Ginger Wallace, the assistant commandant. Among those nominated from DLIFLC were Spc. Jessica Maddox and Spc. David Oh. Oh completed the institute’s 64-week Mandarin Chinese Basic Course and intends to study engineering. He graduated DLIFLC with a high grade point average and an associates of arts degree. Maddox completed Pashto, also a 64-week course, and intends to study international relations and computer science. She also graduated DLIFLC with a high grade point average. Pashto and Mandarin require rigorous study outside of the seven hours of classroom instruction per day. On top of that, both soldiers had to go through a lengthy West...
Legal assistance office wins American Bar award

Legal assistance office wins American Bar award

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel awarded the legal office at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, with the Legal Assistance Distinguished Service Award for 2014. DLIFLC leadership presented the award May 27 to the institute’s Legal Assistance Office representatives Darwin Strickland and Matthew Shelton. It is awarded for exceptional achievements and service while taking into account limited resources available. “These small offices of two lawyers and a clerk service a joint population of potentially 43,000, while their customer service rating was 97 percent satisfactory,” said DLIFLC Commandant Col. David Chapman, as he read the citation. Some of the efforts that the legal team made were providing training and educational briefings to DLIFLC students at convenient times and locations, posting informative papers on common legal issues on the Presidio of Monterey Facebook and website, and hosting team building events with experts from the Department of Justice, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission. Last year during tax season, the legal team filed over 1,600 state and federal tax returns saving clients over $300,000 in filing fees, and returning over $2.1 million in refunds. “This is testament that they are doing their job right,” said Lt. Col. Tiernan Dolan, Staff Judge Advocate for the Presidio of Monterey. The American Bar Association awards the Legal Assistance Distinguished Service Award annually to commands that have accomplished exceptional achievement or exceptional service to the armed forces legal assistance effort. The DLIFLC Legal Assistance Office assists active duty personnel and retirees of...
DLIFLC honors fallen soldier in Memorial Day ceremony

DLIFLC honors fallen soldier in Memorial Day ceremony

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center observed Memorial Day during a brief ceremony on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey May 21. The annual Memorial Day ceremony consists of a formation of troops in their dress uniforms representing all four service detachments, ceremonial cannon fire and the playing of taps. This year, DLIFLC honored the service, patriotism and bravery of U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Landis who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Landis, of Independence, Kentucky, was killed in action in Afghanistan in February 2014. He entered the U.S. Army in 2011 and graduated DLIFLC as an Arabic linguist before becoming a cryptologic linguist. He deployed to Afghanistan in late 2013. Sgt. 1st Class David Lee and Staff Sgt. Frank Henegar, both from the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, served with Landis in Afghanistan and gave remarks at the ceremony. “Lonnie, as he was known to his brothers, was a strong willed and free spirited,” said Lee. “He had a zest for life and even more for having fun.” Following the guest speaker’s remarks, Col. Ginger Wallace, Assistant Commandant of DLIFLC, and Ben De La Selva, founder of the DLI Alumni Association, unveiled the plaque of all the institute’s fallen who lost their lives in the Global War on Terrorism with Landis’s name included. Wallace encouraged the attendees to observe the Memorial Day holiday as a day of reflection and remembrance and not just a long weekend. Memorial Day dates back to the end of the Civil War as towns across America...
Army inspector general visits DLIFLC

Army inspector general visits DLIFLC

Story by Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center welcomed Lt. Gen. David Quantock, the Inspector General of the U.S. Army, to the institute on the Presidio of Monterey, California, May 21. Quantock is visiting installations in Northern California and is the first inspector general to visit DLIFLC. He received a briefing from Steve Collins, chief of staff of DLIFLC, on the mission and vision of the institute followed by a visit to an Arabic language classroom. “It’s amazing what you have here,” said Quantock. “I didn’t realize the size of this institution.” DLIFLC is regarded as one of the finest schools for foreign language instruction in the world. The Institute provides resident instruction in 23 languages to approximately 3,500 military service members, five days a week, seven hours per day, with two to three hours of homework each night. Generally, students spend between 26 and 64 weeks at the Presidio, depending on the difficulty of the...
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