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...
Former Korean ambassador discusses North Korea

Former Korean ambassador discusses North Korea

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Korean language students at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, got a taste of potential issues they could be dealing with in their future careers during a lecture May 20. Sook Kim, former Korean ambassador to the United Nations, spoke about the nuclearization issue in North Korea and the policy of North Korea’s current president, Kim Jong Un. The lecture was given entirely in Korean intended to provide students with target language content regarding a current foreign policy concern. “I learned a lot about North Korea’s nuclear research and issues that South Korea has to deal with,” said Spc. Olivo Bonnelly. “It was great to get informed on how we might go about denuclearizing the country and get Kim Jong Un to cooperate.” Kim Jong Un succeeded his father in 2011 as the leader of North Korea. He continued his father’s policy of “military first,” while pursuing the simultaneous development of nuclear weapons and economic growth. However, very little has been revealed as to how much control Kim Jong Un actually has in the North Korean regime and this contributes to the threat to stability in Northeast Asia. It is topics such as these that help prepare students to be better linguists when they get to their career field. “Attending the lecture was a great privilege and an opportunity to hear Korean in a practical setting outside of the classroom,” said Airman Joshua Mabry. “The speaker was not only easy to understand, but he was also engaging and discussed very interesting topics which are relevant...
Vietnamese teacher reflects on journey to DLIFLC

Vietnamese teacher reflects on journey to DLIFLC

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Every year on Language Day at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Margarita Thao Nguyen, a Vietnamese teacher in the institute’s Continuing Education Directorate, participates by wearing traditional Vietnamese clothes and sharing her knowledge of the culture of Vietnam. This year she took part in a ceremony that honored veterans of the Vietnam conflict as the U.S. commemorates the 50th anniversary of the war. The war forced Nguyen to flee her home country and start anew in America when she was 27 years old. Even though coming to the U.S. put her out of danger from the communists, she still had to adapt to living in another country. Her journey would be long, but eventually she became a much-loved instructor at DLIFLC. Early years in Saigon Nguyen was born in the northern part of Vietnam, but when the country was partitioned in 1954 she moved to Saigon with her parents where she grew up. As a five-year-old at the time, her only memory is getting sick on the boat as the family traveled south. Prior to 1975, it could be said that Saigon was relatively calm and stable throughout the Vietnam War, aside from a few skirmishes and the 1968 Battle of Saigon. However, for most residents, the war was something that was fought in the countryside, not the city. Life in Saigon was very normal for Nguyen and her 12 siblings as she was growing up. She had the opportunity to go to school and even had a job when she entered adulthood. Nguyen’s father was a...
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