Generations study language at DLIFLC

When U.S. Army Capt. Matthew Kuhlman in-processed last fall at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, Calif., he picked up a special 70th anniversary edition of the installation Globe magazine, and started thumbing through the pages. “On page 14 he noticed a picture of a group of Slavic folk dancers. The nice-looking young lady third from the left in the picture, Olga Vieglias, is Matt’s mother,” said retired Lt. Col. Jim Kuhlman, in an e-mail to the Institute. “I was a student of Russian at DLI from July 1974 to June 1975 as a trainee in the Army’s Foreign Area Officer Program for the Soviet Union and East Europe. Olya was one of my instructors in the course and we were married in August 1975 as I was beginning the course of study at the Russian Institute in Garmisch, Germany,” explained Kuhlman. Thirty eight years later, Capt. Kuhlman followed in his father’s footsteps, right down to the Foreign Area Officer Military Occupation Specialty, albeit for a different language and region of the world, French and Sub-Saharan Africa, where he has an impending assignment to Botswana for his in-country training phase. “I always had the idea of wanting to be a FAO in the back of my mind,” said Capt. Kuhlman. “I wanted to learn about different cultures and decided to apply to the program, after my two tours in Iraq.” After seven years of being in artillery, Capt. Kuhlman was assigned the Sub-Saharan Africa region that falls under U.S. Africa Command, one of the Department of Defense’s six geographic combatant commands. “I am looking forward to...

Rear admiral tells officers they need to be “elite”

The Navy’s senior foreign area officer and director of International Engagement, Rear Admiral Douglas J. Venlet, told a group of more than 80 officers at a Foreign Area Officer Conference that their job is to use their unique language and culture skills in order to build and maintain international relationships and partnerships throughout their careers. “We live in a globalized world. If we are not connected linguistically, we are out of the picture,” Venlet said, at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, Calif. “You need to be elite…Focus on the language you are studying now and get to that 3/3 level,” he said, referring to a high level of foreign language proficiency. “Study, study, study. Don’t settle for anything less than full capability,” he advised. Foreign Area Officers are a specialized group of officers from all branches of the service who possess a set of skills that come from a training program that involves formal study of a language, a period of in-country training in their Area of Responsibility, and attaining a master’s degree in a field compatible with their focus. Because of their expertise, FAOs normally serve in U.S. Embassies around the world either as security assistance officers or as military attaches. Venlet, a key note speaker during the four-day conference organized by the FAO office at the Institute, graduated from the Russian language program in 1974. Venlet told students that his FAO background led him on an interesting career path, which aside from “driving ships,” also allowed him to work at the White House as the deputy executive secretary of the National Security Council...

Regional expertise more important in new Army construct

The director of Strategy, Plans and Policy Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G- 3/5/7, Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, told a group of Foreign Area Officers that their future roles as regional language and culture experts will become even more important with the implementation of new concept called Regionally Aligned Forces that will organize military missions into five geographic regions over the next year. “You will be the individual who will be translating ideas between the support command, theater objectives and building partnership capacity,” he told a group of some 80 FAOs from all services attending the four-day long FAO Conference at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey June 10-13. FAOs in the Army and other services are an elite group of officers who have a special set of skills that come from a training program that involves formal study of a language, a period of in-country training in their Area of Responsibility, and attaining a master’s degree in a field compatible with their focus. Because of their expertise, FAOs normally serve in U.S. Embassies around the world either as security assistance officers or as military attache’s. “You are lucky to be here and train at DLI. The Chief is committed to leader development” said Snow, speaking about the Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno. As a part of the Regionally Aligned Forces, units will now serve in direct support of the regional combatant commanders and are expected to participate in hundreds of missions that include joint exercises, partnership training, quick reaction forces, and humanitarian assistance. Much of the initial coordination...

Egyptian General visits DLIFLC

Egyptian Brigadier General Mohamed Moustafa Kamal Ibrahim Fahmy, the Commandant of the Defense Language Institute of the Egyptian Ministry of Defense, receives a brief about the U.S.-based Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center from Foreign Area Officer Lt. Col. Jayson Weece, May 22. Fahmy has not visited DLIFLC for nine years and says he wants to receive an update on the changes in curriculum and use of technology in the classrooms. Story and Photo Credits Story and photos by Natela Cutter,...

Martial arts experts train Presidio Service Members

Shou Shu, which translates to “fighting way of the beast,” a full-on combat form of martial arts, was taught at the Presidio of Monterey Saturday, 29 March, by 10 black belt instructors, or Shi Gungs, who came from as far away as Lake Tahoe. The Shi Gungs, led by Ray Kriegr from Moore’s Martial Arts in Pacific Grove volunteered their Saturday to teach dozens of Service Members stationed at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. “I wanted to do something to empower people [Service Members] to be able to stand up against something,” said Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Schafer, the installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. Schafer, a black belt in her own right and one of the instructors that day, organized the opportunity to learn these self-defense tactics for anyone who signed up. She also organized two previous sessions in her former role as the 229th Military Intelligence Battalion Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program representative. According to instructor Brook Moes, Shou Shu “is a SHAULIN kung-fu based [style] but in the early 1900s it came to America, and the Chinese street gangs kind of adapted it for gang warfare.” In an era when you never know what may be lying around the corner, Kriegr shared his reasons for following a path in martial arts, “I truly believe that everybody has a right to defend themselves and should be able to do so to the best of their abilities. … so if I can save one life it’s worth it.” “You need to learn good fundamentals, and [have] a good foundation,” said Kriegr, who demonstrated moves designed to teach the...
The Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Army visits Presidio of Monterey

The Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Army visits Presidio of Monterey

MONTEREY, Calif. – Maj. Gen. Clyde Butch Tate, the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Army, visited the Presidio of Monterey Office of Staff Judge Advocate April 18 in a bi-annual scheduled visit of outlaying installations that are within his realm of responsibility. Article 6 of the UCMJ requires the general officers of the different services’ JAG Corps to regularly inspect their general court martial convening authorities. “Maj. Gen. Tate and his Command Sgt. Maj. Troy Tyler came to the Installation to visit with my staff to ensure that our law practice is providing excellent service which the multi-service commanders and their service members deserve,” said Lt. Col. Bill Schmittel, the Staff Judge Advocate at the Presidio, who oversees an office that normally includes 10 military and 19 civilian employees. “Within the Army and Department of Defense, it is important for us to have senior leadership in the JAG Corps visit and talk with us about the state of our Corps and significant legal issues concerning sequestration, furloughs, and the force in general,” explained Schmittel. With a beaming smile and firm handshake, Tate visited every office and employee, shaking each person’s hand, addressing them by name, and talking about family members, pets, and hobbies, Tate put a coin in several deserving hands, thanking them for their hard work and dedication. “Thank you for not only doing your job well, but also for allowing me to learn about your job. We get a lot of insights like that, and it is very beneficial for us,” said Tate, in the beginning of an address to about 25 staff members. With the...
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