DLI Foundation visits Institute

MONTEREY, Calif – Members of the board of directors of the newly-founded non-profit DLI Foundation visited the campus for the first time on Sept. 25, taking the opportunity to observe foreign language students in class and learn about the new technology used across the institute. Founded in 2011, the DLI Foundation aims to create programs and services in support of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and its training mission by promoting foreign language education for industry, government, and public education. “As a DLI graduate myself, I know how profoundly this School contributed to the path I eventually took in life. An important goal of the Foundation is to enhance awareness among Americans of the need for foreign language study generally, and especially in our schools. Young people with language skills are better equipped to lead, contribute and benefit in today’s society, whether in military or civilian life.” said DLI Foundation chairman and president, Mr. Kenneth Nilsson. The visitors received a command brief from the Institute’s Assistant Commandant Col. Laura Ryan, learning about all aspects of the DLIFLC mission, including the expansion of DLIFLC’s reach throughout the force for predeployment training through its Language Training Detachments, as well as online materials available to the general public via the website. Eleven members of the DLI Foundation visited students studying Dari and Urdu, languages spoken in Afghanistan and deemed the some of the hardest to learn for native English speakers. “It is nice to be able to show what we do at DLI,” said one Air Force class leader, who is studying Urdu as a third language in her professional...
Russian linguists support naval exercise

Russian linguists support naval exercise

MONTEREY, Calif. – U.S. military Russian linguists who work for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency are known throughout the entire Department of Defense as the best interpreters in DoD. “We’ve had that reputation for quite some time and we’ve worked hard making sure that we maintain that reputation,” shared Tech Sgt. Gennadiy Treyger. Treyger, and three other graduates of the DTRA – Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center’s Russian program, interpreted between Russian and U.S. service members during RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) 2012, the largest international maritime warfare exercise. This was Russia’s first time participating in the five-week biennial event and they sent two support ships and a destroyer, the Russian Federation Ship Panteleyev. The exercise took place in the waters off Hawaii and included 20 other foreign navies. While DTRA linguists spend the majority of their time maintaining their language skills through daily training and translating and interpreting in support of arms control reduction treaties and nuclear inspections, opportunities to conduct missions of a different sort come around about once a year. “The Russians primarily came in to exercise their Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure, VBSS, teams. Those teams are the guys who will board a suspected … pirate ship, conduct a search of the ship, (and) make sure that they do not transport illegal cargo,” explained Treyger. “These guys have had experience down in the Gulf of Aden.” The interpreters’ primary mission was to facilitate and monitor radio communication between the Russian and U.S. ships. Two DTRA members were stationed aboard the Pantalayev while the other two remained aboard U.S. ships. In addition to their linguistic...

DLIFLC student recognized with Silver Star

MONTEREY, Calif- Air Force Maj. Joshua M. Hallada, currently a student at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, was recognized with the Silver Star for his bravery in flying a helicopter rescue mission April 23, 2011, in Afghanistan. Hallada was honored for a second time Aug. 29 at DLIFLC, in front of the 547th Training Group, composed of young Airmen and fellow language students. DLIFLC Assistant Commandant, Col. Laura Ryan, introduced Hallada not only as a remarkable individual for his bravery, but as one who would not take credit for his own actions without the recognition of his team members who were equally responsible for the rescue mission’s success. On that day in April, Hallada was the flight lead for Pedro 83, a search and rescue team operating out of Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. Pedro 83’s mission was to infiltrate into an enemy controlled area to rescue two downed U.S. Army pilots in the Allasay Valley. Hallada and his crew, 1st Lt. Elliot Milliken, two Senior Airmen Justin Tite and Michael Price, two para-rescuers and a combat rescue officer, disregarded their own safety to support and rescue fellow service members. They were hit more than 10 times by small arms fire during their seven approaches into the hot landing zone. A twist in the day’s events took place when Hallada’s aircraft was attacked and forced to land at a French-operated Forward Operating Base to wait for a replacement helicopter. “I had no linguistic ability of course, but the liaison had linguistic ability and he was able to interact and provide us with information from the French forces that...

DLIFLC students participate in new Moroccan immersion

MONTEREY, Calif. – Beginning in March of this year, students studying Modern Standard Arabic at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center were given the opportunity to spend four weeks in Morocco, DLIFLC’s newest immersion destination. One of the first classes to go was a group of three Marines and five Soldiers who spent their time living with host families and attending a language institute during the month of June in the capital, Rabat. “It was immensely beneficial, because it was kind of a gut check … Even if you went home there really wasn’t any escape from using the language,” recalled Spc. John Dixon, one of the students who participated in the immersion, when asked about living with a host family. The students received four to five hours of language instruction at the institute five days a week and would often have some type of activity later in the afternoon such as a lecture, debate, or a cultural activity. On the weekends the students would go on excursions to one of the prominent Moroccan cities such as Marrakesh, Fes, or Casablanca. “I was just astounded by our trip to Fes because we had an amazing tour guide who seemed to know every single person in the city. He knew every single nook and cranny of the old city that we should see and experience and because of him we did … he knew exactly where to go … and talking with workshop owners and introducing us to them to learn what they do and talking about the history of the city, it was just amazing,” said Dixon. The...

Three military legislative assistants visit DLIFLC

MONTEREY, Calif. – Three Military Legislative Assistants from Washington D.C. visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Aug. 28, in an effort to find out more about the Institute’s foreign language mission. “The group was impressed with the students’ abilities during the classroom observation and were very pleased with DLI’s online (language) offerings,” said DLIFLC Commandant Col. Danial D. Pick, who hosted Will Goodman representing Sen. Patrick Leahy, Adam Goodwin, from Sen. Pat Murray’s office, and Ms. Michelle Lenihan, representing Sen. Dick Durbin. Visitors received a command briefing, observed a Persian-Farsi classroom in action, and watched distance learning and online product demonstrations. The MLAs also had an opportunity to eat lunch with students from each of the services and received a windshield tour of the Presidio of Monterey. “The MLAs also discussed ways to promote the learning of foreign language at the K-12 level in their states, with the use of DLI products,” explained Pick. Photo and Story Credits: Story and photos by: Natela Cutter, Strategic Communications Photo: Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Commandant Col. Danial D. Pick shows Language Survival Kits produced by DLIFLC to Military Legislative Assistants Will Goodman (right) and Adam Goodwin Aug. 28, 2012. (U.S. Army photo Natela...

Pashto linguist deploys with cultural team

MONTEREY, Calif. – After a 15-month deployment to Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009, Sgt. Janiece Marquez decided she not only wanted to return for a second tour, she wanted to experience the country in an entirely different way. Marquez reenlisted so she could attend the Basic Pashto Course at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. After graduating in 2010, she proceeded to compete for a slot in a cultural unit deploying to Afghanistan. “I do think that our team was one of the most successful because of our language capability and our size,” said Marquez, who was the only Soldier well-versed in Pashto. These abilities allowed her and her partner to split up during missions and build relations separate from each other, doubling their productivity. Following rigorous physical and mental tests, Marquez and 29 others were selected for special all-female teams, each made up of two Soldiers and an interpreter. Each team deployed for seven-months to conduct village stability operations. They engaged the women and children of Afghanistan, who are often unseen and unheard, and comprise close to 70 percent of the Afghan population. Due to Afghan cultural norms, male service members are not allowed to enter Afghan homes when women are present. Having female teams work side-by-side with traditional all-male units, allows U.S. forces to work with the entire Afghan population, providing additional resources of information to tap into. Speaking Pashto also led the locals to trust her more than previous U.S. forces they had encountered. “I think some of our biggest successes were gaining rapport with the locals … We were the first elements in Kunar...
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