Santa Clara cadets learn lessons from Presidio Soldiers

Santa Clara cadets learn lessons from Presidio Soldiers

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Soldiers from the 229th Military Intelligence Battalion, the U.S. Army element at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, conducted a leadership panel with the Santa Clara University Army ROTC unit Feb. 28 in Santa Clara, California. “Our friends from the Defense Language Institute came out here for you,” said Lt. Col. Jason Noble, the professor of military science at Santa Clara, to the cadets. “And that’s because we are a profession that always gives back.” During the two-and-a-half-hour panel the cadets engaged in meaningful and purposeful conversations with Army officers and NCOs from the 229th for the purpose of gaining mentorship and deepen cooperation between the active-duty Army and Santa Clara’s Bronco Battalion. “Everything we do starts and stops with leadership,” said Col. Phil Deppert, commandant of DLIFLC, who also traveled to Santa Clara to speak during the leadership panel. “All of us will tell you we wish we had this type of opportunity when we were in your boots.” Lt. Col. Toni Sabo, commander of the 229th, was inspired by the cadets she spoke with in their willingness to learn about the Army and their choice to serve. “Our visit with the cadets was such a pleasure. They are invested in developing themselves as strong leaders of character and it shows in their thoughtful questions and their insightful observations during our leadership development discussion,” said Sabo. Lt. Col.  Bill Stephens, the staff judge advocate for the Presidio of Monterey, held a special discussion for cadets who were interested in a future in law in...
NETC Force Master Chief Visits IWTC Monterey

NETC Force Master Chief Visits IWTC Monterey

Courtesy Story Center for Information Warfare Training   MONTEREY, Calif. – Naval Education and Training Command Force Master Chief Mamudu Cole visited Sailors from Information Warfare Training Command Monterey at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, March 1. Cole met with IWTC leadership and students, spoke with the enlisted staff and toured a number of facilities across the Institute, including a classroom where he observed students from all military services learning Mandarin. Cole’s trip featured an all-hands call where he answered questions and discussed the future of the Navy’s recruiting and training pipelines. “This is a great time to be in the Navy,” said Cole. “We are facing a competitive war for talent, and to successfully win this war we must all come together to build a bigger, better and more lethal Navy. We must train our Sailors better, and we must mentor and develop each and every one of them.” As the senior enlisted member of the organization responsible for the Navy’s training pipelines, Cole values the perspective of new recruits who are attending their initial rating training or “A” schools.  His position allows him to take that feedback to his headquarters and shape the experiences of future recruits. “The first thing that struck me about Force Master Chief Cole was his eagerness to engage with staff members at our level,” said Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 1st Class Justin Rivers. “I was impressed that he was so ready to get hands-on with our day to day work, and it was encouraging to hear that many of the changes he described to our training pipeline reflected ideas that I...
Former submariner adds impact at DLIFLC

Former submariner adds impact at DLIFLC

Courtesy Story Center for Information Warfare Training   MONTEREY, Calif. – Students at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center are taking charge of their foreign language education under the guidance of a former subsurface engineering officer assigned to Information Warfare Training Command Monterey. Lt. Tony Le redesignated to the Navy’s Foreign Area Officer career field and is now studying Arabic at the DLIFLC alongside new enlisted recruits from all military branches. Despite the differences between the fields, Le has managed to take process improvement skills from the submarine world and apply them to the foreign language classroom. “When I was an engineer, I worked in a unit that was charged with figuring out how to make items user friendly and more intuitive,” said Le. “One time we actually took the cumbersome design of an old-school periscope and replaced it with an off-the-shelf Xbox controller. This planning concept is no different.” The process, called “design thinking,” is a phased approach.  Participants begin by identifying elements of the current situation that can be improved. They then break out into timed brainstorming sessions where they focus on solution-based ideas.  Ideas are then built up, iterated on, or discarded in subsequent phases. By the end of the session, Le’s group had several ideas for innovation in the classroom ranging from increased use of media to three-way translation. These will be implemented on a small scale to see how they work, and if successful, may be considered for wider adoption. “These young Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have some really great ideas. Most of them are brand new to the military so they...
Adding relevance and rigor to NCO professionalism

Adding relevance and rigor to NCO professionalism

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The U.S. Army NCO Creed states that “No one is more professional than I,” and to elaborate on recent initiatives to improve NCO professionalism, Command Sgt. Maj. David Turnbull, the command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, spoke at the Presidio of Monterey Feb. 23. “As we looked at NCO professional development we wanted to add relevance and rigor to make the curriculum applicable to what our NCOs are doing now and in the future,” said Turnbull, as he spoke with NCOs of the 229th Military Intelligence Battalion assigned as platoon sergeants, military language instructors, trainers or other leadership positions at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. The Army continues to modernize professional military education in order to improve the quality of training, development and schooling that Soldiers receive. The NCO Professional Development System is designed to help the Army achieve its NCO 2020 Strategy, which establishes ends, ways and means for developing the current and next generation of NCOs. NCOPDS is not new. It began as the NCO Education System in 1971. Part of this effort places an emphasis on providing the outstanding training and education needed to conduct complex missions in the future. To achieve this, NCOs need “quality curriculum, quality facilities and quality instructors,” said Turnbull. Emphasizing instructors, Turnbull spoke about the Army Instructor Badge. As an incentive the Army developed the badge in 2014 to professionalize Army instructors and enhance their standing. “Here at DLI you have Military Language Instructors and they’re extremely professional NCOs. The instructor...
DLIFLC and Monterey community onboard with “This is Your Military”

DLIFLC and Monterey community onboard with “This is Your Military”

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – A new initiative launched by the Department of Defense Feb. 1, known as “This is Your Military,” is a concept already in practice on the Monterey Peninsula between the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and the rest of the community. “This Is Your Military” highlights the work of service members, dispels myths about military service, and increases awareness among the American people, according to Amber Smith, the deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for outreach. “We are proud to call ourselves members of this great community,” said Col. Phil Deppert, commandant of the Institute. The cooperative partnership between the community and the military includes DLIFLC, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Fleet Numerical Oceanography Center, the U.S. Coastguard and the Defense Manpower Data Center, alongside local cities in the Monterey county region. As part of that community partnership, Clive Roberson, the mayor of the City of Monterey, and the city council acknowledged three U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to DLIFLC with a signed proclamation during a live-streamed city council meeting Feb. 20. “Recognition ceremonies, such as yesterday’s, really highlight our deep and long lasting partnership and our mutual support,” said Deppert. Each Soldier was the winner of the Institute’s quarterly Joint Enlisted Board. The City of Monterey highlights the quarterly board members at city council meetings to help citizens connect with service members. Also part of being a good neighbor is communicating with each other. So, DLIFLC and the Presidio of Monterey leadership meet with leaders from the cities of Monterey, Seaside, Marina, and Del Rey Oaks quarterly to...
Chinese students welcome the Year of the Dog

Chinese students welcome the Year of the Dog

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Faculty from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Asian School I, Department B, prepared various cultural activities for their students to celebrate the Chinese New Year Feb. 15. “Chinese New Year is the most important festival in Chinese culture,” said Chao Xie, the department chairperson. “We wanted to make full use of this opportunity to provide our students with various cultural activities.” These activities included singing Chinese songs, practicing calligraphy, a tea tasting ceremony, and Chinese board games such as Mahjong and Go. All of these were conducted in an immersion learning environment. Part of the institute’s mission is to provide the highest quality culturally based foreign language education and training and immersive activities are one way it achieves that goal. For example, tea is very important in Chinese culture, which is why Xie decided to include a tea tasting ceremony in the cultural activities. “Chinese people drink tea every day,” said Xie. “It is believed to help people relax and there is a special ceremony about how it is prepared.” Tea drinking customs include showing a sign of respect, family gatherings, to apologize, to show gratitude and celebrate weddings. Chinese years follow a 12-year cycle of animal zodiacs. The New Year is based upon a lunar calendar with the new moon occurring between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. The centuries-old tradition goes back thousands of years to the mythical Yellow Emperor. DLIFLC provides resident instruction in 17 languages at the Presidio of Monterey, California, with the capacity to instruct another 65 languages in Washington, D.C. The Institute...
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