Getting to 2+/2+/2: by 2022

Getting to 2+/2+/2: by 2022

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – After 9/11, one thing became abundantly clear to the intelligence community – there is a dire need for more and better qualified linguists. Seven months later, in April 2002, then National Security Agency director, Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, issued a memo establishing the Interagency Roundtable Level standard for Cryptologic Language Analysts to perform assignments to a 3/3 Level. He acknowledged this meant “adjustments in training, assignments and numbers of billets. These adjustments will not be easy, but they are absolutely essential,” he stated. “As staff directly involved in the training of CLAs, we took this memo very seriously and started planning accordingly, said Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Chief of Staff, Steven Collins. To reach these new standards, DLIFLC decreased the teacher-student ratio, introduced innovative technology in the classroom, improved curriculum, trained instructors to teach at  higher levels, and increased its presence worldwide through Language Training Detachments, Mobile Training Teams, and online learning products. “Essentially, we have been working toward this goal for years, but now we have direct support at the highest decision-maker levels,” explained Collins. In May 2016, to meet the NSA standard, the Department of Defense Senior Language Authority directed DLIFLC to change its basic course graduation standard to 2+ in both listening and reading by September 30, 2022. “It is important to understand that the new DOD Instruction 5160.70 states that the CLA requirement is 3/3,” emphasized Collins. On Oct. 1, 2016, DLIFLC Commandant, Col. Phil Deppert, directed all faculty, staff, students and military cadre in the Undergraduate Education Schools to work closely together...
DLIFLC grad shaken by suicide shares son’s story

DLIFLC grad shaken by suicide shares son’s story

By Brian Lepley Presidio of Monterey Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The saddest task for a parent, it is said, is burying one of their children. But sadder still, Rob Miltersen found out, is burying your 21-year old Airman First Class son after his suicide. Thor Miltersen took his own life in 2014 while assigned to the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland. He was a 2012 Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center graduate in Chinese Mandarin. Rob was also an Air Force DLIFLC grad, in 1990, at the start of his 20-year career. Staggering grief alters lives. Rob’s tragedy focused him to a mission of shouting from the rooftops about suicide prevention. “The loss of one individual to suicide impacts many, up to more than a hundred family, friends and colleagues of that person,” he said. “They mourn the loss and are impacted with sadness and grief that is hard to understand, in turn, those individuals then find themselves in a higher risk category.” On Sept. 14, Miltersen brought his suicide prevention presentation to DLIFLC, addressing a few hundred students and faculty. “I think this generation of students are more in touch with their vulnerabilities than previous generations,” he said, “however, there is a general idea that we are all impervious to this kind of tragedy. “Unfortunately the statistics tell a horribly different story.  Suicide impacts all of us in some way; to some of us it is incredibly personal.” DLIFLC Chaplain (Maj.) Chan Ham was impressed by how personal and relatable Miltersen’s story was for the audience. “I think it was a fitting message for...
DLIFLC officer finishes, says farewell to All-Army Women’s Basketball

DLIFLC officer finishes, says farewell to All-Army Women’s Basketball

By Tim Hipps IMCOM Public Affairs   SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Presidio of Monterey’s 1st Lt. Michelle Ambuul tough-nosed hoops skills helped the All-Army women secure silver at the 2017 Armed Forces Basketball Championships. Literally. As if getting her nose broken during training camp Oct. 10 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, was not enough to overcome, Ambuul got whacked again the following week during an intra-squad scrimmage at Fort Hood, Texas. A nose broken twice in as many weeks would make many athletes retreat from competition, but Ambuul donned a protective mask and played All-Army’s last four games of the seven-day tournament at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. All-Navy (6-1) defeated All-Army (4-3), 79-63, in the women’s gold-medal game Nov. 7 at Chaparral Fitness Center. The tournament was perhaps the last hurrah as a competitive basketball player for Ambuul, 30, who serves as Associate Dean of the Persian Farsi School at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. “I think this is the last time I’ll play competitive basketball at a high level,” she said. “I have other priorities that I want to focus on. And the older you get, the harder it is on your body. I’m definitely learning that the hard way. I just want to go out strong.” Despite a delivery delay of her mask, Ambull managed to play in Army’s last four games. She collected 10 rebounds during Army’s 95-37 win over the Marines Nov. 4. Broken noses were growing old for the Ambuul, who was an All-Armed Forces basketball selection in 2012. “Once in Germany, when I was 22 or 23,” she recalled of her...
DOD Senior Language Authority visits Russian class at DLIFLC

DOD Senior Language Authority visits Russian class at DLIFLC

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs MONTEREY, Calif. – Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Force Education and Training, and the Department of Defense’s Senior Language Authority, Mr. Fred Drummond, received a tour of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and Presidio of Monterey Nov. 15 and 16, during a two-day visit. Drummond observed a Russian language class and had an opportunity to talk with students, reply to their questions and learn about their intensive studies, that last 48 weeks, five days a week, six to seven hours per day. “I really appreciate the opportunity of being able to see what you do in the classroom and take back your story to Washington D.C. and the policy people. My job is to ensure you folks have everything you need to effectively learn foreign languages in support of the Services,” said Drummond, to a class of students studying Russian. Drummond also had the opportunity to see a demonstration of DLIFLC online foreign language products which are used as predeployment or sustainment materials for service members. On Nov. 16, Drummond chaired the language and culture Annual Program Review, held each year to review DLIFLC’s past progress and future plans for the upcoming fiscal year. Aside from the 20 or more outside visitors, some 50 members of the DLIFLC academic and military leadership participated in the event. DLIFLC teaches 17 foreign languages with the ability to instruct another 65 foreign languages through its Washington D.C., branch. The Institute has graduated more than 230,000 students since its inception in...
DLIFLC holds Veterans Day ceremony

DLIFLC holds Veterans Day ceremony

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs MONTEREY, Calif. – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center held a Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 9th on the upper Presidio of Monterey with military personnel, veterans, faculty, staff and students in attendance. “We are gathered here today to honor our Veterans, and to remember their courage and sacrifices they have made to defend this great nation of ours,” said guest speaker, Jerry Edelen, mayor of Del Rey Oaks. Attending the event were mayors and city officials of the seven surrounding municipalities. Earlier in the day, veterans and guests were invited to a social hour with light refreshments in order to mingle with your service members who study at DLIFLC. “This location that you have chosen to honor this special day is a fitting one,” said Edelen, pointing to the three slabs of the Berlin Wall that have been mounted in the upper courtyard of the Presidio of Monterey and serve as a reminder of the Cold War. “During the Cold War, I served behind this wall in the Berlin Brigade during the years 1985-1988,” said Edelen, himself a retired lieutenant colonel, Ranger and graduate of the West Point Academy. “You future veterans … study hard to master strategic languages so that you provide critical, timely information to your chain of command so that the right decisions can be made, battles can be won, and lives may be saved,” 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 has graduated more than 220,000 linguists since 1941. In...
Soldier-linguist and Afghan native fulfills his American Dream

Soldier-linguist and Afghan native fulfills his American Dream

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Every Tuesday at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Col. Phil Deppert, commandant of the Institute, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ryan Ramsey, the senior enlisted leader, meet-and-greet all the new personnel during the newcomers briefing. Most are fresh recruits straight out of basic training who are about to begin their language classes, while others are returning to serve as Military Language Instructors, or MLIs, within the language schools. During the briefing, Deppert has the new MLIs stand up, say their name and where they are coming from. One Soldier stood and said, “I’m Staff Sgt. Shekib. I’m coming from Fort Gordon.” Before moving on, Deppert said, almost without hesitation, “Wait. Stand up again. You’re a native speaker.” Deppert had guessed correctly. Staff Sgt. Mashal Shekib is from Kabul, Afghanistan, and a native speaker of Pashto and Dari. He just recently completed the MLI certification course in September 2017 and now shares his language and culture with his students, who look to him for inspiration as a subject matter expert. MLIs are qualified noncommissioned officers who teach students in their language and serve as an example to them. They bridge the gap between the military units and the civilian staff in all eight schools and languages taught at DLIFLC. Watching students study (and struggle) with Pashto reminds Shekib of his own experience, only the other way around, he said about his English studies in his home country. He believes it is more difficult to be an English speaker and learn Pashto rather than vice versa. “It’s a struggle to...
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