First Commander’s Cup of 2018

First Commander’s Cup of 2018

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The U.S. Army team took first place overall during the first Commander’s Cup run of 2018 held at the Price Fitness Center track on the Presidio of Monterey Feb. 14. Army also won first place in the women’s race and the Marine Corps took first place in the men’s competition. The quarterly race consists of eight laps around the 400-meter track by both the male and female teams of all the services for a four-mile total. View more photos. Army women take first place. Marine Corps men take first...
Going the extra mile: DLIFLC MLI of the Year

Going the extra mile: DLIFLC MLI of the Year

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Most people who join the military don’t go into a recruiting station with the demand to pick a Military Occupational Specialty that has the longest training pipeline there is. Ten years ago, this is exactly what Staff Sgt. Alex Rababahh did. “I heard it was the longest training in the military, and said ‘I will take it.’ I was interested in the linguist career field and really wanted to learn Arabic,” Rababah said, explaining that he had his language choice stipulated in his contract. Today, Rababah is the top Military Language Instructor at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, having won Military Language Instructor of the Year for 2017 and is the Institute’s first MLI to represent DLIFLC in the Training and Doctrine Command Instructor of the Year Competition. “I won’t find out the results of the TRADOC competition until March, but it was an honor to enter this competition just the same, having competed here against more than 100 of my fellow instructors, all of whom are extremely competent. Now I will be competing against mostly AIT instructors, civilians, and other military services,” Rababah said, speaking about Advanced Individual Training instructors. Though Rababah is modest about his accomplishments, it is quite obvious that getting to this point has required a lot of time, effort and dedication to teaching, working with students, and collaborating with civilian faculty and staff inside his school, called Middle East II. “The students always brag about how ‘awesome’ he is (Rababah) and how he always goes the extra mile to help them. They...
“Leadership principles of a loyal heretic”

“Leadership principles of a loyal heretic”

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Col. Wiley Barnes, the assistant commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and commander of the U.S. Air Force 517th Training Group, spoke at an institute leadership forum to staff and faculty Jan. 25. Barnes titled his talk “Leadership principles of a loyal heretic” and made several book recommendations to support the subject of leadership. “A loyal heretic is a person loyal to the Nation, his service and mission while challenging the status quo in a constructive way,” said Barnes, who uses the Webster Dictionary definition of heretic as “one who differs in opinion from an accepted belief or doctrine.” Barnes did not coin the phrase himself, but attributes it to Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton, Jr., the 17th Surgeon General of the Air Force. Carlton had spoken to a class of officer candidates at the Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, while Barnes was serving as an instructor there from 2002-2003. A loyal heretic is a way of thinking, according to Barnes, who then challenged the staff and faculty to “not just do what you’re told, but be informed of the situation or mission and make positive change.” He said they must adhere to five leadership characteristics or principle and five disciplines to do so. The leadership characteristics or principles are experience, education, natural talent or intellect, vision, and courage. The disciplines are mutual respect for others, doing the right thing for the right reason, leading by example, continuously improving and adapting systems thinking. Barnes offered a book recommendation with respect to the...
Only in America – One family – nearly 60 years of service

Only in America – One family – nearly 60 years of service

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – In the early years of DLIFLC, when it was called the Army Language School, Russian teachers were recruited from various communities around the country. One teacher who accepted the job offer to teach Russian, was Mr. Nikolai Marchenko, who traveled with his family to Monterey from New York by Greyhound bus. His wife, Mrs. Natalia Marchenko, with limited English skills, took on various jobs in the community, including packing fish on Cannery Row, and working as a dishwasher in the chow hall. At her retirement party on Dec. 5, 2017, their daughter, Dr. Natalie Marchenko-Fryberger, recollected a family story her mother loved to tell: “One morning, a full-bird colonel returned his breakfast because he did not like the way the eggs were cooked. The manager of the chow hall, instead of bringing him his new order, asked my mother to go “give it to the damn bird.”  My mother, with her 0+ English skills, walked around reading name tags. When she couldn’t locate the name, she stood in front of the room, and in her thick accent loudly asked “Who is Mister Damn Bird?”  As expected, the entire room burst into laughter when a red-faced colonel stood up and identified himself.  My mother was scared to death. She grew up in the Ukraine under Communism, then lived under Nazi occupation, and in a Labor Camp in Germany. She knew what it meant to insult an officer. However, this colonel stood next to her in front of everyone, took the plate, smiled, and asked her about her family and how...
Academic Senate takes lead on shared governance

Academic Senate takes lead on shared governance

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Everyone at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center knows that the Commandant’s preferred venue of interaction with faculty, staff and students is face-to-face, normally conducted through Town Halls, or on his well-known weekly walks to the school houses. On most occasions during the Town Halls, Col. Phil Deppert, DLIFLC Commandant, will ask the assembled group “what are we for?,” normally eliciting a loud answer by the audience – “for the students!,” in reference to more than 2,500 military service members who learn one of the 17 foreign languages taught at DLIFLC. Today, however, Deppert turns to the first row in the auditorium, spots a dark-eyed young man and hollers, “Aziz, come up here and tell the faculty and staff what you are for!” “I am for the faculty Sir,” says Aziz Popal, a confident-looking young man in his early 30s, well dressed and sporting a brilliant white smile. Popal is the new Academic Senate president who turned the organization around over the past year into a model of shared governance between faculty, staff, and the Institute leadership. In 2016, Deppert directed a review of shared governance, to analyze the extent to which DLIFLC groups were fulfilling their stated purpose and mission, with the intent of creating a clear pathway for faculty and staff members to have their voices heard in the Institute’s decision-making processes. “Shared governance has been reenergized,” said Popal, in an interview, explaining that these efforts had fallen by the way side in recent years and that the Academic Senate and Faculty Advisory Councils had lost...
Master Educator Course prepares service members to teach

Master Educator Course prepares service members to teach

By 1st Sgt. Sean Cherland Senior Training Developer, Faculty Development   MONTEREY, Calif. – Military service members in Monterey, California are taking advantage of their military training as foreign language instructors and are applying their experience toward achieving higher education degrees through the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Staff from the University of Louisville visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Oct. 27 to observe foreign language classes being conducted by half a dozen Military Language Instructors who are enrolled in their program. “I feel very fortunate to be able to pursue my Master Degree in Higher Education through the University of Louisville by using my experience from DLI. There was a two-month in-residence part of the course which I found useful to bring back to my students,” said Sgt. Baojun Marie Cui, who teaches Chinese. The University of Louisville offers 15 credits toward a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and an 8-week accelerated resident track to complete the graduate degree.  Awarded credits include material focusing on program development and assessment, teaching and learning styles, and instructional strategies.  The program was designed by the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development at Fort Knox, Kentucky, with the intent to support Army University, a nascent Army organization that focuses on providing college credit and credentialing to Soldiers for their military education and experience. “The emphasis here is on excellence in teaching and learning,” said Dr. Megan Pifer, assistant director for College for Education and Human Development, who observed Cui’s instruction in Chinese to military service students aiming to become professional linguists. “It gives me a chance to...
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