The director of Strategy Plans and Policy for the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-3/5/7, Maj. Gen. Peter Bayer, said that the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center has “world class results” in teaching servicemembers foreign language and culture and has an “incredible reputation,” for excellence.
“I think that as we look to the future, what we have learned in the last decade is that culture and language matter, particularly for the Army,” said Bayer, referring to U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bayer said that new guidance from the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, announcing a shift of emphasis to the Pacific, while still maintaining a presence in the Middle East, will call for a continued need for language training, at various proficiency levels.
While at the Institute, Bayer visited a Dari language classroom of servicemembers attending the 48-week-long class. Students demonstrated the use of cutting edge technology used in the classroom geared toward more rapid acquisition of the target language and shared a variety of programs they use.
“What the Army does for the nation is deliver precise application of effects among the populace. You can’t do that unless you understand their culture and effectively communicate with them. And that is what DLI is all about,” he said. “You already have a proven methodology for delivering required excellence in education and training.”
DLIFLC graduates more than 2,000 professional linguists annually, teaches 26 languages, and touches more than 30,000 linguists worldwide, either through sustainment, enhancement, or predeployment language and culture. Recently, DLIFLC’s online predeployment programs called Rapport and HeadStart2 became the Army’s choice of online training.
“I would look for a lot of continued business and as we shift our priorities and focus around the world it is going to require that we train the next generation in places like the Pacific, where right now Soldiers don’t operate at the density that we probably will in the future,” explained Bayer.
When asked about the importance of providing predeployment language and culture training to Soldiers, Bayer said “We absolutely have to do it. The trick is that we are never going to have everyone in the Army that speaks another language. But what our experiences have shown us in the last decade that it is absolutely essential that we have that capability in our formations.”
DLIFLC currently maintains 26 Language Training Detachments (LTDs) nation-wide, including a detachment in Germany. Depending on the needs of the Services, these detachments provide a variety of courses for professional linguists as well as the General Purpose Force (GPF). The language enabled Solider program is intended to provide one leader per platoon with 16 weeks of foreign language and culture training prior to deployment, adding communication capability to each platoon.
“I think we have developed what is probably a workable mode,” said Bayer, referring to the LTDs which allow Soldiers to attend training on location. “We now need to play that forward and figure out what that translates into and build a future, not only a training plan, but a resource allocation plan to match that.”
As a part of his visit, Bayer was guest speaker at the opening of the Foreign Area Officers Orientation Course where he spoke to officers about the effect of the new national defense strategy announced at the Pentagon on Jan. 5.
Story and Photo by
Caption 1: Lance Cpl. Isajewicz demonstrates the function of his iPad in learning the Dari language to director of Strategy Plans and Policy for the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-3/5/7, Maj. Gen. Peter Bayer, during his visit to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Jan. 11.
Caption 2: Director of Strategy Plans and Policy for the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-3/5/7, Maj. Gen. Peter Bayer, (center) receives a briefing Jan 11 about the mission of the Institute from Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Commandant Col. Danial Pick and DLIFLC Command Sgt. Maj. Tracey Bellotte.