Army Col. David. K. Chapman has taken command of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in an assumption of command ceremony on Solider Field Thursday.
Brig. Gen. Christopher P. Hughes, the deputy commanding general of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas was the presiding official.
“He (Chapman) will take DLI to the next level and is blessed to have a first class team to work with,” said Hughes in his address at Soldier Field on the Presidio of Monterey, facing a parade field of Army, Marines, Sailors and Airmen who are students at the Institute.
“This school has a long history … has met challenges with poise…” said Hughes, citing the production of military linguists starting with World War II for the Pacific theater, to present day skilled linguists needed for Iraq, Afghanistan and other regions of the world. “Today DLI is recognized as the Foreign Language Center of Excellence and a standard-bearer… and has no peer in foreign language training,” said Hughes.
Chapman comes to DLIFC following an assignment as military attaché at the American Embassy in Athens Greece. He is a three-time graduate of the Institute with certifications in Russian, Serbian/Croatian, and Greek.
“Seventeen years ago I came to DLI to learn Russian. The training was hard but what I learned here set a framework for my entire future career,” said Chapman. “It was a privilege and opportunity,” to study at the Institute, he said. “I look forward to working with you all in the future.”
Chapman is a graduate of The Citadel Military College and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1989. He holds a bachelor's degree in English, a master's degree in international relations from Troy State University and a master's degree in national security strategy from the National Defense University. His military education includes Ranger, airborne, air assault and advanced survival training. He also was a senior fellow at the George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies in post-Soviet Union affairs and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command General Staff College and the U.S. National War College.
He is highly decorated and has served multiple tours in the infantry and special operations, including combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Photo and story by Natela Cutter