The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center held its 73rd Anniversary Ball on Nov. 1st, with more than 350 faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends in attendance. The event, sponsored in part by the DLI Alumni Association and Foundation, was held at the Naval Postgraduate School's historic Herrmann Hall, in Monterey.
The guest speaker for the event was Ambassador Daniel Smith, Deputy Secretary for Intelligence and Research from the Department of State.
"The Defense Language Institute is a world renowned organization and has no peer when it comes to producing the quality and quantity of linguists," said Smith, thanking the faculty and staff for their contributions to national security by training some 3,500 students in 23 foreign languages year-round.
"What you accomplish in such a short period of time is truly remarkable," said Smith, citing his own experience and the difficulty of studying foreign languages.
The event included performances carried out by faculty and students as well as numerous culture displays depicting Middle Eastern and Asian cultures.
"We are a global power and we have global interests. We have a need for information from around the world and the kind of training you do for both non-commissioned officers and officers, is critical to our ability to function abroad," said Smith, in a separate interview.
"I am very familiar with the contributions that DLI graduates make in the intelligence community," said Smith. "(DLI) is a critical component, the backbone, if you will, of training for our young men and women who will be our eyes and ears out there when it comes to the collection of information."
During a two-day visit to the institute, Smith spoke to Foreign Area Officers and shared his experience while working abroad and most recently as U.S. Ambassador at the Embassy in Athens, Greece from 2010 to 2013. FAOs normally learn a foreign language at DLIFLC and are then sent abroad to study and experience a country in their area of expertise for one more year.
Smith and his spouse also visited Russian and Spanish foreign language classes on Oct. 31, and had the opportunity see DLIFLC students observe the traditional "Dia de los Muertos," or day of the dead, with music, recitals and skits. The couple also visited DLIFLC's isolation immersion facility and observed Arabic and Korean language immersion sessions.
Story and Photo Credits
Story and Photos by Natela Cutter, DLIFLC PAO
Photo 1: Amb. Daniel Smith, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, was the key note speaker at the DLIFLC 73rd Anniversary Ball held at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey on Nov. 1.
Photo 2: Amb. Daniel Smith, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, and his spouse listen to DLIFLC Commandant Col. David Chapman during a brief about the Institute.
Photo 3: Amb. Smith, his spouse, and Andre Chapman, speak with a Spanish instructor during the observation of the Day of the Dead on Oct. 31, while DLIFLC Commandant Col. David Chapman looks on.