The commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Gen. Gary Brito, visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and the Presidio of Monterey on March 9, for the first time since he has been in command.
Brito had the opportunity to meet DLIFLC and POM leadership and commanders of the four services and Coast Guard, all of which have students attending the Army-led institute.
The visit included two classroom observations of students studying different levels in the Russian Basic Course.Brito also participated in a simultaneous interpretation exercise with members of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Team, a high-level Russian course, where he role played a scenario of U.S. – Russia negotiations.
“It’s always great when you have a touch point and can sit in the training,” said Brito, who was literally put in the driver’s seat, with an interpreter at his side and a mock Russian delegation sitting across from him. “I learned a lot,” he said, with a chuckle.
“I am very impressed with the instructors, the cadre, the leadership, and more importantly, the young Soldiers from the rank of Pfc. and above and how they grasp what they do, do it well, and just have a passion for it. I am nothing but impressed,” he said.
Maj. Gen. Anthony Hale, the commanding general of the Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, Arizona, accompanied Brito on his trip to Monterey to introduce him to the dynamics of the foreign language mission. Hale is also the senior commanding officer for DLIFLC and POM.
“We wanted to show him the importance of this great institution, this world-class facility that trains linguists from across the Department of Defense and how language is so important for our next fight,” explained Hale, who added that it was the first time a Training and Doctrine Command commanding general had visited the institute since 2016.
“It’s been a great visit over the last 48 hours… he [saw] the value of very competent linguists doing their job in one of those types of scenarios in a negotiating situation…It just goes to show the importance of the mission at DLI.”
During his visit, Hale, awarded two service members, Pfc. Randall Oreth-Leal, for being accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and Pvt. Kaleb Calhoun, for his community service carried out at the former Ft. Ord area.