PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY (Aug 17 2011) -- General Robert Cone, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Aug 17.

"DLI has exceeded my expectations. What I saw was a sound and rigorous program that is fully taking advantage of technology and the imagination of the young generation of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines in the classroom and I think that the digital applications in technology and learning is what captivates the minds of these young 'millennials'," Cone said.

Retaining lessons learned from previous and current armed conflicts and staying trained for future national security needs was also a predominant theme for Cone.

"We have to make sure that all of the advances and lessons learned from the last ten years are continued into the future," he said.

"We've been engaged in two wars and we have adapted masterful programs to raise our language and cultural proficiency. An important question is, in the next war we go to, how will we make sure those capabilities are there from the start? I think this has to do with greater regional engagement and we have a lot to learn from our Special Forces brethren in terms of how they look at this problem and how they plan … and that will be the challenge in the future," Cone said.

Cone also believes that the culture of highly adaptable language training is something that will not vanish because of operations drawing down in Iraq and eventually Afghanistan.

"We have a cadre of highly-experienced young leaders who have extensive combat experience who understand the value of language and cultural training. They will continue to demand it and we have to continue to make sure that we provide adequate resources to meet these challenges in the future," said Cone.

"What we have to do is look to the future, but now we are largely focused on Iraq and Afghanistan. The reality of it is … that we will be in an Army that is focused on contingencies and we need to make sure that wherever the next venture is that we start, we come into it with a very high level of language and cultural understanding," Cone explained.

Page last updated Fri August 19th, 2011 at 00:00