MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 18, 2015) -- Maj. Gen. Jeffery Snow, commanding general of U.S. Army Recruiting Command, headquartered on Fort Knox, Kentucky, visited the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, or DLIFLC, at the Presidio of Monterey, California, Sept. 17. He spoke about recruiting and getting more potential Army applicants interested in becoming linguists.
"It's nice to come here and see the investment we are making in young men and women and the growing appreciation that we really need to cultivate language capability in our Army," Snow said. "We are absolutely committed to ensuring that quality applicants are coming to the Army," which includes linguists.
Steve Koppany, the institute's assistant provost for academic support, briefed the general on DLIFLC's goals to reach higher proficiency levels, distance learning capabilities and online learning materials to train linguists to meet the professional needs of the Army. The Army offers 150 military occupational specialties and linguists are a priority occupational skill.
"As you look at the Army operating concept and the uncertainty, the pace of change and the instability in the world you realize that we've got to be able to operate in any culture using any language to be successful," Snow said.
Snow visited a Korean classroom to see firsthand how new recruits receive language training. Generally, students spend between 26 and 64 weeks at the Presidio, depending on the difficulty of the language.
"Last time I was here I saw Pashto. I saw a Korean class today. In both cases, I was impressed for a couple of reasons," Snow said. "I think the faculty here are extraordinary. It is clear in the way they conduct themselves that they care about their students."
"I'm also impressed with the technology," Snow said. "Students and faculty are leveraging smart technology in ways that I think all of our education programs should." DLIFLC has interactive white boards installed in more than 700 classrooms and issues MacBook pros and iPads to students.
Turning from language training to education programs, Snow spoke about the new Army University initiative.
"I'm very excited about Army University," Snow said. "Young men and women want both an education and an experience and I think Army University makes that possible."
In 2015, the Army established what is known as the Army University, which encompasses all 37 U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command schools, including DLIFLC. The intent is to create single point university structure that will maximize educational opportunities for Soldiers by providing valid academic credit for the education and experience they receive while on active duty.
"Folks coming into the Army are afforded the opportunity to have a job and they can obviously enhance their education," Snow said. "We are excited about the chance to provide our young recruits with an understanding of how Army University might benefit them."
The Army views education as the most reliable strategic investment it can make. Each year, the Army estimates that more than 8,000 Soldiers earn degrees from the associate level to doctorates. With Army University, the Army expects more opportunities to emerge for Soldiers to earn degrees.
DLIFLC has been accredited since 2002 by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has granted more than 11,500 Associate of Art, or AA, degrees in foreign language.
The institute provides resident instruction in 23 languages to approximately 3,500 military service members. Upon successful completion of their language program, students receive 45 transferable units and can receive a DLIFLC AA degree with an additional 15 units transferred from other accredited academic institutions in subjects not taught at the Presidio.