By Patrick BrayNovember 17, 2016
MONTEREY, Calif. - The 75th anniversary of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, with events taking place Nov. 4-5, was deemed a success by organizers, attendees and alumni.
"I cannot thank you enough for all the time, effort and energy that made this entire anniversary week such a success," said Col. Phil Deppert, DLIFLC commandant. "You really define what makes DLIFLC such a national treasure - tireless dedication, selfless service and passion for what you do."
The Institute inducted seven new members into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Presidio of Monterey Nov. 4 with more than 200 people attending in person at the Weckerling Center ballroom. Video from the induction ceremony posted on social media received more than 1,400 views with Facebook users congratulating the inductees in real time.
"Alan and Sue Kohler - that was quite some honor Maj. Gen. Adkins paid you two," said one Facebook user. "Loved his speech. Please extend my congratulations on his induction into the DLI Hall of Fame."
"Alan and I were honored to attend the Hall of Fame induction of our good friend, Jim Adkins. We were thrilled to meet another Hall of Fame inductee, Mr. Walter Scurei," said another Facebook user. "Mr. Scurei established the four-year Alumni Scholarship. Our daughter, Olivia, was a grateful recipient of one of these scholarships."
After the Hall of Fame ceremony, the Black Daggers, the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command parachute demonstration team, jumped into Soldier Field on the Presidio. One team member, DLIFLC alumnus Master Sgt. Sunnydale Hyde, delivered the commandant a scroll proclaiming the awarding of the Joint Meritorious Unit Award for the Institute's success from 2013 to 2015.
"It was a great day for a jump and an incredible way to spend my last jump as a Dagger," said Hyde.
More than 600 service members attended in person to see the Black Daggers as they jumped from a Chinook helicopter at 6,000 feet with smoke streamers, the DLIFLC flag, the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag and the U.S. flag. Video from the entire event posted to social media received more than 1,600 views.
The following day, Nov. 5, the DLI Foundation hosted the 75th Anniversary Ball at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey. The ball sold out for the first time ever about a month before the event when ticket sales reached the maximum 650 guests.
Videos from the ball posted to social media have received more than 4,700 views. One Facebook user said, "Thank you so much for posting these wonderful performances. Wow!" commenting on the cultural performances, part of the entertainment schedule.
Another Facebook user said, "An amazing job was put forward and a stellar performance, well done. I am very proud to be the father of one of the team members," referring to one of the dance teams.
"Yesterday's DLIFLC 75th anniversary party was the best ever," said Dr. Marina Cobb, dean of Asian School II. "I was able to spot myself in the dance crowd in this clip."
Facebook user Shane Strong said, "I'd love a chance to visit the Presidio for the 80th!"
Twitter users also took notice of anniversary events with U.S. Representative Sam Farr tweeting, "Happy anniversary, DLIFLC!"
Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, the most senior enlisted leader in the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, said via video message, "I am honored to say happy birthday to a great organization like DLI in your 75th year of providing quality education and training to our service is just unbelievable. Congratulations on this great achievement and I look forward to many, many more years of success."
DLIFLC provides resident instruction in 23 languages at the Presidio of Monterey with the capacity to instruct another 65 languages in Washington, D.C., graduating more than 220,000 linguists since 1941. In addition, multiple language training detachments exists at sites in the U.S., Europe, Hawaii and Korea spanning all the U.S. geographic combatant commands in support of the total force.