FORT STEWART, Ga. – U.S. Army Cpl. Spencer Stanley, assigned to the military intelligence company in the “Gila Battalion,” 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, was announced as the U.S. Army Forces Command Linguist Professional of the Year on May 12. Stanley is a human intelligence collector with a linguist focus in a foreign language.
According to www.goarmy.com, a human intelligence collector gathers intelligence about an adversary’s intentions, strengths, vulnerabilities and capabilities and then shares the critical information to help Army leaders better understand the enemy. They also debrief and interrogate human intelligence sources, analyze and prepare intelligence reports, and screen human intelligence sources and documents.
“The Spartan Brigade is proud of Cpl. Stanley and his big accomplishment,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Jaime Lopez, senior enlisted advisor of the “Spartan Brigade,” 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. “He represents the best of what it means to be a Spartan and Dogface Soldier.
Stanley is a native of Union, Illinois, a small town of approximately 600 to 700 people an hour northwest of Chicago. He comes from a family who believed in service with his dad an Army veteran, a former infantry paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
After graduating from high school at Faith Lutheran, Stanley initially took some general education class at local college. However, over the course of his first semester, he decided to join the Army.
“When I first went into the recruiting station, I fully intended on joining the infantry like my father and grandfather,” said Stanley. “But after I took my ASVAB and did well, my recruiter suggested looking at some of the other jobs that required higher scores. Learning a language seemed like fun, and I gravitated to the human intelligence military occupational specialty because of that.”
Stanley began his military career in early 2019 conducting basic training and his advance individual training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, followed by a year of language training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
“DLI in Monterey was the best time in my career so far,” said Stanley. “The teaching team at DLI set me up for success in the field of linguistics. The lessons on how to learn a language greatly influenced me and the essay I had to complete for the competition.”
The competition consists of administrative information with the individual’s language proficiency score and a response to an essay topic. Stanley’s packet will now compete at the Army level after winning at the FORSCOM level.
“Dagger Company is extremely proud of Cpl. Stanley for winning the FORSCOM Linguist of the Year,” said Capt. Ryan Forte, commander of the military intelligence company in the 9th BEB, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “It was well deserved as Stanley is an outstanding young military professional and leader.”
To any would-be linguists, Stanley offers this bit of advice, “Trying to learn a language is a daunting task, especially if you learn it in a short time frame like at DLI. It’s not a race; it’s more of a marathon. You have to be in it for the long game and don’t get discouraged when you fail along the way because that’s just part of it.”
Stanley said his family is very proud of his military accomplishments, especially his dad.