Living in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, it is possible to hear different languages being spoken each day, but it is unique to encounter languages from beyond the Indo-Pacific region.
Capt. Ibrahima Sady, the operations officer for the USAG-KA Directorate of Planning, Training, Mobilization and Security for U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll, recently spoke with students enrolled in a Kwajalein High School French language class. He discussed his background as a multilingual Army Officer.
Sady, who was born in Senegal, raised in France, and has lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he attended the University of Tennessee, speaks French and Wolof, a Senegalese dialect.
“I personally felt very connected with the French students and was very impressed of their skills,” said Sady. “It’s an extra skill to acquire and be able to use the language, and travel to different countries, communicate with counterparts, learn new cultures and educate others.”
When asked what she thought her students gained from speaking with Sady, French teacher Barbara Bicanich said, “They learned that there are many opportunities open to them as they move away from Kwaj. Like [Sady's] own experience, there are possibilities of community college, university and the military. There is also the pathway for career and technical programs available to students."
“Whatever they choose, education will open doors for them,” she added.
Sady said that he would enjoy serving KHS students as a mentor.
“I would love to help them make better decisions and move to the next level such as attending universities or schools of excellence," he said.