DLIFLC and Monterey community onboard with “This is Your Military”

DLIFLC and Monterey community onboard with “This is Your Military”

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – A new initiative launched by the Department of Defense Feb. 1, known as “This is Your Military,” is a concept already in practice on the Monterey Peninsula between the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and the rest of the community. “This Is Your Military” highlights the work of service members, dispels myths about military service, and increases awareness among the American people, according to Amber Smith, the deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for outreach. “We are proud to call ourselves members of this great community,” said Col. Phil Deppert, commandant of the Institute. The cooperative partnership between the community and the military includes DLIFLC, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Fleet Numerical Oceanography Center, the U.S. Coastguard and the Defense Manpower Data Center, alongside local cities in the Monterey county region. As part of that community partnership, Clive Roberson, the mayor of the City of Monterey, and the city council acknowledged three U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to DLIFLC with a signed proclamation during a live-streamed city council meeting Feb. 20. “Recognition ceremonies, such as yesterday’s, really highlight our deep and long lasting partnership and our mutual support,” said Deppert. Each Soldier was the winner of the Institute’s quarterly Joint Enlisted Board. The City of Monterey highlights the quarterly board members at city council meetings to help citizens connect with service members. Also part of being a good neighbor is communicating with each other. So, DLIFLC and the Presidio of Monterey leadership meet with leaders from the cities of Monterey, Seaside, Marina, and Del Rey Oaks quarterly to...
Chinese students welcome the Year of the Dog

Chinese students welcome the Year of the Dog

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Faculty from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Asian School I, Department B, prepared various cultural activities for their students to celebrate the Chinese New Year Feb. 15. “Chinese New Year is the most important festival in Chinese culture,” said Chao Xie, the department chairperson. “We wanted to make full use of this opportunity to provide our students with various cultural activities.” These activities included singing Chinese songs, practicing calligraphy, a tea tasting ceremony, and Chinese board games such as Mahjong and Go. All of these were conducted in an immersion learning environment. Part of the institute’s mission is to provide the highest quality culturally based foreign language education and training and immersive activities are one way it achieves that goal. For example, tea is very important in Chinese culture, which is why Xie decided to include a tea tasting ceremony in the cultural activities. “Chinese people drink tea every day,” said Xie. “It is believed to help people relax and there is a special ceremony about how it is prepared.” Tea drinking customs include showing a sign of respect, family gatherings, to apologize, to show gratitude and celebrate weddings. Chinese years follow a 12-year cycle of animal zodiacs. The New Year is based upon a lunar calendar with the new moon occurring between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. The centuries-old tradition goes back thousands of years to the mythical Yellow Emperor. DLIFLC provides resident instruction in 17 languages at the Presidio of Monterey, California, with the capacity to instruct another 65 languages in Washington, D.C. The Institute...
First Commander’s Cup of 2018

First Commander’s Cup of 2018

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – The U.S. Army team took first place overall during the first Commander’s Cup run of 2018 held at the Price Fitness Center track on the Presidio of Monterey Feb. 14. Army also won first place in the women’s race and the Marine Corps took first place in the men’s competition. The quarterly race consists of eight laps around the 400-meter track by both the male and female teams of all the services for a four-mile total. View more photos. Army women take first place. Marine Corps men take first...
Going the extra mile: DLIFLC MLI of the Year

Going the extra mile: DLIFLC MLI of the Year

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Most people who join the military don’t go into a recruiting station with the demand to pick a Military Occupational Specialty that has the longest training pipeline there is. Ten years ago, this is exactly what Staff Sgt. Alex Rababahh did. “I heard it was the longest training in the military, and said ‘I will take it.’ I was interested in the linguist career field and really wanted to learn Arabic,” Rababah said, explaining that he had his language choice stipulated in his contract. Today, Rababah is the top Military Language Instructor at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, having won Military Language Instructor of the Year for 2017 and is the Institute’s first MLI to represent DLIFLC in the Training and Doctrine Command Instructor of the Year Competition. “I won’t find out the results of the TRADOC competition until March, but it was an honor to enter this competition just the same, having competed here against more than 100 of my fellow instructors, all of whom are extremely competent. Now I will be competing against mostly AIT instructors, civilians, and other military services,” Rababah said, speaking about Advanced Individual Training instructors. Though Rababah is modest about his accomplishments, it is quite obvious that getting to this point has required a lot of time, effort and dedication to teaching, working with students, and collaborating with civilian faculty and staff inside his school, called Middle East II. “The students always brag about how ‘awesome’ he is (Rababah) and how he always goes the extra mile to help them. They...
“Leadership principles of a loyal heretic”

“Leadership principles of a loyal heretic”

By Patrick Bray DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – Col. Wiley Barnes, the assistant commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and commander of the U.S. Air Force 517th Training Group, spoke at an institute leadership forum to staff and faculty Jan. 25. Barnes titled his talk “Leadership principles of a loyal heretic” and made several book recommendations to support the subject of leadership. “A loyal heretic is a person loyal to the Nation, his service and mission while challenging the status quo in a constructive way,” said Barnes, who uses the Webster Dictionary definition of heretic as “one who differs in opinion from an accepted belief or doctrine.” Barnes did not coin the phrase himself, but attributes it to Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton, Jr., the 17th Surgeon General of the Air Force. Carlton had spoken to a class of officer candidates at the Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, while Barnes was serving as an instructor there from 2002-2003. A loyal heretic is a way of thinking, according to Barnes, who then challenged the staff and faculty to “not just do what you’re told, but be informed of the situation or mission and make positive change.” He said they must adhere to five leadership characteristics or principle and five disciplines to do so. The leadership characteristics or principles are experience, education, natural talent or intellect, vision, and courage. The disciplines are mutual respect for others, doing the right thing for the right reason, leading by example, continuously improving and adapting systems thinking. Barnes offered a book recommendation with respect to the...
Only in America – One family – nearly 60 years of service

Only in America – One family – nearly 60 years of service

By Natela Cutter DLIFLC Public Affairs   MONTEREY, Calif. – In the early years of DLIFLC, when it was called the Army Language School, Russian teachers were recruited from various communities around the country. One teacher who accepted the job offer to teach Russian, was Mr. Nikolai Marchenko, who traveled with his family to Monterey from New York by Greyhound bus. His wife, Mrs. Natalia Marchenko, with limited English skills, took on various jobs in the community, including packing fish on Cannery Row, and working as a dishwasher in the chow hall. At her retirement party on Dec. 5, 2017, their daughter, Dr. Natalie Marchenko-Fryberger, recollected a family story her mother loved to tell: “One morning, a full-bird colonel returned his breakfast because he did not like the way the eggs were cooked. The manager of the chow hall, instead of bringing him his new order, asked my mother to go “give it to the damn bird.”  My mother, with her 0+ English skills, walked around reading name tags. When she couldn’t locate the name, she stood in front of the room, and in her thick accent loudly asked “Who is Mister Damn Bird?”  As expected, the entire room burst into laughter when a red-faced colonel stood up and identified himself.  My mother was scared to death. She grew up in the Ukraine under Communism, then lived under Nazi occupation, and in a Labor Camp in Germany. She knew what it meant to insult an officer. However, this colonel stood next to her in front of everyone, took the plate, smiled, and asked her about her family and how...
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