Enlisted Essay Contest Second Place Winner, Sponsored by a grant from Booz Allen Hamilton
Training—combined with talent—is honing the weapons of future battles-the ears.
The Defense Language Institute at the U.S. Army's Presidio of Monterey, California, appears to be more of a college campus than a military base. If not for the playing of reveille, retreat, and Taps, it would be easy to forget that we training there are in the military, and not leading the comfortable, sheltered existence of so many of our civilian friends. We sit in classrooms five days a week, do homework, and study. If not for our crisp uniforms and always being prepared to render the proper courtesies to passing officers, we could be college students anywhere, studying anything.
We, however, are not students, and we are not studying just anything. We are members of the U.S. armed forces training to become military linguists. It is our duty to become proficient in Arabic, Korean, Persian Dari, Persian Farsi, Kurmanji, Pashto, Tagalog, and other languages never heard of by many Americans.