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Defense Language Institute

Airborne, Air Assault, Pathfinder, Ranger, ROP, Special Forces, etc.
galarad113
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Defense Language Institute

Postby galarad113 Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:30 pm

Does anyone have any information on the procedure or requirements to go to the defense language institute? I heard that any MI or SF officer can go but other officers must be selected by their branch. I am extremely interested in learning arabic.
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JB
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Postby JB Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:13 pm

I've only seen/heard of MI Reserve Component LTs going to DLI. And then it was based on the language their unit needed and their DLAB score.
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MiNcO
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Postby MiNcO Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:44 pm

Become a Foreign Area Officer.
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Iamatlast
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Postby Iamatlast Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:39 am

I have been interested in going to DLI since I joined in 2008, as an officer, there are very limited opportunities to attend. As mentioned above, FA 48 FAO is the most probable way to get there as an officer, but you can't even try to apply for it until you are a KD qualified CPT. SF/CA/PSYOPS typically send their people to a different language school.

There are, as always, exceptions to this, but it would be extremely unusual for a basic branch like AR/IN/FA to send somebody to DLI for a year.

If DLI is your passion, enlist as a linguist.
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TWCAGLE
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Postby TWCAGLE Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:23 pm

As a former Arabic linguist and Military Language Instructor at DLI, I can tell you that opportunities for personnel to go to DLI "just cause I wanna" don't exist. The total cost of sending a linguist through the 64 week Arabic course is well over $100K, so unless you have a good reason to go (ie, sitting in a language coded billet), the government is not going to send you. As an officer, there are very, very few opportunities to attend DLI, and as another poster mentioned, FAO is the primary one.

It is NOT true that any MI or SF officer can attend DLI if they want to. SF/CA/PSYOPS language training is normally conducted at the USAJFKSWCS on Fort Bragg, and I've only run into a couple of CA officers at DLI. The ones I knew completed language training at DLI either before or after their Masters degree at the Naval Postgraduate School. MI officers rarely, if ever, have the need for language training, as their MOSs do not require it.

If you want a guaranteed shot at DLI, go FAO or enlist as a 35P.
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Postby Lionheart Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:53 am


If you want a guaranteed shot at DLI, go FAO or enlist as a 35P.
As a former AF attendee at DLI, I would suggest enlisting in the AF or the Navy if you really want to use the language. Being an Army linguist seems to be a hit or miss kind of deal. You may use the language, you may not.

In the AF or Navy, you will be an operator full-time, AND the conditions will be a lot better. Oh, and flight pay for aviator positions is pretty nice.

Just something to consider.

Bottom line is that DLI can happen, but it's not something you should expect, or even spend a lot of time hoping for as an officer.
...racist homophobes who talk like kind of victorian steampunk neo-nazi get no free pass for being \'misguided.\' - The Badger
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TWCAGLE
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Postby TWCAGLE Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:47 pm

All good points, Lionheart. The 1N3 and 1A8 career options would have been nice to have as an Army linguist. In my experience, Army linguists and Interrogators (Arabic and Farsi) have tended to promote themselves out of a job way to quickly, although the restructuring of enlisted promotion timelines will help with that issue. By the rank of SSG, I saw a lot of NCOs serving as PSGs and no longer using the language between (4-7 years of service). Many USN PO1s I worked with at NSA/CSS GA dual hatted as LPOs and shift leaders and it took longer for them to promote than Army linguists, so they had more years of experience with the language. Same story with the USAF.
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Lionheart
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Postby Lionheart Sat Dec 05, 2015 6:31 am

All good points, Lionheart. The 1N3 and 1A8 career options would have been nice to have as an Army linguist. In my experience, Army linguists and Interrogators (Arabic and Farsi) have tended to promote themselves out of a job way to quickly, although the restructuring of enlisted promotion timelines will help with that issue. By the rank of SSG, I saw a lot of NCOs serving as PSGs and no longer using the language between (4-7 years of service). Many USN PO1s I worked with at NSA/CSS GA dual hatted as LPOs and shift leaders and it took longer for them to promote than Army linguists, so they had more years of experience with the language. Same story with the USAF.
I was a 1A8, so I can't speak to the ground-based career paths. But a similar kind of thing happens in the AF...many of the senior airborne positions are largely agnostic of area/language.
...racist homophobes who talk like kind of victorian steampunk neo-nazi get no free pass for being \'misguided.\' - The Badger
galarad113
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Postby galarad113 Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:55 am

Thanks very much gentlemen! I will re-consider my options.

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