Important Topics

Main Page | About This Page | Regulatory Guidance | Language Maintenance Resources | Major Changes Coming Eff. Feb 14! | History of Linguists | Becoming an Army Linguist | Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus | Re-classifying into 35P via DA 4187 | 35P MOS Requirements| Re-certification of DLPT While Deployed | Failing Your DLPT| Language Difficulty Categories / Minimum DLAB Scores | Foreign Language Codes | Acronyms | In Memory of Fallen Linguists | Ask a Question / Provide Site Feedback

This is NOT an official Army-sanctioned webpage. This is just an NCO trying to help other Soldiers out. Whatever my opinions are on here are not to be considered the opinions of the Army, or even considered fact. All information presented should be double-checked with your CLPM and Retention NCO/Recruiter, or double-checked in the Army Regulation or message provided. Despite my best efforts and collaboration with other NCOs, I am sometimes wrong and you shouldn't base your enlistment/re-enlistment solely on what I have to say, but rather use this information as a base for your research.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Life at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA

One commenter asked:

I am a future soldier going into the army as a 35P later this year. After BCT I'll ship out to Monterey, Ca for DLI. I'm pretty excited about going there and learning a new language regardless if the army selects it for me. My questions to you are " What was life at DLI like?", "Did you enjoy your time there as well as your language?", "How did you feel when you were assigned Persian-Farsi?". Maybe you could make a post addressing these questions, but regardless Thank You for your informative posts.

So I will oblige you on my experiences at DLI.  Remembering, of course, that I am getting older as the days go by and so Monterey is a somewhat distant memory from a long time ago :)  I kid, I kid...

To answer your last question first, I wasn't given Persian-Farsi, I actually picked it when I re-enlisted in 2002.  I picked it because at the time the DLI instruction was lacking Dari and Pashtu, and I wanted to deploy to Afghanistan after 9/11 (I joined the Army about 8 months before 9/11 occurred).

As for Monterey...for me, it wasn't my favorite duty station in the least. Monterey has a lot to offer and it is a lot better than many assignments you might find in the military, but I was so busy and learning a new language was so nerve-racking that I didn't really enjoy my time there.  I have a biased opinion of Monterey that some might find downright negative, so I will do my best to outline some of the positives :)

For one, I am a fan of warm weather.  The climate in Monterey is very wet and mediocre.  It's always foggy in the mornings, lots of rain or at least drizzle, and the temperature usually ranges in the 50-70 degree range.  It never gets really cold but it never really gets truly warm, either.  Along the same lines, the water on the west coast is FREEZING.  Most people cannot tolerate the temperature of the water unless they are wearing a wet suit.  So while you may live right near the beach, you can't really enjoy the water.

Monterey is also a tourist town.  That means any time you go somewhere, there are always a bunch of cheap tshirt shops, tourists, lines, traffic, and difficulty parking.  Somewhat paradoxically, however, Monterey is very stuck uppish (I just made that word up, see how awesome of a linguist I am) and at least when I lived there from 2004-2005 there were almost no major chain restaurants.  You had to drive 30 minutes to the nearest Wal-Mart.  Groceries and gas were astronomical, as are the rent prices for housing.

Your best bet, if you are married, is to live off post in Pacific Grove.  It's the closest and most reasonable place to live.  When I first moved there I lived in Marina, which is only about 14 miles away from base, but a very long trip in traffic at the end of the day.

One great thing about the surrounding area is the things to do in your free time.  You can check out the pier, San Francisco is only 110 miles north (make sure you call days in advance to get your ticket to go see Alcatraz though, because if you try to do it on a whim, you won't get tickets), there are beautiful houses to sight see, great bike paths to bike on along Seven Mile Drive...among other things...if you like to golf there is Pebble Beach golf course nearby, lighthouses, and all kinds of other things.

All in all it was a very stressful time for me as I was attempting to learn a language, so I don't think I got to enjoy it nearly as much as I could have.  I think that if I went back as an instructor I would enjoy it a lot more.  In addition to learning a language, as the only NCO from the Army that didn't fail out of the course, I was having to take charge of 20 Soldiers and do their counselings, teach them Warrior Tasks, test graduating classes on Warrior Tasks, grade PT tests, go to rifle ranges, you name it.  So I didn't have much free time to enjoy myself.

One thing you have to REALLY be careful about is that DLI is almost like college.  As such, there are ALWAYS parties in the barracks, people always going into town and staying up late, you name it.  So many people fail because they get too wrapped up in the location and life there instead of doing what they were supposed to be doing - studying a foreign language.  I have known MANY people who went to DLI for "simple" languages like Spanish, thinking that because they took a few classes in high school that they would be able to coast through and party all the time, only to find themselves failing out.

Even though Spanish, French, and other CAT II languages are "easy", they make up for the difficulty by cramming the language down your throat in 6 months instead of a year or more. The average linguist needs to know at least 2000 words to be completely fluent (I read that somewhere) so that's a lot of vocabulary to be studying in a short period of time.

Reclassifiying to MOS 35P via DA 4187 (Voluntary Reclassification without Reenlistment)

Here is an example DA 4187 for voluntary reclassification into MOS 35P as per the guidance from our career counselor.

(Click here for the PDF document)

To submit a voluntary reclassification request, the Soldier must NOT be within his or her reenlistment window per MILPER message11-126.

However, if he is not in his re-enlistment window, according to paragraph 4B3 "(3) SOLDIERS MAY REQUEST RECLASSIFICATION INTO CMF 18, 12D, 12P, 31D, 35L, 35P, 37F, 38B, 79R (SSG ONLY), AND 89D REGARDLESS OF THE IN/OUT CALLS FOR CURRENT PMOS."

Click here for current reclassification in/out calls.

Click here for the 35P MOS requirements.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

In Memory of Linguists that Have Given Their Life

On this Memorial Day weekend that coincidentally is less than two weeks away from the fifth anniversary of the death of one of my Soldiers, I'd like to take a moment to remember all of the linguists that have given their lives in defense of this country.

Bernard Paul Corpuz

Born: August 16th, 1977 - Kings County, CA
Died: June 11th, 2006 - Orgun-E, Afghanistan

CPL Bernard P. Corpuz of Watsonvile, CA, is a 1995 graduate of Palma High School, an all-boys catholic prep school. During his junior year he proved himself as an athlete in soccer and track, and as a scholar. It was the same year he bought himself a car and drove to school each day. He was never late. He went on to attend Hartnell College in Salinas, CA  on a track scholarship and also worked in a local coffee shop and bagel bakery. In 2003, he graduated from the University of La Verne with a major in Political Science. 

He joined the United States Army as a Human Intelligence Collector and was chosen to study a language at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, CA.  He completed the Basic French Course in April of 2005 and headed to Afghanistan, where he was a well-respected interrogator known for his hard work, caring attitude, religious views, and love of 80s metal/hair band music.

28 year-old CPL Corpuz was en-route to Ghazni City, Afghanistan as part of a quick reactionary force responding to an earlier attack when his convoy came under enemy small arms fire and an improvised explosive device detonated under his vehicle.  CPL Corpuz was medevac’d to Orgun-E, Afghanistan, and died there from wounds sustained during the attack.

CPL Corpuz’s awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Combat Action Badge.

CPL Corpuz is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA – Sec 60 Site 8402.  He is honored in the Military Intelligence Heroes display at the Headquarters, United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence. In addition, the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation room at the Joint Interrogation Facility in Bagram, Afghanistan is named in his honor.

Let us know if you know of anyone, especially fellow linguists, that you would like to honor.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Re-certification of your DLPT while deployed

Please reference AR 11-6, Section 5-6 Reevaluation, paragraph (d):

d. Annual recertification. Commanders/supervisors may recertify annual recertification in lieu of the DLPT or OPI for Soldiers who are deployed for a contingency operation or are assigned OCONUS where testing facilities are not available.
(1) The recertification must be documented on a DA Form 4187 with the following annotation: “The commander/supervisor certifies that the recipient can perform his/her linguistic duties in a satisfactory manner and is proficient at a level consistent with their current proficiency scores.”
(2) There is a 2 year consecutive limit on this exemption not directly tied to contingency operations.
(3) Soldiers must be recertified using the DLPT or OPI as soon as practical or within 180 days of the order’s date releasing them from the duty assignment.
(4) Commanders/supervisors will counsel Soldiers that are not performing their linguistic duties satisfactorily and
may require remedial training, but will take no further action until Soldiers have tested.

This is VERY important to be aware of before you deploy so you are prepared for it when your date comes and goes.  Your language does not automatically re-certify just because you are deployed.  You have to make sure you tell the Army that you are, in fact, deployed.

As an update, I was speaking to someone in this very situation that deployed and didn't know he should re-cert via 4187.  Not to be ignorant towards him, but since he didn't research before hand what needed to be done, he didn't know that his unit was going to require both his DA 330 and actual memo/orders for FLPB to re-cert him via 4187.  Now he is out the last six months of his language pay before he can get back to the rear.

I'd like to think that people could read this blog and avoid that sort of problem in the future.  Hopefully you can learn from others' mistakes.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

35P - Cryptologic Linguist - Is now in the BEAR program

ALERT: Effective 1 October, 2013, the BEAR program is COMPLETELY RESCINDED for ALL MOSs. The information below the line is just for older, research purposes and Google search results. I will keep you updated if the information changes in the future.

Here is the current link for the MILPER message for the BEAR program (HEFTY bonus!!!): (or check here for the latest:

If you are currently on active duty and hold an MOS that is N/N or N/Y according to the IN/OUT calls, you may be eligible to re-classify into MOS 35P and get a language.

It's very simple to understand IN/OUT calls.  You can only have three options for each skill level of each MOS:  Y/N, N/N, and N/Y.  When you look at the IN/OUT call list for your skill level and MOS, it will tell you if your MOS is under-strength (Y/N), even-strength (N/N), or over-strength (N/Y).

Those MOSs that are even and over strength are able to re-classify into the MOS 35P and can be paid a hefty bonus via the Bonus Extension and Retraining (BEAR) Program.  The BEAR program re-trains current Soldiers into MOSs that the Army is short handed in and gets them out of their current even or over strength MOS.  One thing to understand about the BEAR program is that you must first EXTEND to meet your training requirements, and then later RE-ENLIST.  So you ask, what if the bonus changes by the time it comes time to re-enlist?  Well, you actually get locked into the CURRENT bonus when you extend, so your amount paid cannot go down, only up.

You can find the current IN/OUT calls and BEAR program bonuses at

Here is an example:  A 25P SGT looks at the IN/OUT call list posted above.  He notices that 25P at SGT is N/Y, meaning he is overstrength in his MOS.  He then looks at the BEAR message, also posted above, and notices that 35P is on the BEAR program with Tier level 8 bonus.  He reads Paragraph 7B which states: SOLDIERS IN THE RANK OF PFC THRU SSG MUST SHOW N/N OR N/Y AT THEIR CURRENT RANK AND PMOS AS SHOWN IN THE CURRENT IN/OUT CALL MILPER MESSAGE. and realizes that he qualifies to reclassify into this MOS.  Upon completion of the school and language school, he will be awarded the bonus of Tier 8 for SGT for 35P.  As of right now, if he extended to attend training and then re-enlisted for 5 or more years he would be eligible for a bonus of $22,800!

Additionally, according to the IN/OUT call MILPER message, he realizes he must re-enlist to re-classify if he is within his re-enlistment window. However, if he is not in his re-enlistment window, according to paragraph 4B3 "(3) SOLDIERS MAY REQUEST RECLASSIFICATION INTO CMF 18, 12D, 12P, 31D, 35L, 35P, 37F, 38B, 79R (SSG ONLY), AND 89D REGARDLESS OF THE IN/OUT CALLS FOR CURRENT PMOS."  This is done by submitting a DA 4187 through Department of the Army.  If you need to know how to do that, click here for a blog post about voluntary reclassification.

So now that we understand all of the above, we need to make sure we meet the minimum requirements for the MOS 35P:

Training Information

Defense Language Institute for six to 18 months, depending on language selected for. (Note: Recruits who already speak a needed foreign language fluently may be allowed to skip this course).
Cryptologic Linguist Training Course at Goodfellow Air Force Base, TX, 10 - 16 weeks, depending on language

ASVAB Score Required: 95 in aptitude area ST

Security Clearance: Top Secret

Strength Requirement: Heavy

Physical Profile Requirement: 222221

Other Requirements
  • Normal color vision required
  • Must be US Citizen
  • A qualifying score on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery, (DLAB), of 100 or above
  • A qualifying score on the English Comprehension Level Test
  • Never been a member of the U.S. Peace Corps
  • Good voice quality and be able to speak English and foreign language idiomatically and without objectionable accent or impediment
  • No record of conviction by court-martial
  • No record of conviction by a civil court for any offense other than minor traffic violation

The biggest complication we see here is that you must score a 100 or above on the DLAB.  You're in luck, because I have a blog post giving you some tips on passing this difficult test!  Click here to see that post.  Click here instead to read about getting a Top Secret clearance.

If you are interested in this MOS, don't delay - see your local Career Counselor to talk about re-enlistment options ASAP!

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Language Maintenance Resources

Being a linguist in the Army is tough. Many of the commands do not take being a linguist seriously. I had one First Sergeant in one of my companies actually tell me that if Soldiers were not a linguist of a country where we were currently engaged in combat, they were not allowed to "waste" time during the day on language maintenance. Well, I'm here to tell you that is complete and utter CRAP. So I created this blog to help linguists "stick together" and pool our resources. Here are some resources I've used to maintain proficiency in my target language.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.


My number one go to resource is my iPhone/iPod Touch. It's always with me so it's a giant virtual stack of notecards. The app that I use to to create my flash cards is called Flashcards Deluxe. It sells for $3.99 on the App Store (you can find it here), which is cheap considering a box of notecards is about that much money. If your language requires a different keyboard layout, you can go into Settings > General > International > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard... to install your language.

Currently the iPhone supports the following languages: English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cherokee, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Ukranian, Vietnamese. For Middle Eastern languages install the Arabic keyboard and long press the letters for variations.

Once your keyboard is installed you will now see a little globe-like icon to the left of your spacebar. Hitting that will swap back and forth between your default language and whatever you've installed. The great thing about the iPhone is native support for Middle Eastern languages. Android devices still do not have this feature, or the ability to type from right to left.

I highly suggest setting your Flashcard Apps to the Leitner Method if supported. Click here for more info about the Leitner Method.

If you're old-school or don't have access to an iPhone and want to stick with notecards, you can go the route of cutting up 3x5 cards, or you could buy these notecards by the box. You will see at the Defense Language Institute there are a set of cards that are the staple for students. They come in a yellow/white/black box and come with like 500 or 1000 at a time. I can't find a link for them online so if you have them or know who makes them please comment so I can add the link.

The average linguist needs to know approximately at least 2000 words with no hesitation to be a fluent linguist. So you can imagine how boxes of notecards can build up quite rapidly.


Defense Connect Online is similar to SOFTS but is ran by DLI and is for your every day linguist. They offer a higher range of classes, even classes designed to bring level 3/3 linguists to higher like 3+/3+. DCO can be found at

You need to have a computer that can run a webcam and has a decent internet connection, as the classes are virtual classrooms with actual instructors.

Please send me an email using the submit a comment link at the top of the page on the navigation bar from your AKO email and I will send you the contact information for DCO. She can tell you what classes are being offered and how to enroll.

Word Champ
UPDATE: Sadly, Word Champ has been taken offline and no longer fully works. This used to be my go-to language resource. First they upped it from being free to $25 a year, which was still a steal, and then they shut it down altogether. I'm guessing that they couldn't afford to keep it running.

This website is freaking amazing. Registration is free. Once you log in to the website and create your profile, you can choose "Web Reader" from the drop down menu. It will ask you what language and where you want to navigate to. Think of it as something similar to Google Translate. Instead of putting in paragraphs or pages of words and translating, however, when you hover over a word you don't know a popup shows with the definition (if it's available) and an audio clip of how to say the word (if available). You can also add words to flashcards and study the flashcards directly from your profile.

So for example what I do is log in, then go to Web Reader (you can also download the toolbar). Then I put in (the Iranian version of BBC) and it takes me to the main news page. Any time I don't know a word I can hover over it and it's like instantly looking the word up in the dictionary.

Word Champ can be found at

The Defense Language Institute

DLI-FLC maintains a language resources page here:

One particular page that I would like to point out there is called GLOSS. It's designed to help you prepare for the DLPT, and you can search for articles based on the proficiency level and type. GLOSS can be found here:

UPDATE:  I've created a blog that has all of the reading articles from GLOSS posted for everyone in Persian-Farsi (for use with Word Champ):


The Special Operations Forces Teletraining System is a system designed to brush Special Forces units up on their language abilities via computer/webcam. The great thing about it is that SOF units don't always fill the slots, and if they have extra slots after registration you can get in. The bad part is many of their classes are for lower level students, like 0+/1/1+.

SOFTS can be found at:


I have been to language refresher courses (they are usually 5 weeks long) at Ft. Meade, MD, Ft. Gordon, GA, and PLTCE in Garmisch, Germany. I will tell you that this is the best language training I've ever been to, and .... it's the CHEAPEST language training to go to for your unit's budget. The reason being is, the other language centers you have to stay in hotels, have rental cars, get meal money, etc. A language refresher trip can cost your unit upwards of 15-20 thousand dollars depending on the time of year per person. But PLTCE you stay in a barracks and eat in the chow hall and aren't authorized a rental car. Your unit only has to pay them $2500 (last I checked) plus airfare and minimal other expenses. It's by far the cheapest option. Many people don't know about this gem of a language center. The best part is, when you're not learning a language it's a perfect opportunity to tour Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Venice, you name it!

It's also known as the Marshall Center, and it's webpage can be found here:

The only draw backs are, it doesn't offer EVERY language. Last I checked it offers Persian-Farsi, Dari, Pashtu, Russian, French, and some very odd rare languages. In addition, because of the relatively cheap cost, the gorgeous location, and everyone wanting to go there, you need to book far in advance.

Transparent Language - Rapid Rote

According to one blog contributor, the Defense Language Institute gives Rapid Rote for free to students, but in the event that you didn't get it, you can pay for it from the above website address.  If anyone else has used it, please comment on exactly what it is all about and how it has helped you in the past.

I will continually update this page, but these are the main resources that I use.

Frequently Used Acronyms

Hopefully I can keep an updated list every time I use an acronym for those people not familiar with Army acronyms or maybe famliar with Army acronyms but not linguist ones.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

AR - Army Regulation

CLPM - Command Language Program Manager - a CLPM is your unit's designee to help Soldiers become linguists or maintain their linguist status (such as scheduling DLPTs, language refreshers, etc)

DA - Department of the Army (you might see this acronym every day or before a form, such as a DA form 330 which is your scorecard for the DLPT

DLAB - Defense Language Aptitude Battery - a test to supposedly measure your ability to become a linguist in the Department of Defense

DOD - Department of Defense

DLPT - Defense Language Proficiency Test - this test measures your ability to read/listen in a foreign language.

FLPB (formerly FLPP) - Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus - The extra money, ranging from $200 to $1000 a month you receive for speaking a foreign language at the level of 2/2 or above

MILPER - Military Personnel - These MILPER messages are released by Department of the Army (DA) on a regular basis to supplement Army Regulations (AR).

MOS - Military Occupational Specialty - your "job" in the Army

SSBI - Single Scope Background Investigation - This is the investigation used to determine your eligibility to hold a security clearance

TS/SCI - Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information - The highest security clearance you can hold in the DOD

Regulatory Guidance

Frequently check back to this post for updates on regulator guidance, such as changes to FLPB, pay increases, MILPER messages, etc.  You can quickly access this post from the top navigation bar link "Regulatory Guidance.

 Important MILPER/DoD messages can be referenced here:

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

    Foreign language codes, payment schedules

    Not many people realized that the Army no longer calls it Foreign Language Proficiency Pay (FLPP) and has changed it somewhat recently to Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPB). If you hear someone saying "Flip Bee" or "Flip" that's what they're referring to.

    If you have questions, please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

    Here is the payment schedule based on your language. Remember that getting paid requires you to either be in a language-dependent MOS (such as 35P), or a language-capable MOS (such as 35M) in a language coded billet (or any billet if you are DLI trained). Thanks to one of our readers and the division CLPM I was able to get clarification that you MAY in fact get paid FLPB if you have a very important language and it is NOT considered a dominant language (such as Spanish is dominant).  Here is the reference:  According to MILPER Message 08-114:  D. IAW CHAPTER 6, FLPB ENTITLEMENT IS NOT LIMITED TO LANGUAGE DEPENDENT SOLDIERS OR SOLDIERS ASSIGNED TO A LANGUAGE CODED BILLET. ALL SOLDIERS ARE AUTHORIZED ENTITLEMENT TO FLPB IF THEY MEET THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED IN AR 11-6 AND ARE PROFICIENT IN ONE OF THE LANGUAGES LISTED IN PAYMENT LIST "A", "B", OR "C", AS LONG AS THE LANGUAGE IS NOT DESIGNATED AS A DOMINANT LANGUAGE.

    Click on the image to the left to enlarge it. If it's still not big enough your browser should display a magnifying glass over it and you can click that to zoom in.

    References for the above information can be found on the regulatory guidance page (see the links on the top of the page).  Click on the link and reference AR 11-6 and MILPER Message 08-114.

    How do I become a linguist? (Part 3 - Picking the right job)

    Now that you have successfully navigated the DLAB as well as filled out your security questionnaire , you probably want to know what job you should choose to be a linguist in the Army, right?

    Well I can tell you my preference is obviously 35M, because that's what I am. However, let's take a step back and review your options. I will create an entire post about being a 35M later on, but let's look below to see what your options are, depending on if you are just joining the military or if you are already in (click on an MOS to open a new page with the official requirements for the MOS):

    If you have questions, please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

    MOS options for new Soldiers:

    35P - Cryptologic Linguist - This is going to be your best, sure-fire bet to become a linguist in the Army. 35P is language dependent, meaning you MUST be a linguist to hold this job title. With this job you are usually using your language to interpret foreign language intercepted transmissions. The job requires a TS/SCI clearance and the majority of the information about the MOS is classified.

    09L - Interpreter / Translator - If you natively speak a Middle Eastern language such as Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, etc, this job could be for you. Your entire job is to use your fluency in your primary language to interpret for the military. This is not a job that someone that learned Spanish, for example, in college would apply for. This would be for someone whose family moved to the United States from Iraq and they speak Arabic as their first language.

    18X - Special Forces Enlistment Option - This is a difficult option and doesn't exactly make you a great linguist. This option will allow you to enlist in the military and go through infantry training, and eventually become a member of the Green Berets (Special Forces). Upon completion of the arduous training already required, you will then be given about 6 months of language training and be required to be proficient to at least a 0+/0+ level. The only issue being is, 0+/0+ is not even considered passing for a true linguist (2/2 is considered the minimum), where the numbers assigned reflect the ability to read/listen in the target language. Nevertheless, it's still a valid option so I listed it.

    38B - Civil Affairs - Yet another MOS that gets some language training, but it's jammed into only 20 weeks which means you won't be fully proficient. It's possible in the future you could receive even more language training and become more proficient. This is still classified as a language-dependent MOS though, so you will get some language training. If you are or know a 38B and wish to contribute more to this blog post, please leave a comment at the bottom and let us know more about their language abilities.

    Unfortunately those are really your only options if you are a civilian looking to join the military, and two of the three jobs are not usually something that is accessible to a new recruit.

    MOS options for current Soldiers:

    In addition to the options above...

    180A - Special Forces Warrant Officer - This is another job similar to those listed above. This job requires that you have been in the Special Forces already for a minimum of three years and have a 1+/1+ proficiency in a foreign language. It should be noted once again, however, that 1+/1+ isn't even enough to get you Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus, you must have a 2/2.

    350Z - Attache Technician - An attache technician works directly with the Defense Attache Office and must already be a 2/2 in the foreign language to qualify. In addition, they must already hold the ASI "7" and must have at minimum three years working for the Defense Attache already. This is not an easy MOS to get into.

    352P - Cryptologic Language Analysis Technician - This job is the Warrant Officer equivalent of 35P. Since you must be a 35P and a linguist already, this isn't necessarily a choice to BECOME a linguist.

    35M - Human Intelligence Collector - This is a job that used to be language-dependent and is the job I love with all of my heart. Those 35Ms that were trained previously at DLI in a foreign language are required to maintain proficiency. New 35Ms are required to take a DLAB but are not required to know a foreign language, although there is talk of bringing this requirement back in the future or using DLI as a re-enlistment incentive for first-term 35M Soldiers. Currently, 35M first-term Soldiers have the lowest retention rate out of any Military Intelligence MOS according to the Office of the Chief, Military Intelligence in a briefing I received in October of 2010. Currently this job is language-capable, meaning that if you speak a foreign language and are slotted in an MTOE position with an L next to your coded billet, you can get paid Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus. Stay tuned as my next post will be all about being a 35M.

    351M - Human Intelligence Collector Technician - This job is the Warrant Officer equivalent of 35M and has the same requirements.

    35L - Counterintelligence Agent - This is a difficult job to get a language in. Most of the 35L I know that went to DLI to learn a language are in the Army Reserves and Army National Guard and filling a language coded billet in their units. I have never met an active duty 35L with a language that wasn't a native speaker. In addition to not naturally having a language, 35L is an application-only MOS, and only open to SPC(P) and above. For more information on the recruiting process use your CAC card to log into (Intelligence Knowledge Online portal) and look about halfway down the first page on the left column. If you contact me via your AKO email I can also put you in contact with a local recruiter at your current Army installation.

    351L - Counter Intelligence Technician - This job is the Warrant Officer equivalent of 35L and has the same requirements.

    351Y - Area Intelligence Technician - This is one linguist job in the Army that I have no idea what it is. Information is very limited, so it could be more of a "hush hush" job. If you have more information about this job, please leave a comment below.

    37F - Psychological Operations - Active duty Soldiers may apply for this MOS, and are required to attend airborne school (almost guaranteeing you a permanent spot at Ft. Bragg, NC) and 4-6 months of language training. Once again you will most likely not be a fully proficient linguist as a 37F because the language training is not the full, intense experience. In addition Reserve and National Guard Soldiers are not required to attend airborne or language training.

    35N - Signals Intelligence Analyst - This is another one of those MOSs that is only language-capable, not language-dependent. So getting to DLI would be unlikely (but possible) and to get paid if you were a native linguist without attending DLI you would have to be slotted in a linguist MTOE position.

    48 Series - Foreign Area Officer - This is a language coded MOS open only to officers, and not to new officers (you must hold the rank of CPT or above in most situations). You are a full blown linguist and are assigned based on your area of expertise and language. There are quite a few 48 series MOS (48B/C/D and so forth), with each MOS being a different language. For example, 48B is Latin America (Spanish, Portuguese), and 48C is Europe (Albanian, German, Russian, etc etc).

    NOTE: In addition to those above, officers in the 18 (Special Forces), 37 (Psychological Operations), and 38 (Civil Affairs) Career Management Fields (CMF) can also be linguists.


    That's all I can think of for now. I would love to hear your comments if you feel that there are MOSs I left out, or your experiences as a linguist in ANY of these MOSs. I can't make this blog a success without input from other Soldiers!