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Saturday, May 28, 2011

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.


  1. I'm at DLI now training and our new building was just named after him. R.I.P.

    1. Wow, I appreciate the information.

    2. Before I LOA'd class, the new Persian-Dari building was named after him. Hoah.