Support: Translators in Uniform

Archives

p> November 16, 2007: The U.S. Army has found that about 13 percent of its troops have some foreign language skills. About ten percent of that group are talented, or needed, enough to receive special pay for their language abilities. This amounts to up to $12,000 a year for active duty troops, and $6,000 a year for reservists. The max rate is available to those with high skill levels in Arabic, Turkish (used in Central Asia), Farsi (Iranian), Chinese, Korean, Dari (Farsi dialect spoken in Afghanistan), Hindi (many dialects in India), Somali and Swahili (common language in East Africa). The minimum bonus is $3,600 a year. Skills are tested regularly to maintain qualification.

 

The Department of Defense has almost completed a detailed survey of language skills among all its personnel, and has found that 22,000 (about one percent) have some skill (from crude to fluent) in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi and Hindi. These languages are much in demand by the armed forces. The plan is now to encourage those who are less-than-fluent to improve their skills. Free training will be provided, with the prospect of those bonuses once greater proficiency is achieved.

 

Linguists are crucial for successful intelligence work, in peace as well as war. In particular, you want people who have security clearances, or who can get them. Department of Defense employees fit the bill here. Otherwise, you have to hire civilian linguists, who often do not have clearances, cannot get them, or are actually liable to act as spies for foreign nations.

 

 


X

wreath Help Save the Content Elves Christmas!
 

Christmas is around the corner. StrategyPage needs your help to make it a merry one for our content elves. Because of falling ad revenues and the owners of the site wanting you to have a good experience, the content elves may recieve no gifts from Santa Dunnigan.

What can you do to help the content elves have a merry Christmas? There are three possibilities:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..

Drake appreciates any help you can give him.

Subscribe   Contribute   Close