Intelligence: National Language Service Corps


January 23, 2008: Over the next two years, the Department of Defense is recruiting up to a thousand linguists to staff a new organization; the National Language Service Corps. This is similar to projects in the various services, that now identify and certify language skills of military personnel, so that these linguists can be put to work translating during an emergency.

The National Language Service Corps would do the same thing, drawing from the civilian population. Those recruited would be paid to be ready to serve full time if needed, and would also receive free language training and related benefits. Experts will be sought in nine languages, not including Arabic. That's because the pool of Arabic speakers has already been heavily recruited since September 11, 2001.

The National Language Service Corps is seeking highly skilled linguists, to handle the most difficult tasks. Those accepted would have to be able to get a security clearance. Taking care of this ahead of time means that the linguists can be put to work in days or weeks (depending on what they have to do with their regular job) when called. Full time National Language Service Corps pay would, in most cases, more than the linguists could make in the civilian sector. These payment arrangements would be made ahead of time, and adjusted periodically to reflect changes in the job market.


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