Language Training in MIBOLC
UNIV OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE FORT HUACHUCA AZ
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Military Intelligence Basic Officers Leadership Course MIBOLC is an ideal setting in which to offer newly commissioned officers the opportunity to learn basic foreign language skills. Given the refocus of troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, Persian Dari and Pashto would best suit the lieutenants at MIBOLC. By implementing classes similar to the successful Van Deman program, Lieutenants could depart MIBOLC with basic tactical language skills and a foundation for self-propelled learning. Dari and Pashto are complex languages dissimilar to English. Both use the Arabic alphabet, which contains sounds that do not exist in English and are hard for native English speakers to pronounce. It is very difficult, nearing impossible, to learn either language without outside instruction, particularly regarding pronunciation. Basic knowledge of one of these languages would greatly behoove the intelligence officer. The foundation of knowledge garnered at MIBOLC would allow an officer to further develop his or her language skills while deployed. While this could be accomplished without previous language training, basic vocabulary words and grammatical structure would better allow a deployed officer to capitalize on opportunities to study Dari or Pashto from their translator or other native speakers. Recent military operations, and many of those expected in the foreseeable future emphasize coordination and cooperation with host nation forces. An intelligence officer may be called upon to coordinate with his or her host nation intelligence counterpart. Communicating and working with an individual who is culturally and linguistically different is an intricate task. However, these difficulties could be eased if the Army officer arrived armed with a basic knowledge of the host nations language and culture.
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