News & Events

Air Force English language beta test advances despite COVID-19

Courtesy Photo

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO LACKLAND-Texas — The 37th Training Wing began a beta test in March for an Air Force version of the Defense Language Institute English Language Center Army Echo Company program which has been in existence since 1975.

In partnership with Air Force Recruiting Service, this beta test is now in the execution phase. The goal is to show that an English language barrier is not a roadblock for eligible recruits interested in joining the United States Air Force. This is all credited to the unique language training capability DLIELC will provide them prior to the start of Basic Military Training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

On March 24, 10 Air Force trainees arrived at JBSA-Lackland eager to refine their English speaking skills and begin their journey as members of the first-ever Air Force Echo Flight.

Despite the beta test starting during the COVID-19 pandemic, DLIELC was able to safely navigate this groundbreaking initiative. Upon arrival, healthcare professionals monitored the trainees alongside their BMT counterparts during a 14-day restriction of movement, or ROM, period used to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

At the completion of ROM, trainees began English language training via distance learning at the 737th Training Support Squadron’s learning laboratory. Although not actually in the 7.5-week Basic Military Training pipeline, Military Training Instructors are providing assistance to prepare and acclimate them into BMT.

Initially, Echo Flight trainees took an English Comprehension Level, or ECL, exam to determine their skill level, which allowed DLIELC staff to tailor the learning environment and curriculum for optimal efficiency. Based on their ECL exam results, the DLIELC staff integrated the trainees into distance learning classrooms “alongside” their Army Echo Company teammates.

Echo Flight trainees recently took their second ECL exam to determine the increase in their English skills and to qualify for the transition to BMT. The trainees will next be taking a second Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test to determine if English comprehension changes correlate to ASVAB score changes. With improvement, these trainees may qualify for additional AFSCs, including critical needs such as linguists.

If adopted permanently, the Air Force Echo Flight program would provide an even more diverse group of U.S. citizens and permanent residents the opportunity to serve their country as Airmen in mission-critical areas. Assessing foreign-born native language speakers with desired skill-sets and backgrounds will introduce innovative and enriching perspectives never before available to the Air Force.

Language center students, instructors go the distance with distance learning

Courtesy Photo


Despite the changes and preventative measures that are part of COVID-19, students from the 637th Training Group, also known as the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC), have innovated and transferred to a digital learning environment during the past two week.

The current COVID-19 pandemic generated rapid growth and innovation at DLIELC, with the team being afforded the opportunity to test the implementation of open source and government technologies to continue their mission of language education, despite geographical separation for faculty and students. Until two weeks ago, all of DLIELC’s academic instruction was conducted in a classroom setting using printed books. Distance learning had never been part of the DLIELC framework, until now.

“DLIELC has the high honor of being deemed mission essential and continues to successfully execute its international and security cooperation missions during this pandemic,” said Col. Kouji Gillis, 637th TRG commander. “While doing so, our number one priority will continue to be protecting the health and safety of our people.”

At this time, nearly all of DLIELC’s instructors are working remotely. Despite the required teleworking, instructors continue to execute the entirety of the instructional mission by using innovation and technology. Distance learning for DLIELC students was at about 10 percent effectiveness March 16 and just four days later, DLIELC recorded about 80 percent effectiveness. The week of March 23, instructors started phasing in teleworking and by March 25, all instructors were fully capable of and encouraged to conduct instruction completely from their homes.

DLIELC distance learning utilizes various technologies and software, such as Zoom, Schoology, Google Classroom, Quizziz, WhatsApp, Facebook and other resources, to keep the schoolhouse operating. The transition for DLIELC was quick and effective.

“The secret to our high level of success is attributed to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the team,” said Lt. Col. Geoffrey Brasse, 332nd Training Squadron commander. “Finding the right mix was about having our classroom, curriculum, and testing leaders feed us the right answer and supporting them with resources. What would have taken us two years in a traditional scenario, we accomplished in two weeks.”

The 332nd Training Squadron’s instructors are responsible for the resident training mission for all U.S. Army students and nearly 2,500 international students from more than 100 countries.

The unit continues to refine and improve the academic instruction with daily feedback sessions from all stakeholders, to include students, foreign partners and members of other squadrons. The long-term goal is to use the lessons learned to drive the unit into a sustainable modern academic environment capable of handling any future mission.

“Challenging times offer the opportunity to nurture development and success,” said Gillis. “The newly implemented DLIELC distance learning program serves as an example of successful teamwork and dedication to the Air Force mission. Flexibility remains the key to air power!”


Becoming Poland’s First Female Fighter Pilot

Courtesy Photos

By Spencer Berry
DLI Public Affairs

Lt. Katarzyna (Kate) Tomiak-Siemieniewicz grew up in a small village located in western Poland called Niedźwiedź (which in English means “Bear”) with her mother, father and two older brothers. As a small child, she always liked playing with her brothers and other boys in the village. Although she had dolls and also played with girls, Tomiak spent most of her time playing war games and building tree houses with her brothers and other boys in the village.

Her village was very close to a military range. As a small child, Tomiak knew that U.S. military pilots flew aircraft and conducted military exercises at the range. When the U.S. military helicopters would stop and hover over the range fields, all the village kids would run near the military range fields to watch the soldiers deploy out of the helicopters. Tomiak said, “I remember this was the first time I saw soldiers deploy out of helicopters with equipment and weapons. To me, this was so exciting! That day, I decided I wanted to serve in the military.”

Throughout her primary (U.S. elementary) school, Tomiak told her mother that she wanted to be a soldier. Tomiak’s mother didn’t like this and told her daughter, “Because you are my only girl, you need to find something else to do that is appropriate for girls.”

Even though she knew her mother did not agree, Tomiak was still determined to enroll into a military high school. Her mother figured after a few years, Tomiak would forget about enrolling into a military high school. However, she never lost her motivation to join a military academy.

After Tomiak completed six years of primary school, she attended a Gymnasium (U.S. middle school) 15 kilometers from her village. At the gymnasium, Tomiak told her Polish language teacher that she wanted to enroll into a military high school, but her mother said that there were no military schools for girls. Her teacher told Tomiak that she would help her find a military high school because this was the first time the teacher had ever met a child that knew what he or she wanted to do in the future.

Tomiak said, “Eventually, this teacher found a boarding high school that was 60 kilometers from my village. The high school was a former Air Force High School. However, the school still had a connection with the Air Force academy and they also maintained a room with Air Force memorabilia.”

Tomiak enrolled at the boarding high school and lived there for three years. She remembers during her first lesson at the school, the teacher asked the class, “What do you want to do in the future?” Most of the class had not decided what they wanted to do after high school. However, Tomiak got up from her desk and said, “I want to go to the Polish Air Force Academy.” She continued, “Why? Because I know this is something most people would believe is impossible for me …especially being a poor girl from a small village who has no family military connections and has never flown before.”

After Tomiak told the teacher and class what she wanted to do in the future, her female friend stood up and told the class she would also like to go to the Navy Academy. After the class, Tomiak’s friend thanked her for saying that she wanted to go to the Air Force Academy because her friend was afraid of the class’s reaction if she had revealed her secret first.

The school’s principle was told Tomiak wanted to attend the Poland Air Force Academy. He came to her class and told her that it was a great idea. He ensured Tomiak that she had his full support and he would cross his fingers hoping that she will achieve her goal. Later, Tomiak learned that her high school principle was a former Lt. Colonel and the first instructor pilot for the Polish astronauts who deployed to the International Space Station.

Tomiak knew that high school would be her first step towards becoming an Air Force cadet. She also knew to qualify for the academy, she would need to pass her math and physics classes (which she really hated). However, after a lot of hard work and studying, Tomiak passed all her final exams (including math and physics) and qualified for the Air Force Academy. Before she could fully qualify for the Air Force Academy and pilot training, she needed to pass all the required physical exams. Tomiak shared how her father’s sacrifice to help continue her military dream.

“I had to travel to a military hospital in Warsaw, Poland to complete my Air Force Academy medical exams. This was a very thorough exam for all the cadets, which also included a physical test in the centrifuge. I was scared that I would not pass the examination because I never went through an examination like this before. To complete this examination, I had to stay in Warsaw. Unfortunately, the hospital did not provide me money for food or lodging. To ensure that I had a place to stay and food to eat during my time in Warsaw, my father gave me his entire salary. My father said to me, ‘Go! You have a dream to become an Air Force pilot. I want your dream to come true.’”

“Growing up, my parents did not have the means to give us everything they wanted to give us. Therefore, my father took this opportunity to make a sacrifice for one of his children so that my dream would come true. Of course, I was very scared not to fail him.”

Tomiak entered the Polish Air Force Academy in 2006. During her first year at the academy, she flew the Cessna 150 aircraft. Her second year, she flew the PZL-130 Orlik, which is similar to the USAF T-6. Her third and fourth year, Tomiak flew and learned basic Air Combat tactics in TS-11 Iskra. After completing her fifth and final year at the academy, she graduated in 2011, earned her promotion to Second Lieutenant, and arrived 2012 at the 22nd Tactical Air Base in Malbork, Poland. Since her arrival to the Tactical Air Base, she has flown the MIG 29 tactical fighter jet.

Tomiak knows she could not have become an Air Force pilot without a lot of help and encouragement from her teachers and family. There were also some people, like her mother, who tried to persuade her that the military was not an appropriate career for girls. As fate would have it, she would have an opportunity to prove one of these naysayers wrong.

She said, “When I was 13 year old, I remember my oldest brother had to complete mandatory military service for at least one year. I went with my mother and brother to the military processing center so he could receive his military ID card. While my brother was being issued his military ID card, I walked up to a counter and asked the officer behind the counter, “What about girls? Can you tell me about military high schools for girls and how I can join one?” I remember the officer laughing at me and replying, ‘No! No! You are too young for the military. You should think about doing something more appropriate for girls.’ My mother told me after his response, I gave the officer the meanest look she had ever seen. I cannot remember whether I said it out-loud, but I do remember my immediate response to the officer was, ‘You will see. YOU WILL SEE!’”

She continued, “A few years ago, I had to get a new military ID card at this same military processing center. When I entered the facility, I saw that same officer that laughed at me when I was a little girl determined to join the military. He immediately recognized me as I walked towards his counter and he shouted, ‘UNBELIVABLE!’ Next, the officer walked from behind the counter to the aisle and said to some male soldiers who were waiting for their ID cards, ‘Look. This is the little girl who said years ago that she wanted to join the military…AND HERE SHE IS!’”

Tomiak admits being Poland’s first female fighter pilot was somewhat difficult in the beginning because there was always someone watching her very closely. However, she also had people encouraging her throughout training who said, “Everything will be okay. Keep believing that you will become the country’s first female fighter pilot.” On the other hand, those people who believed women should never be Polish Air Force fighter pilots motivated her twice as much as the people who believed in her. Thankfully, Tomiak also had leaders that treated her equally as the male cadets. Her commanders would say, “The aircraft does not discriminate. It will perform for anyone who does or does not make mistakes. Everyone gets the same treatment because this team need to be on the same page when flying together. Therefore, we have no room for special treatment for any pilot trainees.”

Tomiak humbly admits she has become an inspiration to other females in her country. “After becoming Poland’s first female fighter pilot, I received a lot of messages from females in my country saying that they always wanted to serve in the military as a fighter pilot, but they didn’t think it was possible. However, after I became the first female fighter pilot in the Polish Air Force, now they know it is possible. When a younger female colleague arrived at my squadron, she thought I would treat her harshly because of my status. To her surprise, I warmly welcomed her and helped her get settled into the squadron. We are now very close friends.”

Tomiak arrival at DLIELC was her first time in the U.S. She is happy that her government and commanders gave her the opportunity to come the U.S. to practice English. She applied for aircraft retraining which would require English language training at DLIELC. Although she took and passed the ECL exam at the U.S. Embassy in Poland, she had to wait until an Instructor Pilot training slot was available. One day, she received a call stating that they had a training slot for her in the U.S. as a T-6 instructor pilot. Although the T-6 is not her primary aircraft, she could not pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to the U.S. to improve her English and study at an U.S. Air Force base.

Tomiak’s husband is a former DLIELC student. He gave her a little information about the school and the San Antonio area. Nevertheless, she still found some unexpected surprises upon her arrival in the U.S.

She said, “I was told people in the U.S., especially in Texas, are very friendly. Although I didn’t believe this, when I arrived at the San Antonio airport, everyone was so friendly and helpful beyond my expectations. I was also surprised at the size of Texas…it is SO HUGE. What I find funny is people in Texas describe traveling from place to place by hours and minutes, whereas in Poland, we always use kilometers. And like the state of Texas, everything around here is HUGE: Huge cars, houses, buildings, and FOOD. I still remember my first time going to a local grocery store and seeing a HUGE box of Corn Flakes. I had never seen a box of Corn Flakes that BIG. The box was just a big as a large package of Dog Food. All I can say is that everything is HUGE in Texas.”

She added, “The U.S. also has very large military bases…and the organizations are awesome. Everyone and everything thing is so well organized. That is why I am very happy to be here. I also want to learn as much as I can. After I graduate from DLIELC, I will attend instructor pilot training at JBSA-Randolph for four months. Before I leave DLIELC, I want to travel and explore as much as I can. I have signed up for all the available Field Studies Program tours. I believe once I arrive at follow-on training, I may not have as much free time as I have now. I also don’t want to sit in my room bored. I want to be as active as possible with the friends I have made here at DLIELC from all over the world.”

When asked what are her plans after her Air Force career, Tomiak has not entertained the thought. She said, “It has always been my dream to serve in the military. My dream came true and I never think about life after the military. So far I have completed 14 years in the Polish Air Force. I want to serve as long as I can and as long as my health allows me to serve.”

“In the meantime, my first goal is to qualify as an instructor pilot. After I complete the instructor pilot training course at JBSA-Randolph, I will need to travel back to my country and complete more exams before I am fully qualified. Once I am a qualified instructor pilot, my first challenge will be training my first cadets to become qualified pilots. I had never flow before attending the Polish Air Force Academy and my family was not wealthy. I want to do as much as I can to help people achieve their goals because I did not have an easy journey achieving mine.”

Tomiak hope that in the future that more female pilots will have the opportunities to qualify on various JET aircrafts. As for herself, if she does not get the privilege to fly other fighter jets, but future female pilot are given that opportunity, she will be very happy.

She concluded, “I am very simple. All I wish for is a successful career, spending time with my husband, and maybe one day, having children. In the distant future, I can imagine living in a small wooden home in the country. After spending time in Texas, I now want a horse. I have already purchased Cowboy Boots and will soon buy a Cowboy hat. Therefore, I will probably be prepared for a very simple life after my military career.”

“Last, I would like to give a HUGE thanks my biggest fans, my mother and husband, and also my father and brothers. Without their love and support throughout my journey, I would not be where I am today.”

Students Receive Cultural Emergence at 2020 Asian Festival

Photo by Annette Janetzke

By Annette Janetzke
DLI Public Affairs

An American cultural emergence was offered to 100 international students from 42 countries on Friday, February 1. The International Field Studies Office Weekend Manager planned a trip which included observing a Western Heritage parade and Cattle Drive passing in front of the Alamo and spending time at the Annual Asian Festival held at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures. This was a perfect opportunity for two buses of internationals from diverse cultures to see a glimpse of past Texas Heritage - a cattle drive through the town with the famous Texas Longhorns, then going to the Asian Festival with an endless variety of Asian cultures on two stages, changing every half hour.

Comments were shared by several students on this tour. One remark was Captain Amr Sherif Hassan, Egypt, who stated, “I really appreciate the tour office efforts. I was so happy and excited to see these new things—I was amazed by the Asian Festival.”

Another remark from 2nd Lt. Viana Joao, Angola, who said, “I had never heard about a rodeo, but today I understand how Americans give tribute to their culture.”

Expressing his total experience was 1st Lt. Al Harith Al-Kalbani , Oman. “This is my first time in the United States so I always sign up for the DLI tours to know the history and customs of this region. This tour was fascinating--seeing the adherence to their history. The cattle drive was amazing. More new adventures were found when we moved to the Asian Festival where I savored a wide variety of Asian foods all in the same place. I saw traditional dances and musical instruments which were explained to us. Also there was an historical Indian exhibit on ancient civilization and the tools they used. It was a very wonderful experience and useful trip to learn Asian traditions.”

These comments speaks to the success of this FSP tour.

What could be more Texan

Photo by Annette Janetzke

By Annette Janetzke
DLI Public Affairs

Texan culture experienced at the San Antonio Stock Show for a bus full of DLI’s Advanced and Specialized English students on a Field Studies Program Weekday trip? On Tuesday, February 11, a cold drizzly day, the Weekday Program Manager designed a tour for international students from 20 countries to walk the Stock Show grounds.

The tour began with the International Committee organizer, Robert Allen’s 21 year old daughter, Jaidyn Allen. She walked the grounds backwards with the group explaining what they were passing by.

They then stepped into several covered areas - the Horse Stall Barn, Cattle Barn, the Lamb and Goat Barn, and the Horse Barn which included 2 mares with their naturally born colt. In the Cattle Barn they were introduced to Brahman cattle, which is known to be heat tolerant and easily adjusts to Texas Terrain. Another interesting fact the group learned was that a horse’s teeth, hooves, mane, tail and coat never stop growing, so they always have to be groomed.

The objectives of this tour were met, as expressed by Eva Reveli, Albania, “We learned a lot about the stock show culture, such as, what animals are auctioned, agriculture involvement for grain supplements, and horse competition - open barrel racing. The grounds tour guides were excellent and provided a lot of useful information to share with our friends abroad.”

After the tour of the grounds, time was available to snack at the many food courts and find western wear in two Expo Halls. More things to see were the Auction Barn, Dairy Center, Animal Adventure, and Swine Bar - all examples of Western Culture.

This was an event which features Future Farmers of America (FFA) - an organization vital to America’s future, economic independence and teaching students skills needed to provide for America’s future.

As stated by a student from Guinea, 1st Lt. Sekou Fofana, “This activity was very good for us to increase our knowledge about the Americans and their culture.”

Lebanese Army Sergeant Becomes Published Author

Courtesy Photo

By Bonnie Smith
Instructor, Advanced English

“I couldn’t believe what was happening! I just couldn’t digest it. The feeling was authentic joy because I felt connected to the universe.” SSG Ahmad Badi, author of “Angels”

These are the words of DLIELC’s 2017 BALIC graduate, Badi, at the first book signing of his autobiography, “Angels”. In 2016, Ahmad arrived from Lebanon with two other countrymen, SSG Nada Rifai and SGM Jwad Fajloun, and began a journey of self-realization that has been transforming his life. He returned with the same countrymen in January 2020 to take the AELIC course. I wanted to catch up with him and learn about his adventures since 2017. The following is an interview with Badi, author and AELIC student.

Me: So, Badi, it’s so great to see you again. A lot has happened in the last 3 years. Tell me again why you decided to write your book “Angels”.

Badi: Don’t you remember? You did! When I was in your BALIC Reading Skills course, I gave you my reader response on Paulo Coehlo’s “The Alchemist”. During our conference, you said, “Your response is awesome. So, I think this is actually the first page of your book. What are you going to call it?” I was shocked that you would see the beginning of a book in my reader response. I looked at you and said, “Angels”. And that is when I had the courage to begin writing.

Me: I knew “The Alchemist” had a profound effect on you. What caused the passion to rise up in you to such an extent that you would write a book?

Badi: As I read, I felt like someone was calling to me. The book was about following your dreams. I was motivated to the extreme. I would wake up with ideas and write them down immediately.

Me: Incredible! When you returned to Lebanon, how were you able to publish your book after it was finished?

Badi: I contacted the Ministry of Defense who assigned a committee who read my book and interviewed me. The process was difficult, but I enjoyed it.

Me: How long did the process take?

Badi: About two months.

Me: What was the feedback from the army?

Badi: Eventually the Minister of Defense read it and loved it. He summoned me and was amazed that I was a sergeant in the army. He was shocked at my English skills. We sat and talked for 25 minutes and he made sure he wouldn’t be disturbed.

Me: How did that make you feel?

Badi: I couldn’t believe he read the book and liked it. My hope was that people would read it and understand the depth of my inner journey in writing it.

Me: When was your book finally published?

Badi: On December 17, 2017, about a year after I finished it. I ordered 1000 copies even though everyone told me not to. I sold enough books at my first book signing to pay for all 1000 copies.

Me: How was it received?

Badi: Many people read it and sent messages. They contacted me to express their reaction to my book and how inspired they were.

Me: You were invited to an event to sign your book in your town, right?

Badi: Yes. The deputy of my town, Nabatieh, came and the media came. The deputy gave a speech about me and said he was surprised that someone so young and in the army could write a book in English.

Me: That must have been exciting!

Badi: Yes. I got up to speak and I had a feather in my hand and said this feather is light, yet it has written the most important rules and information in the past-history, science and languages. Just like human beings, you can be light and useless or you can be heavy and effective by your actions, so choose carefully. People started clapping so loud and we were all so happy. I sold 75 books that day.

Me: Incredible! Anything else you want to tell us?

Badi: It wasn’t so much the success I received from the book, but the satisfaction I felt in writing it. As Paulo Coehlo said, “It’s a bad thing, not to follow the omens.”

Me: I am so proud of your accomplishment and so proud of you. Enjoy the rest of your time in AELIC and we are awaiting your next book. Badi: I have already started.

The DLI family wishes Lebonese SSgt Ahmad Bidi great success in his writing endeavors. Well done, sir!

637th Training Group Assumption of Command

Photo by Spencer Berry

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas - Col. Jason Janaros, Commander, 37th Training Wing (left), passed the 637th Training Group guidon to Col. Kouji P. Gillis (right), who assumed command of the 637th TRG & DLIELC effective 10 July 2019. Prior to assuming command, Colonel Gillis was the Director of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, Fifth Air Force at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

332 Training Squadron Change of Command

Photo by Annette Janetzke

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas - Col. Sean Raesemann, Commander and DLIELC Commandant, passes the 332 Training Squadron guidon to the new 332 Training Squadron Commander and Dean of Academics for the Defense Language Institute English Language Center, Lt Col Geoffrey R. Brasse during a change of command ceremony at JBSA-Lackland, Texas, May 10, 2019.

Defense Language Institute: Building a Bridge with English

Photo by Spencer Berry

By May Nell Sanchez
502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas - The Defense Language Institute English Language Center, or DLIELC, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is focused on providing English training relating directly to military content for students from around the world.

DLIELC is preparing future fighters to work alongside each other with a common thread; a critical connection of understanding each defense-related term in a universal language.

The center, established in 1964, initially started as the U.S. Force Language School with a primary mission to teach English to Allied pilot candidates. The mission expanded in 1966 to include other career fields and the school moved under the 37th Training Wing.

Not only do students become proficient English language speakers, foreign nationals are also exposed to American customs and culture, according to DLIELC’s website,  

“Sometimes people may have a pre-conceived idea of Americans, but then they come here and interact with us,” said Veronica Marco, DLIELC administrative assistant.

About 3,000 students from more than 100 countries enroll in DLIELC resident training programs annually. The center instructs students annually with a 98 percent graduation rate. DLIELC instructors also travel to partner countries to host courses while its JBSA-Lackland campus sees a steady flow.

“When I come to work and sit at my desk, I get exposed to that,” Marco said. “I get to meet so many different people from so many different countries from all over the world right here.” 

So why is the demand for English instruction so strong?

“English is the language of international business, international travel, sea-faring nations and research and development,” said Col. Sean Raesemann, DLIELC commandant and 637th Training Group commander. “Chinese, Spanish and English are the most widely used languages and English trumps them all as the international language.”

Many countries are incorporating English into their educational curriculum and they’re even looking at alternatives such as language education software.

What separates DLIELC from education software and makes it more effective is that it focuses on vocabulary in a military content, Raesemann added.

Countries that utilize software may still have to send their student to follow-on training to learn how to fix a jet or maintain an aircraft system. He cautions that word meanings could get lost in translation. Being accurate is key.

There are differences in words like “battery” and “apron” when having a regular conversation versus using them in military context.

“The [word] ‘battery’ is a military formation and an ‘apron’ is somewhere you park jets,” Raesemann said.

Because DLIELC is geared towards military instruction, they’ll continue to adjust their approach so understanding, cooperation and success can be achieved.

Not only is a command of English important, it is vital that in times of war, Raesemann added. Students need to operate in a military environment with allies with perfectly matched language skills because every word counts.

DLI ensures there is “no mission failure,” he said.

Lt. Col. Beloved assumes command of 637 ISS

Col. Sean Raesemann, 637th Training Group Commander and Defense Language Institute English Language Center Commandant presented the 637th International Support Squadron Guidon to Lt. Col. Dear Beloved as he assumed command of the 637 ISS on June 29

Japanese Crew Chiefs Seek 2/2 OPI Scores to Maintain Osprey

Japanese Crew Chiefs (left to right), Master Sergeant Beppo, SFC Nagatomo, SFC Suzawa and SFC Uemura are scheduled to become maintainers for the Osprey aircraft.

By Joyce Tupola
Specialized English Instructor

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a helicopter! Actually, when you google “osprey,” it’s all three. In the world of Aviation, the Ospreys are a combination of a fixed wing plane and a rotary wing helicopter, which is why it is named after this bird of prey that has the ability to hover as well as fly straight. Osprey aircraft have a reputation of being rather dangerous, which earned them the nickname the “Widow Maker.”  Over the years, however, their safety record has improved significantly.

At DLIELC, there are four students from Japan (SFC Uemura, Master Sgt. Beppo, SFC Nagatomo and SFC Suzawa) who will be among the first Japanese maintainers to be crew chiefs for the Osprey in their country. They are very excited for the challenge and feel very humbled by this honor. They understand that this honor also comes with great responsibility. Nagatomo says, “Most Japanese think Osprey is a very dangerous aircraft. So we have to change their thinking. That’s why our responsibility is very big. Here [at DLIELC] we have to study English very hard, and after that, we have to study about Osprey very very VERY hard!”.

Suzawa explained that Japan is one of the first countries to join the U.S. in incorporating Osprey into their forces. He adds, “If we can fly successfully, other countries [will] follow suit. So, as [Nagatomo] said, we have [a] huge responsibility. We have to prove the safety of it, the Osprey.”

As a crew chief for the Osprey, each student is required to obtain an 85% on the ECL and a 2/2 on the OPI. It is unusual for maintainers to have the same requirements for English that the pilots are asked to obtain. Admirably, all four of these amazing students have met the ECL and OPI requirements.

How do these students feel about Osprey in general?  Uemura says, “I think Osprey is [the] next generation aircraft because it can be transformed- fixed wing and rotary wing.”  However, he acknowledges that some believe the “Osprey is very dangerous.”

Beppo explained, “This is a very new aircraft and every airplane that is new is a little bit dangerous because there are unknown problems.” He believes it is not any more dangerous than any other aircraft.

There was a bit of disagreement on this notion from Suzawa. In his opinion, “The Osprey is more dangerous than conventional helicopters because it converts from fixed wing or fixed mode, into helicopter mode. It’s not stable.” He believes this will cause more issues making the aircraft more dangerous than traditional ones. Despite any dangers, these students are not nervous, but enthusiastic to get started working with the Osprey.

As the four maintainers discussed the Osprey, they debated the human factor versus technology. Suzawa believes mechanics must have technique (skills) because it is complicated. They all agreed with this statement. Suzawa mentioned, “[The] Osprey is designed with new technology. When we have some problems we can just connect and check the computer. We can find out the errors [easily].”

Beppo disagreed and feels that a lot of computers can cause serious problems and not always work properly.  He went on to share his experience of working with other choppers that have a lot of avionics.  He explained, “This technology actually caused a lot of headaches for the maintainers.  The systems would show a problem and then it would disappear, leaving the maintainers scratching their heads.”  He concluded, “A simple airplane is the best.  A sophisticated airplane is really difficult to maintain.  Especially [when figuring] out the malfunctions.”

  Another human factor was pointed out about Crew Resource Management (CRM) by Uemura.  His main concern was about the dynamics of teamwork between crew chiefs, pilots, and others on the flight crew.  He explained, “We have to work with each other without rank.  No matter someone’s rank or position they are still human and can make mistakes.  On the ground, I have to obey the rules [of rank], but when flying, sometimes I have to interrupt.” He concluded, “We have to build up CRM.”  In his OPSAV courses, for the first time, he enjoyed being able to interact with pilots and study together where everyone was simply a student.

After they graduate from DLIELC, they will spend seven months in North Carolina at the Marine Corp Air Station New River, learning the responsibilities of an Osprey crew chief. However, the Marines require them to take a 2-week Basic Survival Course in Pensacola, Florida before their training at New River. Oorah! These students are well prepared and understand not only the challenges they face, but also the responsibility they have taken on themselves.

DLIELC manager ensures smooth partner nation in-country English language training

From left to right: Col. Roy Collins, 37th Training Wing commander, Lt. Col. Aaron Franklin, 637th International Support Squadron Commander, Katie Carraway, DLIELC Overseas Program Manager, and Maj. Gen. Robert LaBrutta, Second Air Force commander, who congratulated Carraway for being selected as the 2016 Air Force International Affairs Excellence awardee. Photo by Spencer Berry, DLI Public Affairs

By Senior Airman Krystal Wright
502nd ABW Public Affairs

Approximately one-third of all international military members from around the globe who come to the U.S. for training begin here at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland at the Defense Lan-guage Institute English Learning Center, known as the "Gateway to America.”

Since 1954 the DLIELC has provided English language train-ing and services in support of security cooperation objectives. They also provide English language training to U.S. military service members whose primary language is not English. As part of that mission they annually train students from more than 100 countries.

In addition to the resident training, they also provide in-country training.

“The non-residents flight is responsible for sending English instructors overseas to train foreign military personnel before they come to the U.S. for additional training,” said Katie Carra-way, DLIELC overseas program manager. “Many of our stu-dents have not had any exposure to English. So, when we send teams of instructors overseas to teach, often times it is to stu-dents who have little to no English proficiency.”

Instructors, either individual or in teams of up to seven per-sonnel, are sent to approximately 40 countries annually. De-pending on the training program, the instructors are in-country from a couple of weeks up to six months. After the in-country training, students may then attend DLIELC’s Specialized Eng-lish program here to familiarize them with the technical termi-nology and specific language skills they will need before going to their follow-on training in pro-fessional military education pro-grams at U.S. War Colleges or Naval Postgraduate School.

However, there is much coordi-nation that happens prior to any of this training occurring, which Car-raway is responsible for. “As the overseas program manager, I work closely with the security coopera-tion officers at our U.S. embassies abroad, … coordinating training, and offering program and curricu-lum advice,” Carraway said. “If (our foreign mission) partners re-quest assistance, … whether they are asking for help for putting a book order in … or developing a training program or getting a team into country, she is the point of contact,” said Bernard Rauch, DLIELC Non-Residents Flight chief of operations and Carra-way’s supervisor. “One of the pro-jects she is working on right now is briefing general officers who are responsible for these major training programs.”

“Part of my responsibilities is to (also) visit those countries and conduct site surveys so we see the training facilities and get an initial assessment before we send our DLI instructors,” Carra-way added.

To complete these duties, Carraway has gone to about 30 different countries during the course of her nine years with the military to include Mali, Pakistan, Japan, Vietnam, Brazil, Ku-wait, Khalistan and Columbia.

“I have deployed almost a dozen times now,” she said. “Each (country) is unique, interesting and special for different reasons, but I love the opportunities to travel frequently and engage with our partner nations. It is always rewarding to interact with our partner nations’ instructors and students because they really need a lot of support with curriculum, testing and instruction. The ability I have at that initial level and provide recommenda-tions before our DLI instructors go in, I find to be the most re-warding.” Her passion for her job is reflected in her work and hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“Katie is an invaluable part of the unit,” Rauch said. “I have come to trust her on many subjects. She quickly develops sub-ject matter expertise in things like policies, deployment regula-tions, defense travel – whatever is related to the job.”

Rauch has come to rely on her and her expertise. Carraway’s motivation and ability to grasp topics related to the job and mas-ter them is what helps make her stand out as a star performer, he said. “She’s outstanding in almost every area” he admired. “She’s an extremely hard worker and dedicated to the job. She is tenacious and gets problems solved."

* This story was retrieved from AETC Public Affairs Summary (Top AETC Headlines and Priorities) September 27, 2017

In the Studio with Curriculum

Catherine Grinda (left) and Donna May (far right) work with Ernesto Martinez (seated) in the DLIELC Recording Room to create Audio Supplement curriculum for non-resident students. Photo by Spencer Berry,DLI Public Affairs

By Catherine Grinda and Donna Mayy
Detail Curriculum Developer

Catherine Grinda and Donna May are currently detailed to the Curriculum Flight. Under the guidance of Senior Curriculum Developer, Danielle Archinal, Grinda and May are putting their mark on the current American Language Course (ALC) 2nd Edition by creating an Audio Supplement to enhance listening opportunities for nonresident students. The goal of the project is to provide students studying the ALC in their home countries exposure to a wide range of authentic American accents and support for listening practice. Select portions of the ALC are captured in a digital audio format in DLIELC’s professional recording studio—expertly managed and executed by Ernesto Martinez.

The Audio Project allows for cross-department collaboration and highlights little-known talents of our staff. For example, Donna May is a Screen Actors Guild performer with multiple credits for voice and video work. Curriculum Flight Chief Mike Bender and acting Senior Curriculum Developer Jean Brown are both professionally trained voice actors. And both SET Instructor John Sotrop and Curriculum Developer John Shelton have worked as professional radio personalities. Maximizing the talents of our different departments not only showcases the versatility of DLIELC’s incredible faculty and staff, but also enhances morale and opens lines of communication within the organization.

But you don’t have to have professional experience to contribute. Several wonderful readers have volunteered through the TIP to be part of this exciting project. Overseas Program Manager Katie Breedlove says, “I felt comfortable after the first couple of takes. It’s nice to work with the other people.” Over the next few months, the Audio Project team will continue to collaborate with chiefs, supervisors, and staff from across the organization to produce the best ALC Audio Supplement for overseas students and instructors.

If you’re interested in lending your voice to the ALC Audio Project, submit your name in the TIP. See you in the studio!

A Worldwide Experience Gained from One Location

Jordanian Army First Lieutenants Zaid AL-Awawdah (far left) and Basil Al-Amro (far right) pose next to a couple of Panamanian Folk Dancers who performed at the San Antonio Folk Dance Festival. Photo by Annette Janetzke, Public Affairs

Story by 1st Lt. Basil Al-Amro and 1st Lt. Zaid Al-Awawdah, Jordanian Army
On Saturday, March 18, we attended a DLIELC trip arranged by the International Field Studies Office. It was to the 59th An-nual San Antonio Folk Dance Festival held at Our Lady of the Lake University. This was our first time attending a fes-tival like this. It was a really amazing, unique experience full of enthusiasm and energy. We witnessed many different inter-national Folk Dance performances, such as Carpathian, Scot-tish, Turkish, Pana-manian, Serbian, Spanish, Polynesian, Filipino, Mexican, Indian, and American Disco. The experi-ence was just like a journey all around the world. We were amazed by the performances and cultural costumes. It was really the best worldwide experience we have ever had in just one place! Thanks to Milissa Stewart in the DLI Tours Office for this amaz-ing trip, and espe-cially Annette Ja-netzke, Ashley Fu-gett, and Capt. Joy Lawal for escorting us on this trip. We would not have had the pleasure of viewing these perfor-mances if it had not been for aunt, Dr. Samar Al-Amro and father Barjas Taw-feeg who encouraged us to come here and experience all that DLIELC has to offer. We want to send a special thanks to them. We express our best wishes to all Americans.

Student Shares Experience During FSP Botanical Gardens Weekend Tour

Chelmecki enjoyed the serenity of the gardens with his country-mate, 1st Lt. Ariel Adamski (left).

Story and photos by 2nd Lt. Robert Chelmecki, Poland DLIELC Student, Specialized English
The Field Studies office provided a trip to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens on February 10. I was among 50 students attending this event. I had a chance to enjoy the dazzling array of colors in the formal setting that explores the world of exotic plants and unique species of Texas native flora. This was a great occasion to meet my classmates away from the structured classroom environment of learning while still developing our language skills. We admired the beautiful, peaceful, and pleasantly warm environment of the gardens. What surprised me most was that I met a colleague from Po-land, 1LT Ariel Adamski. We had not had the opportunity to meet and talk because this was my first week at Lackland. So we had a great chance to exchange experiences regarding DLI and take a breather before we returned to school. We are really thankful for this interesting trip and waiting for another one.

Curriculum Flight Validates Four New Training Modules for Specialized English

Four new training modules: English Skills for Technical Reading, English Skills for Risk Management and Safety, English Skills for Electronics 1: Basic Electricity, and English Skills for Munitions cre-ated for Specialized English.
Photo by Mike Bender, Chief, Curriculum Flight
By Mike Bender, Chief, Curriculum Flight
Two thousand seventeen has just begun, but it’s already shap-ing up to be a big year for Specialized English Training (SET) curriculum. We are proud to announce four new modules that are going into validation this quarter alone: - M202, English Skills for Technical Reading. Topics in-clude How to Read a Technical Manual, Text Struc-tures & Signal Words, Interpreting Visual Infor- mation, and Understanding Procedures & Sequenced Instructions. - M203, English Skills for Risk Management and Safety. Topics include Introduction to Risk Management & Safety, On-Duty Safety, Workplace Hazards, Off-Duty Safety, and World Safety Issues. - M501, English Skills for Electronics 1: Basic Electrici-ty. Topics include Electricity Essentials; Circuits, Conduits & Currents; Tools of the Trade; Types of Energy; Communicating for Clarity; and Mishaps & Incident Reports. - M901, English Skills for Munitions. Topics includes Small-Caliber Ammunition, Grenades & Pyrotech-nics; Projectiles; Bombs, Submunitions & Mines; and Rockets & Missiles. All four of these modules were developed under the new standards for SET curriculum. They are designed to be ex-tremely user-friendly for instructors and students alike. To kick off the validation for these new modules, the SET Curriculum staff will be presenting a detailed briefing to SET instructors and supervisors very soon. We’ll use this oppor-tunity to explain the design of the new modules and to de-scribe future projects. In the meantime, please see your supervisor if you are inter-ested in participating in the validation for any of these new modules.

Advanced English Student Discovers the Meaning of “We Heart”

DLIELC international students (left to right: Kumiko Takahashi - Japan, Capt. Hitham Muhammed, Capt. Osama Abdelrahiem, and Major Sameh Fathy - Egypt) discover old west ranch equipment during their visit to the Enchanted Spring Ranch on a International Field Studies weekend tour.
Photo By Annette Janetzke, DLIELC Public Affairs

By Captain Osama Abdelrahiem Egyptian Army
We gathered from different spots on earth at a land far away from home. Although we were sitting very close to each other, differences shadowed the setting. Those who were sitting very close to each other were actually very different in color, religion, habits, traditions, and language. Despite all of these differences, we dis-covered that we are very similar in our approach to life, our ap-proach to peace, and our approach to love. The Lone Star State is the place on Earth that seems very strange from the outside but very familiar from the inside. In Texas, cul-tures mix and melt into one, re-sulting in a unique place that knows the meaning of the “We Heart,” and characterizes life. In the Lone Star State, the differ-ences become similarities, the objectives become united, and the language becomes one. It is the language of the “We Heart” not the “I Heart” as stated by the owner of Enchanted Springs Ranch, Steve Schmidt. Recently, we visited Schmidt’s unique ranch where we were the “We Heart” of the place. We touched it when we were in a circle, watching different kinds of beautiful creatures walking peacefully in the fields. We spoke one language, and laughed together as we watched a weapon show conducted by a highly skilled Texan cowgirl, Pistol Packin Paula. We listened to some heroic stories about the cowboys and cowgirls, but again, we were listening togeth-er. I wish we could have stopped time, not just to enjoy those un-forgettable moments, but also to let the whole world know the meaning of peace, the meaning of love, the meaning of “We Heart” that embraced us in that place, the “We Heart” that can inspire us to stand against any darkness, TOGETHER.

What is CCV?

Story by Jennifer Jenkins Guest Editor
CCV is the Commandant’s Standardization and Evaluations Office. CCV’s ultimate goal is to provide meaningful data to commanders so they can make informed decisions that will best suit DLIELC’s mission. The mission of CCV is to develop and maintain comprehensive and effective evaluations programs that enhance and promote DLIELC training objectives.
CCV is comprised of two elements: Training Evaluations (TE) and Standard Evaluations (STAN/EVAL). Training Evaluations are internal and external. Internal inspections look at various programs within DLIELC and collect data through End-of-Course surveys, Quick Responses (QR), and comments sheets. Once information is collected, CCV analyzes it and determines if programs are accomplishing the goals that they should. This is then reported back to the commander in charge of that program. External evaluations are done outside of DLIELC in the field. CCV collects data, conducts interviews and analyzes trends in data. This information is also reported back to DLIELC and evaluated as to how to adjust programs to help DLI graduates be more prepared for their follow-on trainings.
CCV has experienced a variety of personnel changes over the last few years but now has a permanent staff assigned to the pro-gram. The CCV chief position is currently vacant so Master Sgt. Daniel Lopez is the acting chief of CCV. His team includes Technical Sgt. Mary Kenyon, Gerri Lee Vigil, Loida Puno, and James Bissell. You can find them in Sebille Hall, Room 135.


Story by Marisol Atilano DLIELC English Instructor
DLIELC staff conducted voice recordings for Testing in January at the DLIELC Recording Studio. The recordings will be used for the nonresident ECL forms for the next fiscal year. Auditions for the recordings took place in December, and several staff were selected for this excellent career-broadening opportunity.
"Testing is striving to incorporate a variety of voices for new ECL test forms and, at the same time, increase awareness about the ECL by involving DLIELC staff in some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into test development," said Lisa Alderete, Language Testing Analyst.
All of the instructors recording were enthusiastic and excited about con-tributing to the mission. "I really enjoyed recording. It was fun to read with emotion, and it's kind of cool that my voice will be heard by ECL test takers around the world!" said Joyce Tupola, Specialized English Instructor.
Ernesto Martinez, who has worked as the Audio Equipment Operator for 30 years at DLIELC, receives immense satisfaction from meeting new peo-ple that work at DLIELC. “DLI has a lot of quality professionals I get to meet when they come to record. We have a lot of fun in the studio, and I take pride in my job,” said Martinez.
More Testing recording opportunities will be available throughout the year. If you are interested in participating, please go to the TIP.

Meet the new 637th Training Group Superintendent:SMSgt Carol Sligh

Senior Master Sergeant Carol Sligh assumed responsibilities as the Superin­ tendent, 637th Training Group, on July 23. Sligh hails from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Presidio, California, making her no stranger to the security cooperation mission.
Sligh is originally from Afton, Wyoming. She enlisted in the United States Air Force at age eighteen and served as an active duty Security Forces Airman for five years. In the earlier stages of her career, she set her heart on becoming a medic, and that decision led to a transition into the Air Force reserves. After spending five and a half years in the reserves, there was a need for medics in emergency rooms across the Air Force. The young Staff Sergeant landed herself an active duty slot and a new assignment at Davis Motham AFB, Tucson, AZ.
Due to her outstanding military record and years of experience in the service, her commander - a lieutenant colonel - believed Sligh was deserving of a step-promotion. Although she had heard of the step­ promotion program, she was not optimistic about receiving such recognition. Yet, her package was drafted and submitted . While her commander was deployed, Sligh received her step­promotion to Technical Sergeant. This newly acquired stripe forced her to retrain out of her dream job as a medic into her current Air Force Specialty Code, Education and Training.
Shortly after, Sligh received a non-volunteer assignment to JBSA-Lackland 's 37th Training Group where she served as the Instructor Supervisor for the Basic Instructor Course. During her tenure, the Air Force made a push for military training leaders, and with her senior leadership's influence, she applied for the position. As a newly promoted Master Sergeant, she volunteered to become an MTL. She received an assignment to DLIFLC, Presidio, CA, where she served the past five years as the Superintendent of Military Training Leaders. During this assignment, she also earned a promotion to the rank of Senior Master Sergeant.
Now back in her primary specialty, Education and Training, she has assumed the positon as the group superintendent. Although she has been at JBSA-Lackland a few short weeks, Sligh shared her views and perspectives on the 637th Training Group and its servicing squadrons.
When asked what she thinks about the dynamics of the group, Sligh said, "Our mission is very unique. People from all areas of the world come together here in total support of the security cooperation mission. Our manning is also unique with our civilian to military personnel ratio."
She follows and supports the perspectives of our current mission and ision set by the group commander, Colonel Cooper. Her top three priorities as the group superintendent are mission first, family second and progress third. Sligh outlines her priorities in detail, discussing topics such as getting the job done, working as a team, and holding one another accountable. She also explained the importance of taking care of our Airmen, ensuring that they're taking care of themselves, as well as their families.
Sligh hopes to leave the 637th Training Group better than how she found it. She mentioned that in order to accomplish her priorities, she would need the buy-in and support from the top­down which includes our most senior ranking leaders to our most jun ior ranking enlisted members.
"We are a small-staffed military organization . We are so spread out that people don't even know where the others are. In order to build unity and camaraderie, we need open communication on every level. Eventually, I would like to hold a few BBQs, recognize members' birthdays, and reward our folks for doing a good job. We also need to reemphasize our Resiliency Training Program. Teamwork is the focal point to success."
On a personal note, Sligh has two children. Her son, Cameron,just graduated from Monterey High School and is attending the University of California in Santa Cruz. Her daughter, Madison, is attending Stacy High school on JBSA-Lackland.

Meet the new 332 TRS English Instruction Flight Chiefs

By Ezme Kornmeyer
DLIELC English Instructor and Guest Editor

Anne Andersen
Chief Specialized English Flight

Anne Andersen, Chief of Specialized English, was Chief of General English (Section 2) for a year before moving into her current position. In her new post she would like to use her 29 years of DLIELC experience “to provide Specialized English instructors and supervisors with a positive and stable environ-ment so they can focus on their individual professional growth.” Ms. Andersen also brings with her lessons that her parents taught her. One in particular is that “God helps those who help themselves.” She says, “As a result, my philosophy is that those who work hard, have a good attitude and put forth a good honest effort are the ones who reap the rewards in this life.”

Angel BishopPetty
Chief, General English Flight

When General English Section Chief Angel BishopPetty start-ed teaching at DLIELC 24 years ago, she thought it would be a good place to work while finishing graduate school. Although she did not intend to stay, she fell in love with the students and was excited by the many chances to learn and grow by working in different departments in the organization. Her advice to DLIELC staff and students is to always take advantage of opportunities when offered, even if it is something you are not sure you will excel at or enjoy because you may be surprised by what you find. As a personal example, she was hesitant to move into the curriculum department, but soon found herself engrossed in the work and spent the next 14 years as a Specialized Curriculum Project Officer. She emphasized that by moving out of her comfort zone and into other areas within DLIELC, she has been humbled because there is always more to take in. As she has progressed from teacher to Section Chief, Ms. BishopPetty has approached each new role as a learning experience and encourages others to do the same.

Michael Sheridan
Chief, General English Flight

General English Section Chief, Michael Sheridan, who was recently promoted from his position as supervisor in Advanced English, has a clear goal in mind for staff at DLIELC: he would like to create conditions that allow instructors to really excel at their craft. He states that “The whole point of this institution is to deliver an excellent product to our customers and to prepare the students for their follow-on training.” Mr. Sheridan empha-sizes quality instruction throughout the organization and has three guiding principles that he learned from his PST trainers nearly ten years ago. First of all, he states that teachers must teach well and do all they can to provide quality instruction. Secondly, they must stay on top of their administrative duties. Finally, instructors must cultivate strong interpersonal and working relationships with other staff members. Mr. Sheridan says these three pillars have guided him throughout his progression from teacher to section chief. He feels that it is imperative to attend to all three because if one is neglected, it really stands out.


International Salute to Fiesta San Antonio!

Fifty-eight Nations March as One in Fiesta Flambeau Parade

Col. Jeffrey Cooper, DLIELC commandant, and senior students from Egypt, Mongolia, and Indonesia lead the 102 member international student flag formation flight past the Alamo Plaza grandstand and crowds during the San Antonio Fiesta Flambeau parade on April 23.
Photo By Spencer Berry
By Col Jeff Cooper, USAF Commandant, Defense Language Institute English Language Center
In what is growing into a San Antonio tradition, 102 military service members representing 58 countries around the world, from Nigeria to Afghanistan to Ukraine, marched with their national flags in Fiesta Flambeau, the largest illuminated night parade in the nation, during Fiesta San Antonio, 2016. The 2.6 mile twilight tromp through downtown San Antonio is a voluntary cultural enrichment event for the students, who are on temporary duty in San Antonio by invitation of the US Department of Defense. They participate to experience Fiesta and to feel the warm embrace of the people of Military City first-hand.

The Fiesta Flambeau Parade never disappoints. The international parade-marchers had many wonderful impressions to relay to their fellow students and countrymen about Fiesta Flambeau, San Antonians, and the USA in general. One student, Captain Tangara from Mali, said, “I really appreciated when thousands of people told me, ‘thank you for your service.” Lieutenant Hong from Cambodia remarked, “Everyone in the crowd was cheering for us while we marched and I found it an inspiration; even though we were tired, the cheers and the warm welcome made us energetic. I hope to be a part of this again.” Another student, Major Gautam from Nepal, observed, “I am really amazed with the sense of respect and gratitude of US citizens toward the military men and women. I thought it was an outstanding event and I thoroughly enjoyed the parade.” Sergeant Ucan from Turkey added, “It was amazing to participate, I felt like a pop star. It was unbelievable to see people thanking us for our service.”

These military professionals, in training under Air Education & Training Command and the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, are in the United States to master a new language—English. Once they are trained to proficiency in English at Defense Language Institute English Language Center, they advance to technical training or developmental education with the United States military. Other students study advanced English, then return to their homeland as instructors to train members of their military in English using the center’s curriculum, the American Language Course.

The Defense Language Institute English Language Center, known by foreign militaries worldwide as “DLI”, has been executing its mission training global security partners English for 62 years and counting in San Antonio. The organization is composed of 520 people, mostly Department of the Air Force civilians, and mostly English language teachers, led by active duty military officers and with a military support cadre of 30.

Many DLI graduates from around the world progress to high rank and influence in their military careers. For example, DLI boasts 2 presidents as distinguished alumni, the current President El-Sisi of Egypt, and former President Bambang, the sixth president of Indonesia. Also, scores of DLI graduates have advanced to the general and flag officer ranks in their respective militaries. San Antonio is a common thread for all of them. Nearly 3,000 international students graduate from DLI each year and proceed to training with the US military. Thus the English language training enables enduring relationships between US and international leaders and strengthens Security Cooperation between the US and its many partner nations.

This ongoing Defense Security Cooperation activity happens continually Deep in the Heart of South Texas at the DLI campus. On this lush, quiet corner of JBSA-Lackland, new students arrive every week via the San Antonio International Airport to replace those who are graduating. In the course of a year, military professionals from over 100 partner nations around the world call Texas their home for a few months, and the people of Texas and Military City leave a lasting impression of the goodness of America on each of them.

DLIELC Unveils Wall Of Fame Inductees

After the induction of 8 Wall Of Fame Alumni, Colonel Jeffrey Cooper, Commandant for DLIELC, presents the Challenge Coin to the participating Alumni, Lt Gen (Ret) Keijiro Hata, Vice Commander of the Japanese Air Defense Command. Photo By SrA Westin Warburton
By Senior Airman Warburton JBSA-Lackland, TX
The DLIELC unveiled their wall of fame inductees Aug. 21, at the DLIELC on JBSA Lackland. “In the 61 years since DLI’s English Language Center has been established, there have been many students who have made significant contributions in their countries and in developing positive relationships between the United States and their nations,” said Col. Jeffrey Cooper, DLIELC Commandant and 637th Training Group Commander. “We honor today not only those graduates who continue to succeed throughout the world in their careers but also those graduates who have given their lives in the line of duty,” Cooper said.
Although some of the alumni have long retired from military or civilian service, many still serve their countries in high level military leadership positions, as advisors to the countries’ armed services or in leadership positions within their countries. DLIELC honors these alumni by sharing their name, photo, country, and highest rank/level achieved in support of their countries, on the wall of fame in the main hallway at the DLIELC. “We believe this wall of fame will continue to serve as inspiration for current students as they progress in their studies and inspire them to serve honorably in their nation’s services after they graduate,” said Cooper.
WALL of FAME videos of Col Cooper and Lt Gen Hata

Key Stakeholders Meet at English Language Program Working Group

Fansz, DLI key personnel, and personnel from DSCA, the Defense Language and National Security Education Office, AETC, AFSAT, SATFA, and NETSAFA gathered in the DLI Conference Center to conduct an English Language Program Working Group. Photo By Spencer Berry

During the English Language Program Working Group (ELPWG) meeting on February 11, DLIELC’s key stakeholders in the English lan-guage training mission assembled and discussed several important topics. During DLIELC's portion, the organization introduced the Commandant-approved Strategic Plan which will be officially unveiled at the March Commandant's Call. We shared that this plan provides direction in academic, program manage-ment, outreach, and institutional areas. Monitoring the implementation of the plan will be conducted through a series of working groups and boards which will also serve to improve inter-nal accountability. Finally, we suggested that the leaders from the various military departments can assist us by identifying emerging or changing requirements, supporting DLIELC engagement at follow-on training locations, and bringing DLIELC into their initiatives early—we are here to enable their programs.


AMIGO program turns sponsorship into friendship

Dawna Hollie (left), Ambassador of International Goodwill to Others (AMIGO) program manager, speaks with Jan Hall (center), an AMIGO sponsorship program volunteer, and Lieutenant Aboudou Ganihou Fadikpe (right), a Defense Language Institute English Language Center student at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Photo by Spencer Berry

By Airman First Class Justine Rho JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs

The Defense Language Institute English Language Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland drives the American Members of International Goodwill to Others, or AMIGO, sponsorship program to create an outlet for students to better learn about American culture and practice the English language. In creating this channel of communication, between students and volunteer sponsors, both parties mutually benefit in international relations and personable communication.
As provided by the DLIELC web-page, under the U.S. Security Assistance Program, the school’s mission is to teach English to international military members; with tailored courses that address the specific language requirements of those students’ career field. The DLIELC has students from more than 90 different nations at the school at any given time.



Home    Welcome    FAQs    Contact    Employment