MONTEREY, Calif. (NNS) -- Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Monterey's Sailors took part in Language Day, hosted by the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) at the Presidio of Monterey, California, May 11.
Language Day is an open-house event in which DLIFLC opens its gates to the public and attracts more than 5,000 people annually. This year, visitors came in from as far as St. Petersburg, Russia; Mogadishu, Somalia; and Montezuma, Mexico.
This event promotes and encourages cultural understanding and customs from around the world. Language Day showcases the institute's excellence in foreign language study and the diversity of its faculty and students.
Aerographer's Mate 2nd Class Brandon Armstrong, a Fleet-returnee student studying Russian, stated, "This day embodies the spirit of the Defense Language Institute".
"Most of our students will not only deploy or serve overseas in the country of their acquired language, but will visit other nearby regional provinces or countries that can significantly differ in dialect, culture, and customs," said Cmdr. Michael Salehi, commanding officer of IWTC Monterey. "Language Day teaches our students that a familiarity to 'sight' doesn't necessarily equate to an understanding of the regional cultural norms. The representation of cultural diversity at Language Day prepares students to adapt and respect those nuances that might ostensibly appear to be minor, but are in fact vastly different."
As part of Language Day, students and faculty participated in various displays, sang songs in their languages, and performed traditional dances on stage in front of the public and their peers. Some also explored the 64 vendors present which included food, information, souvenir and fundraising booths.
Seaman Laura Marden, a Levantine Arabic student, participated in the traditional Lebanese "Dabke" folk dance alongside her multi-service classmates. In regards to her performance she stated, "It was cool to do something different from the curriculum and showcase the culture I've been studying".
IWTC Monterey is responsible for developing Fleet-ready Sailors who possess the basic foreign language skills necessary to support the nation's warfighting and intelligence operations. Approximately 800 Sailors attend DLIFLC each year as their accession school, learning foreign languages in order to become cryptologic technicians (interpretive) or CTIs.
IWTC Monterey, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training, provides a continuum of foreign language training to Navy personnel, which prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
For more on Information Warfare Training Command Monterey, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/IWTCmonterey/ and http://www.monterey.army.mil/Service_Units/IWTC_Monterey.html, or find them on Facebook.
For more news from Center for Information Warfare Training, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cid/, http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, http://www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or http://www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Center for Information Warfare Training, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/.