Active, Reserve Sailors with Foreign Language Training Eligible for Pay Bonus

Story Number: NNS060929-19Release Date: 9/29/2006 4:44:00 PM
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By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Teresa J. Frith, Navy Personnel Command Communications Office

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Navy Reserve and active-duty Sailors who are fluent in certain foreign languages and receive a qualifying score on the Defense Language Institute test, can now claim higher bonuses through the Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus Program (FLPB), providing they meet updated requirements.

"We've had a tremendous response to the program since the higher bonuses were announced," said Master Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretative) Sean Lemons, Navy Foreign Language Program manager. "Prior to 1 June, the maximum amount that a career linguist could qualify for was $300 a month for multiple languages, and non-career linguists could qualify for $100 a month. Now either can qualify for up to $1,000 a month, providing they get qualifying scores in more than one language. I have fielded thousands of calls from people who are now interested in the foreign language program."

The purpose of the FLPB is to give incentives and promote identification of Sailors with foreign language skills, maintain and improve foreign language proficiency, and promote the study of foreign languages, especially those crucial to the Navy's mission.

As of June 1, the FLPB pays bonuses up to $1,000 a month to Sailors who have passed the required language courses with a test score measured by the Defense Language Proficiency Test System of at least Listening 2/Reading 2 or an overall score of "two" on the Oral Proficiency Interview. A Sailor's local personnel support department or education services office can order the appropriate test and proctor it for candidates.

"Those receiving FLPB must take the language test every year to requalify in order to keep receiving the bonus," added Lemons.

Not all languages qualify for FLPB. Languages are divided into "strategic" or "other." Depending on the category the language is in, a qualified linguist could receive the bonus, with higher amounts going to those skilled in the most sought after languages. Bonus pay is not given to people who speak languages considered dominant, those which the Navy has an abundance of speakers, unless the person is a career linguist (a Cryptologist Technician (Interpretative) for enlisted members and Foreign Area Officer for officers) or in a foreign language billet. A list of qualifying languages can be found in the combined Department of Defense/Navy Strategic Language List (SLL), which is reviewed and reissued annually.

"The foreign language program continues to grow every year," said Lemons. "Currently we have about 3,800 billets and not all of them are filled."

For additional information on FLPB, read OPNAV instruction 7220.7F or NAVADMINS 143 and 252.

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