Linguists not cunning

| November 8, 2023

The Army Times says  fewer than half of Army and Marine special operations personnel competed any of their mandatory annual.linguistic special training in the last five years.

The Government Accountability Office reviewed five years’ worth of data and interviewed various special operators and commanders following a fiscal year 2022 congressional request for a report on the status of foreign language proficiency within special operations.

After completing their initial training for their respective SOF military occupational specialties, both Army and Marine Corps special operations personnel are assigned a foreign language that they are required to learn and sustain throughout their career. Initial training ranges from four to six months for Army special operations forces and four months for their Marine counterparts.

The GAO notes that the Navy and Air Force did not fail to meet their standards… of course, they also noted that:

However, the two services discontinued or suspended their requirements during the period assessed, 2018 to 2022. The report noted that Air Force special operations approved a new requirement for SOF personnel in the newly formed Theater Air Operations Squadrons in May 2023. The report did not provide details as to why Navy special operations discontinued its language requirement in 2021.

Can’t fail a standard you no longer have, right?

The reasons are obvious… ops tempo, training, equipment maintenance used to be the prime causes. Now?

Several SOF operators and commanders told GAO staff that training for other skills qualifications, deployments that did not require language training and a lower prioritization of the language training by their chain of command often meant that the training went uncompleted.

Remembering pre-history when our vehicles had stone wheels and Sgt. Flintstone provided the braking power, EVERYTHING took a higher priority. Theoretically, since language proficiency requires constant practice, linguists were supposed to do a couple of house weekly in a language lab. In practice, if they actually had a shot at the worn out old tapes on the one or two (usually broken) reel-to-reels once a month they were doing well. If they worked a live mission that actually LISTENED to enemy comms, they might maintain some proficiency. Otherwise, folks who reenlisted for the language school typically spent weeks (or months) of the next-level language course relearning what they theoretically should have already known – but after three or more years away from effective language training or usage, had mostly forgotten.

The good part was that they were up on vehicle PMCS and could start a generator no matter what the weather.

H/t to Jeff!

Category: Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, None

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President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

To paraphrase Syndrome (The Incredibles), “When everything is first priority, then nothing is first priority.”


Linguists not cunning”
Oh cmon,we all know what you are trying to say….


Twat does that mean? Is it a play on words? I just cunt understand it.


Cunninglinguist…smart enough to find that little button and practice…breathing thru your ears. I’ll put myself in time out.

“…old tapes…reel-to-reels…”? DaHell?!? Isn’t there an app for that on any pocket sized computer that pretty much everybody has these days? Maybe if the training resources weren’t spent on BS woke/Dei training there would be resources available for things that really matter?


It’s all about priorities, isn’t it.


Hush and don’t be racist, comrade!
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Because it takes lots of work and time to remain proficient in a language you don’t use daily?

And, there are bunches of higher priority stuff like mandatory pronoun, hate whitey and twerking training?


“it takes lots of work and time to remain proficient in a language”

It’s all in the tongue…


Delicious headline! A bit hairy though.

Prior Service

Did the study also adress whether there was any foreign language proficiency pay being paid?


They would not care if there was not!!!


Just An Old Dog

Because it makes so much sense to have an operator spend a couple of hours a month boning up on Farsi when he is much for likely to go into the Congo or Central America.


Back in the olden days of the 1970’s in Special Forces, practically no one was language qualified. This was true of all the Special Forces groups, except possibly for the Eighth, which was garrisoned in Panama. The only language proficiency in my ODA was English. And in a couple cases, that was borderline.