Options for meeting U.S. Navy foreign language and cultural expertise requirements in the post 9/11 security environment
D'Angelo, Michael F.
Mehay, Stephen L.
Cahill, Maureen M.
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This thesis examines foreign language and cultural awareness skills vital to the U.S. Navy, analyzes the stock of such skills already resident in the Navy and explores options for meeting current and future requirements for these skills. Information sources include a comprehensive review of literature. This thesis also reviews Defense-and Navy-identified, mission-critical, foreign language proficiency and cultural awareness skills and the Manpower requirements and billets requiring such skills. Navy linguists, concentrated in the Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) rating, require up to two years of foreign language and technical training, a Top Secret security clearance and eligibility for Sensitive Compartmented Information. CTIs increasingly perform foreign language duties outside of their core intelligence analyst competencies, such as translator or interpreter, which could be filled by Sailors who are native speakers. However, security clearance requirements of the CTI rating typically exclude Sailors who possess the native foreign language skills and cultural background. This thesis investigates how to optimize resident naval foreign language and cultural diversity and proposes alternative recruitment, training, employment, and retention methods. It recommends that the Navy develop a Translator/Interpreter rating for those ineligible for security clearances, reinstitute the Warrant Officer-1 rank, and pay ad hoc linguists.
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