World

January 9, 2014

Language diversity is critical to the Air Force

Senior Airman Josh Slavin
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Diversity is a key characteristic of today’s Air Force and is what enables Airmen across the world to become well cultured. With Airmen constantly being sent to all stretches of the globe it is now as important as ever that they have the ability to speak multiple languages.

Staff Sgt. Ashley House, 755th Operations Support Squadron air crew cryptologic analyst, has made a career out of having the ability to fluently speak several languages. House, whose first language is English, went to school at the Defense Language Institute to learn Spanish.

“I think our diversity in the unit is a really good microcosm of what you see in the Air Force at large,” said House.

He works at the 55th Electronic Combat Group, here, alongside other linguists that speak a wide variety of languages. Due to the wide range of missions this group of Airmen has the ability to speak Spanish, Portuguese, Farsi, Dari, and Arabic among others.

“It seems like we get folks from all four corners of the United States and we seem to have folks that are very open minded to learning about other cultures,” said House.

One of the unique things about House’s job is the way he is able to experience other cultures and broaden his speaking skills while keeping the mission as a top priority. House and the Airmen of the 55th ECG are always traveling to foreign countries and he uses each stop as an opportunity to learn a new language or enhance his abilities in one he is familiar with.

“After the initial language training at DLI most of my training has been on the job training,” House said. “You are constantly being exposed to a new language and you are constantly employing it so that daily usage really makes your skills sky rocket.”

House and Airmen around the world are always interacting with people from different countries and learning about their cultures. Language diversity is the bridge that enables those connections and partnerships to happen and grow.




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(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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