Buena High School students enrolled in language courses attended a 30-minute cryptologic linguist presentation Feb. 12 taught by Soldiers with a foreign language military occupational specialty, or MOS.
The idea for the presentations came from Peter Shaver, Language Initiatives chief, Training and Doctrine Command Culture Center.
“I work with languages and I wanted to experiment with some of our ideas to work with the community in terms of language, foreign language and getting people interested in what we’re doing,” Shaver explained.
While the sessions highlighted Soldiers who received language training or have been deployed as cryptologic linguists, guest speakers from the Sergeant Audie Murphy club also attended, talking to students about their personal Army experience and benefits of joining.
Each half-hour presentation concluded with recruitment information by Staff Sgt. Eduardo Garcia from the Sierra Vista recruiting station. All together, nine presenters had a role in the programs.
“I hope that [students] will understand language opportunities in the military,” Shaver said. “They may see a career out of it.” He added that introducing the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club Soldiers to the students showed them positive military role models and opportunities that exist for Soldiers.
During each presentation, students learned about the training a linguist receives and the types of languages they can learn in the Army. Spc. Dawna Casanova, Company A, 304th Military Intelligence Battalion, served as guest speaker for one of the sessions to talk about her MOS as a cryptologic linguist. Casanova described a linguist as a “cultural expert,” making sure students understood the job entailed more than learning the language.
“My job is to be a ‘cultural go-to’ on how to help out with the local community,” she said. “The best part about being a linguist is that I not only get to travel the world and see the things I would see being in the Army and having that opportunity, but I get to understand, I get to delve deeper into [the culture] and from there being able to communicate with someone on a different level.”
Although students received a one-time break from their traditional foreign language classes to attend the sessions, teachers like Ada Cespedes, Buena High School Spanish teacher thought of the presentation as a educational tool.
“It’s very relevant to our foreign language students when [Soldiers] bring in the opportunities for foreign language,” Cespedes said. “Even if the languages [students] learn here [at school], they don’t use in the military, some of these kids show a great aptitude for language and it would be very appropriate for them in a military career, so it’s very beneficial.”
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Dawley, SAMC president, said he wanted students to see the Army as a good life, which could be demanding, but rewarding, by listening to the Soldiers talk about their personal experiences.
At the end of each session, Garcia encouraged all students — interested in language or not, to consider joining the Army after graduation. However, he reminded students that their high school diploma in hand is key to where their future takes them.