About Interpreter/Translator Cultural Specialist (09L Soldier) in the U.S. Army
09L is a unique opportunity for bi-cultural Afghan-Americans, who speak Dari, to join the U.S. Army. As an Afghan-American who understands the culture of both Afghanistan and the U.S., you will use the Army as your opportunity to teach the Army troops how to communicate respectfully and honorably with Afghans. Similarly, your cultural and lingual understanding of Afghans allows you to become the bridge between Afghan local communities and the U.S. Army, eliminating confusion and enhancing the rebuilding efforts in the region. Together, your voice and the training and support you gain from the United States Army can be the strength to ensure the traditions, heritage and religion of Afghanistan can continue to prosper.
The U.S. Army is an opportunity for a career that is highly respected and reliable. It is an opportunity for you to show your patriotism to both America and Afghanistan by being an integral part of the rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan. The ability to understand both Afghan culture and American culture is truly unique and the implications of this role as a Soldier in the U.S. Army has the potential to save innocent lives and provide the Afghan people with many more opportunities in the future.
What you can do as a Soldier in the U.S. Army
1. Provide cultural insights to the U.S. Army which includes but not limited to:
a. How to greet Afghans.
b. How to interact with Afghan leaders.
2. Prepare non-technical translations from English to Dari.
3. Perform translations from Dari to English.
4. Perform oral interpretation functions.
5. Assist military contracting officers with local purchases and provide interpretation support at military traffic control points.
6. Assist security personnel in screening the local population at military checkpoints.
7. Provide interpretation assistance for the Public Affairs Office (PAO) during local media events and translation of local newspapers or pamphlets for briefing officers.
Requirements of 09L
Job training for an Interpreter/Translator requires you to demonstrate proficiency of the English language at the Defense Language Institute, English Language Center. The length of your stay will depend on the level of your English language proficiency. Once you have successfully completed this, you must attend and successfully complete nine weeks of Basic Combat Training (BCT), where you will learn the basic skills necessary to become a Soldier. Immediately following BCT you will attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT). While at AIT, you will learn the specific skills required to successfully perform your day to day duties as an 09L Interpreter/Translator.
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