skip to the main content area of this page
NLSC Pilot Image

National Language Service Corps Background

In 2006, Congress called for a project to test the idea of a national corps of individuals who speak languages other than English to offer their support to federal agencies during times of crisis, such as relief efforts after hurricanes. The NLSC Pilot Program planned, built, and tested a corps of on-call language-certified Americans who were ready to serve the nation with their language skills.

The development of the NLSC, which addresses the program’s need for individuals who speak English and other languages, is essential for success in three areas:

  • Interaction with diverse communities residing within U.S. borders
  • Competitiveness of the U.S., and
  • Valuable assistance to nations, who are friends and allies, during times of crises and emergencies

Because the Federal government had never set up an organization quite like this before, the NLSC had to test its procedures for recruiting, evaluating, and enrolling Members as the program attempted to build the initial corps of 1,000 individuals, who were known as Charter Members, during this pilot phase. Charter Members helped the program test its processes and procedures which allowed the program to refine its procedures for future use.

The Pilot was successful, and demonstrated Members’ commitment to service. They confirmed what the NLSC organization expected ... that there are many individuals in this country who are willing to offer their language skills for the good of all.

Today, the NLSC, now a permanent program, continues to reach out to service-minded U.S. citizens who speak multiple languages, and promote the NLSC throughout the federal government to make agencies aware of what the organization offers to augment their diverse and dynamic language needs.

The Defense Language and National Security Education Office

NLSC's parent agency is the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO).

Resize Close