The Secretary of Defense Authorized to Maintain the National Language Service Corps.
Arlington, VA - The Department of Defense announced today that the President signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA 13) which grants authority to the Secretary of Defense to maintain operations of the National Language Service Corps (NLSC). Since 2007, the NLSC has been sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD) for Personnel and Readiness (P&R) through the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO) as a pilot and operational program.
Surpassing expectations for the program, the NLSC continues to grow its 4,000 plus membership with US citizens who volunteer their language skills and make themselves available to provide a surge capability across a broad range of language and culture to meet National needs. The NLSC program has proven to be a successful and innovative approach in providing a surge capability in language and cultural resources on short notice in response to the current language environment in the U.S. Federal Government which includes budget cuts and significant armed forces readiness degradation.
The NLSC’s membership represents over 260 languages, corresponding cultural skills, and a pool of members with varied educational training and/or backgrounds including federal employees and/or military members. A unique component of the NLSC program is that its Members are hired as temporary intermittent federal employees in preparation for their assignments allowing an opportunity for members to integrate themselves on the requesting agency’s team.To date, the NLSC has supported 48 assignments --CONUS and OCONUS. Among missions within the DoD language support was provided for:• Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command operations in Vietnam • NAVAF/NAVEUR: Africa Partnership Station (APS) for African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership off the East Coast of Africa, and • Other humanitarian and partnership exercises in Europe, the Middle East, and other overseas locations.
NLSC assignments are expected to quadruple its originally predicted activations in 2013 as the program has supported activities within DoD as well as non-DoD clients. Some of the non-DoD agencies that have made inquiries to the NLSC for language support are:• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention • Department of Labor • Federal Bureau of Investigation • INTERPOL Washington • Peace Corps
The NLSC has successfully recruited personnel fluent in the less commonly spoken languages to assist government agencies in fulfilling their language needs for translators and interpreters. Membership growth is based primarily on the needs of federal agencies where there may be gaps in personnel resources for temporary or short term federal employees with certified translation and/or interpretation skills. The NLSC is a low cost strategic solution to address critical language requirements within federal agencies. Additional information about the National Language Service Corps is available at www.nlscorps.org.
PR/Media Contacts:Department of Defense Public Affairs Press Desk at (703) 697-5131 General Dynamics Information Technology Public Relations at (703) 246-0528