NLSC is an initiative of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO)

Congress authorized the Secretary of Defense to establish the National Language Service Corps (NLSC) in Section 953 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, which is codified as Section 1913 of Title 50 of the U.S. Code (USC). The National Security Education Board (NSEB) serves as the governing and advisory body for NLSC, as directed in 50 U.S.C. Chapter 37. The NSEB’s 14 members include representatives from 8 Cabinet-level departments as well as 6 presidentially appointed members.

Today, Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO) administers NLSC on behalf of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Advised by the NSEB on policy and strategy, DLNSEO develops and executes programs to remedy foreign culture and language shortfalls across the Government. The NLSC is one of these programs, but it is unique in the fact that it provides operational support across the entire U.S. Government. When NLSC members support Government agencies, they are hired as temporary specialists and consultants in the excepted service (in accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 3109 and 5 U.S.C. § 2103). Members who are activated receive a honorarium for their service.

Governing Documents

  1. AUTHORITY: 5 U.S.C. 301, Departmental Regulations; 10 U.S.C. 131, Office of the Secretary of Defense; DoD Directive 5124.02, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)); 50 U.S.C. 1913, National Language Service Corps; and E.O. 9397 (SSN), as amended..
  2. PRINCIPAL PURPOSE(S): To allow U.S. citizens with language skills to self-identify their skills for the purpose of temporary employment on an intermittent work schedule or service opportunities in support of DoD or another department or agency of the United States. The information will be used to determine applicants' eligibility for NLSC membership and to identify and contact NLSC members.
  3. ROUTINE USE(S): To another department or agency of the United States in need of temporary short-term foreign language services, where Government employees are required or desired.
  4. DISCLOSURE: Voluntary; however, failure to provide information may result in non-enrollment in the NLSC and refusal to grant access to member areas of the NLSC portal.
  5. To view the “System of Records Notice” (SORN) filed with the Defense Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Transparency Division (DPCLD), visit the applicable SORN (September 23, 2020, 85 FR 59754).

Historical Documents

Links of Interest