Linguists are an essential part of our
National defense. Without the information
that our linguists provide to our
decision-makers, we really don’t always
have the full context and full
understanding of what’s happening.
As a Cryptologic Language Analyst, our job
entails working with language in a
variety of different ways. Being a
linguist is more than just being a
translator. You’re really a cultural
interpreter and the culture enables you
to not just hear what somebody is saying
but you understand why they’re saying it,
because you understand their background
and that’s key when it comes to
informing our leaders on what’s going on
around the world. There’s a lot of
differences between an Airborne Linguist
and a Ground Linguist. As an Airborne
Cryptologic Language Analyst, you never
know what to expect. You could be thrown
on any aircraft from an RC-135 to an
AC-130. You might be at your base flying
a regular training mission and then
three hours later you’re on a plane to
whatever hotspot has popped up around
the world. Even though our Ground Linguists
aren’t up in the air what they do
is extremely valuable and extremely
interesting because of the people that
they end up working with. Airborne
Linguists will work only for the Air
Force. The Ground Linguists will work with
all the sister services and they get
exposure to a deeper level of how our
government runs intelligence operations.
A lot of what a Linguist does generally
goes unnoticed by most of the public and
that’s somewhat by design when it comes
to just the nature of the sensitivity of
the information that we’re working with.
Most of the work that we do is strategic
in nature so you might not even know
further down the road how it’s gonna
impact relations between our country and
another, but a lot of times the things
that we do end up on the desk of the
President. And then the other thing is
the tactical nature, where we’re actually
helping out troops that are in the
middle of a fight, helping them come home
safely as well. Being a Linguist has opened the
world to me.
Language is a tool that gave me access
to all these different cultures and now
I’ve traveled the world, I’ve been to
China and Taiwan and I’ve got to
experience so much deep culture and it’s
just an intimate part of my life now.