Do you wish to join the US Army as a translator? If yes, read this article to the end to find out how you can apply for it.
ABOUT ARMY LINGUISTS
Some Army jobs depend on speaking fluent English. Others rely on Soldiers with expertise in reading, writing and speaking some of the world’s many diverse foreign languages. Those Soldiers provide high-quality translation, interpretation and language-related support to combat troops and military personnel in a variety of operations.
Military Job Applications Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) is a recruiting program that allows legal non-citizens with in-demand skills to join the U.S Army in exchange for expedited U.S. citizenship. Individuals who join the Army through this program are able to move from non-immigrant visa or asylee/refugee/Temporary Protected Status (TPS) directly to citizenship. In most cases participants in the program will become naturalized U.S. citizens by the time they graduate from ten weeks of Basic Combat Training or accept a commission as Army Officers.
Currently, the Army is searching for licensed health care professionals and individuals who can speak more than one language. Read the general requirements below to see if you qualify to join the Army through this program.
The interpreter/translator in the Army is primarily responsible for interpreting and preparing translations between English and a foreign language.
Interpreters and translators are vital in today’s military and society in general. These Army language specialists do more than just translate words — they relay concepts and ideas between languages. So… if you’re an excellent communicator and you enjoy foreign languages and cultures, you should consider such a career in the Army.
LINGUISTIC JOBS IN THE ARMY
As a linguist in the active Army or Army Reserve, you will be deployed to duty stations around the world, where you will translate highly classified documents and information for military troops and allied forces. Depending on your area of expertise, you’ll be assigned to either a strategic or tactical position. Strategic linguists tend to work from an office, while tactical linguists work more from the field.
To become linguist, however, you don’t have to already be fluent in a language. The Army can teach you. If you have an aptitude to learn, meet the qualifying standards and are a U.S. citizen, you can get a linguistics job in the U.S. Army.
Most linguist jobs require background checks and security interviews for top secret security clearance. Some use this clearance for civilian and/or government employment opportunities after leaving military service, including roles in the FBI, the National Security Agency and corporations needing employees with language skills.
THE DEFENSE LANGUAGE INSTITUTE (DLI)
After nine weeks of Basic Combat Training, you will report to the Defense Language Institute (DLI) for language and linguistics training. One of the world’s foremost language schools, DLI provides expert instruction in many different languages. In addition to your Advanced Individual Training, your language training will last from 6 to 16 months. As part of your education at DLI, you will also learn about the history, culture and people who speak the language you’re learning.
TESTING AND REQUIREMENTS
The Army uses the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) to evaluate how well a native English speaker can learn a language. The score on the DLAB determines the level of difficulty for language training.
If you already speak a foreign language, the basic measure of language proficiency is a score of 2/2 or better on the Defense Language Proficiency Test. If no DLPT is available for the language, an Oral Proficiency Interview can be scheduled through the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.
CIVILIAN LINGUISTICS CAREERS
Having experience as a military linguist sets you up for many opportunities once you complete your time in active duty. You might want to pursue a civilian linguistics career in a government agency such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, Homeland Security or in the fields of education or international business.
BENEFITS AND INCENTIVES
In addition to all regular benefits, linguists are paid a Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus as an incentive to maintain and improve their language skills. Linguists are paid up to $400 for each language they demonstrate proficiency in and can receive up to $1,000 a month.
You might also qualify for an enlistment bonus up to $40,000 and the Montgomery GI Bill worth over $60,000. College credits may also qualify you for advanced promotion and extra pay.
How to Apply for US Army Jobs as a Translator:
Follow the link as details of the Army recruitment and selection process can be found on how people from other countries can apply for the Army with legal US residency, visit here.
Applicants must be in one of the following categories at the time of their enlistment:
Non-immigrant categories E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U or V
Asylee, refugee, Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Applicants must legally reside in the United States for a minimum of two years prior to joining the Army (excluding DACA) without a single absence from the country lasting longer than 90 days
Applicants must have a high school diploma and a qualifying score on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AQFT)
Must be 17-34 years old and be under 35 at the time of shipping to BCT
- Prepare nontechnical Army translations into the target language and perform sight translations from a target language into English
- Assist military contracting officers with local purchases
- Provide interpretation support at military traffic control points and local media events
Army Linguist Requirements
There is no single form of certification required for interpreters and translators in the United States Army, but there are a variety of different tests that workers can voluntarily take to demonstrate proficiency. For Military men, the American Translators Association provides accreditation in more than 24 language combinations for its members; other options include a certification program offered by The Translators and Interpreters Guild. Many interpreters are not certified. Military translators undergo rigorous training that prepares them for translator careers both in service and in the civilian world.
Proficient in one or more of the following target languages:
Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Fula, Mande, Kru, Mel, and the divergent language Gola, Swahili, Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Twi, Ga, Ewe, Krio, Shona, Ndebele.
Applicants must have a qualifying score on a proficiency test in his or her native language. CURRENT LANGUAGES RECRUITED Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Baluchi, Bengali, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cebuano, Cambodian-Khmer, Chinese, Czech, French (with citizenship from an African Country), Georgian, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hindi, Hungarian, Ibo/Igbo, Indonesian, Japanese, Kashmiri, Korean, Kurdish, Lao, Malay, Malayalam, Moro (Tausug/Maranao/Maguindanao), Nepalese, Pashto, Persian Dari, Persian Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Sindhi, Singhalese, Somali, Swahili, Tagalog, Tajik, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Urdu (with citizenship from Pakistan or Afghanistan), Uzbek, Yoruba
Some Military interpreters/translators will require English language training prior to their nine weeks of Basic Combat Training. After completing Basic Combat Training, you’ll attend Advanced Individual Training to learn the skills that are required to perform Interpreter support in the following areas:
Locally Employed Personnel Screening
Training Host-Nation Forces
Ability to listen, read and speak in English
Fluency in a foreign language(s)
Interest in other cultures
The interpreter/translator 09L MOS is primarily responsible for conducting interpretation and preparing translations between English and a foreign language. They also assist Soldiers with familiarization training in foreign languages and cultural awareness. 09L Soldiers specialize in a number of languages. Some primary duties may include the following.
- Prepare nontechnical translations into the target language and perform sight translations from a target language into English
- Perform oral interpretation
- Assist military contracting officers with a local purchase or provide interpretation support at a military traffic control point
- Assist security personnel in screening the local population at military checkpoints
- Provide interpretation assistance for the Public Affairs Office during local media events and translation of local newspapers or pamphlet
Working environments for interpreters and translators vary. Civilian interpreters work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, courtrooms, and conference centers. Military translators and interpreters working conditions are similar to civilian interpreters, however many military translators also serve in roles such as community relations, inelegance gathering, and other related military missions.
Earnings depend on language, subject matter, skill, experience, education, certification, and type of employer, and salaries of interpreters and translators can vary widely. Interpreters and translators with language skills for which there is a greater demand, or for which there are relatively few people with the skills, often have higher earnings. Interpreters and translators with specialized expertise, such as those working in software localization, also generally command higher rates.
Individuals classified as language specialists for the federal government earned an average of $71,625 annually in 2005. In addition the Military will pay an annual special pay of up to $12,000 a year for servicemembers who are proficient in foreign languages. This is paid in addition to the military base pay rate.
Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to increase faster than the average for all occupations over the 2004-14 period, reflecting strong growth in the industries employing interpreters and translators. Higher demand for interpreters and translators in recent years has resulted directly from the broadening of international ties and the increase in the number of foreign language speakers in the United States. In addition, current events and changing political environments, often difficult to foresee, will increase the need for persons who can work with other languages. For example, homeland security needs are expected to drive increasing demand for interpreters and translators of Middle Eastern and North African languages, primarily in federal government agencies such as the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
The U.S. Army is is currently offering the following cash bonuses:
Translator Aide (Middle-Eastern languages) bonus of $10,000 for enlisting in the U.S. Army Individual Ready Reserve.
An Army Civilian Skills bonus of $5,000 for the Army (active duty) or $15,000 for the Army Reserve for applicants with no previous military service experience.
An additional $20,000 Quick Ship bonus for those who are willing to report to basic training within 30 days.
These bonuses may be combined with the Army’s other cash enlistment bonuses for a maximum combination of $40,000 a four-year enlistment.
Note: In addition to regular pay and benefits, Army translators also qualify for up to $1,000 a month in Foreign Language Proficiency Pay
JOINING THE US ARMY
To join as a soldier you must:
You must be at least 18 years old to join the US Army as a soldier.
You can start your application when you’re 17 years and 7 months.
Be in Phase 1 training before your 35th birthday.
If you’re under 18, you’ll also need parental consent to join.
To enlist in the United States army, you must be a legal resident. The Army offers over 150 different careers in a wide variety of categories. The key to your career path is your ASVAB score, which helps to identify the Army jobs that fit you the best.
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