One of the best ways to set yourself up for success in college, the military, and your life beyond service is to achieve fluency in another language. The nationally ranked Department of Foreign Languages at West Point offers cadets the opportunity to study in-demand languages, as well as study abroad programs and travel to other countries to practice language skills.
So I can tell you, in every assignment that I've had in the Army, I have had to use a foreign language.
Understanding how to think in the same way, or how to at least understand the mindset of the people that we're going to be working with is incredibly important. And foreign languages open a window into being able to do that.
Our cadets have multiple opportunities to study abroad. We do several short trips over the summer. We go to Latvia. We go to Georgia. We just returned from an exchange that we did in Kazakhstan.
I just took four cadets to Morocco for a week. We offer summer internships. We also do month-long summer immersion programs, where cadets go by themselves to go study overseas. And then, we also do a semester abroad opportunity.
We have eight different languages offered here at West Point. We have Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Persian, Russian.
So, I was a Spanish and Arabic dual language major when I graduated from here in 2008. And honestly, when I look back, my career in large part has been shaped by my knowledge of Arabic. As people found out that I had that skill, I got into some of those special assignments because of having that skill.