CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – The Marine Raider Regiment’s Language Program was awarded the 2023 U.S. Special Operations Command “Most Improved Language Program of the Year” award, July 18, 2023.
The MRR Language Program serves as an amplifier for the basic language training that Marine Raiders receive during their initial training. Throughout their service, Marine Raiders will work with the MRR Language Program on sustainment and advancement of their foreign language skills through courses, real-world training, and immersive interactions.
According to the U.S. SOCOM award, “The MRR Language Program demonstrated increased capacity and effectiveness in the areas language instruction, program management, and achievement of language proficiency goals.”
The MRR Language Program and staff have put an emphasis on crafting engaging, operationally relevant training to enhance their students’ abilities to effectively communicate and train with partner forces.
“We don’t want language training to be boring,” said Ed Walsh, MRR Foreign Language Program Manager. “I don’t want our guys sitting in classrooms, I want them out doing what they’re going to do on their missions down range. So, if they can learn to speak with our partners, use their language skills running ranges or call for fire, and understanding the culture of where they’re going, it’s extremely relevant.”
The program also identifies gaps in training to work creative solutions. It arose that there was an operational need for French speakers that had not gone through the traditional language course during the critical skills operator training pipeline, nor the time to dedicate to the length of the basic course. The language program utilized that information to develop a new program that blends phone applications with face-to-face interactions to get a high level of fluency in a shorter period.
Additionally, the program has seen itself shift in dialect use, in areas like the Middle East, in order to meet the more specific needs of the deployed force with more useful, regional languages.
“I have seen the language program at Marine Raider Regiment take a very focused, operational approach over the last year, and I am proud of the recognition of the hard work of our language team,” said Col. Ed Norris, commanding officer of Marine Raider Regiment. “The ability for our Marines and Sailors to speak the right language and dialect of a partner nation military at many locations around the globe grows relationships at the speed of relevancy.”
By implementing initiatives focused on the deployed language needs of the individual Marine Raider, the program has provided a more comprehensive set of skills for deploying units.