As an Army brat and an ROTC Cadet, I realize that the Army is becoming more and more involved with foreign militaries. We have a long history of training foreign nations that are our allies and serve our foreign policy interests, the most recent examples of this being the Afghani and Iraqi armies. In order to do this effectively, it is necessary to speak and understand the native language. While we could easily hire outside people as translators, I don’t feel this is the most respectful method. As allied nations, I feel we should try to learn about the language and culture of foreign nations we serve and fight in. This is why the CLIP program is so important in ROTC.
CLIP stands for Culture and Language Immersion Program. ROTC will pay contracted cadets to take and complete foreign cultural and language classes that serve Army strategic interests. Obviously, one of the most important languages the Army is pushing cadets to take is Arabic. I always was interested in Arabic language and culture and when I heard you could get paid to take Arabic 101, I immediately signed up for the class. I’m very glad that I did. After taking German for 6 years in high school, I found Arabic to be a nice change of pace. While it is a more difficult language, I was lucky enough to have a professor who offers as much help as necessary for her students to do well in the course. She is always willing to meet with me outside of class when I have to miss it for ROTC. I unfortunately will not have any room to take Arabic next semester, but I strongly recommend that ROTC cadets take Arabic or another foreign language, in order to communicate with our foreign allies and show our respect towards their culture.