army linguistics jobs take soldiers to the corners of the globe

Security Clearance

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.

Available Languages

Arabic Egyptian
Arabic Levantine
Chinese Mandarin
Persian Farsi
Arabic Modern Standard

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.


You may ask us any questions on becoming a linguist/translator or other opportunities in the U.S. Army. Our recruiters are ready to take your questions and will get back to you as soon as possible.

Call Us


Want more information mailed to you about how to become a linguist in the U.S. Army? Fill out the form in the link below (some fields are optional) and you will receive a brochure in your requested language within one to two weeks. Voluntary information shared with the U.S. Army will not be shared with any other party and will be used for recruiting purposes only. For more information, please read our Privacy & Security Notice.

Request Info

Twitter Feed

  • goarmy

    07:20 AM Oct 12

    @EmmanuelBempo20 Hi Emmanuel. To enlist in the 🇺🇸 Army, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien with an I-551…

  • goarmy

    05:45 AM Oct 12

    Everything from meals to work to physical training is better with the right team. Learn how you can join an Army sq…

  • goarmy

    05:15 AM Oct 08

    Get to know Staff Sgt. Jared Martinez whose biggest dream is to become a Green Beret. We celebrate this Hispanic He…

  • goarmy

    10:25 AM Oct 05

    @Iamjohnnke Glad to see you're interested Johnny. The first step in enlisting with the Army is meeting with a Recru…

  • goarmy

    10:16 AM Oct 05

    No matter how you work out, in the Army, physical readiness is key! Find out more about Army training and fitness a…

  • goarmy

    08:37 AM Oct 05

    Which of these Army-inspired training exercises is your go-to?

  • goarmy

    07:15 AM Oct 01

    Today, we celebrate the amazing journey of Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Calderon, a true warrior of life who sees her a…

  • goarmy

    10:25 AM Sep 28

    Interested in learning more about a medical career in the Army? Learn more at

  • goarmy

    10:25 AM Sep 28

    Interested in learning more about an engineering career in the Army? Learn more at

  • goarmy

    09:15 AM Sep 28

    Whichever career path you chose, find more information at

  • goarmy

    09:15 AM Sep 28

    Which of these Army careers do you think you'd be better suited for? Share for Engineering, Like for Medicine.

  • goarmy

    05:15 AM Sep 24

    Our past and culture shape our present and encourage us to achieve new heights. This Hispanic Heritage Month, meet…

  • goarmy

    06:57 AM Sep 22

    @_qwae_ To join the U.S. Army Esports team, you have to be currently serving. Your local Recruiter will be able to…

  • goarmy

    05:44 AM Sep 22

    Interested in a career that speaks your language? Learn more about the Signals Intelligence Voice Interpreter (35P)…

  • goarmy

    04:44 AM Sep 22

    Which language would you like to become fluent in?