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

    01:53 PM Sep 21

    @DireVisionary @1630 If you're on time, you're late! Can't wait to have you on the #ArmyTeam, @Future_Soldiers!

  • goarmy

    01:51 PM Sep 21

    @shankapalooza68 I bet he couldn't wait to get his 📱back! Congratulations to your son, and welcome to the Army Family.

  • goarmy

    01:29 PM Sep 21

    @golfgm58 @bjorth @Mr_PhysEd We're called the #ArmyTeam for a reason! Great to see them learning the value of teamwork.

  • goarmy

    07:45 AM Sep 21

    @ArmyAllAmerican @rontatum3_ @adidasFballUS @OU_Football @247Sports @amfam @SelectionTour Congratulations, Ron, on…

  • goarmy

    05:11 PM Sep 20

    Earlier today, we joined Ten80 to discuss how Soldiers with #STEM skills are crucial for innovation on the…

  • goarmy retweeted


    11:05 AM Sep 20

    RT @USArmy: #BREAKING: @POTUS to award #USArmy veteran Capt. Gary M. Rose #MedalofHonor for heroic actions during #Vietnam War https://t.c…

  • goarmy

    09:44 AM Sep 20

    @Tinynikki There's nothing quite like an Army ruck march! 💪Congratulations to your son on his recent graduation!

  • goarmy

    09:43 AM Sep 20

    @CapitolClio Looks like a great mug to enjoy your morning cup of joe! ☕

  • goarmy

    08:38 AM Sep 20

    @goblackknights Awesome news! #GoBlackKnights 🏈

  • goarmy

    12:43 PM Sep 19

    #USArmy basic combat training lasts 10 weeks – but once you're part of the #ArmyTeam, you never stop learning.…

  • goarmy

    09:52 AM Sep 19

    The #ArmyTeam continues to answer the call to help those rebuild after natural disasters.

  • goarmy

    09:52 AM Sep 19

    @ODINWorks We're proud to have Tori join the #ArmyTeam! 🇺🇸

  • goarmy

    06:51 PM Sep 18

    Congratulations Staff Sgt. Chad Hickey and Staff Sgt. Bryan Ivery on this huge accomplishment! #ArmyTeam 🇺🇸

  • goarmy

    11:26 AM Sep 18

    Wow, the 🍎definitely did not fall far from the 🌳! We're glad to have you both as part of the #ArmyTeam 🇺🇸.

  • goarmy

    11:21 AM Sep 18

    @tem25956061 We appreciate your support!


Discussions Discussion Boards
is currently undergoing maintenance.

Please try again later.
Visit the Discussion Board directly here.