Army Reserve
Linguist is painting school on a building

Interpreter/Translator (09L)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • Entry Level


The interpreter/translator is primarily responsible for interpreting and preparing translations between English and a foreign language.

Job Duties

  • Prepare nontechnical  translations into the target language and perform sight translations from a target language into English
  • Assist military contracting officers with local purchases
  • Provide interpretation support at military traffic control points and local media events


Proficient in one or more of the following target languages:

  • Pushtu/Pashto/Pachto
  • Pushtu-Afghan
  • Persian-Afghan (Dari)
  • Persian-Iranian (Farsi)
  • Arabic-Modern Standard
  • Arabic-Gulf-Iraqi
  • Arabic-Egyptian
  • Arabic-Levantine
  • Arabic-Libyan
  • Arabic-Moroccan
  • Arabic-Tunisian


Some interpreters/translators will require English language training prior to their nine weeks of Basic Combat Training. After completing Basic Combat Training, you’ll attend Advanced Individual Training to learn the skills that are required to perform Interpreter support in the following areas:

  • Checkpoint Operations
  • Medical Support
  • Locally Employed Personnel Screening
  • Training Host-Nation Forces
  • VIP Escort
  • Contract Negotiations
  • Cultural Awareness

Helpful Skills

  • Ability to listen, read and speak in English
  • Fluency in a foreign language(s)
  • Interest in other cultures


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.

Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time. Learn more about total compensation.

Earn Cash For In Demand Jobs

You could earn up to $40,000 in cash bonuses just for enlisting under certain Military Occupational Specialties. Visit Jobs in Demand to see if this job qualifies for an enlistment bonus.

Education Benefits

In the Army, qualified students can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses. Learn more about education benefits.

Future Civilian Careers

The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career as a translator or an interpreter with government agencies, universities and companies that conduct business overseas.


Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experience and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at


  • URS