Sep 13, 2006

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Do Speak, Don't Tell

"Attention, native speakers of war-on-terrorism languages! The Pentagon will pay "full scholarships" -- $14,000 in tuition and an $11,000 "living stipend" -- for a six-month intensive training program at Georgetown University.

It's the first of its kind: the English for Heritage Language Speakers Program, being offered to "native speakers of Arabic . . . Hindi, Indonesian, Pashto, Persian (Farsi or Dari), Urdu or Punjabi." Speakers of Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) are also welcome.

The program, funded by the Pentagon's National Security Education Program, is for folks who want to "develop English skills for careers in the federal government," according to a recent ad.

"Apply now!" the ad says. Applications must be received by Oct. 2. Get your forms at http://ehls.georgetown.edu . There are only 16 slots.

Now, you may be wondering: "But will there be a job for me when I graduate?" No problem. There are certain to be plenty of openings. A 2005 Government Accountability Office report found that since 1993, about 300 language specialists -- 55 of them in Arabic -- have been booted out of the military because of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay men and lesbians.

So don't worry. Sign up now!"

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