National

Jun 11, 2010 3:23 PM by Greg Boyce

Soldiers learn to speak Pashto and Dari

The first class of Fort Campbell soldiers has graduated from an Afghan language training program to help them communicate during their upcoming deployment.

A total of 73 soldiers on Friday completed the 16-week course in Pashto and Dari languages. Fort Campbell, Fort Carson and Fort Drum are the first installations to start the program based on a directive issued by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Instead of focusing solely on linguists, the program is intended to give average soldiers a basic level of conversational speaking and listening proficiency.  Col. Danial Pick, the commandant for the Defense Language Institute, said language will be key to wining the war in Afghanistan.

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