The Defense Language and National Security Education Office leads the nation in recruiting, training, sustaining, and enhancing language and culture capabilities to ensure national security and defense readiness by:

  • Building a highly-qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international expertise committed to public service through programs and policies,
  • Leading the Department’s strategic policy planning regarding foreign language, culture, and regional expertise for Department of Defense personnel,
  • Providing programmatic oversight of high-value national security and Defense training and education initiatives, and
  • Ensuring national and Departmental governance through the National Security Education Board and the Defense Language Steering Committee, as well as other organizational and professional bodies.


DLNSEO supports key strategies and initiatives to address the challenges of national foreign language and culture preparedness. These key investment areas include:

  • Building a Talent Pipeline - Working with schools, universities, and federal training institutions to build the capabilities of our nation’s citizens to become and to remain skilled in critical languages,
  • Strengthening Workforce Readiness - Providing a ready pool of U.S. citizens, civilian and military, who possess language and culture expertise critical for public service, and sustaining these skills,
  • Improving Testing and Assessment - Developing proficiency metrics and tools to validate the language and culture expertise of DoD personnel and our nation’s citizenry,
  • Creating Surge Capability - Accessing and deploying personnel with language and culture expertise necessary for immediate needs,
  • Enhancing Regional Alignment - Ensuring that language and culture policies and programs support the specific regional needs of the 21st century Total Force, and
  • Leveraging Technology - Employing cutting edge technologies to create effective blended-learning opportunities for language training and maintenance, and cultural training.