The National Security Education Program (NSEP) was established by the David L. Boren National Security Education Act of 1991 (NSEA, Title VIII of P.L. 102-183) as an important investment toward developing expertise in languages and cultures critical to U.S. national security. NSEP programs address the shortfall of U.S. citizens and federal employees skilled in critical languages and cultures.

In 2004, Congress authorized the establishment of the Defense Language Office (DLO) within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to ensure a strategic focus on language and regional expertise. As a result, the fiscal year 2005 National Defense Authorization Act House Report 108-491 directed the Secretary of Defense to establish the Defense Language Office “to ensure a strategic focus on meeting present and future requirements for language and regional expertise among military personnel and civilian employees of the Department.”  The publication of the Defense Language Transformation Roadmap in January 2005 also provided internal guidance on establishing DLO within USD P&R.  The Defense Language Office was officially established in May 2005.

In February 2012, the Defense Language Office (DLO) and the National Security Education Program (NSEP) merged to become the Defense Language & National Security Education Office (DLNSEO). The merged office addresses, at a DoD and a national level, the entire linguistic, regional, and cultural spectrum of activity - from public school education to initial foreign language training for civilian and military populations; assessment, enhancement, and sustainment of that training; and the leveraging of international partners. Through DLNSEO, DoD has the unique ability to develop coherent departmental and national language strategies, to develop and coordinate programs, policies, and initiatives, and to lead the way forward in shaping our nation's capability to effectively teach critical languages.

DLNSEO fills both DoD's and the nation's foreign language needs through many avenues. It participates actively in the DoD language community's strategic planning, in order to respond to Personnel and Readiness requirements. It collaborates with other federal partners, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of State, and the Department of Education to tackle inter-agency language training issues. It has changed the expectations for what can be done by the academic field, as evidenced by external studies such as the Congressionally-requested "Leveraging Language and Cultural Education and U.S. Higher Education Programs" report. It has produced the types of real results required to impact the nation's linguistic, regional, and cultural capabilities for the present and into the future, thereby benefitting both the Department of Defense and the nation.


DLNSEO Phone Number: (571) 256-0702