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NEWS | March 13, 2020

341st Military Intelligence Battalion honored for language skills

By Joseph Siemandel Washington National Guard

CAMP MURRAY, Wash. – For the second year in a row, the 341st Military Intelligence Battalion took honors as the top Command Language Program (CLP) among the five battalions in the 300th Military Intelligence Brigade at the annual Military Intelligence Conference at Draper, Utah.

“We are beyond proud of this honor. The state command language program manager has invested many hours in developing quality training and seeking out opportunities for our language professionals,” said Lt. Col. Teresa Wenner, commander of the 341st Military Intelligence Battalion, linguist. “To receive this award two years in a row is just a reflection of our battalion and state’s hard work developing a quality program that will have long-term success.”

The 341st command language program, managed at the Information Operations Readiness Center, is designed to develop and execute unit language training plans, help support the operational and contingency objectives for linguists and build proficiency among Guard members in the counterintelligence, human intelligence and signal intelligence fields.

That was not the only award the 341st took home during the conference. Sgt. Robert O’Donnell, a crypto-linguist with Delta Company, was selected as the language professional of the year by the brigade. Proficient in three languages, O’Donnell was chosen out of 1,050 linguists.

O’Donnell, attached and deployed to Jordan with 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment, traveled back from Jordan to receive the award from Col. Shahram Takmili, commander of the 300th Military Intelligence Brigade, Utah National Guard.

“We were told by the selection board that Sgt. O’Donnell’s packet far exceeded the competition and was hands down the winner this year,” said Wenner. “He not only won for our brigade, but his packet will move forward to compete for Army National Guard language professional of the year.”

O’Donnell, a linguist trained in Arabic, Farsi and Dari, volunteered to deploy last year and has been the primary linguist for the squadron commander. He has participated in key leader engagements with the Jordanian counterparts up to the general officer level while assisting with the Jordanian Armed Forces language proficiency tests, translating documents used for instruction in the Jordanian Operational Engagement Program (JOEP), and serving as a cultural adviser between the line units and their Jordanian counterparts.

In recognition of his accomplishments and hard work, O’Donnell was also asked by the Defense Language Institution Command sergeant major to travel to Monterey, California, and speak with students at the school upon his return from deployment.