Timani is Linguist of the Year

INSCOM’s best linguist speaks four languages fluently.

By Sgt. lst Class Pleasant Lindsey III

    Staff Sgt. Fady A. Timani was named the Intelligence and Security Command’s (INSCOM) Linguist of the Year in a November ceremony at Fort Belvoir, Va.

    The competition netted a number of awards for him, including a certificate of achievement, a commendatory Flag Note, the INSCOM Commanding General’s Coin of Excellence, and a $100 gift certificate from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

    The Central Intelligence Agency’s Foreign Language Committee presented Timani with foreign language newspapers, a CIA World Atlas, a special edition of the CIA Fact Book and a certificate of achievement. Timani also received a gold watch from the Government Employees Insurance Company.

    "It’s a ‘human’ job; it deals with people," Timani said. "I like to converse with people. I’m a social person overall." He said his interest in the ‘human condition’ helped lead to his career choice as an interrogator.

    Timani, a 97E Interrogator, was the section sergeant for the Interrogator Platoon, Company A, 202nd MI Battalion, 513th MI Brigade, INSCOM. As the company language representative, he helped develop the unit’s language training program. This job took on added significance since his company had no language instructors assigned to the unit.

    "He has the ability to handle difficult assignments with ease, and was employed in many situations where a master translator was needed," said Staff Sgt. Kurt W. Deinhardt, platoon sergeant for the Interrogator Platoon. According to him, Timani served as the Arabic language mentor and "...provided outstanding support to all company linguists, obtaining many valuable training opportunities and language maintenance materials."

    Timani’s former first sergeant said he requested assignment to Company A so he could improve his leadership skills. However, Timani’s numerous deployments required him to develop his NCO skills on his own.

    "When he returned to the company...he did all he could to develop himself as an NCO and also help the other linguists become more proficient with their skills," said lst Sgt. Walter J. Boles Jr. "He is the type of NCO who never turns down a mission or challenge and constantly seeks more responsibility and self-improvement." Timani moved to Company C at the beginning of 1997.

    Timani, a 10-year veteran, speaks four languages and maintains the maximum level of proficiency for each one.

    Timani speaks French, Arabic, Spanish and Haitian Creole. The U.S. Army rates language skills by levels, and linguists must maintain a 2 in listening and a 2 in reading comprehension. Timani maintains a Level 3 (the highest level) in all four languages.

    Timani works also for the joint interrogation facility, prepares mobile interrogation teams for deployment and trains joint and combined forces working with the facility during deployments.

    INSCOM has nearly 1,600 military linguists assigned around the world and the 513th MI Brigade deploys linguists for numerous contingencies and exercises. Timani was on temporary duty to various locations most of the year.

    While in Haiti, Timani translated voter registration and election information from the Haitian Bureau of Electoral Commune during a six-month deployment for "Operation Uphold Democracy." Timani was assigned to a detachment experienced with the middle East, but very little experience with the Haitian language or culture. Timani became the liaison between his detachment and the local government and law enforcement agencies.

    Timani translated a driver’s manual into Haitian Creole. He gave driving instructions and lessons to a Haitian National Police squad, started a basic Haitian Creole language class for U.S. personnel and taught English to his detachment’s Haitian cook.

    After returning from Haiti, the Army Central Command’s deputy commander tasked him specifically to travel with his team to Egypt where he helped coordinate the Bright Star exercise. He also supported the command in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Tunis and Kuwait. In all of these countries, Timani translated for senior officers and dignitaries, and translated documents, briefings and messages.

    Sgt. lst Class Pleasant Lindsey III is the public affairs officer at the 513th MI Brigade, INSCOM.

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   Last Updated: April 30, 1997