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Translator/Interpreter (97L)

Intelligence and Combat Support Army MOS Information
  • Enlisted
  • Army Reserve

The nation’s defense depends on information from foreign language newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts and other sources. Therefore, it’s very important that some members of the Army be able to read and understand the many languages of the world.

The Translator/Interpreter is primarily responsible for converting written or spoken foreign languages into English and other languages, and they usually specialize in a particular foreign language. Some of your duties as a Translator/Interpreter may include:

  • Translating written and spoken foreign language material to and from English, making sure to preserve the original meaning
  • Questioning prisoners of war, enemy deserters and civilian informers in their native languages
  • Recording foreign radio transmissions using sensitive communications equipment
  • Translating foreign documents, such as battle plans and personnel records
  • Translating foreign books and articles describing foreign equipment and construction techniques


Job training for a Translator/Interpreter consists of nine weeks of Basic Training, where you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills, and seven to 20 weeks of Advanced Individual Training and on-the-job instruction, including practice in interpretation. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field.

Longer training is necessary for specialties that don’t require foreign language fluency prior to entry. For these specialties, foreign language training for six to 12 months is provided. Some of the skills you’ll learn are:

  • Interrogation (questioning) methods
  • Use and care of communications equipment
  • Procedures for preparing reports

Helpful Skills:

Helpful attributes include:

  • A talent for foreign languages
  • An interest in speech, communications and foreign languages
  • An interest in working with people
  • An interest in reading and writing

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