By Amos Hoover, Senior Cryptology Technician, Interpreter

Monterey, Calif .– The response to the Defense Department’s call for volunteers to help Afghan refugees in the United States came from several hundred servicemen, and a high priority was given to personnel with language skills who could help quickly identify and address Afghan needs.

A week before the publication of the CPO’s picklist, Sara Schmitt, a crypto technician, first-class interpreter, was among those called upon to serve the refugee effort.

“I basically had a week to mentally process the mere possibility of the increase happening, and then I left a few days after receiving the official announcement,” Schmitt said. “I fell back on my deploying muscle memory: arranging what I needed at home, packing, planning, asking questions and making things happen. ”

On the morning of the selection list’s publication, Schmitt was greeted by his command at the airport with news of his selection.

“I was surprised by the commander (commander) and the [chief’s] mess at the airport, ”Schmitt said. “After what seemed like about 40 minutes, which was probably actually about 30 seconds, Commander Moore gave me the good news. I was shocked and excited, but also nervous and didn’t feel prepared for what to expect.

With news of his selection in mind, Chief Select Schmitt boarded the plane for Fort Bliss, Texas.

Her duties at Fort Bliss included working as a translator on call in the triage department at the University Medical Center; help welcome newcomers; working on public service announcements and other publications for the Joint Information Center; and helping out at the education center, helping volunteer teachers with children aged 5-10.

Classes had up to 50 children at a time whose native languages ​​included Dari, Pashto, Urdu, or a combination of all three, with very little English proficiency.

“The kids were keen to tell me how much I didn’t know Dari,” Schmitt said, “and that I have an Iranian accent, which they found funny. It has been inspiring, frustrating, exhausting and heartwarming as the students and I worked together to understand and improve our abilities to speak in each other’s native languages.

Equally rigorous was Schmitt’s experience with Chief Petty Officer initiation, held at Navy Reserve Center El Paso – the Navy command closest to his deployed posting to Fort Bliss.

“This experience really helped me learn to ask for help,” Schmitt said. “Operating in a hotel room, in a new place and with new people around me, away from everyone I know and everything I know has definitely given me the opportunity to grow and do well. function outside of my comfort zone as well as learning not only about the Navy Reserve community, but also learning and gaining experience outside of my pace.

Schmitt added: “The initiation of the CPO for reservists is just as difficult as it is for active duty, with the added complication of trying to fit everything into the schedules of not only the selected and their civilian jobs, but also the leaders who lead them. Most of our in-person training was limited to once a week. We had to squeeze in as much as possible on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to around 12:00 p.m., and everything else was pretty much done for the rest of the week.

CPO initiation is a rite of passage through which all new Chief Petty Officers not only go through the training and experience they have accumulated over the course of their careers, but also presents them with new challenges and expectations as their next generation of Navy leaders to wear the coveted anchors. As most of those who have gone through this process will tell you, it is an educational and often frustrating and difficult process. For Schmitt, the start of the year came with additional challenges, but she persevered and returned to Monterey stronger.

“Chief Schmitt did not hesitate to deploy for Operation Allies Welcome during the holidays,” Cdr said. Josie Moore, commanding officer of the Monterey Information Warfare Training Center. “Her tenacity and commitment through a short-term deployment to include CPO initiation makes her a true leader of the Information Warriors. “

IWTC Monterey, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of foreign language training to Navy personnel, preparing them to conduct information warfare across the spectrum of operations military.

With four school commands, two detachments, and training sites in the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as the best Naval Education and Training Command learning center for the past two years. Training more than 21,000 students each year, CIWT provides trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and Joint Services. CIWT also offers over 200 courses for crypto technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

To learn more about Information Warfare Training Command Monterey, visit and , or find them on Facebook.

For more information on the Center for Information Warfare Training, visit,, or http: //www.facebook .com / Marine CIWT.

Date taken: 12/29/2021
Date posted: 12.30.2021 11:44
Story ID: 412164
Site: EL PASO, Texas, United States

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