2018-06-29 / Front Page

Sailor named Navy Language Professional of Year

Petty Officer 2nd Class A. C. Branch
Navy Information Operations Command Georgia

Petty Officer 1st Class Jamie L. Biro Petty Officer 1st Class Jamie L. Biro The Department of the U.S. Navy named one of the cryptologic technician interpretive Sailors assigned to Navy Information Operations Command Georgia as the Language Professional of the Year for 2017. The annual award recognizes a linguist’s achievements and contributions to the Navy’s global mission through professional expertise, linguistic ability, and leadership.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jamie L. Biro, a cryptologic technician-interpretive, first had to be recognized as LPOY at the command and fleet level. She is now in competition for the LPOY award for the entire Department of Defense, which will be announced during a DoD language conference in Monterey, California, in August.

Biro’s success in the competition for LPOY is built on the pillars of achievement and leadership. As a leader contributing to the Navy’s linguistic missions, Biro designed and implemented a training program in her department that improved the performance of below-standard linguists by more than 75 percent. By coordinating the work schedules of highly proficient linguists with those who were struggling, assigning tutors, honing in on study styles and needs, and ensuring that training was taking place as required, Biro drastically improved the mission effectiveness of her department and ensured that struggling linguists would be able to requalify and maintain their eligibility to stay in their occupational specialty.

Biro’s achievements as a linguist stem from the diverse experiences and training she has had during her 12 years in the Navy. She first trained as a Chinese linguist at the Defense Language Institute, but after her first tour in Hawaii she was force converted to Persian- Farsi. Since then, she has also learned Persian-Dari and Pashto, and she continues to utilize all her languages professionally. She is a go-to linguist for any Chinese work that needs to be done locally, maintains excellence in her primary job as a Farsi linguist, and also works on side projects with different offices at the National Security Agency utilizing her Dari and Pashto skill sets.

Navy linguists are trained at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, for up to 18 months, and are expected to maintain language proficiency afterward through an annual refresher training and weekly self-study. NIOC GA’s Command Language Program Mentor office recommends Sailors striving to maintain their language work with their department level CLPM to help put together a study plan or find a tutor.

Biro is quick to attribute the opportunities she has had in the Navy to the people who have helped her along the way. “I feel bad being the sole person for the award, because I can tell you about 10 chiefs who got me here, also. For me to be at the Navy ‘winner’ level, it’s 12 years of a lot of people helping out.” Biro clearly has had excellent mentorship throughout her career. Besides the matter of her professional success, nearly every person she has looked up to and learned from in her time in service has since advanced to the rank of master chief.

Biro’s goals for the future are all Navy. She intends to apply for Officer Candidate School as an intelligence officer, but is also excited about the possibility of staying enlisted and continuing to work her way toward master chief. “God willing, I’ll make chief this year,” she said, adding “I’m going to 40 years if they’ll let me.”

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