Morristown soldier is Arabic linguist for 278th ACR

Morristown soldier is Arabic linguist for 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment

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"Being able to communicate in any foreign country is an asset so I will be an asset to my friends and my co-workers just any time that we go into the field," Sgt Rowe says. "I will be able to understand more and see more." "Being able to communicate in any foreign country is an asset so I will be an asset to my friends and my co-workers just any time that we go into the field," Sgt Rowe says. "I will be able to understand more and see more."

By JAMIE LYNN DROHAN
6 News Reporter

CAMP SHELBY, Miss. (WATE) -- A soldier in the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Sgt. Todd Rowe, of Morristown, can read, write and speak fluent Arabic.

His commander says that makes Sgt. Rowe invaluable when they're deployed in Iraq.

Sgt. Rowe served in the Marine Corps before joining the National Guard.

He studied at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California and spent 19 months learning an intense Arabic curriculum.

"Being able to communicate in any foreign country is an asset so I will be an asset to my friends and my co-workers just any time that we go into the field," Sgt Rowe says. "I will be able to understand more and see more."

"Hopefully in my off time, I will have the chance to speak with some of the locales to improve my skills," he says.

His commander, Capt. Arthur Richards, of Knoxville, says his platoon will work with several interpreters in Iraq so having Sgt. Rowe is invaluable.

"Having someone with Sgt. Rowe's skill set allows us to test the veracity of what the interpreters are actually interpreting for us and what they are telling us is being said and also making sure that things don't get lost in translation," Capt. Richards explains.

Capt. Richards has even initiated a word of the day. Sgt. Rowe will teach his fellow soldiers key terms and phrases such as "get back," "stop" and local greetings.

Although he's an Arabic linguist, Sgt. Rowe is quick to point out he's first and foremost a soldier.

"Hopefully when I get there, I will stay extremely busy and be extremely useful and feel like I've accomplished something, and I'm sure that will be the case," Rowe says.

When soldiers transport U.N. officials, American ambassadors or other dignitaries, it's quite an advantage to have Sgt. Rowe's help.

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