Commandant of Defense Language Institute retires after 29 years of military service

Col. Daniel Pick
Col. Daniel Pick

Colonel Daniel Pick will relinquish his role as Commandant of the Defense Language Institute for the Presidio of Monterey and retire from the Army after 29 years of exemplary service on April 18.

“Peace is best served when we can bridge cultures,” said Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), in a tribute to Pick, which he delivered on the House floor. “In light of his commitment to military language capacity, his own language and cultural skills, and his experience as a diplomat and soldier overseas, Colonel Pick is the personification of this truth.”

In 1987, Colonel Pick graduated from the University of Washington and began his Army career as an active duty military intelligence officer. His early career took him many places, including serving as a scout platoon leader and battalion S2 in 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment in Garlstedt, Germany.

In addition, Col. Pick had a deployment to Operations Desert Shield/Storm in January 1991 as S2 3/66 Armor Battalion. Following his graduation from the Military Intelligence Officer Advance Course, Colonel Pick served with 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) as Commander, Military Intelligence Detachment and Group S2.

He became a Middle East Foreign Area Officer (FAO) in 1996. His FAO assignments include: Kuwaiti Land Forces Advisor, OMC-Kuwait; FAO Assignment Officer, Army Human Resources Command, WAD.C.; Executive Officer, Human Intelligence Team, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Northern Iraq; Army attaché, U.S. Embassy, Amman, Jordan; Policy Officer, Office of the Secretary of Defense; and FAO Program Director, Defense Language Institute.

Colonel Pick holds a bachelor of arts degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization from the University of Washington, a master of military studies from Marine Corps University, Quantico, and a master of arts degree in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. He speaks Arabic, Persian-Farsi, Persian-Dari, and Assyrian. He is a graduate of Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Defense Language Institute Basic Arabic Course, Jumpmaster Course, Military intelligence Officer Basic and Advance Courses, Ranger School and Airborne School.

In addition, his decorations include the Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal with an oak leaf cluster, and Iraq Campaign Medal with arrowhead device.

“Mr. Speaker, I know I speak for the whole House in extending our most sincere gratitude for Colonel Pick’s service to our Nation,” concluded Rep. Farr. “The United States is a more secure and fruitful place as a consequence of his efforts.”