MONTEREY, Calif. – Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) 1st Class Zachary Acosta is serving as the leading petty officer of N31, the division of Navy trainees at Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Monterey studying Russian and Spanish at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC).
Acosta joined the Navy soon after high school in December 2011. Both of his grandfathers served in the Navy; one of which was the oldest World War II veteran until his death at 98.
“My father’s side of the family is Cuban-American, so from an early age, I grew up immersed in the Cuban culture and developed a love for the Spanish language,” said Acosta.
Acosta made the decision to join the Navy out of a desire to serve his country and of his interest in different cultures.
“I knew I wanted to be a linguist, but was originally slated as a submarine electronic computer field, but after I took the DLAB [Defense Language Aptitude Battery], the story changed,” recalled Acosta.
Acosta graduated from the Spanish basic course at the DLIFLC in 2012 and has served two operational tours.
“I learned a lot and found the missions satisfying”, said Acosta. “Also during this time, I was fortunate to have outstanding mentorship from my leading petty officers and chiefs."
Thanks to their guidance and personal experiences, Acosta knew he wanted to return to DLI to serve as a leading petty officer (LPO) and military language instructor (MLI).
“One of the best parts of my job is my Sailors develop personally and professionally,” shared Acosta. “Most of them came to the Navy straight out of high school. I made mistakes when I was their age, so I want to share my experiences with them so they don’t make the same mistakes.”
There is no doubt that Acosta is making a difference in the lives of his Sailors; he has the respect of his Sailors just as he respected his LPOs and chiefs.
“CTI1 Acosta, pushes us to be our best as Sailors and language students, and is always there to help us when needed,” said Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Seaman Andre Bravo.
In regard to his current position as a LPO, he firmly believes that the best part is working with junior Sailors. He knows that the way he carries himself, the training he delivers, and every word of advice he imparts on young Sailors makes a big impact every day. He mentions that the work done by MLIs and LPOs alike has significant and tangible results, which they get to see every week on graduation days.
“I plan on completing at least 20 or more years in the Navy,” said Acosta. “I want to become a chief and contribute at a greater level.”
IWTC Monterey, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of foreign language training to Navy personnel, which prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command’s top learning center for the past three years. Training over 20,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
For more on Information Warfare Training Command Monterey, visit https://www.public.navy.mil/netc/centers/ciwt/IWTCmonterey/Default.asx and http://www.monterey.army.mil/Service_Units/IWTC_Monterey.html, or find them on Facebook.
For news from the Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.