Background and Lessons Learned
Project GO directly addresses two of the four goals identified in the Defense Language Transformation Roadmap:
- Creating foundational language and cultural expertise in the officer ranks and
- Establishing a cadre of language specialists.
The first Request for Proposals was released in January 2007. In April 2007, four universities received the first Project GO funds for pilot projects aimed at increasing the number of ROTC students studying critical languages. In 2008, an additional eight universities were awarded grants, also for pilot projects. During both the first and second year of the project, grants were capped at $500,000 to be expended over a twenty-four month period. Total program money allocated was $1.7 million for FY07, $3.21 million for FY08, and $4.4 million for FY09.
Over the initial years of the pilot, the participating institutions found that because of the time constraints facing ROTC students as well as the demands of critical language study, ROTC students consider summers the optimal period of time for critical language study. By 2009, most programs were therefore focusing their resources towards providing summer language training and summer study abroad opportunities to ROTC students. Providing summer opportunities also allowed universities to serve ROTC students outside of the institution's local ROTC population, thus making their institutional resources available to the national population.
Project GO continues to be one of the only sources, and perhaps the most easily accessible and available source, of funding for summer domestic language study and full-summer study abroad. Project GO also provides ROTC students with the most flexible source of funding for study abroad and critical language study.