JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
In a unique and unprecedented ceremony, five military members from the Democratic Republic of Congo were promoted Nov. 2 at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
The five officers are currently enrolled in DLIELC’s Advanced English courses. Some are former students who have returned to further their training.
Col. Rockie K Wilson, 37th Training Wing commander, presided over the ceremony.
The following officers were promoted:
- Colonel Kani Wa Bahizi: Commandant of the Congolese Defense Language School and Senior Translator for the Minister of Defense and the Congolese Armed Forces' General Chief of Staff;
- Colonel Mutombo Basaya: Senior Chief Military Prosecutor, Congolese Military Justice;
- Lieutenant Colonel Kodiango Gangama: Training Officer/Instructor at the Congolese Defense Language School;
- Lieutenant Kabanda Kasongo: Instructor, Congolese Defense Language School; and
- Lieutenant Muhemedi Numbi: Instructor, Congolese Defense Language School and translator for the Congolese Bureau of Military Cooperation
“It’s an honor for us to be able to hold this ceremony for our Congolese students, who have really gone above and beyond in their careers,” said Col. Joseph Schaefer, DLIELC Commandant. “This event exemplifies our growing relationship. We look forward to seeing how this partnership grows in the future.”
Initially established in 1960, the diplomatic relations between the DRC and the United States support the DRC government in its efforts to combat corruption, uphold democratic processes, effectively govern, promote stability, and secure peace within the country and with its neighbors.
The current U.S.-DRC bilateral relations were ushered in following the country’s December 2018 elections and peaceful transfer of power to President Felix Tshisekedi. This partnership was solidified in 2019 with the “Privileged Partnership for Peace and Prosperity,” a joint commitment to work together on areas of mutual concern. That same year the DRC joined the U.S. as part of the global coalition to defeat ISIS.
The DLIELC is aligned under the 37 TRW and is a world-renowned institution in the field of English Language Training and, on average, has approximately 80 partner nations in residence at its JBSA-Lackland campus daily.