Military Interpreting Services
The military commissions system was established by the U.S. Congress in 2006 through the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and is governed by military commission rules found in MCO 3500.1D, Employment of Linguists Supporting Military Commission Proceedings.
The military commission rules dictate a preference for military personnel with a high level of fluency in both languages under consideration, but military linguist personnel shortages require that DoD contracting officers exercise all available options to obtain qualified language speakers when necessary to ensure effective communication between the accused and defense counsel during military commission proceedings (MCO 92312D, Procedures Governing Military Commission Proceedings).
People with little or no military training are recruited to provide military interpreting services. They typically do not have a military rank, and they are paid the same hourly rate as military linguists. Military interpreters can translate 65 languages either in-person at military commission proceedings for military commissions or from recorded video using video teleconference (VTC) technology. In addition, DoD interpreters can also interpret remotely via VTC from military bases where suspected unlawful combatants are held for military commissions, from Department of Defense overseas locations during pre-trial confinement and post-trial confinement interviews with suspects, and from detainee hearings conducted in accordance with the Military Commissions Act of 2009.