Defence Operational Languages Support Unit

Improving language skills to support joint operations.

This guidance was withdrawn on

Language support for operations no longer resides with Defence Operational Languages Support Unit.


The Defence Operational Languages Support Unit (DOLSU) exists to generate (in a timely manner), sustain and manage operational language capability in order to support Joint Operations.

DOLSU objectives

The objectives of the unit can be broken down into two functional areas:

Language capability generation and management:

  • (Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) database) management for languages
  • recruiting data inputs (educational qualifications)
  • military training data inputs (competences and MLATs)
  • other data inputs (qualifications and skills)
  • payment of Joint Basic Language Awards introduced 22 Jan 09
  • re-qualifications management
  • JPA language competences “Super Administrator” role
  • maintenance of languages master list (JPA admin)
  • maintenance of language competence levels master list (JPA admin)
  • MOD approved OCE post course selections against PJHQ requirement
  • language requirements for PJHQ (high level) and JtCap (long term)
  • corporate knowledge of civilian language service providers
  • linkage to HRMS and declared language skills of MoD civilian component
  • management of personnel selected for language duties through language and pre-deployment training
  • management of deployed Operational Language Capability (OLC) through deployed LCM Personnel
  • day to day management of PJHQ set Language Support Contracts
  • rear-based support to deployed OLC with contracted language services
  • language component of operational estimates
  • language component of operational reconnaissance
  • co-ordination of preparation of first edition language (and CA) cards for contingency operations
  • issue of language and cultural aide memoires to deploying formations
  • early advice to units and establishments in readiness cycle
  • tasking of TAPOL
  • advice on meeting of short term language requirements across Defence

Requirement and evaluation, formerly the Intelligent customer cell:

  • high level language exams
  • low level language exams
  • (management, setting boards, moderating boards, administration, results)
  • MLAT testing and provision
  • training needs analysis
  • external training evaluation
  • examination and assessment quality control and assurance
  • examination and assessment development
  • MODLEB budget
  • payment of Operational Language Awards

Volunteering for DOLSU

Would you like to:

  • learn a language?
  • make a real difference on operations?
  • enhance your pay?

Volunteers are being sought to attend DOLSU-sponsored operational language courses in Pashto and Dari. 15 months’ training is followed by an operational tour as a military linguist. Courses are available to Officers up to OF3 (Lt Cdr, Maj, Sqn Ldr) and Other Ranks at any level. Applicants who successfully complete the course will also be eligible for a financial reward.

For further information and an application form, see: “Volunteers for Operational Linguist Duties” DIN (latest 2012DIN07-038).

Or contact your Education Centre or DOLSU through “Language Capability Generation”, telephone: 01980 615362.

Published 12 December 2012
Last updated 11 April 2013 + show all updates
  1. Updated email address

  2. First published.