Lance Cpl. Robert Lehman, a rifleman from 2nd Battalion, 23 Marine Regiment, pictured here Feb. 7, 2019, is fluent in Japanese. CHRISTIAN LOPEZ/STARS AND STRIPES
Lance Cpl. Robert Lehman, a rifleman from 2nd Battalion, 23 Marine Regiment, pictured here Feb. 7, 2019, is fluent in Japanese. CHRISTIAN LOPEZ/STARS AND STRIPES

Marine steps in as impromptu interpreter during exercise in Japan

Stars and Stripes

TAKASHIMA, Japan — Lance Cpl. Robert Lehman, a bilingual rifleman who lived in Japan for two years before enlisting in the Marine Corps, helped his fellow Marines overcome a language barrier during recent training with the U.S. ally.

Lehman, 23, a Grantsville, Utah, native and reservist with the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Infantry Regiment, served as an impromptu unit interpreter during Forest Light, a weeklong military exercise in central Japan involving U.S. Marines and soldiers of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force earlier this month.

As a missionary, Lehman traveled the country and left in 2016 fluent in Japanese. His linguistic services provided his leaders a bonus; it’s rare for Marines serving in a field unit to be fluent in the local language.

Having a translator who is also a Marine when working alongside partner nations is invaluable, said Capt. Ayrton Foy, commander of F Company, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.570560

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