That speaks to my personal nettle - the fact that HUMINT Collectors are no longer required to learn a language at initial entry level (PVT - SPC) and most will be waivered for promotion to SGT without a language, and the requirement only really coming into effect for promotion to SSG.
The demand for HUMINT in the field is very high. However, once again, we are sacrificing quality for quantity. Non-language qualified HUMINT personnel are extremely circumscribed in the missions they are able to accomplish effectively, and require the use of an interpreter as a crutch for much else. I say "crutch" because a HUMINT Collector who cannot speak the language of the operational area is crippled in his abilities (Not to mention the loss of the regional and cultural knowledge the soldier gains during acquisition of the language - especially critical to the HUMINTer).
Instead of taking the hard road to mission effectiveness, and improving language and operational skill training, a critical tool in the HUMINT skill set was simply cut in order to put more bodies in the field.
This will have long-term implications. 97Es used to leave DLI as a PFC or SPC with fresh language skills, and by the time they achieve SSG they matured in their linguistic abilities and became comfortable in using in the manipulative human communications skills that are at the core of HUMINT.
Although there are still a few initial-entry 97Es arriving at DLI, the die has been set. It will take a while for the full effects to be felt, but this was a very damaging decision.