Blake Lemmons knew early in life that he wanted to pursue a career as an officer in the U.S. Army. He also knew that studying foreign languages would be good preparation for that career. So when it was time for him to pick a college, he wanted to find a school with outstanding language instruction and a strong Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. Fortunately for Blake, a native of Greenwood, Indiana, he found both close to home at IU.
As an IU student, Blake began studying Dari, the Afghan dialect of Persian, and then transitioned to Iranian Farsi. After his sophomore year, he spent nine weeks living with a host family and studying Persian in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, as part of the U.S. State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship Program.