Defense-Critical Languages: Russian

Individuals who can communicate effectively in another language are in high demand across all branches of the U.S. military. But those who know defense-critical languages — those that are considered important for American defense and security as well as diplomatic communications — are especially valued.

In today's rapidly changing geopolitical landscape, knowledge of Russian is crucial for a successful military career. Proficiency in the language is essential for engaging in diplomacy, negotiations, and conflict resolution. A strong background in Russian can open doors to specialized military intelligence, diplomatic roles, and positions in international organizations, leading to promising career opportunities and advancement.

World leaders recognize the importance of Russian in navigating the complexities of the global stage. With over 260 million speakers worldwide, Russian serves as a vital lingua franca in the post-Soviet space. Embarking on a journey into the Russian language also offers a unique window into a distinctive cultural realm and mentality. A deep understanding of the language is the gateway to fully grasping the rich heritage and nuances of Russian culture.

By developing a deep understanding of another language and culture, Notre Dame ROTC cadets in the Army, Navy, and Air Force prepare themselves for success in their military careers and beyond.  At Notre Dame, studying Russian is intellectually rewarding and enjoyable. Our program boasts a vibrant community of learners and provides excellent opportunities for study abroad. 

I look forward to welcoming you to our program and guiding you through this enriching journey.

Tetyana Shlikhar


Tetyana Shlikhar
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Learn more about Russian