Ahoskie native inducted into DLI Hall of Fame
MONTEREY, CA – Dr. Claude Oliver Proctor, a native of Ahoskie, was recently inducted in the Defense Language Institute (DLI) Hall of Fame at the Presidio of Monterey, California as a recognized Russian linguist who made enduring and significant contributions to the Department of Defense foreign language training and operations.
Dr. Proctor began his career as an enlisted student in the Russian basic language course in 1959 at the Army Language School, predecessor of the Defense Language Institute, to launch his career as a professional linguist and U.S. Air Force intelligence officer with numerous worldwide operational assignments.
Based on his extensive operational resume, broad experience in language training, and fluency in the Russian language, Proctor was readily identified for a newly created Air Force staff officer position with a joint service assignment in Monterey. The DLI commandant personally selected him to begin a series of fact-finding trips abroad to interview and coordinate with key senior personnel of the cryptologic services, embassies, military assistance groups, as well as other U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies. Proctor personally configured, coordinated and led the first job and task analysis teams which visited worldwide locations in Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East where linguists were employed in a variety of jobs.
Following his tour at DLI, Dr. Proctor was selected as associate professor of Russian and chairman of strategic languages at the U.S. Air Force Academy. After retiring from the Air Force in 1980, he continued to use his language skills as a Russian technical translator, as well as an instructor of Army military intelligence language specialists. His Russian language expertise was recognized by NASA for his linguistic support of the Space Shuttle Discovery on the 2A.1 mission, the first logistics flight to the International Space Station in 1999. Likewise he received a NASA accolade for his outstanding language support of the Russian Vehicles team and the successful flight of the Soyuz vehicle TM-205 which delivered the Increment 1 crew to the International Space Station in 2000.
Dr. Proctor is the son of the late Claude Proctor, Sr. and Helen Proctor Rawls who operated Proctor’s Store, located just outside of Ahoskie, for many years. He is a 1956 graduate of Ahoskie High School.
He and his wife, Doris, reside in Georgetown, Texas.