Vermont National Guard Logo News
Articles
News | Feb. 17, 2021

HR specialist brings love of languages to Vermont Guard

By Duffy Jamieson Vermont National Guard Public Affairs

“Polyglot” is not a word typically used to describe someone. For Ines Eley, the newly hired human resources specialist at Camp Johnson, who has mastered seven languages and dialects, it suits her well. Born in the Republic of Congo, and educated in Senegal and France, Eley has a natural ability for learning languages.

Not surprisingly, her multilingual talents only tell part of her story. Eley was born in the Congolese capital, Brazzaville, a city with a population of approximately 1.7 million people. It was the one-time capital of Free France during World War II. When Eley group up there, it was known for its vibrant music scene where nearly every street made room for musicians.

At age 17, Eley went to live with her uncle’s family in another capital city: Dakar, Senegal. She was already speaking three Congolese dialects at the time, but quickly learned Wolof, the most spoken Senegalese dialect, within a few months. Walking through Dakar’s lively markets and hearing its pulsating music, Eley realized she had a passion for languages, culture, and traveling.

It’s no wonder that about a year later she attended an undergraduate program in Paris. Already comfortable with French, she was ready to tackle German. She enrolled in an international exchange program for a year in Austria where she attended the University in Graz. During her time there, she assimilated into the Austrian culture, made friends, and subscribed to as many newspapers as she could. Within a few months she was speaking German. 

By the time she returned to France, she was fully bilingual in French and German and still able to speak four African dialects. In France, she worked as an account representative for a local company before deciding that she needed to learn English. From her previous experiences, she knew the fastest way to learn a language would be to live within its people and culture. Before long, she found herself packing again to head to Chicago.

A career in human resources only made sense. After all, Eley had spent a lifetime immersing herself in different cultures, making new friends, and listening patiently to learn from others. She decided to make it her bachelor’s degree minor for these very reasons. Devastated after the events of 9/11, she realized just how much she loved the United States. On July 19, 2012, Eley became a citizen.

If you ask Eley, though, she will tell you that in heart, “home” will always be France. Sadly, her father recently passed in Paris, where her mother, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles still live. She still has the occasional bouts of homesickness, but she balances those feelings with the joys of new discoveries, like moving to Vermont. She looks forward to a post-pandemic time when she can visit her family in France and put her many languages back into use. With a lifetime of adventures, being monolingual just doesn’t make sense.

National Guard News
An F-15 Eagle assigned to the 125th Fighter Wing, Florida Air National Guard, flies over the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Georgia, during exercise Sentry Savannah 22-1 May 12, 2022. Sentry Savannah is the Air National Guard’s premier counter air exercise, encompassing 10 units of fourth- and fifth- generation fighter aircraft.
Sentry Savannah builds warfighter readiness, lethality
By Tech. Sgt. Morgan Whitehouse, | May 25, 2022
SAVANNAH, Ga. – About 1,300 Total Force Airmen, joint personnel and civilian partners and more than 50 airframes participated in exercise Sentry Savannah May 2-15.Hosted by the Air Dominance Center at Savannah’s Combat...

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, visits with Hawaii Army National Guard members, Maui, Hawaii, March 5, 2022. Hokanson testified May 24, 2022, before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense about operations of the Air and Army National Guard.
Recent events, past decades have transformed Guard, chief says
By Air Force Master Sgt. Erich B. Smith, | May 24, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. – The past 20 years have proven the National Guard has transformed from a strategic reserve to an operational force, the chief of the National Guard Bureau told lawmakers Tuesday.Addressing the House Committee...

Two F-15C Eagles from the 144th Fighter Wing and two F-22 Raptors from the 3rd Fighter Wing prepare to take off from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, April 18, 2022, during an Aerospace Control Alert training scramble. It has been almost a decade since F-15 Eagles have sat alert in the region, protecting the airspace of the United States and Canada.
144th Fighter Wing trains for fighter jet integration in Alaska
By Capt. Jason Sanchez, | May 24, 2022
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Ten U.S. Air Force F-15s and more than 200 Airmen assigned to the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing deployed to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to support Dissimilar Aircraft...

A ceremonial groundbreaking is held May 19, 2022, for an energy resilience project at Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, California. From left: Stephanie Kline, project director, and Robert Hughes, executive director, both with the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives; Robert Smith, president of Bright Canyon Energy; Paul Farnan, principal deputy, assistant Secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment; U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Refugio Rosas, from the 40th Infantry Division, California Army National Guard; Anthony Marasa, project manager with Bright Canyon Energy; and Lt. Col. Manju Vig, garrison commander of Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos.
Solar project begins on Los Alamitos joint base
By Staff Sgt. Crystal Housman, | May 24, 2022
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – A 100-acre solar project that will bolster the power grid in Southern California and provide two weeks of emergency power for Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, broke ground May 19.The...

Alabama Air National Guard Master Sgt. Nathan Friday refuels a KC-135 Stratotanker the day before a joint midair refueling exercise with the 117th Air Refueling Wing and Romanian Air
Force in Bucharest, Romania, May 16, 2022. The Alabama Guard and Romania are partners under the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program.
Alabama Air National Guard, Romania complete exercise
By Sgt. Samuel Hartley, | May 24, 2022
BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - Alabama Air National Guard members from the 117th Air Refueling Wing conducted a week-long joint exercise with the Romanian Ministry of Defense and Romanian Air Force.U.S. Airmen and Romanian F-16 pilots...