Young George Trofimoff had just completed basic training and was assigned to the Army Language School in Monterey, California. He had found his nitch. It seemed as if the Army had been waiting for George, and he had been waiting for the Army.
He reported to the OIC (Officer In Charge), who proceeded to interview him in Russian. The OIC was surprised when George responded to him in fluent native Russian with a St Petersburg accent. Immediately, the OIC decided to use George as an assistant instructor in the Russian language class.
However, before George could have that job, he had to take and pass the final examination of the graduating class. Not only did he pass it, he was only one-tenth of one percent off of a one-hundred score. He had spelled “Russia” with one “s” instead of two.
This was not as unusual as it might have at first seemed. Growing up in the Russian emigre enclave of Berlin, only Russian was spoken in his foster home, his private school, and with his friends in the community. George remained assistant instructor until his graduation from Army Language School and his next assignment.
I write of George’s life in my book: Observer: The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranked military officer convicted of spying.