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Foreign Area Officers receive inaugural career development training
MONTEREY, Calif. - An  inaugural week-long Foreign Area Officer Course was held at the Presidio of Monterey June 11 through 15. The course was designed to serve as the foundation for new FAOs, according to Col. Heino Klinck, the general staff division chief for the Strategic Leadership Division of the Department of the Army.

More than 150 Foreign Area Officers filled the top floor of the Weckerling Center and were presented with lectures, hands-on exercises on topics such as negotiations, and were exposed to an embassy-style reception - where FAOs were given the opportunity to practice the lessons taught in their etiquette class.

The course is geared to get FAOs started on the right course in their careers by explaining what is expected of them as FAOs and what FAOs can expect further along in their service.

“For many of you, this course is a first step that will be followed by intensive language training, graduate level education, in-region training and repetitive assignments focused on a specific part of the world,” Klinck explained in a June 11 memo to the participating FAOs.

The topics covered ranged from formalized lectures explaining the purpose and mission of the Foreign Area Officer Corps, to creating and maintaining a budget, and even advice from former Ambassador James Moriarty about how to manage professional relationships with embassy staff.

The central theme throughout Moriarty’s two-hour lecture was one of teamwork in supporting the U.S. mission abroad.

“We are all out there to do the same thing. An ambassador is out there to advance U.S. goals in a given country, and a FAO is a part of that process; and the more senior a FAO gets, the more they will be an important part of that process,” said Moriarty.

According to Klinck, families play a significant role in the success of a FAO. Spouses were invited to participate in the week’s activities, which would provide an introduction to what awaits them as they travel with their FAO on military orders.

Story and Photo by:

Brian Lamar, DLIFLC Strategic Communications

Photo: Former U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh and Nepal, James Moriarty speaks to an audience of Foreign Area Officers about managing professional relationships with embassy staff. (U.S. Army photo by Brian Lamar)
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