Saturday, November 03, 2007

When You Read About (or Listen to) Those Whining Bureaucrats

Consider that they knew what they were getting into when they took the job.

This article from the Boston Globe is fairly representative. Diplomats angry over forced posts in Baghdad - The Boston Globe
Jack Crotty, a senior Foreign Service officer who has worked overseas, told his superiors that being forced to serve in Iraq is a "potential death sentence and you know it."

"It's one thing if someone believes in what's going on over there and volunteers," he said, according to the Associated Press, "but it's another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment."
But agreeing to serve when you don't always agree with official US policy, and agreeing to go to both dangerous places and places where you can't take your family is part of being in the foreign service.

What follows is from the State Department's Career Section. It clearly states that if you are in the US Foreign Service, you will be sent to places you might not want to go. Pay particular attention to paragraph 3.

5. Commitment to Foreign Service Work

Anyone applying to be a Foreign Service Officer must be willing to accept the following three commitments of Foreign Service work:

  • First: Flexibility. This means that the candidate is willing to perform duties outside his/her functional field should the need arise.
  • Second: Public support of U.S. government policies regardless of the candidate's personal views.
  • Third: Worldwide availability. Even though the Department attempts to work with each employee's individual and family needs, each employee must be willing to serve anywhere the Department determines is necessary. This can mean in extreme climates, in isolated, potentially unhealthful and unfriendly environments, and/or where the candidate may not have training in the local language. The Department also has unaccompanied tours, where the candidate would not be able to take his/her family. There may also be tours where local conditions may force the evacuation of families back to the United States while the candidate must remain at post.

Candidates who receive a Conditional Offer of employment must reaffirm orally their acceptance of these three commitments at the end of the oral assessment and in writing once a job offer has been accepted in order to continue the application process.

The career info from the US Department of State is clear. If you are in (or want to join) the Foreign Service, you must agree to support the policy of the US, even when you disagree with that policy. If you are in (or want to join) the Foreign Service you must be willing to serve anywhere. Not just in Paris, or the Caribbean, or someplace fun, but anywhere.

As someone mentioned, members of the Foreign Service have an option that members of the Military Service don't have when assigned to Iraq - the can resign.

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