Every year the Army commissions more than 5,000 second lieutenants.
As in our own Service, those officers are assigned to a specific “branch” in which most will spend their entire career.
While the experience of serving out-of-cone or out-of-branch may be positive, it is incidental to the primary purpose of such assignments.
This is an important point to keep in mind when considering how the Foreign Service handles entry-level consular assignments.
To address this imbalance the Army often details newly commissioned intelligence officers to the infantry for the first three years of their career.
Prior to arriving at their unit, these officers attend the Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course while their non-detailed colleagues go on to the intelligence version of the same school.However, different branches have different entry-level staffing requirements.For example, the infantry requires a high proportion of lieutenants to more senior officers, a situation that is reversed in the military intelligence branch.For a tenured FS-4 or new FS-3 (the rank equivalents of an Army captain and major) this entails many cone-specific tasks and may include supervising locally employed staff and direct-hire employees, or managing a small section.It goes without saying that in an ideal world officers would first gain exposure to their cone prior to entering a management position.There is an obvious parallel between the view that the combat arms are central to the Army’s mission and that consular work lies at the heart of ours.In extremis all Foreign Service officers become American Citizen Services officers, and a strong argument can be made that an out-of-cone consular tour is the best way of satisfying visa demand, introducing new officers to the Service and building esprit de corps.Lately there has been much discussion about reforming the assignments process to make it easier for newly minted mid-level officers to gain in-cone experience.New positions have been created and existing positions have been re-graded. Army handles a similar structural imbalance within its officer ranks may offer a model for how to reform entry-level assignments in our own Service..pass_color_to_child_links a.u-inline.u-margin-left--xs.u-margin-right--sm.u-padding-left--xs.u-padding-right--xs.u-relative.u-absolute.u-absolute--center.u-width--100.u-flex-inline.u-flex-align-self--center.u-flex-justify--between.u-serif-font-main--regular.js-wf-loaded .u-serif-font-main--regular.amp-page .u-serif-font-main--regular.u-border-radius--ellipse.u-hover-bg--black-transparent.web_page .u-hover-bg--black-transparent:hover. Content Header .feed_item_answer_user.js-wf-loaded .