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FAO - Foreign Area Officer - Guard to Active

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  • FAO - Foreign Area Officer - Guard to Active

    My DH is currently a 35M in the ARNG. He has lived/worked in two foreign countries, speaks (fluently - like, 2+/2+/2 or better) six languages (mandarin Chinese, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, French) besides English. He has a bachelors degree in Linguistics. He is specifically interested in other cultures/languages.

    We've been talking about his long-term military career, and he's been talking a lot about commissioning. He is going to be 29 in a few months.

    I know that FAO is an active duty job, but I just wanted to get some guardsmen's input on it. We really want to try for it (FAO), but he wants to commission before he's too old, so we've been talking about commissioning in the guard, and then later going active.

    Any input on this plan? What are the chances of him NOT getting FAO? Is it really a shot in the dark, or do you think he may have a chance?

    If he has the option to get some more training as an enlisted before he commissions, what do you think would be some of the best training for applying as a FAO? He's been thinking about doing some information technology training as an enlisted to gain some computer skills (which will be useful as well if he decides not to stay in the military).


  • #2
    Re: FAO - Foreign Area Officer - Guard to Active

    Since there are no FAOs in the Guard, I'm not sure what input we can give. I can tell you that FAO is a small career field, and he has no assurance that he'll get it. He will need to serve in a basic branch for a few years, and apply for FAO later in his career. You may wish to review guidance for FAO in DA Pam 600-3 for additional background.


    • #3
      Re: FAO - Foreign Area Officer - Guard to Active

      A good friend accepted a FAO position last year. CPT/O-3 with 8 years TIS, near the top of his class at West Point, currently at an Ivy League university pursuing his Master's before teaching at West Point for two years. He'll spend one year at DLI before becomming a FAO in 2016 or so. This is how far out it was planned. Not sure if this answers your question, but it does show that it is a highly competitive career field that requires years of AD service.