Edition: Thu, January 19, 2006
Current Edition | FOCUS Submission Guidelines | Stand-To Fact Sheet | Printable Version


Army Foreign Area Officers (FAO)

Army Foreign Area Officers are warriors who provide focused regional expertise to the Army and joint warfighter. They possess expert military knowledge of the region, advanced language skills, and a studied cultural and political understanding, which enable them to increase success and reduce risk across the full spectrum of operations from major combat to stability operations. They operate decisively in uncertain environments, often independently, as a valuable force multiplier to commanders and senior leaders from the tactical to the strategic level. Above all, they are Soldiers.

As the nation's strategic scouts, FAOs are often the sole Army and/or DoD representative in foreign countries serving as executors of national security policies or as key advisors to senior level commanders. They serve in a variety of positions worldwide.


- Serve in critical positions in support of the War on Terror, both OCONUS and CONUS, as security assistance officers and Defense and Army Attaches.

- Provide critical advice to senior commanders while serving as political-military advisors Numbered Army HQs, COCOMs, MACOMs and Joint staffs; as well as to senior civilian leaders with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Defense Agencies, the State Department and the White House.

- Serve around the world as arms control specialists.

- Represent Army interests and policies as liaison officers to foreign armies and armed forces.

- Serve as planner at the Joint Staff, Defense Agencies, Combatant Commands, Numbered Army and the Army Staff.

- Serve as analysts at Defense Agencies and Joint staffs.

- Train the leaders of the future while serving as instructors at the United States Military Academy, Command and General Staff College, national Defense University, Army War College and other military schools.

FAO, as a functional area, continues to transform to better support Army requirements and the changing global security environment.

All FAOs receive the following specialized training: Language Training, In-Country Training and Advanced Civil Schooling.

Link to FAO Website


Eighty Acres of Hell on The History Channel , Saturday, January 21 at 5:00pm.

"To the Victor, Belongs the Silence." Although our nation is well-versed about the atrocities committed against Union POWs at Andersonville, Georgia, few have heard of the wholesale annihilation of Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas in Chicago, Illinois (12,000 inmates were incarcerated, 6,000 never left). Unlike Andersonville, Camp Douglas had the resources necessary to house and care for its prisoners, but calculated cruelty, torture, and neglect by the US military conspired to exterminate Southern soldiers who entered this "80 Acres of Hell". But, Southern prisoners were not the only victims. Under martial law, prominent Chicago citizens were unjustly tried and imprisoned by a ruthless military tribunal. From 1862 to 1866, more than 6,000 Rebel prisoners and 14 civilians died at the hands of a corrupt and murderous system with tentacles to the White House.