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Today's Focus:

Army Foreign Area Officer Program

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"Our top priority is to support the 30,000 additional troops the president has ordered to Afghanistan, and getting them the resources they need to execute their mission. Every day, 3rd Army is shipping more life-saving vehicles to Afghanistan to meet the warfighter requirements."

-Lt. Gen. William G. Webster Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command's 3rd Army, charged with management of the logistical aspect of the Iraq drawdown and Afghanistan buildup looks to be ahead of schedule

Army command sustains logistics for warfighters

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"It's pretty ironic that I am a part of the first U.S. unit to jump into this area since my grandfather did it during the war. Every time I'm in a plane I say a prayer to him, and every time I jump out of a plane I know he's right there with me so this jump was in honor of him."

- Staff Sgt. Ben C. Cowie, the noncommissioned officer in charge of 5th QN Det.'s portion of Operation Varsity, felt honored to be part of the anniversary as his grandfather had also participated in Operation Varsity 65 years ago

Paratroopers pay tribute to Operation Varsity 65 years later

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

CALENDAR

March 2010

Women’s History Month (Women in the U.S. Army)

Brain Injury Awareness Month


April 2010

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Month of the Military Child

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

TODAY'S FOCUS

Army Foreign Area Officer Program

What is it?

The Army Foreign Area Officer (FAO) program, or career field 48, is made up of advanced degree holders skilled in particular languages and regional issues who can serve commanders and senior policy makers as political-military advisors, military attachés and security assistance experts. On March 10, 2010, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Army chief of staff, approved training for 96 new FAOs whose service is needed in South Asia, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia.

What has the Army done?

An Army G3-led task force recently explored how the Army could meet the challenge of recruiting and training nearly 100 new FAOs within three years while not increasing the overall end-strength of the force. The task force agreed a 25 percent increase (about 96 officer positions) could be identified, recruited and trained from within the Army's existing commissioned officer population and manpower structure.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

Officers who meet the prerequisites and who are interested in becoming FAOs should consult Military Personnel message 09-259 and the Officer Service Management Pilot Program (OSMPP). The OSMPP, soon to be renamed the Voluntary Transfer Incentive Program (VTIP), helps the Army balance out the officer force by moving officers from overmanned to undermanned career fields. VTIP will permit officers who meet the rank, time-in-service, and career field criteria to be considered for acceptance into a new branch or functional area after their Functional Designation (FD) board has met. Officers in year group 2003 will be able to compete for FAO slots when the FD board convenes on May 6, 2010. Officers who are not in YG 2003 but have between 8 and 14 years of commissioned service may submit their request for the VTIP panel between March 15 and May 2. The panel is scheduled to convene May 25 and 26, 2010. Basic branch HRC assignments officers can be contacted for more information on VTIP.

Why is this important to the Army?

The four areas in which these new FAOs will be trained are areas in which the Army envisions the greatest need for officers with enhanced language skills, cultural acumen and regional expertise as we move through the 21st century. Our commanders in the field have reiterated this to Army and DoD leaders and our strategic and operational plans and counterinsurgency doctrine make it clear; FAOs will continue to play a key role in engaging our partners in the arc of instability and providing expert advice to our nations' military and civilian decision makers.

Resources:

FAO proponent Web site

DA Pamphlet 600-3, "The Army Personnel Development System"

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