Small Wars Journal

The Army's Foreign Area Officer Program: To Wither or to Improve?

The Army's Foreign Area Officer Program: To Wither or to Improve? By Lieutenant Colonel Daniel E Moutan, Army Magazine. BLUF "The Army has come a long way in establishing a professional FAO program that supports service and joint requirements. It must refocus the program, however, and provide the guidance, assignments and resources to make the program more relevant to the ongoing operations in which our military is engaged."



Thu, 03/10/2011 - 2:30pm

I feel old.
Was it so long ago that we had this exact same debate about 48s? And before that it was about 18s; and before that about 15s.
The more knowledge required for a skill set, the more time it takes to acquire it and to sustain it. And there are only so many years in a career. So, you set priorities and give things up to retain other things. The FAO corps won't wither due to "lack of operational experience in Army and Joint operations". Rather the FAOs will enhance those operations by their advice and knowledge--from personal experience NTM-A would be much better off if there were some FAOs on the staff who had actually done SFA/capacity building in Third World countries.
I loved being a 48J; and if that restricted me to intel/SFA/J5 policy jobs, it was well worth it.