The FS Experience

The Foreign Service experience provides many opportunities for interesting stories, if you know where to look and you know what you're looking at. As we progress in our journey with the Foreign Service, it's possible that some of our better posts will get lost on the digital bookshelf. So this page will highlight the posts that give the best overview our Foreign Service (FS) experience, from entering the Foreign Service and our FS career, to various posts about assignments & training, and our life in the Foreign Service.

Entering the Foreign Service
When Greg separated from the US Air Force, he considered several paths into the Foreign Service. If you didn't know already, the US Department of State has two types of federal service, consisting of three primary groups of federal workers: Foreign Service Officers (FSO), Foreign Service Specialists (FSS), and Civil Service (CS). As the name would indicate, both FSOs and FSSs are in the Foreign Service and spend most of their careers abroad. Greg is now a Foreign Service Specialist, and his specialty is Construction Engineering, aka FSCE. If you're also coming from the military, you might want to read this post to see how your military specialty converts to the Foreign Service.
FS: Foreign Service (FSO & FSS)
CS: Civil Service
If you're curious about whether Foreign Service Specialists are considered diplomats, read this.

Foreign Service Career
Much like the military, every Foreign Service career is different based on where you go and what you do. But some things are the same wherever you go.


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Foreign Service Life
Now that all the career stuff is out of the way, let's talk about what life is like in the Foreign Service.

Making the most of being a stranger in a strange land (specifically, Saudi Arabia)
The "joys" of moving overseas, also known as PCS Planning
The importance of developing resilience for everyone in the family.
Other links

If you've found this page looking for more information about the process of joining the Foreign Service (as either a Generalist or a Specialist), check out:
Lastly, Greg occasionally posts information related to his particular Foreign Service Construction Engineer (FSCE) specialty (and how it's somewhat different than the other careers in the US Foreign Service.

  • If you are a U.S. citizen looking for information about traveling and living abroad, check out Travel.State.Gov 
  • If you are a non-U.S. citizen looking for information about U.S. visa requirements, check out www.ustraveldocs.com

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