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Considering my Options: USAID (5 of 11)

The bad news is that I did not pass my FSO Oral Assessment. You can find a description of the process here. I scored a 5.0 but I needed at least 5.25 to continue in the process. But it did give me an insight into why lawyers seem to do well in the FSO process: they can argue either side of an argument, whether they actually believe in what they are saying or not. But meeting other FSO hopefuls revealed something else to me: I'm not so sure that becoming an FSO would actively engage me in the way I want to make the world a better place...but it would involve a lot of meetings and paperwork. I'm more of a "get your hands dirty" problem solver.

So, now it’s time for Plan C: pursue a USAID Foreign Service Officer position. I've got an application in for a mid-level Backstop 76 "Crisis, Stabilization and Governance Officer" opening...assuming it stays open given the federal budget situation. My current status is "Reviewed - Tentatively Passed Basic Qualifications" but they've already cancelled the entry level opening so there's no telling how that will turn out.

And I do have a few more plans in the works...but most are still in the application phase. But for completeness, let's summarize:
Plan A: Remain in the military [Expected decision: Mar 12]
Plan B: Foreign Service Officer (State Dept) [Closed: Nov 11]
Plan C: Foreign Service Officer (USAID)
Plan D: Foreign Service Construction Engineer
Plan E: Foreign Service Facility Manager

To update the extended metaphor: The plane door is open and the wind is howling, and I just ripped my parachute. So I've got to find a new one and brace myself…we’re in for a bumpy ride.
It's a long way down...
Because of my current service commitments, I can't just jump and see how it all turns out. I'm strapped in until the AF gives me the option to go. When will that be? That all depends on the promotion board’s decision in December as well as the timing of the promotion announcement decision itself. While I received a "Promote" recommendation, the military's funny about these sort of things. I would have had a very high chance of getting promoted with a "Definite Promote" recommendation, but a "Promote" is only about 50% successful for those meeting the promotion board the first time. And since I've already been through the promotion cycle once, my odds are approaching 0%.

It’s complicated to explain, I know. But the timing and conditions of separation (the likely outcome based on current odds) determine which benefits I would receive: veteran’s preference points, separation pay, and possibly even education benefits for my daughter. So there’s quite a bit at stake.
What I'm trying to avoid.
To read my Military to Civilian Transition mini-series in chronological order, Click Here.
To read my Entering the Foreign Service mini-series in chronological order, Click Here.

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