Dreams of A Diplomat: The Register

by Just Juan

“Business is about to pick up” – Jim Ross

Yesterday, I received a letter from the Registrar in the Department of State’s Bureau of Human Resources. It informed me that, after consideration from the Board of Examiners for the Foreign Service, my name was “added to the register of those awaiting appointment into the Foreign Service as a Facility Manager”. In short, that means that I have been placed on a list alongside other conditional Foreign Service Facility Managers awaiting appointment.

My selection for an official appointment into the Foreign Service as well as the invitation to the Foreign Service Specialist Orientation & Readiness class hinges on the Register. It would be an understatement to say that the Register is crucial to this process. Of course, the next question is why. Well, the caveat to being on the Foreign Service Register is that while it is used to offer appointments into the Foreign Service, it doesn’t guarantee you an appointment into the Foreign Service. It’s a rank-order thing in which I jump people who have lower Foreign Service Oral Assessment scores than me and people who take the assessment after me and have higher scores can jump me. The thing is appointments from the Register are dependent on factors completely out of my control like Department of State budget constraints, the hiring needs of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, and of course, my position relative to other candidates. Here’s the real kicker in all of this: my name stays on the Register for 18 months. If I don’t get an appointment in that time or qualify for a one-time deferral which pauses my clock, I’ll have to start the entire process over.

Going back to my oral assessment 3 months ago, my score was 6.00. The moderator indicated that it was a high score…something the Diplomatic Security representative echoed when I met with her briefly. As a 5-point military veteran, an additional 0.175 points are added to my oral assessment score, meaning my true Register score is 6.175. Don’t get me started on how much I would’ve loved to have those 0.175 points in June 2014…that’s a story for another post in this series. The representative from the Registrar’s Office noted that I am currently ranked in the “top tier”.

Right now, this isn’t a major concern for me. I still haven’t gotten the results from my security clearance investigation and suitability review yet. Once I get all greens on those and I’m still on the Register, maybe I’ll get a little concerned. For now though, my belief is not if I will get the appointment but when I will get the appointment.

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