THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
We take seriously the oath we swore to defend the Constitu-
tion, and we look forward to helping you uphold yours.
FSO, Consul General
U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Tip of the Spear
The U.S. Foreign Service and its 200-plus diplomatic missions
around the world perform an array of duties and functions criti-
cal to the well-being of our nation. The Foreign Service acts not
only as America’s “eyes and ears” globally, but also has the very
special responsibility to execute and make presidential visions
real to a foreign audience—friends and foes alike.
America’s success as a nation can be linked historically to the
dedication, wise counsel and sacrifice made by members of the
Foreign Service and foreign affairs agencies serving abroad. The
Foreign Service stands ready as the “tip of the spear” in helping
the Trump administration realize its vision of making America
great again, both at home and abroad.
Timothy C. Lawson
Senior FSO, retired
Hua Hin, Thailand
Public Service Matters
I would wish to make clear to the new administration how much
work the Foreign Service is tasked with and completes on a daily
basis at our embassies around the world, often putting them-
selves knowingly into dangerous or unhealthy environments.
We have become an expeditionary Foreign Service in many
ways, while still carrying out support for congressional delega-
tions (CODELs), staff delegations (STAFFDELs), Freedom Of
Information Act requests and Secretary of State or presidential
visits, as well as critical diplomatic efforts in addition to routine
but important visa work to help promote freedom and democ-
racy globally. I wish to convey my extreme pride in all of my col-
leagues—past and present, generalist and specialist—who have
served or are currently serving proudly in the Foreign Service.
I would like to suggest that the inbound administration initi-
ate a truly historical undertaking, much like a previous presi-
dent with a vision for America did—I refer to John F. Kennedy’s
creation and support of the Peace Corps.
I urge this new administration to consider requiring two years
of mandatory public service by all 18- to 30-year-old citizens.
They could choose to serve with, for example, the armed forces;
in the State Department or the Forest
Service; in hospitals, medical corps or
hospice settings, or other public ser-
vice venues. Social studies and civics
training classes on our country’s proud
history and form of government would
be integrated seamlessly into this service
period, perhaps even affording college
credits for completion.
Too many young people have no
concept today of what it means to be an
American citizen or the sacrifices that
our fathers, mothers, grandparents and,
of course, veterans and Foreign Service
members have made in providing all of us a safe, free and pros-
perous America to live and thrive in.
Make public service great and meaningful again.
Steven M. Mort
FS Information Management Officer
U.S. Mission Geneva, Switzerland
Please Listen to the
First of all, know that you have an elite diplomatic service at your
disposal, one that certainly is among the best in the world. Don’t
be afraid to use us regardless of whatever contrary advice you
may receive. We exist in large measure precisely to carry out and
implement policies crafted and codified by you and your senior
staffers, as articulated eloquently in the Foreign Service Act of
1980 and previous legislation dating back almost a hundred
But, please, also listen to us carefully, as we have honed
expertise of high value to you and our nation’s foreign policy. For
that reason, too, please consider raising the proportion of profes-
sional diplomats who will serve as chiefs of mission around the
world to at least 70 percent. The Trump administration and our
country will both be better for this cardinal step.
We have skills, knowledge and experience, as well as repre-
senting the full diversity of our great country to help execute the
vision you espouse for the next four years.
Vangala S. Ram
Senior FSO, retired