The Foreign Service Journal - October 2017

18 OCTOBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL a clash of values and have the tools to make informed decisions. The place to start this transformation is in our training. A method currently being used in some Marine Corps classes offers one possibility. Known as decision-forcing cases (DFC), this type of training puts the student in a situation, real or hypothetical, and then requires him or her to go through the decision- making process and come to a conclu- sion. In the real cases, students have actual events against which to judge their deci- sions. Even in hypothetical cases, they tend to retain the lessons learned longer than they would from lectures alone. The Foreign Service Institute uses a similar method in its consular training. The Basic Consular Course, known as Congen Rosslyn, puts FSOs about to go out on consular tours in hypothetical consular situations, in the hypothetical Republic of Z. In simulation exercises, they face challenges such as problem- atic visa interviews, which require them to apply the regulations and their own knowledge to come up with solutions. I retained more from the consular train- ing course than almost any of the other courses I took at FSI during my career, with the exception of media training, which also put students in real-life situa- tions. Introducing the case method, or a version of DFC, to all FSI training (with the possible exception of language and I’d like to be able to say that my FSI training or my time in uniform prepared me to assess such situations, but sadly, that’s not the case.