The Foreign Service Journal - December 2017

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2017 43 FS HERITAGE BY STEVEN ALAN HONL EY Steven Alan Honley was a Foreign Service officer from 1985 to 1997, and served as editor-in-chief of The Foreign Service Journal from 2001 to 2014. This article is adapted from the e-book he wrote for the Association for Diplomat- ic Studies and Training, FSI at 70: Future Forward—A History of the Foreign Service Institute (Arlington Hall Press, 2017). O n March 13, 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall issued a regulation formally establish- ing the Foreign Service Insti- tute, pursuant to passage of the Foreign Service Act of 1946. But FSI actually had three precur- sors, starting with the Wilson Diplomatic School, State’s first professional training facility, founded in 1909. Its curriculum was not exactly rigorous; apparently, according to The New York Times , “Young men who would be ambassadors [had] nothing to do but absorb the lectures and look happy...” Fifteen years later, the Rogers Act, also known as the Foreign Service Act of 1924, not only created the modern Foreign Service, but a Foreign Service School. On June 7, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge duly issued Executive Order 4022, establishing that facility for the purpose of training newly hired probationary Foreign Service officers. The Foreign Service Institute at 70: Recalling a Proud History The Mayfair Building, in Washington, D.C.’s Foggy Bottom, was the FSI’s original location. However, the Foreign Service School principally arranged for the detail of new Foreign Service officers to divisions of the department for five or more months before their assignments abroad. It did not conduct any professional training, likely on the assumption that entrants already spoke the requisite languages and could master the necessary skills on the job. U.S.FOREIGNSERVICE INSTITUTE