The Foreign Service Journal - December 2017

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2017 47 FSI works to forge a strategic view of the future direction of the world and equip its students to navigate through it. are required. Fortunately, he noted, “We recently brought over 20 additional Vietnamese teachers from Saigon, who have been noted for their charms as well as ability.” The Vietnam Training Center, a separate facility, supported those FSOs who needed intensive training for their assign- ments. But most officers from State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, particularly those in the “less- than-voluntary” category, took a more basic curriculum at FSI. This was essentially an abbreviated area studies program focused solely on Vietnam: its history, culture and present situ- ation. The VTC disbanded in the early 1970s, relieving some pressure on faculty and staff, but FSI’s leadership still faced logistical and fiscal challenges. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Institute shifted from one temporary location to another, even- tually migrating from Washington, D.C., to two State Depart- ment annex buildings in Arlington, Virginia: SA-3 and SA-15. The Big Move In 1986, professional training once again got a new look, with new classes and a new curriculum (including, most nota- bly, ConGen Rosslyn for consular training) that moved away from the traditional lecture-based format. Students welcomed the fresh new approach to training, but as former FSI Director Brandon Grove would acknowledge in a 1993 FSJ interview, a more fundamental problem continued to fester: “The training conditions in [Rosslyn were] just awful. An environment does not determine what you can do, but it conditions the way you do it and how you feel about your work.” Fortunately, plans were underway by the late 1980s to relocate FSI to its current home in Arlington—which, Grove correctly predicted, “will transform the Foreign Service.” One major attraction of the new site was that Arlington Hall was designed to be a campus. Originally the home of Arlington Hall Junior College, an all-female school founded in the 1920s, the 72-acre plot later served as a U.S. Army installation. In fact, four structures dating from the early history of the site as a junior college—the yellow-brick Old Main building, the girls’ gym- nasium and two historic Sears Roebuck prefabricated cottages