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June 3rd, 2013:

When it rains, it pours.

After today’s phone call with news that I was granted a security clearance, in today’s mail was an official letter from the State Department that I have been added to the Registry. That means that in just a few days, I passed through the Final Suitability Review.

WIth my bonus points from the telephone Chinese test, my score puts me somewhere in the middle of the list. In order to have a realistic chance of receiving an official offer, I need to boost my score higher. The only ways to get bonus points are to be a veteran or to get additional language points. Since I am not a veteran, I will be traveling to Washington, D.C. and taking a two-hour reading, speaking and listening test at the Foreign Service Training Center. I hope to do that some time in June.

Woot woot! says the happy man! I’m on the Registry!!



Big step forward

My security clearance was granted on May 29. This was the step that required the 7-hour interview with an investigator, a “plethora” of investigators digging into my past, and “adjudication” to evaluate the information that the investigators uncovered. The clearance means that I can be granted a top-secret security clearance, which is an essential prerequisite to being a Foreign Service Officer.

There is still another step before I can be put onto the register: the Final Suitability Review. In this step, yet another panel looks at all my information, and answers the question: is this person suitable for the Foreign Service? That step can take hours or months.

As with every step in the process, my candidacy could end at this stage. A possibility is that the panel decides that I am not suitable. I read one candidate’s report that he applied three times (which means he went through the whole process of the written test, oral assessment, and security clearance three times), only to be denied at the suitability review stage each time. After the third denial, he finally decided to give up his dream and move on.

You have to really want it. Or be really lucky. I think the latter applies to me. So far.

Stay tuned…