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Path to FAO (IN, CA along the way?)

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Tarwada Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:00 pm
Location: Fort Gordon, GA

Path to FAO (IN, CA along the way?)

Postby Tarwada Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:36 am

[Backstory: I enlisted four years ago unsure if I was going to get out or commission to eventually FAO. I'm a 3+/3 MSA Arabic linguist with a few other 3s and 2s in other Arabic dialects doing awesome sigint stuff at Fort Gordon. Prior to enlisting I had a master's in Middle East studies. While not a PT stud, I have a 300 and can handle rougher stuff and enjoy the challenge. I was selected last month for OCS and am awaiting my class date.]

Long story short, I feel that I am well-qualified for the FAO program. I've combed through the regs, MILPERs, HRC, and this site looking for information. Bottom line, I have found that the FAO program is looking for well-rounded Soldiers. I've seen contradictory claims about them desiring combat arms v. MI v. other branches. Most of the information was older and I understand that needs for the program wax and wane.

Does anyone have recent insight on what branches might be more advantageous? I am obviously not a well-rounded Soldier in that I don't have that tactical experience. I feel obligated to go get it through branching, and would probably be fine at it, but is assuredly not part of the "follow your heart" branching philosophy. Similarly, I've pondered if doing IN and then transferring to CA for the middle period might help expose me to a diverse set of experiences that could be helpful in making me a well-rounded Soldier and a successful FAO (I am concerned about the future trajectory of active CA, seems that their future isn't quite as clear mission/funding wise).

Ouf, staff duty makes me long-winded. I'd appreciate any thoughts you gentlemen and ladies might have on anything tangentially related to this. Thank you for your assistance!

Disclaimer: I acknowledge being fully committed to your branch and being the best leader in which ever position you find yourself. Refrain from placing cart before horse, etc. I also am a firm believer in constructing short and long term plans with which the Army can do with as it wants, and feel that I have directly benefited from my incessant need to plan and so will continue to do so.

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