Category Archives: State Dept.

Foreign Service Officer’s Oath

“I ________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

It’s the same oath, in fact, other than stating of the name, that the Vice President takes.

Compare to the oath that an enlisted Soldier takes:

“I ________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. “

FSOs have to pay taxes on their income while posted in a combat zone, we don’t. But FSOs aren’t subject to the UCMJ and can quit. We have to fulfill our contracts.

But it’s the first half, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” that’s instructive. Its functionally the same oath.

One other difference; since March 2003, 2 State Department employees (James Mollen, Edward Seitz) have been killed in Iraq. Far from a “virtual death sentence,” eh?

UPDATE: Interesting. Three hits this morning on this post. Two from the State Department and one from CENTCOM. The Google searches that brought them here were for “oath foreign service.” CENTCOM…. maybe I’m not the only troop making a comparison like this.

UPDATE 2: More hits from DepState. The same search is bring them in. Are they looking for reminders.

Here’s my first post on the FSOs. It doesn’t mention the oath, so you’ve been missing it.

UPDATE 3: If you State Department types are going to keep visiting, you ought to leave a comment. Be nice to know what you’re thinking.

Filed Under: Cry Me a River

Calling it “a potential death sentence,” several hundred diplomats expressed their resentment Wednesday over a new State Department policy that could force them to serve in Iraq or risk losing their jobs.

The very first question I’d ask, if I had any of these [cough] selfless public servants in front of me, is how many of you have ever said, “there’s no military solution”? That phrase, of course, is widely misunderstood, or deliberately misrepresented, as meaning that the use of the military has no place. But either way, a strong diplomatic effort is a requirement and if the diplomats don’t step up then selection is the only alternative.