I made this pledge my first day on the job:
“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.”
This also happens to be the same oath that the Vice President takes, so… that’s pretty cool, huh? But, I digress. What I want to write about is how I found my thoughts returning to this oath today after meeting with my Career Development Officer. (She’s one of the people who will decide my first post.) Our talk drilled in the point that I’m public servant now, and although I’m free to express preferences about my fate, I’ll ultimately go where the Department — and the country — needs me.
That’s kind of scary.
I’ve always known I’m “worldwide available,” but at the same time, my daydreams about life abroad as an FSO have all involved places I actually want to go. What if I get sent somewhere I don’t? That’s a very real possibility. And not one I’m having a whole lot of fun thinking about.
Of course, many FSOs end up hating places they thought they’d love and loving places they thought they’d hate, so it might turn out just fine. And even if it doesn’t, we’ll be moving again in two years — another benefit of what I keep hearing referred to as “the career for smart people with short attention spans.”
But most of all, I’m finding solace in this oath, which reminds me that the opportunity to trek to exciting places around the world isn’t the only reason I decided to take this job. It’s a privilege to be entrusted with the task of supporting and defending the Constitution. That, I’ll get to do anywhere.