November 15th, 2005


Roads not taken

There was a very good article in the Wall Street Journal today about a Foreign Area Officer bsed in Yemen who's been on TDY in Iraq, doing yeoman work in support of the Iraqi government and the troops in the Sandbox. The article was a good mix of cool vignettes about "David"'s work in Iraq and Yemen and a wider look at FAOs in the Army - most of them, predictably, are still based in Germany and the other NATO nations, but about a quarter of them are in Iraq and Afghanistan and other Arab nations "east of Suez". It's a career path I probably would have followed if I'd taken the butterbar bait dangled in front of me back in the days when the 523rd ASA Company was converting to the 147th MI Battalion, since I can't imagine I would have been happy for very long as an EW/Signal Intelligence officer. That would have been a waste of my language skills, and my love for history would have been better applied as an FAO, too.

Didn't happen, though. My pride kept me in the NCO ranks, which I suppose is just as well given how that career path ended. It would have been much uglier being let go as an officer, I think.