Foreign Area Officers (FAOs) are the Navy's maritime international engagement professionals, providing a unique combination of operational experience, cultural knowledge, and language expertise to the fleet. Directly supporting the National and Maritime Strategies, FAOs are force multipliers, forging critical global relationships through persistent and credible presence in 70 countries.
FAOs are assigned to and gain specialized LREC skills (Master’s Degree, Language, extensive In-Region Experience) within the five Geographic Combatant Command areas of responsibility: CENTCOM, PACOM, SOUTHCOM, EUCOM, and AFRICOM.
FAOs are assigned globally and fill a wide range of Pol-Mil oriented positions including: Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché, Naval Attaché, Security Assistance Officer, Joint, Fleet and Interagency Staffs, as well as Liaison Officers to foreign militaries. FAOs have opportunities to attend foreign war colleges as students or work with our foreign partners via multiple bilateral Personnel Exchange Programs.
Entering its 9th year as a community, FAO has grown to 300 officers and is expected to reach Full Operational Capability (FOC) by FY 2019 with a force of approximately 400 officers strong. Officers are accessed into the community via the Active Duty Lateral Transfer and Redesignation Board. The FAO Community seeks officers with 8-12 Years of Commissioned Service (YCS), with waivers granted on a case-by-case basis for officers with 6 to 8 YCS, from the Unrestricted Line communities. Qualified Restricted Line and Staff Corps officers may also apply. Qualified applicants must be due course and have demonstrated sustained superior performance within their parent warfighting community as well as strong international experience and linguistic aptitude.
For further information regarding the community, please visit the community website listed at the right and contact the FAO Community Manager at (901) 874-3694.
For further information regarding the language resources available to FAOs, please contact the FAO Community Language Program Manager, (703)604-5531 (DSN 664-5531).