The Defense Attaché Office (DAO) is for personnel who want a unique assignment in the service of the United States with the Department of State and is for personnel who want to expand their horizons by becoming an integral part of the diplomatic team, Attaché's represent the United States in over 100 embassies abroad.
Responsibilities of an Attaché
Being an Attaché is a unique opportunity unlike any other in the military. Attachés are part of an elite corps with four main responsibilities:
• Representing the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the United Forces of the United States abroad.
• Serving as military advisors to the U.S. Ambassador, the personal representative of the United States.
• Reporting on in-country, and regional political-military activities.
• Supporting U.S. military security assistance programs in selected countries.
The Rewards of a Unique Experience
The DAO plays a vital role in supporting the national interests of the United States. During a time of crisis or military contingency, Attachés are often at the center of action. The men and women who have served as Attachés have reaped personal rewards rarely duplicated in any other part of the military service while:
• Coordinating administrative and security matters for all in-country U.S. military.
• Working as part of the embassy’s "Country Team," the Ambassador’s key advisors.
• Perfecting language skills and area knowledge for greater effectiveness.
• Developing a new appreciation for the complexities of the international environment and foreign military doctrine.
Additionally, you will:
• Become involved in the local culture.
• Influence peoples’ opinions and understanding of the United States and its policies.
• Are often the first U.S. citizens a local military official will get to know on a personal basis.
Types of Attaché
1) OPS ASST - Personnel perform administrative and operational support functions for the Defense Attaché Office (DAO)
a) Administrative responsibilities:
• preparing orders
• Country clearances
• Correspondences (letters, memoranda, message traffic)
• Mail delivery and receipt
• Housing administration
• Accounting and fiscal reporting
b) Operational responsibilities:
• Data collection, administration and support
• Contact with host governments and third country Embassy personnel
• Crisis management
2) OPSCO - The OPSCO is the liaison within the Embassy and works directly with the Senior Military Officer/Defense Attaché. Personnel applying for an OPSCO position must be able work on their own with little or no guidance.
• drafting policy
• implementing and enforcing policy
• managing and maintaining assets
• Managing systems and personnel
• overseeing administrative and operational procedures
• preparing and managing finances
The DAO is looking for Active Duty Service Members who thrive on adventure, challenge, and change, and can adapt easily to the world around them. Attache's must be able to meet the following guidelines:
• Paygrade E-5 or higher. (No waivers)
• Must be able to obtain a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) security clearance. (No waivers)
• No non-judicial punishment (NJP) or civilian convictions within the last 36 months. (No waivers)
• No record of drug or alcohol abuse. (No waivers)
• Excellent moral character and sound judgment.
• No financial problems. (No waivers)
• Member and all immediate family member(s) must be United States (U.S.) citizens. (No waivers)
• Minimum Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) score of 100 (for countries requiring language training). If qualified, members will be required to submit a nomination package to Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), Washington, D.C. for final approval. (The DLAB score can be waived, case by case, based on need).
• Member and family must be able to complete all applicable screenings. (No waivers)
Any Rate can apply!
The Attaché program accepts Service members who are naturalized citizens and/or have naturalized spouses. To avoid conflict of interest they cannot be placed into a country where the service member or the service member's family:
• Was born or previously was a citizen.
• Has family currently living there.
• Has business ties there.
How to Apply
Service Members applying for Attaché must be 12-15 months from their PRD. Since the selection process can take a couple of months, this will ensure that the Sailor does not fall into "Needs of the Navy" if they are not selected. The Service Member must also get permission from their rating detailer to be released to Shore Special Programs (PERS-4010G) Attaché.
How Selection Works
In this program we only want the best! IAW NAVADMIN 062/18 "to ensure that only the best and most highly qualified Navy officers and enlisted personnel are selected to represent the Navy."
This is a highly competitive program. We do a rack and stack process where we select the top 3 candidates per billet. Once they are selected, a Naval message will be sent out to the service members, giving further instructions, and how to put together their packages. Once they have completed their packages, they will submit them to the point of contact in Washington D.C. Only 1 out of the 3 will be selected for the billet. The other 2 Service Members may be offered another Attaché billet, if available, or they will be returned to their rating detailer.
*This is considered shore duty!*
Steps to do and how to apply for Attaché:
• Contact your rating detailer to be released to Shore Special Programs (PERS-4010G) Attaché.
• Update your contact info on My Navy Assignments (MNA). (This is how you will be contacted).
• Take your DLAB.
• If you meet the minimum requirements, you will be contacted via phone or email.
*Note: Service Members must comply to host country laws; this means a Sailor applying might not be eligible due to the laws. For example, if a Service Member is in a same sex marriage, they may not qualify for a country where same sex marriage is illegal.
References: MILPERSMAN 1306-900 MILPERSMAN 1306-914
Department of State and Host Nation information can be found at www.state.gov
For any additional information and available embassy locations please contact: