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Practically, it isn’t hugely important whether an Army officer served in their assigned branch as a lieutenant.
This has resulted in more officers entering the mid-level ranks without any in-cone experience. Stephenson pointed out, most officers can expect 90 percent of their career development to come from assignments and mentoring.
The consequences of officers never serving in their assigned cone at the entry level are real, both for individual officers seeking to learn their craft and for the overall health of a Service that depends on well-rounded generalists.
It is important to note that branch details almost always involve detailing an officer from a combat support branch into one of the three combat arms (infantry, armor, field artillery) and almost never the reverse.
This system manages to address structural staffing imbalances without negatively affecting the career prospects of Army officers who spend their first three years “out-of-cone.” That it is able to do so is primarily due to the Army’s more regimented training and assignments process.
There is an obvious parallel between the view that the combat arms are central to the Army’s mission and that consular work lies at the heart of ours.
In extremis all Foreign Service officers become American Citizen Services officers, and a strong argument can be made that an out-of-cone consular tour is the best way of satisfying visa demand, introducing new officers to the Service and building esprit de corps.Both changes may prove helpful in the short term, but are Band-Aids on the larger issue of how we handle consular adjudicator assignments. I joined the Foreign Service in late 2010 following four years as an active-duty Army officer.At the time, there was a one-year consular service requirement, though most officers could expect to spend a full two years adjudicating visas..pass_color_to_child_links a.u-inline.u-margin-left--xs.u-margin-right--sm.u-padding-left--xs.u-padding-right--xs.u-relative.u-absolute.u-absolute--center.u-width--100.u-flex-inline.u-flex-align-self--center.u-flex-justify--between.u-serif-font-main--regular.js-wf-loaded .u-serif-font-main--regular.amp-page .u-serif-font-main--regular.u-border-radius--ellipse.u-hover-bg--black-transparent.web_page .u-hover-bg--black-transparent:hover. Content Header .feed_item_answer_user.js-wf-loaded . To address this imbalance the Army often details newly commissioned intelligence officers to the infantry for the first three years of their career.Prior to arriving at their unit, these officers attend the Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course while their non-detailed colleagues go on to the intelligence version of the same school.Skyrocketing demand for consular adjudicators has led to officers entering the mid-level ranks without in-cone experience, something our assignment process (and arguably our promotion process) penalizes.More importantly, a new mid-level officer ought to be able to perform at the mid-level.It is the human resources equivalent of eating our seed corn. The Director General has called for ELOs to serve one tour in cone.As an interim measure, have the Bureau of Human Resources adopt the stated goal that every ELO will serve at least one year in an in-cone position over the course of their first two tours or five years of service.