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    Last edited by Apache82; 08-13-2019, 09:38 PM.

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    • Originally posted by Apache82 View Post
      My wife is in the process of starting a new job and is negotiating what cities she's available to move to. I'm guardedly optimistic about starting a DSS class this fall. Right now, I've told her to push for the DC or NY areas because those have the largest DSS offices. If anyone had to guess what offices would be next most in demand, where would you speculate?
      Only a handful of people in DS know what offices will be available to each class, and trust me, those people don't post on this thread. With that said, NYFO or WFO are the two largest field offices, and are usually available to each class. However, don't plan on getting one of them just because your spouse works in that city.

      The CDO's usually ask you to rank order your preference for a field office, and have you give a reason why you want to go there. Your wishes may or may not be taken into account. I have seen plenty of people who lived in DC with a spouse in school/work there, be transferred across the country, while people who have no ties to DC being sent to WFO in the same class. Prepare your spouse that once you get this job, she/he is going to have to quit their job and follow you wherever you go. Worldwide availability means worldwide availability especially for your first couple of tours.

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      • Originally posted by br81 View Post
        Only a handful of people in DS know what offices will be available to each class, and trust me, those people don't post on this thread. With that said, NYFO or WFO are the two largest field offices, and are usually available to each class. However, don't plan on getting one of them just because your spouse works in that city.

        The CDO's usually ask you to rank order your preference for a field office, and have you give a reason why you want to go there. Your wishes may or may not be taken into account. I have seen plenty of people who lived in DC with a spouse in school/work there, be transferred across the country, while people who have no ties to DC being sent to WFO in the same class. Prepare your spouse that once you get this job, she/he is going to have to quit their job and follow you wherever you go. Worldwide availability means worldwide availability especially for your first couple of tours.

        That is the absolute truth. You can talk to your CDO and pitch your case. I have seen them take family circumstances in consideration, but as stated above, it is not guaranteed, and sometimes the assignments dont make logical sense. In the back of my mind, I think (and this is just my thinking)....they pull you away from your home location to ensure that you are ready for the world-wide availability. Spousal issue are some of the most difficult hurdles you will face. If your spouse does not have a portable career....and if she is career driven...you are in for a rough road.

        Think very carefully. I have seen people divorce and also wash out of this agency due to spousal issues relating to the trailing spouse ability to work.

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        • ..........
          Last edited by Apache82; 08-13-2019, 09:38 PM.

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          • Originally posted by Apache82 View Post
            Understood, and I really appreciate the feedback. We know we're going to be signing up for worldwide availability and ready for all that entails, just trying to stack the deck in our favor so there's a better chance of a smooth transition. Are the rest of the field offices besides WFO/NYFO generally about the same size?
            Yes the field offices are all roughly (and I mean roughly) the same side besides WFO/NYFO, though the actually numbers in a field office go up and down based on how many are coming in and going out to different assignments. You'll see that there is a natural ebb and flow based off our bidding cycle (or maybe it's just lunar movements, one can never really tell in this organization) that every couple years in the field offices where we can go from having more bodies than desks at some offices to having a skeleton crew two years later that can barely hold down the fort and send out bodies when a tasker comes out or just flat out tell DC that we can't do it.

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            • I was hoping to get some advice:

              Between applying in Sept. and getting an invite to BEX, I have accepted a direct commission in the military likely starting in early 2017. While I would prefer to be a DS agent and could resign my commission prior to starting active duty I'm concerned that that would reflect poorly on me so I am not planning on doing so. However, I plan to again pursue a position with DS once I get out of the service, so my question is should I still do BEX for the practice? Or would doing so and dropping out before backgrounds (if I passed) reflect negatively on my chances of getting hired with DS at a future date?

              Thanks

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              • Personally I would stop caring so much about something "reflecting poorly". The State Department is a large agency and (1) no one is going to care whether you resigned your military commission in lieu of joining DS should you be offered a job prior to starting your active duty commitment and (2) no one is going to care or remember if you took an interview, decided against it, and later decided to interview again after your military commitment. I can guarantee that an agency as large as DOD is not going to care...your recruiter might. But the US Armed Forces will continue on without you if you decide to serve in another way. All of those things are your own personal choice. The option to resign your commission is there for a reason and no one in DS is going to care that you resigned your commission to join DS (actually no one would even know unless you told them).

                There are probably some guys who would say....you should not interview if you are committing to the military right now. Personally I say, do what you think is best for YOU. If getting a feel for a BEX by taking it now, is going to put you in a better position for later, then I say...if given the opportunity go for it.

                But in the same vein, I say...if you ultimately want to be an agent, unless the military is going to offer you some other skill or benefit that you want prior to joining DS, then no one is going to care one way or another "in the long run".

                You simply have to decide what is best for YOU. I get starting OCS and not wanting to "quit". But that's a personal choice. I get not wanting to feel like you are wasting the interviewer on the BEXs time when you are committed to something else, but at the end of the day it is not going to reflect one way or another.

                This is simply my PERSONAL advice. Ultimately you have to make the decision as to what is best for you and your family.

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                • In this career, people often do things that some people might say "reflects poorly", and they do it because they feel they need to do it and at the end of the day, every one carries on and the agency continues to go. It happens. Example: You are in Conakry as an ARSO, your wife is pregnant and all of a sudden you find the Embassy on ordered departure "long term" due to Ebola outbreak. You decide, you really need to be there for your family because she is a foreign national who doesnt have family in the United States. You decide to curtail. Some might say, leaving post in a critical time might "reflect badly"...but people do it. And at the end of the day, I dont think people care in 5-10 years. Some guy with NO family might say....that dude curtailed when post really needed him. But a lot of people with family will say....you did what was good for your family. At the end of the day...the AGENCY...is not going to care or remember.

                  You have to be the person to decide whats good for you....because if you are looking not to be judged by people, you have a long road ahead of you.

                  All that is to say...you will have plenty of things that come up in your life or career, that people might differ on whether you did the right thing...but only you can decide what is ultimately good for YOU.

                  (Hope I am not beating a dead horse)

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                  • I am so happy to report that I passed my BEX today! Thanks to all of you on this forum who have taken the time to answer questions, your help was invaluable!

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                    • bureau of diplomatic security-opening

                      Anecdotally, reading the various threads, It seems the BEX is the toughest interview process in reference to fed LEO positions.


                      Folks that have experience or know, can you advise if that is true and is their a lower pass rate for the BEX versus others such as the FBI Phase 2, USSS SUPER, and others like the ATF, DEA, HSI?

                      By the way, lawyerhopeful congrats!


                      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                      Last edited by Lee23; 07-23-2016, 07:03 PM.

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                      • While this is not quantitative data in any way, I can comfortably say that the BEX was the hardest interview I have EVER undergone, from local LE to FLE. I tanked FBI Phase 2 on my first attempt, and have tanked numerous oral panels for local LE before. Frankly, I didn't expect to pass the BEX, so I went in with a prayer and a resume(in my head), and I made the cut. I have the resume, but always felt that I couldn't orally back it up...I guess I was wrong.

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                        • Now that I've passed the BEX, I'm starting to wonder about the background check. I'm confident that there is nothing there to be concerned about, but I'm wondering how long I can keep it from my current employer. Is this something that can be done without telling your current job now, or are they going to be contacted? I just don't want to burn any bridges so any insight would be much appreciated!

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                          • Originally posted by LawyerHopeful View Post
                            Now that I've passed the BEX, I'm starting to wonder about the background check. I'm confident that there is nothing there to be concerned about, but I'm wondering how long I can keep it from my current employer. Is this something that can be done without telling your current job now, or are they going to be contacted? I just don't want to burn any bridges so any insight would be much appreciated!
                            They will be contacted for sure.

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                            • Originally posted by Lee23 View Post
                              Anecdotally, reading the various threads, It seems the BEX is the toughest interview process in reference to fed LEO positions.


                              Folks that have experience or know, can you advise if that is true and is their a lower pass rate for the BEX versus others such as the FBI Phase 2, USSS SUPER, and others like the ATF, DEA, HSI?

                              By the way, lawyerhopeful congrats!


                              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                              Speaking from personal experience, the DEA panel interview was a piece of cake compared to the BEX.

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                              • Originally posted by Wise135 View Post
                                Speaking from personal experience, the DEA panel interview was a piece of cake compared to the BEX.
                                The DEA was a joke compared to all the interviews I've done in my life. BEX on the other hand, a different kind of animal all together.

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