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  • Originally posted by Crook County IL View Post

    I believe you're only obligated to serve in a post where the language is spoken if you meet the criteria for the eight priority or "recruitment" languages per the Foreign Service Specialist website:



    To qualify for the .17 bump-up points, Specialist candidates, who have recently passed the Oral Assessment, may take a telephone test administered by FSI in any one language listed here. Candidates who demonstrate proficiency in the eight current priority recruitment languages of Arabic; Chinese (Mandarin); Hindi; Persian (Dari); Persian (Farsi); Pashto; Urdu; and Korean may also be eligible for additional bump-up points. Candidates who receive a speaking score of 2 or higher during telephone tests on any of these eight priority languages are eligible to receive .17 bump-up points. All other listed languages require a minimum speaking score of level 3 during the telephone test in order to qualify for the .17 bump-up.

    Those who achieve a minimum score of 3 speaking and 2 reading (S3/R2) will be eligible to receive a total of .38 bump-up points. Candidates who receive a rating of at least 2 speaking and 1 reading (S2/R1) but less than 3 speaking and 2 reading (S3/R2) will be eligible to receive a total of .25 bump-up points.

    To receive bump-up points of .25 and .38, Specialist candidates whose candidacies began after November 2, 2012 must agree in writing to serve one tour of their first two overseas assignments in a Language Designated Position or in a country where the recruitment language is a primary language.
    You will most likely not have any option for any of those places except maybe Pakistan on your elspec list coming out of the field office. The only post that was on mine that would come close is Hyderabad, India, and it was no language training/required score.

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    • Passed the OA today! Goodluck to everyone in the process.

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      • I just got an invitation for orientation in July to be a FSS-SA. I am coming from another federal agency and because of the pandemic this past year I will have a ton of Use or Lose leave. Am I better off taking a lump sum pay out or transferring the leave to state department?
        I imagine that by accepting this position leave is not granted the same way it is for other federal employees where you can take weeks off at a time, especially in the first year of training. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
        Thank you to everyone on this forum as well!

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        • Rick_the_Ape
          Rick_the_Ape commented
          Editing a comment
          If you want time off then take it before coming. Things to keep in mind:
          1.) If you have to go through all CITP + BSAC you're probably talking around 7 months with zero leave days.
          2.) Afterwards, at a field office and dependent upon supervision you will be expected to go to 11 weeks of ATLAS right away (back in VA where you just came from) and not be able to take leave, or viewed as a warm body to pimp off across the agency and world to engratiate themselves to their superiors.
          3.) If you do get sent to ATLAS, upon your return you will be greedily eyed as the "new guy" who hasn't gone TDY anywhere yet. So plan on a couple SD trips, TDY support to SD, maybe a couple months TDY as an ARSO learning this job is not remotely similar to other LEO positions. So plan another couple months where it could be hard to take leave.

          During this time, if you are prior federal service or came in at a relatively high step then $$$ is unlikely to be the problem time will....
          That said, you'll collect comp time for travel, so may run into a problem of using all your leave. The field office is the place to plan vacations as it is hard overseas. You still risk running into clueless supervisors who tell you things like, "you're not allowed to take 4 weeks of leave" or "I need you to hang around to be available for a TDY in case HQ asks for it."

          The cardinal sin in DS is not being available. You can be worthless in every other respect, but if you're a warm body and without personal plans which stop you from jumping on a plane last minute, you are sure to make friends with the bosses.

        • MohawkVet
          MohawkVet commented
          Editing a comment
          Vipermatusik, what is the start date for July's class?

        • Vipermatusik
          Vipermatusik commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you Rick! That is informative!
          I start orientation July 6th.

        • Shadowtrain
          Shadowtrain commented
          Editing a comment
          Piggybacking off Rick_the_Ape

          You won't be able to take a whole lot of time off during the training phase and the amount of leave you'll build up during training is going to be astronomical. Add to the leave you'll build up during ATLAS... you'll be way over with use or lose (assuming you're coming over with a substantial leave balance).

          I had the same issue when I went to DS from another federal agency. Depending on how much use/lose you have built up, I recommend dropping your two weeks in and burning as much leave as you can before you onboard and transfer the rest over. DS HR when I went through was pretty bad for a fed to fed transfer. It took me about nine months to get my leave transferred over.... and when it finally kicked in I was in use/lose territory.

          Additionally, if you know you're going to lose a good chunk of leave... highly recommend donating it to someone in need. There's always someone who needs leave for unexpected emergencies, etc.

          Last point, there's going to be times you won't be able to take leave. Staffing issues, work commitments, and good ole UNGA.

          Enjoy the ride and good luck with your future endeavors.

      • Officially in QEP as of today. Fingers crossed...

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        • ABS2005
          ABS2005 commented
          Editing a comment
          Congratulations! I was starting to wonder if the later emails were the "sorry" emails but you've rekindled my hope.

      • I received an email notification that my packet has moved to the QEP stage of the process.

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        • bondman007
          bondman007 commented
          Editing a comment
          Congrats! still waiting here for some good news!

        • NYC1175
          NYC1175 commented
          Editing a comment
          Congrats! They must be working in waves.

        • Anthropologist
          Anthropologist commented
          Editing a comment
          bondman007 Thanks! I expect that NYC1175 is correct and that DSS is sending out notifications in waves.

          NYC1175 Thanks!

      • For those of us waiting on OAs, the State Department's LinkedIn page says that OA's will ramp up in June and July (in DC) with a lot more planned in the fall.

        Comment


        • Anthropologist
          Anthropologist commented
          Editing a comment
          Something to look forward to this summer or fall!

        • NYC1175
          NYC1175 commented
          Editing a comment
          Anthropologist indeed! Finally seeing some movement in the process.

      • Good thing i passed when i did..doing my clearance and medical now...trying to do it as quickly as possible.

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        • Finally got the email that I was moving forward to the QEP Phase. Fingers crossed

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          • Random request....I applied a few years ago when the essay questions started. Could someone who made it to OA PM me their essay questions? I was disqualified for not submitting my fitness paperwork. I’m already on with another agency and assure you I have no interest in applying, I’m just anxious to know if my responses were State worthy and they won’t tell me lol.

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            • mdcudt
              mdcudt commented
              Editing a comment
              There’s a reason State won’t tell you, just like there’s a reason no one should be providing you with your requested information. Despite no interest in applying again, you should respect the integrity of the hiring process and not even make such a request.

            • Lone-ranger
              Lone-ranger commented
              Editing a comment
              Integrity of the hiring process? Contradictory statement, but I’ll let you have your moment to shine. Thanks for your input mdcudt

            • JimBean072
              JimBean072 commented
              Editing a comment
              Why are you asking for other people's answers for a job you're not interested in applying for? If you were really interested in seeing how good your answers were, you would ask for someone to look over yours for advice.

              Regardless, the Personal Narratives are standard for the FSO / FSS hiring process. If you actually wanted to see what qualifies, you would browse the plethora of information hosted on websites throughout the internet.

          • Originally posted by Lone-ranger View Post
            Random request....I applied a few years ago when the essay questions started. Could someone who made it to OA PM me their essay questions? I was disqualified for not submitting my fitness paperwork. I’m already on with another agency and assure you I have no interest in applying, I’m just anxious to know if my responses were State worthy and they won’t tell me lol.
            Disqualified for not submitting fitness paperwork that was self certified at that time?

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          • ///////////////
            Last edited by jpatriot88; 06-09-2021, 01:47 PM.

            Comment


            • Shadowtrain
              Shadowtrain commented
              Editing a comment
              Sorry to hear you failed the vision test, but for many special agent positions/armed positions, there's only so much latitude in the vision requirements and some places will automatically DQ you for colorblindness.

              Highly doubtful the FAM would have a portion covering vision for DS SAs, but then again the FAM has random stuff sprinkled in.

              Did a google check and came up with this supplemental health checklist for DS SAs.
              https://careers.state.gov/wp-content...pplemental.pdf

              I'd suggest you reach out to the DS recruitment office and State Department Medical for the official response. Presumably there are emails and other contact information in your processing paperwork.

          • Wow well I got the go ahead email stating I have moved onto the QEP. Crazy how far apart these notifications are with all of us. Just getting a little disconcerted on how long this process is going to take. Odds are most of us will be picked up else where by the time anybody would get some sort of offer. Any current/former SAs care to share how long it was form start to finish?

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            • FlashTACP
              FlashTACP commented
              Editing a comment
              Also. Every USSS agent I have worked with were/are miserable. Not sure if it’s changed in the last 1-2 years.

            • griffinlocke
              griffinlocke commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes I have heard that from several feds. Even the agent doing my initial interview was basically trying to convince me to withdraw because of how miserable he was making the job out to be. But I genuinely have a(n) interest/passion for their primary mission. Plus just trying to start the clock on that fed retirement. In my eyes, it beats working as a sheriff for a few before years getting picked up by an agency that is more selective/competitive (although that is Plan B or C)

            • Army101
              Army101 commented
              Editing a comment
              Good luck, definitely a long process, im in the final stages. This is my “dream” career i reapplied in Dec 2020. But i applied in 2019. I took the chance and interviewed out of DC and passed.

            • Shadowtrain
              Shadowtrain commented
              Editing a comment
              I was about 9/10 months from announcement to final offer back in my day.

              As with any position, you really just need to apply and go on with your life. The process is painfully slow with the USG and it is highly probable you'll be somewhere else. That being said, it's an interesting journey for a very unique career.

              Good luck!

          • Eqip and medical paperwork is in as of today! I am excited for this opportunity.

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            • For anyone that just did the clearance, i had my paperwork sent to PSS to start my investigation. Did you investigator reach out before starting the investigation? Or did your references start getting calls randomly?

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              • Ranger07
                Ranger07 commented
                Editing a comment
                Sent you a PM

            • Patience is a virtue I must learn, I know.

              At what point in time should I check in with the registrar about background investigation progress...going on around 9 months right about now.

              Thank you.

              Comment


              • rellimgo
                rellimgo commented
                Editing a comment
                My clearance process took over 1.5yrs... Especially slow with COVID. Don't let it beat you down.

              • Army101
                Army101 commented
                Editing a comment
                rellimgo i hope mine does not take that long..

              • jpatriot88
                jpatriot88 commented
                Editing a comment
                Rick ape, how would you end up on the register without knowing? I get a monthly email telling me where I am at in the process. Plus wouldn't he have to atleast take the PT test before?

              • Army101
                Army101 commented
                Editing a comment
                Did you guys find out you were medically cleared by the monthly HR update or the medical email?

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