The Foreign Area Officer Association (FAOA) is the professional organization for active duty, reserve, retired, and former FAOs, Attachés and Security Cooperation officers, and other defense language and international affairs experts, as well as corporate supporters. FAOA is organized for educational, professional, fraternal, and social purposes, as well as promoting esprit-de-corps and networking among past and present FAOA members and the FAO, Attaché, and defense international affairs communities. FAOA publishes the peer-reviewed FAOA Journal of International Affairs, sponsors distinguished speaker events relevant to the FAO discipline, intelligence, and international affairs; conducts networking happy hours known as "FAOs on Tap" throughout the year; and has a scholarship program and FAOA Academic Awards program at all of the Professional Military Education schools and other defense and national level institutes (NPS, NDU, JFSC, NIU). FAOA also helps preserve the history and tradition of this critical career specialty, through our research program and support to the FAO Heritage Display and Hall of Fame at the Pentagon.

Check out our site and please click here if you would like to join!

Happy New Year!

The recently signed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY22 includes a 60-day Congressional mandate for the Secretary of Defense to enter into an agreement with a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) to conduct an independent assessment and review of FAO programs. 

  • Other resources include an FFRDC Primer developed by Carnegie Mellon University and an FFRDC master list managed by the National Science Foundation. 

 LTC Tom Melton, NATO’s International Military Staff in Brussels, organizes the 2018 NATO-Pakistan Military Staff Talks.

Photo of 2018 NATO-Pakistan Military Staff Talks, courtesy of the George C. Marshall FAO Eurasia Training Program.  A primary focus of the assessment is to review how FAOs are recruited, selected, trained, assigned, organized, promoted, retained, and used in security cooperation offices, senior defense roles in U.S. embassies, and in other critical roles of engagement with allies and partners, such as NATO's International Military Staff in Brussels, Belgium. 

FAO Pentagon Heritage Exhibit

In 2022, the FAO Association would like to highlight the global accomplishments and FAO-related event announcements on our Pentagon exhibit.  If you have appropriate (cleared) photos, videos, or event language you would like to share in the public display or video wall, please send to:

We are always looking for artifacts to review for addition or updates.  An example is a 6th century B.C. helmet (symbol of Goddess Athena - pictured below) awarded to the late US Army Colonel Steve Norton (former FAOA President) for his work in the late 90's as the US Defense and Army attaché in Greece.


Click here for more details about the FAOA Pentagon display.

Connecting FAOs...


Korea Chapter

The Association Board welcomes the FAOA Korea Chapter formed in 2020. For more details, visit their website at the logo below.

Please view a copy of the Korea Chapter's latest Journal

FAOA 25th Anniversary

25 Years in 2020

Asking for your support!

Joe Tullbane, at the 2012 FAOA Black Tie Dinner, receiving award in appreciation for his leadership and vision in founding the Foreign Area Officer Association


Monterey Chapter

FAOA Monterey is a nexus for FAOs, RAOs, RAS, PAS and other professionals who have an interest in politico-military affairs during their time of study at the Naval Postgraduate School and Defense Language Institute. 

FAOA Journal of International Affairs

Click on image below to access archive of FAOA Journals.

The FAOA Journal is now completely online.  All FAOA members receive lifetime premium access to the journal.  The link to sign up for the premium version of the journal is in the confirmation email when you join  A credit card is required when signing up for the journal online, but members will not be charged.

Members may also view archived issues, from when we were publishing a printed journal.

Launching the FAOA Store

Check out the new FAOA Store through  The FAOA store offers a large selection of pay-as-you-go FAOA branded items and memorabilia. 



We also have available FAOA-logo challenge coins and lapel pins for $10 and $5 each, plus s/h.  If interested in purchasing FAOA coins or lapel pins, contact directly for more information or to place an order.  

FAOA makes a small profit off of sales, which goes back into operating costs for the association, including our scholarship fund, academic awards program, website and membership management, and admin assistant.

Writing Awards Program

The FAO Association Academic Writing Awards Program began in 2012 and provides research and writing awards on topics of defense international affairs and intelligence at all of the U.S. military War Colleges and Command and Staff Colleges, as well as several of the National educational institutes, including National War College, the Eisenhower School, Joint Forces Staff College, National Intelligence University, and Naval Post-graduate School.

Congratulations to Major David James Butler, USAF - Fall 2021 Naval Postgraduate School FAOA Award for Excellence in International Affairs.

Thank you!

The Foreign Area Officer Association was pleased to host General (Ret., USA) Dave Petraeus and Lieutenant General (Ret. USA) Patrick Hughes over the past few months.  Please check back on our website for future distinguished guests.  Click here for a full list of VIP speakers over the years. 

Partner and Chairman of the KRR Global Institute

LTG (Ret., USA) Patrick M. Hughes

See the source image

Special Thank you for...

LTG (Ret., USA) Robert Ashley in support of the FAOA's 25th Anniversary Celebration!

See the source image

LTG (Ret., USA) Robert P. Ashley


Distinguished FAOA Speaker Program

The FAO Association would like to thank some of our most recent speakers from left to right:  Ms. Heidi Grant, former Director of the Defense Technology Security Administration (DTSA) and current Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) ; United States Army Lieutenant General Charles Hooper, former Director of DSCA; and Mr. Michael Miller, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Security and Arms Transfers (PM/RSAT).


** Full list of FAO Association guest speakers

Becoming a FAO Association Member Includes Premium Benefits

  1. Subscription to the on-line FAOA Journal International Affairs 
  2. Members-only access area for special FAOA content and  access to the membership database
  3. On-line access to all past issues of the FAOA Journal of International Affairs
  4. Member discounts to all FAOA live events
  5. On-line access to create or view job postings
  6. Members can review and update their own contact information
  7. Members can choose what information is visible to the general membership 
  8. Secure site to protect membership information - access for members only! 
  9. Searchable membership database 
  10. Members can email other members (anonymous To: address protects members) 
  11. Automatic email renewal reminders when your membership is expiring
  12. Automatic email event announcements and Member discounts for FAOA luncheons and annual formal dinner
Learn more about a FAOA Membership and please take an opportunity to visit the sponsor page here.

NDU Call for Volunteers

NDU Foreign Student Sponsors Needed:  The International Student Management Office of the National Defense University, located on historic Fort McNair, is looking for potential volunteers amongst the DC community to participate in the NDU Community Sponsorship Program.  Annually, over 100 Senior Officers from over 50 different countries attend the National Defense University to obtain their Master's Degree from the National War College, the Eisenhower School, and the Center for International Security Affairs. Throughout the academic year, International Fellows will learn about American government institutional, political processes and economic systems. They will also learn about American society and culture, our neighborhoods and families via the International Fellows' Community Sponsorship Program. Officers attending NDU will arrive on 1 July.

For over 30 years the Sponsorship Program has been helping foreign military officers adjust to and enjoy their time in the United States. Being a sponsor is not designed to be an interruption of but rather an integration into your normal schedule; you are not expected to set up special functions for your international guest but rather include to officer in those things that you and your family do ordinarily. Being a sponsor is not a monetary commitment, you are not providing the officer with financial support or housing, but instead provide cultural support and friendship. Sponsors are also invited to certain events hosted at NDU throughout the year.                       

Those who decide to participate in the Sponsorship Program play an invaluable role for the International Fellows, sharing first hand their knowledge of American culture-and in return- making new friends and learning new things about the world we live in. This is truly a special opportunity to participate in a vital American foreign policy initiative.

If you would like to learn more about this opportunity, please feel free to contact Laura Garvie at or 202-685-0594. For more insight into the role of a sponsor please check out the program's website at


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