History of FAOA

On 17 October 1995, an informal discussion took place between a small group of FAOs located at the Pentagon. It was an ordinary session, but with an extraordinary outcome. The problem that was revealed during this pivotal discussion was that the Army had no way to contact FAOs in the active, reserve and retired communities. There was no database that captured these highly qualified individuals for the Army. The FAO Proponent was constantly receiving inquiries from the retired community seeking qualified FAOs, who were about to retire themselves or had already retired, for possible job opportunities in the civilian sector. The old-boy network was neither sufficient nor extensive enough to answer the volume of requests. Adding to the community's communication problems, the FAO Proponent was forced to discontinue the publication of its only method for "getting the official word out" -- its newsletter -- for lack of funding. The question was how to solve these problems, a task Dr. Joseph Tullbane (a retired FAO himself) decided to tackle.  Over the next month, these ideas coalesced into the nascent FAO Association, which Dr. Tullbane founded in concept on 30 November 1995. The first issue facing the Army's newest military professional association was to build up sufficient funds to establish itself. To accomplish this necessary requirement, in November 1995 he sent out invitations to join in creating the association to a group of retirees and the active O-6 population. The result was enough capital and founding members to "get the show on the road." Things then began to pick up speed. The subsequent months were occupied in creating a Board of Governors of former and current outstanding FAOs; writing an Association Charter, Articles of Incorporation, goals and aims; and creating such basic elements of an organization as brochures, applications and initial data bases. By 1 January 1996, the association was officially incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The newly appointed Board of Governors met in February 1996 and validated the organizational steps taken so far. The Board members also came up with a series of suggestions for where the association should go, as well as what services it should and should not offer. Their suggestions ranged from trying to have regular regional FAO social get-togethers to building a web site for the association. All of these projects are being undertaken, but because the organization relies solely on volunteers some have been slower in coming to fruition than others. During the spring 1996, membership drives were undertaken to recruit active and reserve Army FAOs of all ranks. The intent of the organization has, from the first, been to band together the officers of the various FAO regional areas of concentration and to provide an informal social and professional forum in which members could share ideas and experiences. It is intended to unite active, reserve and retired FAOs in a mutually advantageous network, to both further Service goals and to help the individual FAOs as they advance through their military careers and their subsequent civilian careers. At its two-year anniversary, the FAOA had a total of 750+ members. It opened an active web site (which you are now accessing) and began producing the FAO Journal -- our own military professional magazine. Further, the membership has expanded farther than ever anticipated at its inception -- we now have Marine, Air Force and Navy members. The future of the FAOA is bright. We hope to soon expand membership to include corporate sponsors to help fund our future activities. In the next two years we also hope to add a scholarship program for worthy FAO family members, continue to expand the journal more, and start an internet job fair for FAOs. 

Did you know?

Did you know the DoD views language skills and regional expertise as important as critical weapon systems? In January 2005, the DoD issued the Defense Language Transformation Roadmap, a department-wide recognition of "the reality that the Department of Defense needs a significantly improved organic capability in emerging languages and dialects, a greater competence and regional area skills in those languages and dialects, and a surge capability to rapidly expand its language capabilities on short notice."

So, FAO, be proud! Your skills are now recognized as Defense core competencies and a war fighting skill! Take a closer look at the Roadmap. 

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