Saturday, April 15, 2017

Ready? I Was Sworn Ready!

The 190th A-100 has been formally sworn in, making us pretty official. My feelings are bittersweet, which I didn't expect despite the warnings of those who came before me.

The six weeks of orientation flew by, and yet I feel like I've known everyone I met here for so much longer. (Also, if I'm honest, I'm not sure I could handle one more orientation training.) What I'll miss most are definitely the people: my A-100 colleagues and the coordinators and staff and mentors and everyone else who made our introduction into the Foreign Service possible. Although it's hard to think about how we will never be together as a complete group again, I look forward to crossing paths with many of them many times, whether in the hallways during training or overseas. I know I've made friends for life.

A-100 in general was a delight. Now that it's done, I wholeheartedly agree with the following advice I've received throughout the course:

  • It goes by fast. Live in the moment.
  • Don't try to "win" A-100. (Everyone else is smart, too.)
  • Fight imposter syndrome. Everyone there deserves to be there.
  • Embrace ambiguity.
  • Be kind.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Pack a lunch. (That cafeteria is not the way to go.)
  • Be on time. (They are not messing around with class norms.)
  • Don't be afraid to attend a class roast.

Finally, I want to include the full text of the Oath we all took today:

"I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

I'm deeply honored to represent this great country alongside men and women as amazing as those whom I've come to know and love over only six weeks. It's up to us never to forget whom we serve.

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