The training and employment of area specialists in the military
Burkett, Randy P.
Laurance, Edward J.
Olsen, Edward A.
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This thesis examines the programs of study administered by the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps used to qualify commissioned officers as specialists on foreign regions. The Foreign Area Officer (FAO) programs are compared and contrasted in terms of types of training, extensiveness of training, and how well each service balances academic work with practical experience. The post-training missions of these officers are also reviewed. The opinions of FAOs concerning how well their training matched their later assignments is extensively examined by way of an original survey sent to 483 graduates of the Naval Postgraduate School National Security Affairs/Area Studies Masters degree program. Respondents are members of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and data concerning both language training and graduate education is provided.
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