Welcome to our unaccompanied tours (UT) blog, Foggy Bottom Rambles! We can share information, programs, and resources quickly with you and since blogs are a two way street, we (and the other readers) can hear from you. What's in a name you say? This blog reflects how we (back here in DC, Foggy Bottom area) provide information (rambles) to you. Find websites and information, upcoming webinars, programs and events. FLO does not endorse organizations or companies linked-to in this blog, the views they express, or the products/services they offer. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOAskUT@state.gov.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

FLO will no longer post to the Foggy Bottom Rambles Blog. For updated information regarding unaccompanied tours, visit our website, follow us on Facebook, and/or subscribe to the FLO Weekly Newsletter

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

FSFRC Update

  • The Family Liaison Office encourages all Appointment Eligible Family Members (AEFMs) who are not yet enrolled or who have not yet applied for membership in the Foreign Service Family Reserve Corps to review the Eligibility Rules and “When and How to Apply” on the FSFRC webpage.
  • If you determine that you should apply during Open Enrollment period via a USAJobs vacancy announcement, stay tuned for the next FSFRC open enrollment application period. HR’s Office of Shared Services (HR/SS) will launch a vacancy announcement via USAJOBs.gov on or about January 21. Watch this space for more details.
  • For more information about the FSFRC, please visit the FSFRC webpage.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

FLO Website Feature: Foreign Service Life

FLO can provide guidance and assistance to employees and families navigating the challenges and opportunities of the Foreign Service lifestyle. Its Foreign Service Life webpage provides information on a variety of topics including eldercare, divorce, adding a family member to your orders, members of household, foreign-born spouses, long-distance relationships, and more. Email FLOAskSupportServices@state.gov with questions.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Have You Liked FLO on Facebook? 

Stay up to date with Family Liaison Office (FLO) news in the areas of family member employment, education and youth, crisis management, Foreign Service life, unaccompanied tour support, and more. Like us on Facebook and turn on notifications at FB.me/Family Liaison Office.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Introducing FLO Global Podcasts

Welcome to FLO Global Podcastsan audio series that is part of the Family Liaison Office’s advocacy, programs, and services to its clients: U.S. government employees and their families from all agencies who will serve or are serving in our embassies and
consulates overseas. Tune in regularly for new insights and
resources from FLO and its partners. Email questions to FLOGlobalPodcasts@state.gov

Basics of Pre-Deployment Planning and Reintegration (2018)
Listen to two Foreign Service couples discuss the pre-deployment phase and the reintegration process after their unaccompanied tours (with useful tips for couples who are considering an unaccompanied tour).

Go to FLO Global Podcasts  and stay tuned for more podcasts on a variety of Foreign Service life topics. Questions? Email FLOGlobalPodcasts@state.gov

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Personal Preparedness Month: Youth Resources

During the last week of National Preparedness Month, take some time to explore the youth preparedness resources on www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness
  • Download the Youth Preparedness Fact Sheet
  • Subscribe to the Children and Disasters Newsletter
  • Learn about the FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council, and more!
Also, check out www.ready.gov/kids for kid’s games and more information for parents and educators.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

CompTIA Courses at FSI

The School of Applied Information Technology Enterprise Technology (SAIT) Division at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) offers Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) courses. The Adobe Connect virtual courses  deliver online, instructor-led training to students at embassies and consulates around the world. They are accessible from any Internet-enabled device, including OpenNet.

  • YW259 CompTIA Network+
  • YW261 CompTIA Security+
  • YW365 CompTIA Cloud Essentials
Note: Classes are scheduled at times to accommodate students located throughout the world: AF, EAP, EUR, NEA, SCA, and WHA.

Department of State accompanying Eligible Family Members may enroll on a space-available basis. Contact your sponsoring employee’s Career Development Officer to enroll. Family members from other agencies may enroll with an agency funded SF-182.

Email FLOAskTraining@state.gov with questions. Full schedules are available on FSI’s course catalog (intranet) or on FLO’s Functional Training for Foreign Service Family Members webpage.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Employment Opportunity in FLO

If you are in the DC area, you may be interested in applying for the Program Specialist, Community Liaison Office (CLO) Program, GS-11 position in the Family Liaison Office (FLO). The incumbent of this position is responsible for providing a wide range of program assistance to the CLO program through training, programmatic outreach, administrative and technical support, and development and maintenance of resources to guide and support CLO staff at more than 200 missions overseas. 
Application deadline extended to Friday, September 21, 2018. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Family Member Employment Corner

USAJOBS.gov - Using Search Filters for NCE
If you have earned Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) while working overseas, you can use filters on USAJOBS.gov to find vacancies that are NCE eligible. In the "Who May Apply" section of the job announcement, look for positions open to “Former Overseas Employees.” Also, try these key words that may generate additional vacant positions: non-competitive eligible, special hiring authorities, Peace Corps, military spouses, EO 12721, and CFR 315.608.

Family Member Employment Q&A
Question: If you have previously worked in a Family Member Appointment (FMA) or a temporary position overseas, you may have earned Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE), but did you earn Civil Service (CS) tenure?

Answer: No. An FMA is a Limited Non-Career Appointment (LNA) that allows you to earn federal service time, but does not confer tenure. However, NCE does allow you to apply non-competitively for CS positions in the competitive service in which you can become tenured. To earn tenure in the CS, you must first be hired in a career-conditional position for at least three years in the United States. Former CS employees who were hired under a career-conditional appointment or who had a tenured position before going overseas are eligible for positions advertised as “Reinstatement Eligible.” (See FLO’s employment FAQs to learn more about reinstatement.) If you are not eligible for reinstatement, you can find NCE, contractor, and private sector positions in The Network, FLO’s email subscription service. Subscribe by emailing FLONetwork@state.gov.

Have more family member employment questions? Check out our frequently asked questions. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

FLO Website Feature: UT Resources

FLO’s Unaccompanied Tours (UT) team provides a number of services and resources for employees and families preparing for, serving in, or returning from an assignment to an unaccompanied post. You will find information on the children’s certificates and medals of recognition program, a link to the Foggy Bottom Rambles blog, age-appropriate workbooks for children, and more. You can also download the Decision Tree, a guide to help you decide where your family should live during a UT.

Visit FLO’s UT webpage today. Email Questions to FLOAskUT@state.gov.

Monday, August 6, 2018

FLO Website Feature:  Members of Household:
A Member of Household (MOH) is an individual who accompanies or joins a sponsoring employee at a U.S. mission abroad. An MOHs is not on the employee’s travel orders but needs to be officially declared and approved by the Chief of Mission as part of his/her household. It is important for employees and others to understand that certain privileges and allowances that are extended to EFMs as defined by laws, regulations, and interpretations, often cannot be extended to those who are not on the employee’s travel orders. It is highly recommended that an MOH have adequate medical and evacuation insurance when living overseas. To learn more, go to FLO’s Members of Household webpage

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

FSYF Transfer Season Resources for Families with Children

Check out the many resources the Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF) offers to families transitioning with children.Families Transferring to the DC Area
  • Reentry Programs
    • High School Reentry Seminar, August 17, 6 to 9 pm: Helps repatriating high school students and their parents adjust to American high school life and local teen social culture. 
    • Middle School Reentry Seminar, August 19, 1 to 3 pm: Helps repatriating middle school students and their parents adjust to life in American middle schools. 
  • Welcome Back Picnic, September 16, 4 to 6 pm: A traditional American cookout with food and classic picnic games.
  • Youth Meet Ups: variety of events organized throughout the year.
  • Welcome Home Videos: Families considering moving to Arlington, Falls Church, Herndon, Stafford, or Vienna, VA, can view Foreign Service youth-produced videos profiling these communities. 
 Families Transferring Overseas
  • KidVids: Videos that FS youth has created depicting life at overseas posts from a kid’s perspective. 
  • Raising Children Overseas Video: A talk by Dr. Elmore Rigamer, a renowned child psychologist who was the Department of State's first-ever regional psychiatrist (September 2015). 
 For details on all of the resources above and more, go to www.fsyf.org. Email fsyf@fsyf.org with questions.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Employment Opportunities in FLO - Join Our Team!

If you are in the DC area, you may be interested in applying to one if these positions in the Family Liaison Office. 
  • Program Support Officer (GS-09): The incumbent is responsible for administering the expeditious naturalization program and will counsel, support and provide information to employees and family members seeking United States citizenship. He/she serves as liaison with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for expeditious naturalization matters. In addition, the incumbent is the office administrator for FLO. For details, go to bit.ly/ProgramSupportOfficer. Apply by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 18.
  • Social Media Specialist (GS-11): The incumbent of this position manages FLO’s social media program to include building and implementing social media strategy, and developing, editing and publishing content on various social media platforms. He/she is responsible for marketing FLO and its programs on social media and also participates in the planning and implementation of FLO outreach activities. For details, go to bit.ly/FLOSocialMediaSpecialist. Apply by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, July 20.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Webpage Update
The Family Liaison Office (FLO) and HR Shared Services recently updated the Foreign Service Family Reserve Corps (FSFRC) webpage to better help family members determine if they are eligible to apply, and if so, when and how. Learn more at bit.ly/FSFRCInfo.

Open Enrollment for Eligible Family Members
Eligible family members can now apply during the FSFRC’s monthly open enrollment periods. The vacancy announcement will be posted on USAJOBs.gov on the last Monday of every month and will stay open for five business days or until midnight of the day that 250 applications are received, whichever occurs first. The next announcement will open on Monday, June 25. Are you eligible to apply? Check the FSFRC webpage to find out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Family Member Employment: The Global Employment Initiative

The Family Liaison Office’s Global Employment Initiative (GEI) program maintains a worldwide network of job search and career transition professionals who understand the challenges Eligible Family Members (EFMs) and Members of Household (MOHs) face when working overseas and when returning to the United States. The program employs 20 Global Employment Advisors (GEAs) who support all EFMs and MOHs under Chief of Mission Authority at 228 posts in 167 countries. GEAs support family members in their job search by providing resources and guidance and facilitating skills development. For more information, visit the GEI webpage or to contact the GEA covering a specific post, email GEI@state.gov.

Join the GEI LinkedIn group for job search resources, news on employment programs, and tips from GEAs. You can also share career management strategies and learn from others in the Foreign Service community.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Check out the article, "The Vocational Education Option: A Student’s Search for Meaning in Today’s Economy", by FLO’s Education and Youth Officer in this month’s Foreign Service Journal. bit.ly/FSJVocationalEdOption
It is part of the June Education Supplement where you will also find a Foreign Service student guide to creating a college list, what to look for in a college search, and more.
Contact FLO’s Education and Youth team at
FLOAskEducation@state.gov with your education-related questions and go to www.state.gov/flo/educationto learn more about our resources and services.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

FLO Global Webinars: EFM Entrepreneurship Series, Part 4

FLO’s Global Employment Initiative (GEI) invites you to watch the webinar, Learn from Those Who’ve Gone Before: Photography & Design, the final in our four-part EFM Entrepreneurship Series.

This series of webinars is designed to help aspiring EFM entrepreneurs learn from EFMs who are successfully self-employed. Join us to learn from this outstanding group of EFM business owners.
When: Tuesday, June 5 at 9:00am ET
 Watch the recordings from previous sessions:
Professional Services: recording coming soon