Foreign Affairs Specialist

U.S. Air Force
  • Location
    Arlington, Virginia
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Aug 30

Position description

Click on "Learn more about this agency" button below for IMPORTANT additional information.

The primary purpose of this position is to serve as the Chief Security Cooperation Officer (SCO) Management and Policy function which is embedded with the Attache'/SCO Program Branch and directly supports the Division Chief and Technical Director of the International Airmen Division, SAF/IAPA. 


  • Manages Security Cooperation Officer screening/selection for duty in COCOM SCO positions on the U.S. Embassy Country Teams worldwide.
  • Oversees management and execution of SCO training. Coordinates with the COCOMs and DSCA to establish/determine SCO training requirements to be completed by the Services prior to the assignment.
  • Serves as the focal point and subject matter expert for Joint, DOD and interagency matters involving management and placement of personnel to support the COCOM SCO mission.


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Must be registered for Selective Service, see Legal and Regulatory Guide
  • Incumbent must obtain and maintain TOP SECRET clearance
  • This posn is subject to provisions of the DoD Priority Placement Program
  • Incumbent is subject to pre-employment and random drug testing
  • Employee must maintain current certifications
  • Disclosure of Political Appointments
  • Incumbent must be comfortable in dealing with high-ranking DoD and foreign representatives and able to utilize tact and diplomacy on all occasions.


This position has both basic qualifications AND specialized experience:

Basic Requirements: Must have a degree: major or equivalent, or a combination of courses totaling at least 24 semester hours, in international law and international relations, political science, economics, history, sociology, geography, social or cultural anthropology, law, statistics, or in the humanities; or 12 semester hours in one of the above disciplines and 12 semester hours in statistics/quantitative methods.


Combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major, or a combination of related courses totaling at least 24 semester hours, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education


Experience -- four years of appropriate experience in one or more of the fields listed above in work associated with international organizations, problems, or other aspects of foreign affairs.


SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: At least one (1) year of specialized experience at the next lower grade (GS-12) or equivalent. Specialized experience must include extensive knowledge of a wide range of DOD and USAF policies, procedures, and regulations applicable to management of SCOs. Additionally, position requires detailed knowledge of the AF Security Cooperation Enterprise in order to recruit, screen, and nominate fully qualified AF personnel for SCO assignments. Also required is a thorough knowledge of personnel assignment systems and policies within AF and DOD. It is essential that the employee have knowledge of host country political, social, economic, and cultural conditions in the countries/regions where USAF personnel are assigned to negotiate and advocate support from appropriate government agencies.


To view qualifying educational requirements and/or combination of education and specialized experience click on the following link:


Click on the following link to view occupational requirements for this position:

This position also has a selective placement factor (below) that must be met in order to be eligible and to qualify for this position. It must be well described and documented in the application/resume completed for this vacancy.

Selective Placement Factor: Knowledge of and experience in supporting the Security Cooperation mission and programs to include the U.S. Embassy Country Teams operations in order to effectively fill SCO vacancies worldwide.

Federal Time-In-Grade (TIG) Requirement for General Schedule (GS) Positions: Applicants must have served at least 52 weeks at the GS-12 or higher grade (or equivalent in an alternate pay system) within the Federal Civil Service to be considered for referral. TIG applies if you are in a current GS position or held a GS position within the previous 52 weeks.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:

1. Knowledge of the COCOM SCO mission, Security Cooperation Enterprise, and U.S. Embassy Country Team operations to effectively recruit, screen, and nominate fully qualified USAF personnel for SCO assignments.

2. Knowledge of the SCO mission requirements sufficient to develop goals, objectives, and recommendations pertaining to current and future management of SCOs.

3. Knowledge of the personnel assignment systems and personnel management functions within the COCOM J1s. Knowledge of the diplomatic environment abroad to improve assignment preparation for personnel assigned as SCOs.

4. Knowledge of the political, social, economic, and cultural conditions of countries where personnel are assigned as SCOs sufficient to negotiate and advocate support from appropriate government agencies.

5. Skill in planning, organizing and directing the efforts of a program management team.

6. Ability to perform quality assurance on a wide variety of daily outgoing correspondence. Ability to evaluate SCO candidates and assess their suitability for assignment. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing to prepare and present briefings, instruct and train subordinates, and coordinate with Air Force and other Defense agencies to manage program activities.

PART-TIME OR UNPAID EXPERIENCE: Credit will be given for appropriate unpaid and or part-time work. You must clearly identify the duties and responsibilities in each position held and the total number of hours per week.

VOLUNTEER WORK EXPERIENCE: Refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service Programs (i.e., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student and social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge and skills that can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment.You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


ARE YOU USING YOUR EDUCATION TO QUALIFY? You MUST provide transcripts to support your educational claims. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

FOREIGN EDUCATION: Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. You must show proof the education credentials have been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education program. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.

Application instructions

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