WASHINGTON (NNS) -- If serving overseas at a U.S. Embassy, learning a foreign language and being able to directly influence U.S. Navy and sometimes foreign policy is something that interests you, you should consider the Navy's attache program.
The Navy looks to its most qualified and capable officers and enlisted personnel to fulfill the demanding and rewarding positions of naval attaches and enlisted support billets.
Secretary of the Navy Instruction 1300.16, on the Defense Attache System (Service), was issued in October 2013 and governs the program. It outlines the requirements for the program within the Navy and emphasizes the critical importance of the Defense Attache Service (DAS).
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus recently noted that, "Building partnerships and establishing trust between our Navy and our maritime partners around the world is critical to our national security. I am truly grateful for the tremendous work being done by our naval attaches to foster those relationships and the professionalism displayed by the officers who represent our Navy. Our continued success in providing presence and operating with allies has been greatly enhanced by individuals willing to serve in these important roles."
Navy personnel are serving in 78 countries to include senior defense officials/defense attache (SDO/DATT), naval attache (American Legation, U.S. Naval Attache-ALUSNA), assistant naval attache (A/ALUSNA), operations coordinators (OPSCO) and operations assistant (OPSAsst).
ALUSNA and A/ALUSNA are for those officers at the lieutenant commander to captain level only. No waivers are permitted for lieutenant and below. For OPSCO billets, limited duty officers (LDOs) O1-O3, chief warrant officers (CWOs) and exceptional senior enlisted sailors are the only allowable applicants. All attache billets are open to all officer communities with the exception of a few positions that require a 1310 fixed-wing qualified aviator to fly C-12 aircraft.
Rear Adm. (sel.) Dave Manero, currently serving as the special assistant to the director, Defense Intelligence Agency, has been designated as the SDO/DATT to the U.S. Defense Attache Office in Moscow. He notes, "As a former ALUSNA and now the prospective SDO/DATT in Moscow with access and insight into some our most senior military leadership, I can think of no other position that is more exciting and central to our nation's security than being an attache."
Interested candidates are required to first contact their community detailer to discuss the Navy Attache Program and discuss how it could support their career. Candidates must be able to complete their attache tour prior to potentially failing to select for the next paygrade twice. They can then call the Attache Placement Officer (PERS-474B for attache and OPSCO availability) or Enlisted Shore Special Programs Branch (PERS-4010 for OPSCO and OPSAsst availability).
Naval attache billets in such exotic and unique locations as China, Denmark, Germany, Nigeria and Sweden will be screened within the next year. Exceptional LDO/CWO and enlisted personnel will be able to screen for OPSCO and OPSAsst positions in China, Japan, Germany, Italy and Malaysia, amongst other countries.
If selected, the candidate will be required to pass a counterintelligence polygraph and then begin 13-weeks of training (with spouses-optional) at the Joint Military Attache School located at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. In addition, for those countries that require a language, both the candidate and spouse (optional) will be provided this instruction, with the possibility of foreign language proficiency pay and special duty assignment pay for enlisted personnel.
If this sounds like a program you are interested in, contact your community manager for more information, or review the attache brief and requirements located on the Navy Personnel Command homepage.