Grace on Pace

Foreign Service Construction Engineer Appointment Offer

Foreign Service Construction Engineer Appointment Offer
Foreign Service Appointment – Construction Engineer Position

I am officially in!

Yesterday, I received an official employment appointment e-mail and have decided to join the Foreign Service.  The training class will start on Monday, January 26th, followed by my initial post in Washington D.C.:

The Registrar’s Office is pleased to extend an appointment offer for the January 26th, 2015 – Foreign Service Specialist Orientation Class for Construction Engineers (Con Eng).

A little background of what I will be doing…

A Foreign Service Construction Engineer (FSCE) is an engineer or architect, in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations working specifically in the Office of Construction Management, responsible for managing Department of State construction projects overseas. The FSCE is a member of a U.S. Government team that ensures construction is professionally performed according to applicable plans, specifications, schedules, and standards. The FSCE must adhere to the highest standards of integrity, dependability, attention to detail, teamwork and cooperation while accepting the need to travel, to live overseas, and when necessary, to live away from family.

While extremely excited about the opportunity, there’s no doubt, it has been a tough decision. I can’t help having regrets about leaving my family, company, and community. I have lived here my whole life. My parents have lived here their whole lives and even my grandparents lived here their whole lives. I absolutely love Vermont and will always consider it my home. I love my friends, job, kids I coach, hunting, fishing, playing softball, and most of all my family. In the end, it came down to pursuing a dream. I truly believe, serving in the US Department of State will be rewarding career opportunity. It will allow Jennilou to pursue her degree choice at URI in International development while allowing Esmei to grow up with a world view that a child would not acquire in the United States.

For those interested in the journey, here is a timeline from the day I originally applied to the position:

  • April 30th, 2014: Foreign Service Construction Engineer: Accepting applications.
  • May 27th, 2014: Submitted my application online
  • May 28th, 2014: Vacancy Announcement Closed
  • June 11th, 2014: Foreign Service Construction Engineer: Accepting applications Again.
  • July 9th, 2014: Vacancy Announcement Closed
  • July 15th, 2014: Invited for Oral Assessment on August 18th, 2014 @ 9:00am
  • August 18th, 2014: Passed Oral Assessment with Score of 6.0 out of 7.0 (5.15 Passing)
  • August 21st, 2014: Submitted My Security Clearance Documentation
  • September 3rd, 2014: Submitted My Medical Clearance Documentation (Waiting for Jennilou to Heal and Baby to Grow Before Submitting Theirs)
  • September 17th, 2014: Received Worldwide Medical Clearance
  • September 19th, 2014: Contacted by a Security Investigator
  • September 21st, 2014: Interviewed by Security Investigator
  • November 4th, 2014: My Neighbor Called To Say He Was Interviewed by a Security Investigator (Last One of the 12 People That I Know Of)
  • November 10th, 2014: Received e-mail Indicating I have been granted a Favorable Suitability Clearance for the Foreign Service Register
  • November 10th, 2014: Received followup e-mail Indicating I am Placed #4 of 6 on the Foreign Service Register for Construction Engineers
  • November 26th, 2014: Foreign Service Construction Engineer: Accepting applications Again.
  • December 2th, 2014: Foreign Service Construction Engineer Appointment Offer

There is a lot to wrap my head around now that it is finally official.  All I can think about are the things that need to be done before we leave…

  • Train a replacement at my current job
  • Sell the house (Listing if you know someone interested)
  • Buy Suits
  • Neuter Timber
  • Decide whether to Keep / Store / Sell our stuff
  • Find A Place to Live in Washington D.C.
  • Be a good Husband / Father

However, before we leave, all I want to do is spend as much time with my family and friends as possible.  Maybe we need to organize another barn party!

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Jeff Grace

I’d like to hope that when I leave this earth, my family and friends believe something about me giving as fully as I could. To the people I love and to the areas of culture that excited me to build things. Then a lot of dancing, loud music and talking about what an idiot I made of myself during that process.

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