I received an appointment offer and invitation for orientation to start on February 10, 2014! This means the waiting game has now changed to a specific countdown to training and moving. We can now fill our calendar with the various activities we need to get everything ready for the timeline ahead of us. That's much better than wondering when the next step will ever begin. The wheels are set in motion and it'll carry us to new countdowns for every next assignment. Eventually the last countdown will be to retirement from the Foreign Service unless I choose to get off the ride earlier.
One big difference between the Foreign Service and my military career is that I can choose to quit the Foreign Service at any time including in the middle of any assignment. Every military 4 or 6 year reenlistment I signed was a commitment I couldn't break. Every military assignment required a minimum amount of retainability before they'd move us.
I've heard I can quit the Foreign Service at any time but I think I'd have to pay back the government's moving expenses if they recently moved me. I think I'd at least have to move myself home if it wasn't the end of the assignment yet. I'm not really sure how it'd work to quit but it's not worth researching the specifics since I know I'll stick with this for the long haul. This is essentially the dream career and lifestyle for me to take this on and live around the world.
The adventure begins February 10th. I've heard IMS training is about 20 weeks including the 3 weeks of orientation so moving will be whenever that ends. I'll find out where we're heading at Flag Day in the third week of orientation which I'll definitely post about here. Later, we'll ramble on to our first assignment around the end of June and I can start sharing stories from another country!