Information about the military capabilities of foreign countries is vital to our national defense. Our leaders need to
know the strengths and weaknesses of both friendly and unfriendly countries.
International affairs officers collect,
analyze, and report information about foreign countries to be used for military planning.
What They Do
International affairs officers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Provide regional expertise and professional foreign language competency to build effective relationships with our
- Collect and report information about the military forces of foreign countries
- Hold meetings with foreign military and government officials
- Analyze political, social, and economic matters in foreign countries
- Project foreign political trends
- Advise commanders about situations in foreign countries
- Conduct psychological operations designed to accomplish military and national objectives, focusing on the control, influence and prediction of human behavior
Helpful fields of study include political science, history, and international affairs.
Helpful attributes include:
- Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely
- Interest in collecting and analyzing data
- Interest in living and working in a foreign country
- Interest in working closely with people
Job training is provided in some specialties. Training length varies by entry requirements and specialty area. Further
training occurs on the job. Course content typically includes:
- Political and cultural awareness
- Development of foreign area expertise and language proficiency
- Organization and functions of diplomatic missions
International affairs officers work mainly in offices of U.S. embassies and missions located overseas.
Civilians who perform work similar to the work of international affairs officers are employed mainly by government
agencies, such as the Department of State.
Called foreign service officers, they work in U.S. embassies and missions
overseas. Other civilian counterparts include political scientists, university instructors, and advisors to corporations
doing business overseas.