Tag Archives: American Legion

NATO HQ (Fall Break Day 4)

2 Nov

I know I skipped day 3, but all I did on fall break day 3 was relax and buy a top-up for my cell phone. I decided that day was okay to skip. However, I think my adventures on day 4 completely makeup for being boring the day before.

A couple weeks ago, I attempted to get in contact with the commander of American Legion Paris Post 1 to try and arrange a visit. Between the time I contacted him and when I got a response I decided not to go to Paris, but he had an alternate suggestion for me. He informed me that he lives in Brussels and works at the U.S. Mission at NATO Headquarters and invited me to get a personal tour of the grounds. He later emailed me and asked for my resume and topics of interest so that he could arrange for policy experts to sit down and talk with me.

When I arrived at NATO, we instantly went into a tour of the main area of headquarters. He even got special permission from security to take my picture at different places around the headquarters!

My first meeting was with a Lt. Colonel who is one of the leading experts with the U.S. Mission to NATO on the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. We discussed the future of the ISAF mission, what will possibly happen in regards to NATO involvement in Afghanistan after the 2014 exit, and the future of NATO missions in general. My second meeting was with a Foreign Service political officer from the state department whose job is to keep apprised of the changes in the status of potential member states to NATO. We discussed the future of NATO expansion and what it is like to be a Foreign Service officer, which is what I want to be in the future. She then introduced me to another Foreign Service officer who came to the state department through a fellowship program. He and I discussed the specific steps I could take to ensure the best chance of being accepted to the state department.

All in all, it was a very successful and informative day in which I made amazing contacts for the future!