Newcomers to Overseas Locations in SOUTHCOM
The page provides information and resources for military and civilian personnel assigned to support U.S. embassies, consulates and other overseas locations in the SOUTHCOM Area of Responsibility. Many of the resources are provided and managed by our friends at the Department of State.
Arriving at Your New Post
Community Liaison Office (CLO) Program
The CLO is among the first points of contact for newly assigned or arriving employees and family members, and provides pre-arrival information, orientation, and assistance with settling in at post. CLOs identify the needs of their community and respond with effective programming, information, resources, and referrals. They serve as advocates for employees and family members, advise post management on quality of life issues, and recommend solutions and family-friendly post policies. Their duties are defined in the following eight areas of responsibility:
Crisis Management and Support Services
Guidance and Referral
Information and Resource Management
Welcoming and Orientation
More on CLOs at https://www.state.gov/family-liaison-office/community-liaison-office-program/
Defense Security Cooperation University, SCO Spouse Orientation Course
The SCO Spouse Orientation Course is designed for spouses of U.S. military personnel and DoD direct-hire civilian employees assigned to security cooperation positions in U.S. embassies. When accompanied, spouses can support fast-paced and demanding SCO assignments and contribute to mission success. Spouses will sometimes perform voluntary and direct services to support the SCO or other embassy offices – in a unique overseas environment, without typical support systems present. SCO Spouse training is valuable for SCO mission success and family safety (SCO assignments have risks for which the typical family is not prepared). Upon completion of this course, students will have a broad foundation designed to equip and integrate these family members into their embassy and foreign communities. Additionally, the course will provide information on the resources and support networks available to help foster success in these unique tours of duty.
Family Liaison Office (FLO)
FLO serves U.S. government direct-hire employees, their family members, and Members of Household (MOH) who are serving, have served, or will be serving at Missions overseas. FLO's mission is to improve the quality of life of all demographics by identifying issues and advocating for programs and solutions, providing a variety of client services, and extending services to overseas communities through the management of the worldwide Community Liaison Office (CLO) program.
Major areas of interest include:
Family Member Employment
Education and Youth
Crisis Management Services
Unaccompanied Tours Support
Expeditious Naturalization Support
More on the FLO at https://www.state.gov/bureaus-offices/under-secretary-for-management/bureau-of-human-resources/family-liaison-office/
Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Non DoD Schools Program (NDSP)
Provides support and funding for the education of authorized command-sponsored dependents of military members and Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees assigned to overseas areas where no DoDEA school is available within the commuting area.
DoDEA NDSP Student Online Registration
Office of Overseas Schools: The mission of the Office of Overseas Schools is to promote quality educational opportunities at the elementary and secondary level for dependents of American citizens carrying out our programs and interests of the U.S. Government abroad.
International SOS (ISOS)
ISOS administers the TRICARE Overseas Program for uniformed service members, retirees, and families. International SOS is the TRICARE Overseas Program contractor and is responsible for:
Department of State Resources
Foreign Service Assignment Notebook
"What Do I Do Now?" This 222-page resource offers invaluable information and guidance on all aspects of preparing for an international move. Available to ALL employees and family members transitioning to an overseas assignment. Though written for U.S. Department of State Foreign Service audiences, there is a wealth of good information about life overseas. http://www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/c49274.htm
Post Info to Go
U.S. Department of State Overseas Briefing Center at the Foreign Service Institute's Transition Center maintains the "Post Info to Go", which has a myriad of information provided by CLOs, as well as briefing boxes, audio visuals, etc. For a fuller explanation of what they offer virtually and in person, please take a look at their Internet site: http://www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/c6954.htm. Their email address is FSIOBCInfoCenter@state.gov
Official Department of State post reports have recently been moved to Diplopedia, the DoS wiki. Employees with a .mil or .gov email account can access Diplopedia (and other resources) at home with an Intelink account (a password-protected account that employees can obtain by signing up at https://www.intelink.gov/my.policy), allowing them to more easily share information with their families.
Overseas Travel Information
Warnings are issued when long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable lead the State Department to recommend that Americans avoid or consider the risk of travel to that country. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff.
Theater Clearance Info
Requirements for Theater Clearance approval into countries in SOUTHCOM's Area of Responsibility.
Country-specific travel information
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.