Foreign Service Diplomatic Couriers assist in worldwide security programs that provide secure transportation services for Department of State classified diplomatic pouches. Diplomatic Couriers safeguard and escort diplomatic pouches containing classified and sensitive material between U.S. diplomatic missions overseas and the Department of State. The Department carries out this mission at more than 275 embassies and consulates around the world, offices in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and other locations in the U.S.
Diplomatic Couriers spend most of their career in a constant state of travel. Couriers are assigned to regional offices and travel from these postings to constituent embassies and consulates in the region.
Diplomatic Courier duties may include the supervision of subordinate staff and the actual performance of some, or all, of the following functions:
Safeguarding Classified Material:
Performs Travel, including to and attend meetings, and Transports Classified Material
Escorts Other Couriers/provide security for shipments for extended periods of time.
Provides Container Watch and Security for Shipments
Performs Pouching as Required
Operates Light-Duty Motor Vehicles, such as medium-sized cargo vans including the ability to operate a vehicle on the flight line.
Operates Warehouse Material Handling Equipment
Loads and Unloads Vehicles, Material Handling Equipment, Containers, and Pallets
Assesses Risks and Identifies Contingencies
Assists Posts and Foreign Governments as Needed
Provides Administrative Support as Required
Develops Travel Plans
Arranges Logistic Operations Support
Coordinates with Embassies/Consulates
Negotiates Prices and Schedules
Develops Pouch Escort Programs
Uses Computer Applications to Plan and Manage Work
Prepare for work in extreme environmental conditions, including heat, cold, and/or noise
Performs Financial Tasks
Provides Customer Service Contingency: Based on current information, desk officer briefings and past experience, develop contingency plans in advance to overcome issues or obstacles encountered while transporting/safeguarding classified material.
Establishes Working Relationships
Demonstrates Commitment to EEO Principles
Communicates with Others
Follows Security Procedures
Assists Regional Diplomatic Courier Office
Works with Other Government Offices
Drafts Trip and Other Reports
Improves Cultural Sensitivity and Language Capability
Seeks Professional Development
Supervises and Evaluates Staff (at senior job levels)
Other Duties as Assigned
76% or greater – An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to our overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
Conditions of Employment
Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.*
Obtain/maintain a Top Secret Security Clearance and TS/SCI access.
Obtain Class 1 Medical Clearance and favorable Suitability determination.**
Be at least 20 years old to apply; at least 21 years old to be appointed.
Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***
Must possess and maintain a valid/current U.S. Driver’s License.
Essential Physical Requirements:
Some of the essential functions of the Diplomatic Security Courier (DSC) have a physically demanding component. A Courier must meet the following physical requirements:
Vision: Ability to see objects that are near, far, or at night.
Hearing: Ability to hear speech or other sounds, including sufficient sensitivity to hear sounds of low volume or in noisy environments.
Speaking: Ability to speak clearly enough so others will understand, including speaking to groups.
Mobility: Ability to walk moderate distances, climb stairs, or access work stations and vehicles.
Running: Ability to run short distances, such as a city block.
Strength: Ability to lift, push, pull, or carry up to 70 lbs., as well as climb ladders or balance.
Torso Flexibility: Ability to bend, stretch, stoop, twist, or reach.
Dexterity: Ability to manipulate small objects with hands or fingers.
Physical Endurance: Ability to perform movements repeatedly or continually, including the ability to stand for extended periods or take frequent extended trips by plane or other vehicles.
Mental Endurance: Ability to maintain attention for extended periods or work long hours.
Tolerance for Extreme Environmental Conditions: Ability to tolerate heat, cold, noise, or pollution.
Lifting: Ability to lift pouches of 70 pounds or more and other materials with or without assistance.
Climbing: Ability to climb stairs, ladders, and other inclines.
Crawling: Ability to crawl under, around, or over objects.
Three years of work experience with progressively increasing responsibility. Qualifying experience must demonstrate that the applicant has the ability to analyze problems, gather pertinent information and data, plan and organize work, form solutions, implement action, and communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Evidence of working and/or living in a multicultural environment is desirable.
Candidates must be able to demonstrate experience and abilities in some of the following areas:
Experience in office operations in a government agency or a business, or an industrial firm servicing a client or client organization, demonstrating initiative, ingenuity, resourcefulness and judgment required to organize, implement and accomplish tasks;
The ability to think logically and objectively, to analyze and evaluate facts, and to apply sound judgment in assessing the practical implications of solutions such as those required for negotiating contracts, and scheduling services or production runs and to do so independently with little direct supervision;
Responsibility for planning and scheduling resource needs, or organizing requirements for deliverables;
Experience preparing written and oral reports and presentation of findings in a clear and concise manner;
Interpersonal skills, including cultural sensitivity, discretion, tact, and capacity for obtaining the cooperation and confidence of others during team efforts and when supervising; and
Experience scheduling airline and other transportation. Dealings with routing practices and customs processes, or with agents or officials involved in transporting materials across international boundaries, is also credited.
Superior Oral and Written Communication Skills: In order to pass the Foreign Service’s thorough and competitive assessment process, successful candidates must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness). Those who fall short of this standard will have little chance of passing through the Foreign Service’s highly competitive assessment process.
Knowledge, Skills, and Other Characteristics
Knowledge of material handling equipment and operating environments, the logistics process and practices, the Travel and Transportation Sector, pertinent International regulations, and knowledge of safety standards and practices and personal protection measures.
General skills in financial management and individual financial accountability, team leading, initiative, reporting, customer service, negotiation and conflict resolution, being adaptable and resilient, maintaining awareness of working environment and self-development.
Superior oral and written communication skills: must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).
Physical ability to move heavy objects tolerate endurance demands and physical ability to drive.
Other requirements: cross-cultural awareness, tolerance of travel and being on call, tolerance for working overseas, tolerance of varying work environments with high endurance demands, world-wide availability, tolerance of living away from family, dependability, integrity and willingness to perform other duties.
Applicants must have at least an Associate’s level degree or 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university at the time of appointment.
You must submit a copy of your university transcript(s) with your application. If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, you will not be given credit and your candidacy will not be continued.
Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.
Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation, in order to be credited towards qualifications or your candidacy will not be continued.
Education completed in colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted. If documentation from an accredited organization is not provided, your candidacy will not be continued.