The Foreign Service Journal, March 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2024 21 This centennial year, ADST is redoubling efforts to collect and amplify firsthand accounts of extraordinary contributions by America’s diplomats through the “Century of Service and Sacrifice” initiative, an effort to bolster public awareness and appreciation of the role diplomacy plays in advancing our national interest. As part of this effort, ADST is spearheading a coalition of foreign affairs associations, including AFSA, in advocating for congressional passage of the United States Foreign Service Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 3537/S. 789)— bipartisan, budget-neutral legislation directing the Treasury Department to mint a coin commemorating 100 years of the modern U.S. Foreign Service. Proceeds from sale of the coins would go to support ADST’s foreign affairs oral history program. Go to for more information on joining the coin effort or submitting your own story for the “Century of Service and Sacrifice” initiative. The team at ADST is dedicated to honoring the remarkable accomplishments of America’s diplomats. We hope you enjoy this journey through a century of service. —Tom Selinger, Executive Director, Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training 1920 Preparing an American Evacuation as Bolsheviks March on Warsaw In one of the earliest accounts in ADST’s collection, Foreign Service Officer Jay Pierrepont Moffat records in his journal how the tiny U.S. legation in Warsaw coped with an ultimately unsuccessful Soviet push to take over Poland, coordinating with a Polish government under siege, burning documents, and evacuating American citizens. Moffat would later serve as U.S. ambassador to Canada during World War II. The Bolsheviks were by now at the gates of Grodno. The time had come to make plans for evacuating the American colony. ... So far as we knew there were at least a thousand Americans in Warsaw. Most of them were naturalized [U.S.] citizens who had come to Poland for the sole purpose of persuading their relatives to return with them to the United States. They had come, they said, to save these poor unfortunates, and they were not going to leave without them. … WIKIMEDIA COMMONS Infantry of the Polish Army during the Battle of Warsaw, August 1920. Our mere presence in Warsaw after the others had left was an encouragement to the Poles, and we felt that American prestige would be enhanced by our remaining until the very last moment. But what was the very last moment? —Jay Pierrepont Moffat