The Foreign Service Journal, March 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2024 45 Crossing European Borders After the War Most memorable trip? Perhaps making the first trip into Switzerland, in 1944, after Paris was liberated. The border of Switzerland had been sealed off for four years, and I had just been assigned to the embassy in Paris to start a courier service there, three weeks after it was liberated. Our transportation, Jeeps, came from SHAEF [Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force], General [Dwight] Eisenhower’s headquarters. Gave me a Jeep and another Jeep with a couple of soldiers in it. We traveled across France to the Swiss border; we were the first Americans that the Swiss had seen for four years. They had a wonderful time with our passports [and] visas. They finally let me in. The two soldiers stayed at the border. I took a train up to Bern. Allen Dulles, John Foster Dulles’ brother, was head of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) there. And he was highly interested, of course, that there was the beginning of a courier service into Switzerland which he had great use for. —Diplomatic Courier Robert Clark, active duty from 1941 until the early 1960s (est.), recorded in 1991. BUREAU OF DIPLOMATIC SECURITY Robert Clark, who became a diplomatic courier in 1944. Special Agent Patricia “Patti” Morton, who became the first female special agent in 1972, during target practice in the 1970s. BUREAU OF DIPLOMATIC SECURITY First Female Agent in Wartime Vietnam Within 20 months of coming on board [as a DSS special agent], I was told by telephone one day that I had been reassigned and would become the first female RSO [regional security officer] in Vietnam, which was, of course, at war. Anyone who wanted, at that time, could refuse an assignment to Vietnam and was told it would not go against their career. I, however, never even considered that option and said, “Yes, I will go.” I arrived there in March or April of 1974. My immediate situation was being one of four RSOs. … I was put in charge of the main security guard company, following their daily activities. I also was to physically survey all our consulates, which were throughout Vietnam. One of the major areas people considered women would have a problem in would be handling Marine security guards [MSGs]. In fact, even before going to Vietnam, when I was out at the graduation class mess night, Saigon-bound MSGs told me that they felt they deserved to have the first woman security officer since they were the largest Marine company in the program. The Marine security guards were also impressed with my ability with weapons. When I would go out to the training fields such as the Vietnam military shooting site, I was able to hit, even with the bazookas and the larger weapons, things that they had not been able to zero in on in the various times they had gone out shooting. So that also helped in that I had their respect. —Special Agent Patricia “Patti” Morton, active duty from 1972 until the late 1990s (est.), recorded in 1991.