The Foreign Service Journal, October 2019

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2019 19 The Question of Duty Career diplomacy is a vocation, and we accept the challenges of that vocation alongside the rewards. Voca- tions don’t end at retirement. Retired diplomats, like retired soldiers, can and should continue to contribute in their fields. However, they should also consider that with their emeritus status comes an obligation to respect and strengthen the foundation on which the Foreign Service institution is built. An American president and the State Department officials he appoints to implement his foreign policy should be able to trust the discretion, loyalty and good faith of a career FSO, regard- less of that FSO’s personal politics or worldview. Partisan opinion pieces from those headed out the door undermine that trust, to the detriment of the entire Foreign Service. n Speaking Out is the Journal ’s opinion forum, a place for lively discussion of issues affecting the U.S. Foreign Service and American diplomacy. The views expressed are those of the author; their publication here does not imply endorsement by the American Foreign Service Association. Responses are welcome; send to .