The Foreign Service Journal, November 2006

being assigned to overseas “excursion tours.” My perspective is that the term is subject to being miscon- strued. Such Civil Service overseas tours should be referred to by what they officially are, according to the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual: “limited non-career appoint- ments to Foreign Service” tours, or “LNA tours.” After all, I don’t think anyone would call FS career employees’ assignments “serial excursions,” or call FS employees “serial excursionists.” Calling Civil Service overseas assign- ments “excursions” and CS employees “excursionists” seems similarly inap- propriate. Mr. Kashkett and I discussed my concern, and he advised me that he only used the term because it is com- mon jargon at State. He also stated that in the future, he would refer to such assignments as LNA tours. That is much appreciated. Dan Sheerin Bureau of Information Resource Management U.S. Department of State Farewell to a Young Turk Charles W. Bray — co-organizer with Lannon Walker of the 1967 uprising that changed AFSA from a rubber-stamp organization for the State Department’s management to, in due course, the recognized repre- sentative of the Foreign Service to negotiate personnel policies with the management of all the foreign affairs agencies — died on July 23. (See the October FSJ , p. 87, for his obituary.) The group was known as the Young Turks, and they won election to the new AFSA Governing Board in 1967. Its mentors were two distinguished Foreign Service officers, Foy Kohler and Philip Habib. Lannon Walker became chairman (now called president). I was vice president, and Ted Curran secretary- treasurer. (Other key members in the early months were Bob Houdek, John Reinhardt, Charlie Rushing, Frank Wile and Larry Williamson.) Charlie Bray, in typical fashion, at the outset eschewed an officer position but served as a board member. Lannon and Charlie made a great team, recruiting the rest of us. Char- lie provided much of the intellectual force for the group. He served on the “Committee on Career Principles.” He oversaw the publication by AFSA in early 1968 of “Toward a Modern Diplomacy,” designed to focus the new administration, taking office in January 1969, on some of the reforms needed in the Foreign Service, inclu- ding unifying the Foreign Services of USAID, USIA and State. (It turned out that Richard Nixon and Henry Kissin- ger had their own ideas about the orga- nization of the foreign affairs agencies, but “Toward a Modern Diplomacy” re- mained a platform for AFSA.) Charlie and I testified in 1968, at his initiative, before the Democratic and Republican Party platform com- mittees on Foreign Service reform. (I no longer remember which party each of us spoke to, but I do remember he got a plank added, whereas I did not.) Charlie also sparked a public forum on Foreign Service reform held in the State Department. Finally, our board committed AFSA to running the Foreign Service Club. In 1970, Charlie became board chair and was the first person to take a leave of absence from the Service to work full-time for AFSA. He assisted the successor board which took the new AFSA further into the roles it plays today. During his Foreign Service career, and subsequently as head of the Wingspread Foundation and other nonprofit endeavors, Charlie exhibit- ed a remarkable ability to bring diverse people together to chart a pos- itive course. He did this with humor and patience. He was a fine profes- sional diplomat and a man of courage. AFSA, the Foreign Service and every other institution he touched owe him a huge debt of gratitude. Theodore “Ted” L. Eliot Jr. Ambassador, retired, and a former Young Turk Sonoma, Calif. The Greatest Statesman As one who came to political con- sciousness in the time of Franklin Roosevelt, I was pleased to see the September article on the United Nations by Tad Daley and David Lionel (“Reinventing the United Nations”) refer to FDR as “arguably the greatest statesman of the age.” It is an apt description, but I would go further and drop the quali- fier “arguably.” This is the man who led an isolationist and socially chaotic America through its deepest depres- sion and its greatest war to widely accepted global pre-eminence and a greatly strengthened democracy at home. It was undoubtedly the semi- nal period of 20th-century America, as were the times of George Wash- ington in the 18th century and of Abraham Lincoln in the 19th. This was recognized in a poll of American historians late in the last century that placed these three presidents in a pantheon of their own. Some 30-plus years ago (good Lord!), I had a pleasant chat one evening in Manila with then-Foreign Minister Carlos Romulo. Among other things I asked him who — in a long, prominent and active life that had brought him into contact with numerous political, military and other world figures — was the great- est man he had ever met. Without a moment’s hesitation he answered, “Franklin Roosevelt.” A final note: If there be a Providence that looks out at least occasionally for our earthly fortunes 8 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 6 L E T T E R S