2011-09-08: 16 Days

I’ve got 16 days, 15 of those are nights.  Training starts 9/26 and I arrive in DC as early as 9/24 (still waiting on travel orders).  My boss sent out a great message today of my departure.  I’m really going to miss him and the crew at JLL: 

Matt's last day with JLL will be September 23rd. Matt has accepted a position with the Department of State as a Foreign Service Construction Engineer (FSCE). The following are some "fun facts" about Matt's new position and responsibilities:

Foreign Service Construction Engineer (FSCE) is an engineer, architect or construction manager in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations working specifically in the Office of Construction Management, responsible for monitoring contractor work on Department of State construction projects overseas. The FSCE is a member of a U.S. Government team which ensures that construction work is professionally performed according to applicable plans, specifications, schedules and standards.  Here’s a link to more details on what a FSCE does on a daily basis:  http://careers.state.gov/specialist/vacancy-announcements/ce  

Here are some interesting facts on the Department of State and OBO.  The Department of State was the first Federal agency to be created under the US Constitution ratified in 1788. The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) directs the worldwide overseas building program for the Department of State’s 265 posts worldwide and the U.S. Government community serving abroad under the authority of the chiefs of mission. In concert with other State Department bureaus, foreign affairs agencies, and Congress, OBO sets worldwide priorities for the design, construction, acquisition, maintenance, use, and sale of real properties and the use of sales proceeds.  OBO’s mission is to provide more secure, safer, more functional and well-maintained facilities for the conduct of U.S. diplomacy and the promotion of U.S. interests worldwide.  Here’s a link to properties under construction:  http://www.state.gov/obo/diplomaticproperties/dc/index.htm

I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with Matt at two different companies over the last ten years. The best way to sum up my experience with him is to quote the comments made by the FBI agent that interviewed me a couple of weeks ago as he was getting processed for his Top Secret security clearance, "candidates like Matt are extremely rare, his integrity, character, work ethic, educational and work experience is one in a million. You should be very proud to have a young man of this caliber serving us in the Department of State".

On a personal level, I'm sad that Matt is leaving JLL, he will be missed by not only by this office but his clients as well. However, I'm very excited about the incredible opportunity and adventure that lay in store for Matt and his wonderful family. Please join me in wishing Matt the very best on his departure from JLL. I will send out a time/location in the near future for us to have a drink with Matt and give him a proper JLL send off. 

We are in the process of learning how to be landlords and met with a property manager today.  We really love this house and plan to return to Texas one day. 

I’ve packed and sorted my UAB (unaccompanied air baggage) and bought enough suits to get me through training.  Did you know suits are only supposed to be cleaned four times a year!

I also got my boots shined today and was chastised by Theo for my lack of attention to the custom boots Pappy had made for Marshall and me last Christmas.  He ordered me to buy a ‘boot tree’ and bring the boots back for a touch up prior to leaving. 

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