The Olmsted Scholars Program

The George and Carol Olmsted Foundation annually provides highly qualified officers and their families an opportunity for leadership and cultural development while immersed in a foreign culture. Following foreign language training, a scholar spends two years in the assigned country and takes graduate studies at an international civilian university. Applicants are screened by the DC M&RA (MMOA-3) and subsequently selected by the Olmsted Foundation. Current scholars and their assignments are listed below. 

Scholars will spend their first year at the Defense Language Institute (Monterey, CA or Washington, D.C.) studying the language of the country to which selected followed by two years taking graduate classes in a liberal arts field and conducting country and regional travel as part of the cultural immersion process. Scholars are expected to spend their time interacting with the local populace, and minimize their contact with other Americans, in order to be truly immersed in their host country's culture. Spouses are also given grants for language training, and their participation in the program is highly encouraged. Scholars are eligible to be designated as an experience track Foreign Area Officer upon completion of their tour. However, the Olmsted Scholar program is not a feeder program for FAOs. Rather, Scholars will be future senior leaders and commanders with a unique understanding of a variety of cultures.



Upon selection, officers may have three years of commissioned service and not more than 11 years of total Federal Service (to include any prior enlisted service).


Current Locations of Scholars and Years in Country

Bangkok, Thailand 2016-19

Tbilisi, Georgia 2017-19

Xiamen, China 2018-20

Sofia, Bulgaria 2018-20

Berlin, Germany 2018-20

Ljubljana, Slovenia 2019-21

Bogotá, Colombia 2019-21

Tel Aviv, Israel 2019-21

Florianopolis, Brazil 2020-2023

 Shenyang, China 2020-2023

 Muscat, Oman 2020-2023


Top Level School

None applicable due to time in service requirements.


Intermediate Level School


Commandant's Professional Intermediate-Level Education Board (Historical data) (

Career Level School


Commandant's Career-Level Education Board (Historical data) (

Marine Corps University