An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.













NEWS | June 7, 2024

Crossing Continents: Army Reserve officer commutes to the USA for weekend training

By Staff Sgt. David Lietz 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command

Many Army Reserve Soldiers have a relatively short commute to their weekend battle training assembly, but for one Army Reserve officer it takes him a little longer, about half a day longer.

“It’s 14 hours to get from Bogota, Colombia to Camp Shelby for battle assembly weekend every month,” said Lt. Col. Cassidy Dauby, Battalion Commander, 2-346th Training Support Battalion, Camp Shelby, Mississippi. “Sometimes I do it twice a month to attend meetings or training.”

The reason for the long commute is due to his civilian job, as a consular officer, with the State Department.

“I joined the State Department in January 2020. My first overseas assignment was in Nigeria as a consular officer. Then I was sent to Arlington, Virginia to learn Spanish followed by my current assignment as a consular officer in Bogota, Colombia,” said the 2004 West Point graduate.

And what are the duties of a consular officer?

“As a consular officer overseas, I have two main functions. The primary function is to assist U.S citizens overseas and the other is to adjudicate visas for foreigners wishing to travel to the United States as non-immigrants or immigrants,” said Dauby. “Another part of helping U.S. citizens overseas involves visiting people in prison or hospitals, issuing passports and consular reports of birth abroad.”

The U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia happens to be one of the largest visa adjudication posts in the world.

“Last year, we adjudicated over 600,000 non-immigrant visa applications,” said Dauby.

Working for the State Department is not without risks. In fact, it can be dangerous.

“Before we left Nigeria in 2022 Boko Haram attacked a prison near our home and released 500 Boko Haram and ISIS prisoners into the streets. The security situation was heightened,” said Dauby. “We restricted some of our travel routes and increased the use of armored vehicles. A few months later, the embassy was evacuated due to security concerns. In Bogota, there have been targeted assassinations in my neighborhood of persons connected to the drug cartels and restaurant takeover robberies.”

Surprisingly, a career with the State Department was not Dauby’s initial interest.

“It was not my goal to work for the State Department, but I did have an interest in international relations. I have a Bachelor of Science in German and Russian from West Point. Later the Army sent me to Middlebury College in Vermont where I earned a master’s degree in German literature and Cross-cultural Communications,” said Dauby.

In addition to his academic accomplishments, Dauby’s military background includes 20 years of active and reserve service as an Army officer including 10 and a half years on active duty before joining the U.S. Army Reserve.

“I joined the Army Reserve in 2014 as the active Army was downsizing. I became a TPU soldier with the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion in Riverdale, Maryland. I drilled with them and then mobilized for five years working in current operations for European Command,” said Dauby. “And I was a political military officer focusing on non-federal entities and partner nation activity for Africa Command.”

So how does his career as a State Department consular officer complement his work as an Army Reserve officer?

“The human aspect is a big part of it. I feel more comfortable now talking with people and expressing my ideas. I’m more empathetic with my Soldiers. Everybody comes from different backgrounds, and everyone brings something to the table,” said Dauby. “I’ve encountered many Army Reserve Soldiers working at the State Department. I’ve mentored them on how to navigate being an Army Reserve officer and having a career in the foreign service. There is a reserve affinity group which is a human resources function that lobbies on behalf of military reservists across all branches.”

Dauby continues serving in the Army Reserve because he enjoys it.

“It’s fun to be in the Army Reserve. It’s like a hobby that pays me. Here at Camp Shelby I competed for command after serving on joint staffs for eight years.” said Dauby.

Once XCTC 24-01 ends, Dauby will return to his regular duties.

“I personally find serving the American people rewarding and continue serving both in uniform and out,” said Dauby. “The service and the camaraderie of both jobs outweighs the challenges. You develop a tight knit community in both professions.”