Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Stephen T. Johnson
JOHNSON: It is the confluence of Jefferson, Gallatin, and Madison rivers in 3 Forks, Montana. If you said it is West Virginia, you were in trouble. And kind of American cultural things. It was very free form. The people who did it looked like what I guessed Foreign Service officers looked like. Of course I knew what a Foreign Service officer looked like. I had seen quite a number of them.
The test took place in the subway terminal building in downtown Los Angeles. The first problem I had that was the number of the room I was supposed to go to I couldn't find in the hall. It was an inter-room, and I was kind of wandering around in the hall. One of the testers came out and summoned me in. I did my stuff.
Q: Well, did you go in, in 1960?
JOHNSON: I graduated in June of 1960, and I was facing military service. I joined the Reserves, and so in July of 1960, I was at Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. I did my military service, and I was discharged. You could do six months, and then you were in the Reserves.
Q: We weren't in a war at that time.
JOHNSON: No. We weren't in a war. I remember one of the things when we went through it all just seemed like the Boy Scouts. The idea that you would actually shoot these guns at anybody or this was serious didn't occur to anybody. But so I did Fort Knox and then Fort Belvoir and was sent to the active reserve just before Christmas in 1960. They obviously wanted to get rid of us before Christmas. I mean, we were a pretty useless group. So it was really five months or something that we did rather than the full six months. So I was out just before Christmas.
I think it was the 26th of January, just after the Kennedy inauguration in the meantime I had gotten the letters and everything that I joined the Foreign Service, and I reported in.
Q: Could you sort of describe the A-100 course you were in, which is the basic officer's course? This is the start of the Kennedy administration and with sort of the juices flowing within this group as far as public service and all that?
JOHNSON: I think so. There were thirty of us. We were the 42nclass. I have never understood the numbering of them.