Exchange-Overseas postings

Evening all, apologies if i use the wrong terminology or this appears to be a 'bone' question. When and why are officers selected to be go on an 'exchange' posting to, for instance, to a US Army battalion? Is it something you have any control over i.e you put yourself forward for it or is it something which those above you dictate?
I am currently serving in an Exchange Posting. The majority are for Majors / Lt Cols. You apply for and are selected by the No 5 Board as for any other job. Some may be linked to a Staff College Post, others by discipline (G2, Tech etc.) and some again by Arm / Service.
As to the why. There are myriad reasons. However I only really appreciated the limitations of Multinationality once I found myself in the minority in a big HQ. As an officer I believe that it broadens your view and exposes you to other cultures and approaches. From the UK perspective, it flies the UK Army Flag, something that is normally well respected, and we are able to have input into other nations armies development.
I too am serving in an Exchange Posting and would agree with Ops_Offr on his take on this type of posting. I would just add one thing though - if you are contemplating such a post, be a bit careful about which you consider as not all of them are in the mainstream for promotion. Of course, there are all sorts of reasons why officers take Exchange Postings and the fact that a job may not be ideal for your promotion prospects is but one factor in deciding whether to take it or not. Also, my remark in no way means (a) that the officer doesn't enjoy it and feel fulfilled doing it or (b) that it is any the less valuable as a job!
Thanks for the replies. In regards to the contemplation of applying for such a posting, it will be some way off yet, if all goes well at Main Board next week! Plus being a non grad my promotion prospects aren't the greatest! It was just something i was curious about.
There are a couple of good Captains posts out there. The Gunners have exchanges to the NZ army for 2 years as an FOO and there's the opportunity to do either Australian or Canadian Instructor of Gunnery courses and then serve 2 years in their respective schools of Artillery. Indeed, the vast majority of FOOs serving or recently on Ops were all trained by Australians at the RSA!

There is also the option to apply for overseas staff colleges instead of going to Shrivenham. If these are "type A" courses, the competition for very few slots can be particularly intense.

Good luck with the Main Board. If you pass, you'll doubtless have ample opportunities to serve overseas very soon anyway.

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