Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of State shall, on the request of the Secretary of Agriculture, accord the diplomatic title of Minister-Counselor to the senior Service officer assigned to any United States mission abroad. The number of Service officers holding such diplomatic title at any time may not exceed twelve.
7 U.S. Code § 5694. Staff of Foreign Agricultural Service
(a) Personnel of Service
(b) Rank of Foreign Agricultural Service officers in foreign missions
Provisions similar to those in subsec. (b) of this section appear in the following appropriation acts:
Language Proficiency and Evaluation of Foreign Agricultural Service Officers
“(a)Assessment of Foreign Language Competence.—
The Foreign Agricultural Service shall revise its evaluation reports for its Foreign Service officers so as to require in a separate entry an assessment of the officer’s effectiveness in using, in his or her work, a foreign language or foreign languages tested at the General Professional Speaking Proficiency level or above, in cases where the supervisor is capable of making such an assessment.
“(b)Precedence in Promotion.—
The Director of Personnel of the Foreign Agricultural Service shall instruct promotion panels to take account of language ability and, all criteria for promotion otherwise being equal, to give precedence in promotions to officers who have achieved at least the General Professional Speaking Proficiency level in 1 or more foreign languages over officers who lack that level of proficiency.”