I haven't tried to level up a Foundry character, but I was able to do one thing with my KDF Commander.
I did a 'Play Map', then transwarped to Qon'os and hailed the Emperor. He immediately promoted me to Commander and gave me the new ship requisition, which enabled me to get a ship commensurate with my rank. From that point on I might have been able to accept and do missions, but I didn't try it.
I picked up my escort at LC. They really need to change it so that you can level up your Foundry characters again.
Actually, forget that. All Foundry characters should just start out with enough exp to hit VA and enough dilithium to buy any ship we want. Since they disabled the dilithium exchange on the Foundry characters now there's no reason they can't do that.
Alternatively, if they're worried about even the possibility of an exploit occurring, then we should start at VA with one of each class of ship already in our inventory.
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