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dafedsRlame  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, February 29, 2012 2:53:00 PM(UTC)
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My whole life I wanted to become a C.I.A agent. For a various number of reasons, it's the only profession I can see myself doing and enjoying. Therefore I made this thread to ask fellow field agents, what it really takes to become one. I'm skeptical. As of right now i'm 23 and work for the transportation security administration. I have no previous law enforcement experience. I'd like to know the steps I should take starting today, to ensure that it's possible in the near future for me to have a good chance at making it in the agency and be successful.


dafedsRlame2012-10-02 19:35:07
dafedsRlame  
#2 Posted : Saturday, March 03, 2012 5:51:05 AM(UTC)
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So you mean to tell me out of the 500+ views this topic has garnered, not one single individual is willing to help me out here? Pathetic. Any advice would be appreciated, outside of the norm listed on the website.

Catfish2  
#3 Posted : Saturday, March 03, 2012 7:06:02 AM(UTC)
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sspence82012-03-03 19:37:40
Beagle1AD  
#4 Posted : Saturday, March 03, 2012 10:55:40 AM(UTC)
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dafedsRlame wrote:
So you mean to tell me out of the 500+ views this topic has garnered, not one single individual is willing to help me out here? Pathetic. Any advice would be appreciated, outside of the norm listed on the website.


You mean to tell me that you're asking this question here.  FYI I'm almost 100% sure no CIA employee hang out on this forum.

Second you need to be able to think on your feet and research and find info on your own so you have to be independent so my first recommendation is if you're a TSO then you need to move to another higher position.

Things to do:
1.  Go to www.cia.gov
2.  Get another position in TSA or another agency, being a TSO isn't going to impress the CIA.
3.  Learn a language pref one that is listed on their site.
4.  Get a degree if you don't have one.

From their site:

Minimum requirements include a bachelor's or master's degree and a
strong academic record, with a preferred GPA of 3.0 or better, and a
strong interest in international affairs. Candidates must possess solid
interpersonal and communications skills, including the ability to write
clearly and accurately. Foreign travel and area knowledge, prior
residency abroad, cross-cultural sensitivity, and foreign language
proficiency (particularly in the critical languages of Arabic, Chinese,
Dari, Indonesian, Korean, Pashto, Persian, Russian, Somali, Turkish,
Kurdish and Urdu) are highly desirable. Degrees of interest include,
but are not limited to, international business, finance or international
relations, economics, physical science or nuclear, biological or
chemical engineering. Competitive candidates will also possess
personality traits that will allow them to be successful Core
Collectors, including the ability to work both independently and as part
of a team, the ability to “think on their feet”, and the ability to
deal effectively with individuals at all levels—often in fast-breaking and rapidly changing situations.

JayhawkFan  
#5 Posted : Sunday, March 04, 2012 7:19:59 AM(UTC)
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dafedsRlame wrote:
My whole life I wanted to become a C.I.A agent. For a various number of reasons, it's the only profession I can see myself doing and enjoying. Therefore I made this thread to ask fellow field agents, what it really takes to become one. I'm skeptical. As of right now i'm 23 and work for the transportation secrutity administration. I have no previous law enforcement experience. I'd like to know the steps I should take starting today, to ensure that it's possible in the near future for me to have a good chance at making it in the agency and be successful.


Well first of all you need to realize that the CIA is not law enforcement. If you want a job in LE, I strongly suggest looking elsewhere.

Secondly I strongly suggest getting education and work experience that the CIA actually desires. Working at the TSA isn't going to cut it. One of the best ways to get training in intelligence related areas that would look good when applying at the CIA is through the military.

It also sounds like you have some glamorized Hollywood dream idea of what working for the CIA is like. You will not be Jason Bourne.
cpt biggs  
#6 Posted : Sunday, March 04, 2012 9:23:49 AM(UTC)
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You mean a Core Collector and Case Manager. And you don't know if you would enjoy it because you don't know what it entales. Do you have a B.S and a Masters degree? This is what they look for. Do you have language skills in eastern block, Chinese, Arabic, and other middle eastern languages? Do you have military combat experience? If no to all of above you don't have a chance of your resume being picked up online. As a TSO, your experience through the job may be minimal. Now I know one or two FAMS that were picked up for the CIA entry level clandestine services program, but they went off of the grid shortly after. Go back to school bro if you don't already have an advance degree.
hunterjaspers  
#7 Posted : Monday, March 05, 2012 8:45:43 AM(UTC)
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At 23 you're pretty young to be thinking about permanent careers.  My advice, since you asked, is to study liberal arts for about four years and take electives in several different areas of humanities.

dafedsRlame  
#8 Posted : Monday, March 05, 2012 8:47:29 AM(UTC)
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Jayhawk I know C.I.A isn't law enforcement, I was just stating that since a lot of the same basic skills learned in LE apply to C.I.A agents as well.  Thanks Biggs, I did mean Core Collector and Case Manager. Please excuse my ignorance of the position titles lol. Thank you all thus far, I appreicate all the responses! I'm in the process of finishing up and obtaining my b.a now and will have that done shortly. Truth be told i'm not too big on school, so i'm not planning on pursuing a masters degree. I am fluent in Arabic (i'm muslim) and a few African dialects as well. Has anyone ever heard of an instance of an individual becoming a C.I.A agent without the strong academic record that's listed as a requirement? Since I have no military combat experience, which branch of the military should I enlist in? Which branch would look the best on my resume and possibly cause the agency to overlook the fact that academics is not one of my strong suits? 23 is young Jasper, but with the economy in the state that it's in, I would like to get my career underway asap. Besides i'm pretty sure a career in the C.I.A is one that is thought out in advance lol.


dafedsRlame2012-03-05 17:04:44
cpt biggs  
#9 Posted : Monday, March 05, 2012 9:36:11 AM(UTC)
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You may have a shot because of your racial and cultural background. But THE INTEL industry is all ABOUT EDUCATION! So if you don't like school, you may not like writing intel briefs, reports, and sumeries. Plus you have to be well learned in many aspects of your trade craft. If I were you, go get a master degree in international relations or something similar. If you do, I bet my salary you will at least be selected for the 2 year process. You need more actually experience because a core collector has to be well rounded and work and think well under stress that can only be brought from LE or combat situations. Good luck bro! cpt biggs2012-03-05 17:42:51
SkyIA  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:01:00 AM(UTC)
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First off - you need to go to this site and check out the careers section: www.cia.gov

Forget what was just said about 'you're 23.' You need to start now for these types of careers, earlier would have been even better. Anyone telling you 'you're young, you have time!' in this job market and competitive atmosphere is giving you bad advice, no matter what career you're after. Five years ago, somebody born the same year as you either began college or joined the military with the intent of obtaining the career field you are discussing.

The cut-off for many NCS field agent jobs is age 35. The cut off age for many military jobs that will allow you to get the kind of experience they want if you're looking to go SAD/paramilitary is even lower than that, not to mention the competition is probably very fierce after a decade of war.

Think about what I just said - that does not mean 'you have 12 years to make up your mind.' It means you have 12 years to work on the necessary steps to get to that kind of a position. This is not an easy career to break into. Just the application/qualification/selection process will take one year minimum. The CIA is notorious for having the longest and most extensive vetting process.

Also, be very open-minded when it comes to degree choice. I can't help but laugh at reading these forums - on one board, people who have IR degrees are called 'idiots' for wanting intel analyst jobs yet here we are with someone saying this is what you need to be a field op. I'm not saying it's useless and jumping on that bandwagon, just be informed on agency needs. Having said that, the above poster is right; without academic aptitudes in relevant fields, the intel community doesn't really have any interest in that.

SkyIA2012-03-13 18:19:13
fedsRule  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:16:57 AM(UTC)
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I'm 100% sure that no NCS field agents are ever going to post in this forum.  Since you're fluent in several languages and about to finish college, have you applied and seen what happens?

SkyIA  
#12 Posted : Sunday, April 22, 2012 3:32:07 AM(UTC)
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Something I thought I'd add, since this thread came to mind earlier this month.

Johnny "Mike" Spann, a famous CIA SAD officer who was killed in action in Afghanistan, had a criminal justice degree from Auburn (not private nor Ivy League). Prior to his employment with CIA, he was an artillery officer in the USMC (2nd ANGLICO) for eight or ten years. It's unclear if he knew a foreign language, but he was a qualified civilian pilot and parachutist. He did not have combat experience, as seems to be mandated for SAD today according to the website.

Obviously, today things might be a little different in regards to mission needs and interests, but it would be wrong to say it's never been done. There probably wasn't anything "more" criminal justice-related in regards to the CIA's mission in the 1990s than there is today, perhaps it is the other way around though given allegations of cooperation between them and LE agencies for CT purposes.

http://www.honormikespann.org/about.htm





SkyIA2012-04-22 14:06:25
Matyoka  
#13 Posted : Sunday, April 22, 2012 6:26:18 AM(UTC)
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If you were serious about this topic, you would have started with:

 

Hello guys,

 

I am fluent in Arabic as well as other desired languages by the Intelligence community, where do I start my application process with the CIA? Instead you made a total ass out of yourself in your second posting by ranting how nobody wants to do anything with your post. The IC jobs require common sense and a basic AOJ degree at minimum which apparently you are about to accomplish?  Also, these Agencies will seek YOU out if you pop up on their radar... 80% of the applicants usually fall through the cracks and end up working for other Federal Agencies, well like myself for instance. I was accepted as an open source officer, however at the same time I was offered a position to carry a gun and a badge with potential to move around and see places... and the rest is history.

 

So, do yourself a favor, get serious if you want to be taken seriously, get yourself a college degree and apply to as many IC Agencies as possible. Or, like others posted... enlist, become an officer and pursue a career with the biggest Intelligence outfit in the world: the US Military.

 
Matyoka2012-04-22 14:32:25
fedsRule  
#14 Posted : Sunday, May 27, 2012 7:03:47 AM(UTC)
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cpt biggs wrote:
You need more actually experience because a core collector has to be well rounded and work and think well under stress that can only be brought from LE or combat situations. Good luck bro!


Although I have absolutely no idea who the CIA hires for NCS positions or why, I could speculate that sometimes the Agency would want people fresh out of school over those with extensive government experience.  Many sources have claimed that some NCS officers serve under non-official cover.  If that were true, then someone with extensive military experience, especially in the age of biometrics and facial recognition, may already have their identity exposed too much for them to serve credibly in certain cover roles.
cpt biggs  
#15 Posted : Sunday, May 27, 2012 8:27:44 AM(UTC)
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FedsRule.. This isn't James Bond bro.. Most COOs are military or have unique abilities with advance degrees. Some have JDs.
Beagle1AD  
#16 Posted : Sunday, May 27, 2012 8:43:18 AM(UTC)
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fedsRule wrote:

Although I have absolutely no idea who the CIA hires for NCS positions or why, I could speculate that sometimes the Agency would want people fresh out of school over those with extensive government experience.  Many sources have claimed that some NCS officers serve under non-official cover.  If that were true, then someone with extensive military experience, especially in the age of biometrics and facial recognition, may already have their identity exposed too much for them to serve credibly in certain cover roles.


LOL that was funny, you do know that shows like NCIS are fake right? no body solves a crime in an hour.

+1 to CPT Biggs comment

The CIA isn't training you to be Jason Bourne, on that same note Jason Bourne was a Marine Captain so......

On that same note they have people from various background with very unique skills and knowledge and I don't think most are prior military.
fedsRule  
#17 Posted : Sunday, May 27, 2012 10:10:48 AM(UTC)
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Beagle1AD wrote:
fedsRule wrote:

Although I have absolutely no idea who the CIA hires for NCS positions or why, I could speculate that sometimes the Agency would want people fresh out of school over those with extensive government experience.  Many sources have claimed that some NCS officers serve under non-official cover.  If that were true, then someone with extensive military experience, especially in the age of biometrics and facial recognition, may already have their identity exposed too much for them to serve credibly in certain cover roles.


LOL that was funny, you do know that shows like NCIS are fake right? no body solves a crime in an hour.


So NOCs don't actually exist?
cpt biggs  
#18 Posted : Sunday, May 27, 2012 1:37:08 PM(UTC)
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The CIA NCS COOs and HQ based OOs profiles are unique to the agency. The CIA's evaluation and hiring process is long and indepth. They have the budget hire anyone they want, but not enough applicants have the attributes, personality, and traits that NCS looks for. If you really want in to this organization, get an advanced degree in anthropology, international relations, security studies, international business, JD, sociology, specialized degree in a particular cultural area of studies (Russian, Chineese, Middle Eastern, and etc). Maintain a GPA of atleast a 3.5 out of a 4.0. And last.ey READ. The CIA has a reading list on their website. Obvioulsy e agency wants intersted APPLICANTS TO READ THESE SELECTED MATERIALS...
cpt biggs  
#19 Posted : Sunday, May 27, 2012 1:38:20 PM(UTC)
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Sorry for spelling!
SkyIA  
#20 Posted : Monday, May 28, 2012 5:00:37 AM(UTC)
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cpt biggs wrote:
FedsRule.. This isn't James Bond bro.. Most COOs are military or have unique abilities with advance degrees. Some have JDs.


Biggs I'd have to ask you how you know this. I know you mentioned that you have some contact/experience with Agency folks, but it stands in opposition to a lot of facts that are public about DO/NCS case/operations officers.

Based on stories like Gary Berntsen's or Gary Schroen's, Plame's, Moran's, we know:

-Many of them come in when they're in their mid-twenties, fresh out of college (unlike DOJ branch special agents who are usually 31+)

-We know that foreign languages can make or break the decision entirely. One speaker, I think it was in Farsi or Dari, did not have a degree. Berntsen brought him on board anyways, even after a hiring board turned the guy down. That person did serve in the Navy as a comm specialist, but it was not why he was brought on. In fact, less than half of all clandestine personnel and even lower in terms of analysts have a foreign language background (see: http://www.usatoday.com/...009-04-19-language_N.htm )

-Vet's pref doesn't count for CIA employment, according to their website.

-Lastly, you can enter many parts of the agency without military service and transfer over to the operations side of things at some point later in your career. Probably counts a lot more than participation in any other organization besides the CIA itself.

Bertnsen served as an air force firefighter in Korea, it wasn't an intel, combat arms, or foreign area expertise-related position. Schroen we don't know, but since he served 35 years to max retirement age and came on in 1966, probably not. Schroen deployed to Afghanistan and indeed led, all of the SAD officers in the team that he put together. He didn't pull triggers but he was their go to guy when it came to negotiations with the Northern Alliance.

On the other hand; if you meant SOOs/SAD, then yes, you won't get close without some combat-related military experience, maybe tactical intel would do but I don't know for sure. NCS positions are headquarters based, as well. It's not all field work. Another thing that the OP needs to understand.



SkyIA2012-05-28 13:10:04
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