CIA Agent

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The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was stablished in 1947 by President Truman when he signed the National Security Act. The CIA is an intelligence agency who is primarily responsible for collecting and analyzing intelligence, and carrying out covert operations at the request of the President of the United States. The CIA’s primary intelligence and law enforcement mission is the collection of intel on foreign governments, foreign corporations and foreign persons of interest, and providing credible information and advice to United States public policymakers. The CIA conducts covert both paramilitary and covert operations, and exerts foreign political influence through its Special Activities Division. In 2004, the CIA organization underwent a dramatically transformation. Before December 2004, the CIA was the primary intelligence collecting and analyzing agency for the US government; it coordinated and oversaw not only its own activities but also those of the majority of the US Intelligence Community (IC). In 2004, The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act was passed whereby establishing the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which took over a large portion of the intelligence responsibilities for the US government and US Intelligence Community. The Director of National Intelligence currently manages the IC and as well as the entire intelligence cycle.

It’s important to realize to that the CIA does not create foreign policy, it simply influences foreign policy making by providing information to policy makers. It gathers intelligence for the National Security Agency and the President of the United States so they can develop sound foreign policy. The CIA also monitors the locations of chemical and terrorists, nuclear weapons, and drug cartels. In short, the CIA gathers information about foreign countries, individuals and organizations to provide the US the ability to create sound domestic and foreign policy designed to protect the national interests of the United States.

As stated in the CIA’s factbook, the duties of the CIA are to:

  • Provide information supported by evidence about national security
  • Conduct counterintelligence and other foreign intelligence activities as directed by the President

The CIA’s responsibilities may change from time to time as determined by need and circumstances. The CIA will adapt their response to potential terrorist attack differently than they would a potential global crisis. Professionals interested in launching a career as a CIA agent need to know that the agency serves an advisory role, and only a few agents participate in secret, spy operations — as portrayed by Hollywood.

CIA Clandestine Services Agents

The Clandestine Services arm of the Central Intelligence Agency is the organization responsible for gathering intelligence on international developments, including sensative political issues, military operations, and terrorism. Professionals working as CIA Agents within the clandestine services division frequently find themselves living overseas in foreign countries, countries that may or may not be friends of the United States. When you sign up as a Clandestine Services Agent, you are truly making a life commitment to the CIA. Working as a Clandestine Services Agent is not your average 9 to 5 job � it’s offer a unique and challenging career life that will push your physical and intellectual abilities and requires a high degree of self-reliance. Clandestine Services Agents within the CIA come from diverse backgrounds with varying educational, professional and language capabilities. Clandestine Services Agents must have the skillset, knowledge, personality and experience to meet objectives that are critical intelligence gathering and the security of the United States.

There are several areas within the clandestine services division of the CIA where agent can focus their careers. These include:

  • Operations Officer

    Operations Officers provides fulfill a key role in the intelligence collection business. Their primary responsibility is recruiting and managing foreign intelligence resources. This career requires a special set of skills and a very high level of professional discipline, as operations officers must be able to effectively establish, nurture and maintain relationships that support high-value, mission critical intelligence gathering from clandestine resources. Operations officers must be able to deal with unstructured, unpredictable and every-changing situations, and quickly adapt to the unexpected. Operations officers must be intelligent and in good physical condition. And while a formal education and understanding of the world is important, “streets smarts” are just as important. Operations officers must also be able to deal with stress effectively. Like many positions within the CIA, operations officers often spend a good part of their career working overseas. The CIA “agents” seen in most Hollywood movies are Operations Officers.

  • Collection Management Officer

    The Collection Management Officer (CMO) is the middleman that facilitates communication between operations officers working overseas and the foreign policy and intelligence community at home. The CMO is responsible for collecting, evaluating and disseminating intelligence information collected by agents working in the field. One of the most important aspects of being a successful CMO is the ability to determine which intel is real and valuable, and which is not. Successful CMOs must have an indepth understanding of clandestine intelligence gathering and service operations, international issues and current events, and have the ability to work in diverse overseas operating environments.

  • Language Officer

    CIA Language Officers use specialized language skills and expertise to provide clandestine service operations both abroad and at home with interpretation, translation and language-related support. But language officers offer much more than just language services, they must also provide cultural insight. Language officers work closely with both Collection Management Officers (CMOs) and Operations Officers to provide efficient and effective intelligence acquisition. While Language Officers aren’t necessarily required to live abroad, many end up spending quite a bit of time working overseas.

  • Operations Officer – Specialized Skills Officer

    There is a subset of Pperations Officers known as Specialized Skills Officers. These professionals are responsible for carrying out specialized intelligence gathering missions, often in austere, hazardous overseas environments. Specialized Skills Officers often have previous experience in military special operations, combart arms (ground, air, or maritime), foreign travel, foreign language translation and specialized combat training.

CIA Inspector General – Special Agent/Investigator

The CIA Inspector General (also known as CIA Special Agent/Investigator) are responsible for carrying out highly sensative investigations and inquiries into violations of of U.S. laws and regulations; abuse of authority; mismanagement; or issued relating to safety within the CIA. Special agents often work as team leaders but may be required to work independently depending on the assigment. As with most positions within the CIA, international travel and oversease assignments are common among these agents.

Educational Requirements

A career with the CIA is all about results. Consequently, the CIA hires professionals who are results driven and have the skills and experience to produce results. At a minimum candidates are required to obtain a bachelor’ s degree, however, a post graduate degree is preferred. Specialized training, relevant to the position for which you’re applying, is also very advantageous.

To explore all the career opportunities that are avaliable with the CIA and to learn more about education requirements you can visit the CIA’s career website at www.cia.gov/careers/index.html.


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