Job Facts About Army Counterintelligence Agents (35L)

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As an Army Counterintelligence Special Agent (CI) you are on the front lines of fighting terrorist threats and neutralizing foreign intelligence and security services. This is an exciting and important career that requires professional and competent soldiers. You will work alongside law enforcement officials from a variety of agencies, including the FBI, CIA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and foreign allies.

You could be stationed in the US or overseas.

But it's not all cloak-and-dagger, spy vs. spy. You must have skills in writing counterintelligence reports and plans. This is a major component of the job, so the ability to write accurate, incisive reports will be used to determine if you should be sent for CI training. You will be producing reports via computer systems and maintaining and updating databases, so computer skills are part of the job.

You must also have a personality enabling you to engage with others and gain their trust, as well as working effectively as a member of an investigation team.

The CI Military Occupational Specialty Code (MOS) is 35L. It is not an entry-level job. You can apply for CI enlisted school from any MOS. The basic requirement is to be a Specialist E-4 and have been in the Army for at least 36 months and have held their rank for at least eight months. Training for CI agents is done at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and lasts for over 18 weeks.

When you graduate, you will be promoted to E-5.

Basic Job Description for Army Counterintelligence Agent

The Counterintelligence Agent supervises and conducts counterintelligence surveys and investigations to detect, identify, assess, counter, exploit and neutralize adversarial, Foreign Intelligence Service, and terrorist threats to national security.

As a CI agent, you will plan and conduct security investigations and process evidence, often as part of a team that includes other law enforcement officials. Some of the types of investigations are of sabotage, terrorism, espionage, treason, and sedition. You may use recording and photographic equipment and surveillance equipment.

You will prepare and submit CI reports and maintain files and databases. This includes consolidating intelligence data, producing analytical reports, and updating data in databases on both friendly forces and threats. You will need to know and apply the fundamentals of military and civil law.

A part of the job is detecting, neutralizing and exploiting counterintelligence targets. You may conduct low-level source operations.

Requirements for 35L Counterintelligence Agents

  • Age 21 years minimum.
  • ASVAB Score Required: ST score, of 101 or higher (105 if you took the test before Jan. 1, 2002). You also need a high school diploma or the equivalent.
  • Security Clearance: Top Secret. You must qualify for this clearance and receive it prior to training.
  • Strength Requirement: moderately heavy
  • Physical Profile Requirement: 222111
  • Normal color vision required (waiver possible if the individual can distinguish between green, red and amber). Normal night vision is also needed.
  • You must be a US citizen, as must members of your immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children). In addition, you must not have immediate family members who live in a country where they may be intimidated or coerced to act against the interest of the United States. You and your spouse must not have any commercial or vested interests in such countries. You can't have been a member of the Peace Corps.
  • You will be excluded if you have a conviction by court-martial or a civil court for anything more serious than a minor traffic violation. You can't have used, possessed, transported or sold illegal drugs, including marijuana.
  • As a CI agent, you want to be able to blend into a crowd. They prefer applicants who don't have mannerisms or personal characteristics that would make you conspicuous. This includes your speech, which should not have a strong accent or speech impediment.
  • A score of 89 on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB), is desirable but is not required. Successful completion of a Defense Language Institute (DLI) course and/or attaining a minimum rating of 2/2 in a foreign language is also desirable.
  • Must be able to obtain military driver's permit to operate commercial and tactical vehicles up to 2 1/2 ton

Similar Civilian Occupations to 35L Counterintelligence Agent

There is no civilian occupation that is directly equivalent to MOS 35L. However, the following civilian occupations make use of the skills developed through MOS 35L training and experience.

  • Law enforcement, including FBI and CIA analyst positions
  • Business Operations Specialists
  • Database Administrators
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Private Detectives and Investigators
  • Training and Development Specialists

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