SOF to Intel Agencies

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Support Operations' started by goon175, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. goon175

    goon175 Ranger Verified SOF

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    <<admin edit: This thread is a spinoff of a discussion that originally took place in the Ranger forum. There seemed to be a lot of interest in the topic so I broke off some of the posts and moved them here to avoid a hijack in the other forum.

    Please be sure to exercise good judgment when posting about this topic.>>


    If a Ranger who leaves the military wants to work for the CIA or any other agency, he can apply just like everyone else and be hired or not hired based on their individual qualification and the needs of the agency he is applying for. Just because you served as a Ranger, SF, SEAL, CSO, etc. does not mean you will make a good intelligence agent.
     
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  2. Marauder06

    Marauder06 Intel Enabler Administrator

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    Which CS jobs? It's not like you can just take off your crossed rifles and put on the squashed bug and *poof* you're an intel enabler. There is normally years of training associated with becoming an enabler in an upper-level SOF outfit. Some MOSs are extremely technical, and just because you're a good shooter doesn't necessarily mean you'd be a good enabler. Different skillset, different mentalities.
     
  3. Brian1/75

    Brian1/75 Ranger Verified SOF

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    Well intel enabler would be a CSS job. I wasn't suggesting that. It'd be pretty easy for an 11B to hit his second enlistment, reclass, and then after another year or two pop over there.
     
  4. Marauder06

    Marauder06 Intel Enabler Administrator

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    I think we're in disagreement over what constitutes CS and CSS. CSS is combat service support, yes? So those would be things like finance. CS is combat support, which is things like signal, intel, etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_support

    I think the path you outlined of reclass, a couple years of training, and then coming back to the unit is a viable one, I saw it several times and it sounds like you have too. I just don't want people to think that they can fail at operator selection, and then be awarded an enabler position as a consolation prize.
     
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  5. Brian1/75

    Brian1/75 Ranger Verified SOF

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    Hum, I always defined CS as guys on the field with the shooters. Direct support. Medics, commo guy, FO, TSE, etc. CSS were supply guys, cooks, intel guys, behind the scenes sort of stuff not directly on the battlefield. My definition maybe fucked up, but I do believe the unit basically defined it this way and they got different training as a result.
     
  6. Marauder06

    Marauder06 Intel Enabler Administrator

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    I've never been in a unit where intel was defined as CSS, and our intel guys frequently went out on the OBJ.

    I can see how your definition makes sense, but it's not reflected in doctrine. Otherwise, ops guys who weren't going out on missions would be CSS too ;)
     
  7. Brian1/75

    Brian1/75 Ranger Verified SOF

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    Yeah we had HUMINT guys with us as well. And I know SF has the SOT-A guys. I would actually argue a 11b or 18-series hanging out in the S-3 is now a CSS guy, but I guess my definition is messed up anyways. Learned something new today.
     
  8. dknob

    dknob Ranger Verified SOF

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    It's not a stupid question.

    I actually had a casual conversation with an agency recruiter who came to my college. She was shit-hot on her knowledge of the community (she was actually a case officer). I was more inquiring out of curiosity about 75th into anything in the agency. She said word-for-word: "Since 9/11, there have been too many Delta and DEV shooters leaving the military. And the CIA probably picks up 5-8 paramilitary officers per year, with more on a contractual basis. All of which are prior SMU."

    With a background in the 75th, you may get a shot at Protective Agent (a bodyguard for CIA personnel in hostile areas of sorts). From there you may move up to other positions, but you better have your degree and at least a foreign language.

    So to answer your question. Without a degree, and some kind of foreign language under you. A guy from the 75th might not find much luck getting an offer letter from the Agency.
     
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  9. dknob

    dknob Ranger Verified SOF

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    I always considered Combat Support to be the Medics(68w), RTOs(25C/U), and Fire support (13F).
    Those, including the 11Bs, seem to be the only operational members of the Ranger Regiment. At least when I was in.
     
  10. Marauder06

    Marauder06 Intel Enabler Administrator

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    It's all good, you should see the conversations we have here on things like "who counts as SOF." ;)

    I just noticed that this thread is in the Ranger forum and I'm potentially hijacking it, so this will be my last post in this thread.
     
  11. alibi

    alibi Member

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    Just as a clarification: you're only talking about the PMO guys, and not the rest of the NCS, right?
     
  12. dknob

    dknob Ranger Verified SOF

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    Yes what I wrote applies for the PMO position.

    As for Case Officer/Clandestine Officer.. I highly doubt military experience matters at all as so many of those guys and gals have 0 military experience, much less SOF experience. Becoming a case officer.. you have to be well educated (obviously a degree along with good grades), a certain personality, and absolutely speak a foreign language (some language proficiencies such as Spanish won't help you as the agency has plenty).
     
  13. dknob

    dknob Ranger Verified SOF

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    To put it simply if you want to be a case officer you should be focusing more-so on your academia and language skills then your your hooah military aspirations. Paramilitary - unless your at the highest echelons of SOF, then forget about it.

    If there was a middle world between the Case Officer side and the Paramilitary side, then there could be a spot for Rangers, SF, SEALs, etc. But there isn't.

    Military intelligence officers (J2/S2 types) could have PLENTY of opportunities in the agency. Don't know how much of it would be operational. The field intel guys; HUMINT or CI/MI guys who run around the streets of Iraq and Afghanistan most likely have no aspirations to leave their awesome jobs and go be some operations officer working out of an embassy somewhere. Prior enlisted Intelligence professionals in the military might find it hard to compete against the officer candidates.
     
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  14. dknob

    dknob Ranger Verified SOF

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    Mara, if I'm off base make sure to correct me. Your experience has more weight then whatever knowledge I have on that world.
     
  15. Marauder06

    Marauder06 Intel Enabler Administrator

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    I think everything you've said so far is right on, and actually I'm learning from you right now.

    I do think I'll pull some of these posts and put them up in another thread, this is an excellent discussion.
     
  16. alibi

    alibi Member

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    That's some good info dknob, thanks!

    Does what you said about case officers apply to the DIA people as well? That is, as long as I'm not brushing up against something sensitive.
     
  17. Brian1/75

    Brian1/75 Ranger Verified SOF

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    I'm not arguing a lot of the guys that are PMOs are from SMUs now. I have no idea, but I did always find it interesting that the first casualty in Afghanistan was an artillery officer from the Marines. I have read a few books about the CIA and one of them mentioned the candidates weren't from elite schools, but were mostly ex-military. Either way, the CIA requires a college degree in those fields except for contractors. If you're plotting that sort of path, I'd think time in SF is way more useful than even the SMUs except maybe those guys up in VA. Jawbreaker mentions a paramilitary reserve as well. Or maybe it was First In. One of those guys wasn't actually a PMO and was in some reserve because of his skydiving background.
     
  18. dknob

    dknob Ranger Verified SOF

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    Like I said, based on the conversation I had with the recruiter. The post 9/11 has changed the ranks of the CIA dramatically. Ive read jawbreaker and First In, and yes almost all those paramilitary people don't have SMU experience. But obviously those personnel are remnants of the 90s. All I'm saying is that you won't see SF or SEALs being recruited as PMOs. Maybe pre 9/11, but not now.
     
  19. dknob

    dknob Ranger Verified SOF

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    I have never spoken to a DIA representative. But from my understanding... the DIA does not have an "action arm" (operations component) that I know of. The mandate of the DIA also from what I understand is to support the Armed Forces in intelligence capabilities wherever they may be deployed. The CIA operates on a global mandate (not just warzones or other military operations). To be honest I think the DIA is all intel analysts, translators, imagery, etc.
     
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  20. tigerstr

    tigerstr Verified Military

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    As you may know CIA has job/ qualification descriptions on its site. And according to these descriptions you have to have a degree in order to be properly employed. Otherwise ( Ι read in other places) its a contract job

    From CIA site:


    Paramilitary Operations Officer/Specialized Skills Officer

    Work Schedule: Full Time
    Salary: $58,511 – $81,204
    Location: Washington, DC metropolitan area

    The Clandestine Service is looking for U.S. citizen candidates to fill Paramilitary Operations Officer and Specialized Skills Officer positions. Paramilitary Operations Officers and Specialized Skills Officers serve both at our Headquarters in Washington DC and overseas. Qualified candidates can expect to focus on intelligence operations and activities for U.S. policymakers in hazardous and austere overseas environments. Paramilitary Operations Officer candidates are normally trained in the Clandestine Service Trainee (CST) Program. Specialized Skills Officers conduct and/or directly support CIA operations leveraging their media, technical and/or military experience including aviation, maritime or psychological warfare skills.
    Minimum requirements for Paramilitary Operations Officers include a bachelor's degree, military special operations or combat arms experience (ground, air or maritime), as well as combat leadership experience. Previous foreign travel and foreign language proficiency is highly valued. For Specialized Skills Officers, minimum requirements also include a bachelor's degree.

    A background in aviation, maritime, military psychological warfare and/or information operations, as well as communications, business and counterintelligence are preferred. The 35-year maximum age requirement can be waived on a case-by-case basis.
    All applicants must successfully complete a thorough medical and psychological exam, a polygraph interview and an extensive background investigation. US citizenship is required.
    To be considered suitable for Agency employment, applicants must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last twelve months. The issue of illegal drug use prior to twelve months ago is carefully evaluated during the medical and security processing
     

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