The Central Intelligence Agency, also known as the CIA, is a federal government agency that is responsible for helping to keep the nation’s security in check. The CIA gathers and analyzes information from various foreign governments, corporations, and individuals to ensure the nation’s security is not being threatened. The CIA works closely with lawmakers and shares gathered intelligence with them to help guide decisions as they relate to foreign affairs.
If identifying terrorism, gathering intelligence and keeping the residents of West Virginia safe sounds appealing, it may be time to consider a pursuing a career with the CIA.
In West Virginia, CIA agents responsible for tasks and assignments related to international counter-terrorism. Each assignment is based on an agent’s location, experience, and team. Factors that will influence what investigation is priority include the risks involved in the mission and the level of threat it poses to U.S. national security.
An agent may find himself sitting in an office listening to a conversation that contains high level intelligence about a possible terrorist act and the next day he could be flying to a location overseas to meet with an operative. They also maintain relationships with other foreign officials to gain ground in the war on terrorism.
Requirements for Joining the CIA National Clandestine Service in West Virginia
In West Virginia, applicants for the CIA’s Core Collector career in the National Clandestine Service can enter into one of two programs:
The Professional Trainee Program – Designed for applicants between 21-25 years of age who have at minimum a Bachelor’s degree and no prior work experience.
The Clandestine Service Trainee Program – Designed for applicants between 26-35 years of age who have a Bachelor’s degree and appropriate work or military experience.
- Hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA during undergraduate study
- West Virginia applicants interested in the Core Collector career path are preferred to have educational expertise in one of the following fields: biological engineering, chemical engineering, economics, finance, international business, international relations, nuclear science, or physical science.
When applying for a Core Collector position, applicants are required to have certain job related skills, including the ability to maintain overseas interactions, superb communication and the capacity to be productive alone or in a team environment.
National and International Expertise Requirements
Each applicant needs to have previous residency overseas, or an extensive understanding of foreign countries. Fluency in a second language is required. Preferred languages for this requirement include:
Prior to becoming a Core Collector, each applicant must undergo a complete psychological evaluation, extensive background screening, full medical exam, polygraph interview and have no instances of illegal drug use in the previous 12 months.
Steps to Joining the CIA as a Special Agent Investigator in West Virginia
Meeting Requirements – Given the importance of the job the CIA performs, there are stringent requirements one must possess before becoming a special agent. To qualify for a CIA agent position in West Virginia, applicants must have the following:
- A minimum of a bachelor’s degree
- Tree years of investigative experience
- No use of illegal drugs for at least the past 12 months
- While not required, completion of the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) is highly recommended
- Impeccable communication skills
- The ability to take information, piece it together and analyze it
- The ability to perform well under intense pressure
Course Completion and Training – Special agents are required to complete the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) successfully. If CITP is not completed prior to employment, it must be taken immediately after being hired as this is a condition of employment. The CITP program is designed specifically to provide agents with the fundamental and complex knowledge required to perform the job at the highest level possible.
West Virginia’s Association with the CIA
West Virginia’s history with the CIA has been long and storied due to its “close, yet far” location relative to Washington DC. For example, with funding Senator Robert C. Byrd had appropriated, the CIA was slated to build an office complex in 1992 in Jefferson County, West Virginia, thus relocating over six thousand CIA personnel from leased houses to their new compound. The thought was that this location in West Virginia would help to provide a centralized location for members of the CIA to work efficiently in a partnership with Congress for a lower cost than neighboring Virginia. The project was met with much opposition; however, as many contended that the move was nothing more than political jockeying.
CIA Agents in West Virginia work closely with the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS), which is located just outside Clarksburg, and the Biometric Center of Excellence, which is located in Clarksburg. Agents also work with the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center, located in Charleston. Recently, after super storm Sandy hit the state, West Virginia-based agents were tasked with identifying scam artists that emerged in the aftermath of the storm.
A few places of interest, such as the Greenbrier hotel located in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, are rumored to be the front of secret underground CIA facilities. Located in White Sulfur Springs, The Greenbrier is a four-star award winning facility where a total of 26 presidents, former and current have stayed. In fact, late in the 1950s, the U.S. government approached the facility for help in creating a secret relocation center in case of emergency. The bunker was kept stocked for over 30 years but was decommissioned in 1992. Visitors can now tour the declassified facility and learn of its rich history.