Foreign spying and espionage may seem like terms only used in thrilling spy novels, but it is alive and well in places across the country and across the world. Even largely remote states like Alaska play host to the special agents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
For example, in April 2013, a military police officer stationed in Alaska was sentenced to 16 years for selling secrets to a Russian spy. Spec. William Colton Millay received a dishonorable discharge and was sentenced for selling military secrets to an undercover federal agent.
Military prosecutors said that Millay was a white supremacist who was apparently disillusioned with the Army and the United States and that he was willing to sell secrets to an enemy agent, regardless of whether it would put his fellow soldiers in danger. The CIA, along with the FBI and other federal partners, conducted an investigation after it was discovered that Millay sent an email to a Russian publication seeking information about the military. He even made a number of calls to the Russian embassy. Millay sent undercover federal agents information about the military’s F-22s.
How to Become a Core Collector for the CIA in Alaska
The CIA offers two entry-level career options for individuals interested in becoming a Core Collector in the National Clandestine Services. Requirements for both the Professional Trainee Program (PT) and the Clandestine Service Program (CST) are similar in nature.
- Professional Trainee Program (PT): The PT Program was designed for individuals in the age group of 21-25 with a Bachelor’s degree or higher and no prior work experience.
- Clandestine Service Program (CST): The CST Program was designed for individuals in the age group of 26-35 with a Bachelor’s degree or higher and prior military or work experience
Individuals applying to become a Core Collector in Alaska should have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and a 3.0 GPA or higher. Candidates with degrees in the following fields are highly preferred:
- Biological engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Global business
- Nuclear science
- Physical sciences
Work experience and skill requirements include:
- Expert level literacy skills
- Expertise in international communications
- Outstanding verbal proficiency
- A hard worker, both alone and as part a team
Second Language and International Habitation
Prior history of international residency or detailed knowledge of other countries is a must. In addition, a second language such as Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Indonesian, Korean, Kurdish, Pashto, Persian, Russian, Somali, Turkish, and Urdu is highly preferred.
Attaining Final Employment
Before a final offer of employment is extended, individuals must go through a psychological evaluation, a full medical examination, and a background check. While undergoing two preliminary interviews, all applicants must also take a polygraph test. Prior drug usage in the past twelve months is not permitted.
CIA Special Agent Jobs in Alaska: How to Get From Here to There
Minimum Employment Requirements
CIA special agents are the investigative experts of federal government. Their work involves performing inquiries into violations of the law or into any dangers that would threaten the country’s public health and safety. Candidates for CIA special agent jobs in Alaska must:
- Be United States citizens
- Have not used illegal drugs in the past 12 months
- Be able to assemble and assimilate large amounts of information
- Be able to work under pressure
- Be able to interact effectively with other people of different cultures or backgrounds
- Possess sound judgment
- Be able to elicit information in difficult situations
Individuals must also possess, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (minimum 3.0 GPA), along with at least three years of experience in criminal investigations with an excellent performance record.
Although specific degrees are generally not a requirement for CIA agent jobs in Alaska, many applicants possess degrees in science, technology, engineering, or criminal justice-related programs. Foreign language fluency is also highly recommended.
Completing the Employment Process
Individuals applying for CIA agent jobs in Alaska are consenting to a background investigation by the United States government. Therefore, any provided information may be used by the CIA for these purposes.
All individuals must obtain a top-security clearance security, which is governed by the rules and regulations of federal statute and executive orders. The clearance process includes a thorough examination of an applicant’s life history and their ability to safeguard the nation’s secrets. Specifically, it addresses the candidate’s:
- Freedom from conflicting allegiances
- Potential for coercion
- Sound judgment
- Strength of character
- Willingness to abide by regulations related to the protection of sensitive information
Individuals are subject to a polygraph examination during the employment process, as well as a medical examination, which is designed to assess the candidate’s mental and physical health.
All new CIA agents, as a condition of employment, must complete the Criminal Investigator Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
The CIA at Work in Alaska
The presence of the CIA in Alaska is likely strong because of this state’s oil infrastructure and its pipelines have made it a target for terrorist organizations seeking to disrupt the nation’s U.S. and global oil and gas industry.
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is 800 miles long, and is part of the greatest amount of exposed pipeline in the United States, thereby making it a potential target for terrorists.
Further, Alaska is home to 30 anti-missile interceptors, which are part of the nation’s missile defense capability. In 2013, these interceptors made news in wake of North Korea’s missile and nuclear testing. The U.S. military reported that it would strengthen the homeland missile defense system by deploying 14 additional, ground-based interceptors at Fort Greely in Alaska.