It is the duty of the special agents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to gather, analyze and disseminate sensitive information regarding national security from international threats. Although the focus of their investigations is therefore often on overseas activity, CIA special agents also work throughout the country, investigating foreign threats or threat-related intelligence directed at national facilities and operations.
For example, in December 2013, a Stuttgart, Arkansas, scientist was accused of industrial espionage. The Chinese agricultural scientist was charged in federal court for stealing seeds from an unidentified company’s research facility. The Arkansas man, along with another individuals in Kansas, were accused of providing stolen seed to a Chinese delegation that visited the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Stuttgart, as well as other agricultural facilities.
Both men are Chinese nationals. According to the criminal complaint, the seeds were genetically engineered for pharmaceutical uses at a cost of millions of dollars. The Arkansas man was employed as a plant geneticist at a USDA-funded research center in Arkansas.
Another area of potential concern for CIA agents in Arkansas is the Pine Bluff Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (PBCDF), which is part of the Pine Bluff Arsenal, a United States Army installation. The Pine Bluff Arsenal was one of nine Army installations in the U.S. that stored chemical weapons. Its arsenal consisted of a massive stockpile of munitions and ton containers that contained nerve and blister agents.
In November 2010, the Army made the decision to destroy the chemical weapons stockpile which, according to some reports, consisted of about 12 percent of the nation’s original chemical weapons. Given the highly hazardous nature of this process and the chemical weapons that could be targeted by international terrorist groups, it is likely that CIA agents concentrate their efforts on national operations such as the PBCDF.
Steps to Joining the CIA’s National Clandestine Service in Arkansas
Candidates interested in a job as a Core Collector in the CIA’s National Clandestine Services in Arkansas must participate in one of the two entry-level programs available.
There are specific core qualifications to attend each program:
- Professional Trainee Program (PT): The PT Program was created for applicants ages 21-25 with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and no previous work experience.
- Clandestine Serve Program (PST): The CST Program was created for applicants ages 26-35 with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and previous work or military experience.
- A Bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA
- A major in biological engineering, chemical engineering, economics, finance, global business, nuclear science, and physical sciences is strongly preferred.
- Keen on international relations
- Superior communication skills
- Ability to effectively read and write
- Quick thinking
- Productive worker (alone and on a team)
Foreign Residency and Second Language Qualifications
Previous residency overseas and/or thorough knowledge of foreign counties is non-negotiable. Fluency in a second language is another key qualification. Common preferred languages include:
Securing Successful Employment
Prior to employment, applicants must complete a full psychological evaluation, medical exam and background screening. A polygraph, in addition to two preliminary interviews, must also be completed. Applicants must have had no drug usage in the past 12 months.
Becoming a CIA Agent in Arkansas
Individuals with their sights set on CIA special agent jobs in Arkansas must be prepared to complete a number of steps:
Meet the Minimum Requirements for Employment
Individuals applying to become CIA agents in Arkansas must:
- Be a United States citizen
- Not have used drugs in the past 12 months
- Reside in the United States
- Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and at least three years of criminal investigation experience work that is focused on complex matters
Although there are no specific bachelor degree requirements, the CIA does recommend that all applicants possess at, a minimum a 3.0 GPA. Academic achievement is highly regarded for jobs with the CIA. Many individuals with their sights set on pursuing CIA agent jobs in Arkansas often choose to purse degrees in a related area, such as:
- Criminal justice
However, CIA agents also often possess degrees in the sciences or in engineering, such as:
- Physical science
- Nuclear engineering
- International relations
- International business
- Chemical engineering
- Biological engineering
Complete the Employment Process
To apply for a CIA special agent job in Arkansas, individuals must create an online account with the CIA as to complete the online application. The application requires personal information related to the applicant’s background, expertise, education, work history, foreign area knowledge, military experience, and any certifications or licenses.
Applicants must also complete a Personnel Evaluation form, which is used by the agency for the background investigation and security clearance process.
The employment process for becoming a CIA agent in Arkansas includes a polygraph examination, a mental and physical examination, and several interviews, among others.
Complete the Training Process
Individuals who have not yet taken the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center must do so as a condition of employment. This 56-day-long program includes study and training in areas such as:
- Firearms training
- Tactical training
- Driver training
- Witness interviewing
- Undercover and surveillance operations
- Legal procedures
- Federal procedures