CIA agents collect and analyze strategic information that is then disseminated to the appropriate government and law enforcement agencies. Florida has long been a base for CIA activities with its proximity to Cuba and Latin America. Their most well known operation in Florida was the Bay of Pigs attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.
The CIA investigates drug traffickers, arms smugglers, and enemies of the US government that take advantage of Florida’s accessible borders and highly developed transportation network. Narco and arms trafficking in Florida remains a constant threat to this day, while the threat from hostile governments in Latin America has mostly diminished.
While much of the CIA’s history in Florida remains shrouded in secrecy, the JMWAVE operations station of the 1960s grew to such a size that the CIA became one of the largest employers in Miami. Its base at the University of Miami became the world’s largest CIA station in the late 1960s with the exception of the agency’s headquarters in Langley.
How to Become a Core Collector with the CIA in Florida
The CIA’s National Clandestine Service offers Florida residents two entry level options for a career as a Core Collector: the Professional Trainee Program (PT) and the Clandestine Service Program (CST).
- The PT Program is for individuals with a Bachelor’s degree who are 21-25 years old. No prior work experience is required.
- The CST Program is for applicants with a Bachelor’s degree who are between 26 and 35 years old. Candidates for this position are required to have prior work or military experience.
Language Proficiency Requirements
Other requirements for inclusion into both programs stipulate that candidates have extensive foreign travel experience and/or have resided in a foreign country. Applicants must also have a strong interest in international affairs and understand the importance of cross-cultural sensitivity. Each candidate is also required to be fluent in a minimum of one second language, with preference given to those who can speak Chinese, Dari, Urdu, Indonesian, Arabic, Korean, Persian, Russian Kurdish, Pashto, Somali or Turkish.
Conditional Requirements for Core Collector Applicants
Applicants for both programs must participate in two interviews, and undergo extensive background checks, a polygraph interview and medical and psychological exams. Additionally, candidates must be free from any illegal drug use 12 months prior to applying for a position.
Minimum Educational Requirements
Candidates applying to the Core Collector position in Florida must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, as well as a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Preferred majors are chemical and biological engineering, economics, finance, international business or relations and nuclear and physical science.
Requirements to Become a CIA Agent in Florida
Given the breadth of its activities, the CIA offers a number of types of positions ranging from analysts to special agents. The requirements to become a special agent include having a bachelor’s degree and three years of experience performing criminal investigations with an excellent track record.
The agency seeks individuals who have a lot of knowledge of investigative and law enforcement techniques and procedures related to criminal investigate operations. Applicants should be able to work individually and as part of a team. They must also be able to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures. To perform well as a special agent, individuals must be able to employ tact and discretion.
The CIA strongly prefers that its applicants have passed the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP), which takes place at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). If they have not yet done so, newly hired agents must take part in this training to continue their careers with the CIA.
CITP training covers all of the skills and protocols required to succeed as a special agent. Instruction involves lectures, practical exercises, labs, and tests. Each trainee takes part in a task force to develop a case investigation. This involves learning the different types of skills required to develop an investigation:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Conducting surveillance
- Taking part in undercover operations
- Writing and executing search and arrest warrants
- Writing a criminal complaint
- Obtaining an indictment
- Testifying in court
The CIA’s Contributions to Florida’s Security
Drug traffickers use Florida as a major corridor for smuggling drugs into the U.S. Procuring intelligence on this type of activity is vital to helping to formulate and implement counternarcotics policies and initiatives. The CIA shares its intelligence with the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration to help them fight drug trafficking.
In addition to identifying sites of production, CIA agents help to identify the structures and networks of major trafficking organizations. This information helps to identify vulnerabilities that can then be exploited.
Leads from foreign intelligence also help counter-terrorism efforts in the U.S. Intelligence from CIA agents helps contribute to the analysis of criminal and terrorist activity in the state through the multi-agency task force known as Florida Fusion Center.