Agents for the CIA discretely obtain intelligence about threats to U.S. security, including information about foreign countries and criminal activities such as drug trafficking that have serious consequences for U.S. citizens.
The metropolitan area of Chicago is one of the country’s largest drug markets. The Justice Department reports that the Gulf, Federation, and Juarez Mexican drug cartels are all active in the Chicago area, and large influx of heroin from Mexico have been a growing threat to the region in recent years.
Obtaining intelligence about potential terrorists is another area in which CIA agents are highly active. Illinois faces the threat of both homegrown Islamic and domestic terrorists. The state has three Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), including one based in Chicago.
Chicago is also a center of trade and finance, and the CIA has taken advantage of this to help provide cover for Chicago-based agents operating in foreign countries.
The multinational firm of Thomas H. Miner & Associates was used as a cover to put CIA agents in other countries for a number of years. It put CIA agents to work as trade consultants, giving them vital access to international contacts. It appears that the CIA created a dummy business firm and used brokers from LaSalle Street to mask its involvement in these activities.
Requirements for Joining the CIA’s National Clandestine Service in Illinois
The CIA’s National Clandestine Service Division in Illinois offers two Core Collector career options: the Professional Trainee Program (PT) and the Clandestine Service Program (CST).
PT Program: Designed for individuals between the ages of 21 and 25 who have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree but lack past work experience.
CST Program: Designed for candidates between the ages of 26 and 35 who have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, as well as several years of military or work experience.
Both programs have similar requirements that applicants must meet prior to being considered for the Core Collector career in Illinois.
Individuals interested in the Core Collector positions in Illinois should have an interest in international affairs, excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to process information accurately and quickly. Individuals must also be able to work in both independent and team environments.
To be considered for the Core Collector role, applicants need to have previous residency in a foreign country, knowledge of foreign countries and proficiency in multilingualism
Each candidates should have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with preference given to the following areas of study: biological engineering, chemical engineering, economics, finance, international business, international relations, nuclear science or physical science. Candidates must also have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
During the application process, individuals must participate in two interviews, have a comprehensive medical and psychological exam performed, undergo a criminal background check and agree to a polygraph test. Additionally, applicants should have not used any illegal drugs for 12 months prior to submitting their application.
Requirements to Become a Special Agent for the CIA in Illinois
Residents of Illinois who want to become CIA agents should possess a number of professional skills in addition to meeting certain basic standards for CIA jobs.
Basic Requirements – Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and have a three-year professional background in criminal investigations. They must have also have refrained from using illegal drugs in the past year.
Professional Skills – Applicants should be able to demonstrate the following skills:
- Ability to work under pressure
- Ability to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures
- Ability to work both as an individual and as part of a team
- Tact and discretion
- Ability to prioritize multiple projects
- Having strong communication skills on both technical and non-technical matters
Training – The CIA prefers to hire special agents who already have been trained in the elite Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP). Those who have obtained CIA jobs without previous CITP training must take this rigorous 56 day course, which is offered by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).
Trainees can expect coursework in such topics as law, while also receiving practical training in the following areas:
- Tactical Strategies
- Use of Firearms
- Tactical and Defensive Driving