CIA agents actively recruit sources to obtain information that could impact America’s national security. They are highly skilled at analyzing large amounts of data to sort out particularly vital information.
Although much of the CIA’s activities in Louisiana have been shrouded in secrecy, it is publicly known that the CIA had a training camp at Lacombe. From the 1950s to the 1980s, the CIA was involved with efforts against governments in Latin America and Cuba that were deemed a threat to U.S. security. Agents in Lacombe trained individuals for covert actions in these countries.
The CIA is also involved in obtaining intelligence on multi-national drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). In addition to the threat that drug trafficking poses to the U.S., DTOs also frequently traffic weapons and are involved in money laundering to recover their profits from the sale of drugs.
Knowledge about drug trafficking in Louisiana is of great importance to the country as a whole, since the state’s location makes it a primary transportation corridor for drugs being smuggled from Mexico and the Southwestern border to the East Coast. The Justice Department has reported that both the Gulf and Federation Mexican cartels are active in Louisiana.
Meeting the Requirements to Join the CIA National Clandestine Service
In Louisiana, the CIA’s National Clandestine Service provides applicants with two entry-level programs for a career as a Core Collector. These programs include:
- The Professional Trainee Program – This program is for applicants who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and no previous work experience. Applicants are typically between the ages of 21-25.
- The Clandestine Service Trainee Program – This program is for applicants with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree along with a few years of work history or military service. Applicants are typically between the ages of 26-35.
- A minimum of a 3.0 GPA during undergraduate study
- Applicants interested in the Core Collector career path in Louisiana commonly have the following educational expertise: international relations, nuclear science, or physical science biological engineering, chemical engineering, economics, finance, international business.
Job Related Skills:
All applicants must have specific job related skills including being capable of maintaining overseas interactions, having a superb ability to communicate, reading and writing effectively, rapid thinking and the ability to work productively alone, as well as on a team.
Applicants should have prior residency overseas or extensive knowledge of foreign countries. In addition, fluency in a second language is a must. Preferred languages include:
Stipulations for Employment Success:
- A complete psychological evaluation
- Background screening
- Full medical examination
- Polygraph interview
- No drug usage in the previous 12 months
- Two preliminary interviews
Requirements and Training for Becoming a CIA Special Agent in Louisiana
To ensure that all CIA agents are highly skilled investigators, the agency has a number of requirements for those seeking jobs with the agency. The requirements to become a special agent are shown below.
- A bachelor’s degree – although the CIA doesn’t specify a specific major, candidates often opt for a degree in criminology, psychology, forensics or criminal justice.
- Three years of conducting criminal investigations
- Focused on complex matters
- An excellent record of performance is required
Requirement for Professional Skills:
- A substantial amount of knowledge of criminal procedures
- Strong negotiation skills and having both tact and diplomacy
- Being able to handle large amounts of data
- Assembling and assimilating it
- Discerning key issues
- Drawing the appropriate conclusions
- Being able to work under pressure
- Being able to prioritize multiple projects
- Being able to function independently and as a part of a team
- Completing the Criminal Investigator Training Program
- Continuing Case Investigation Coordinators monitor trainees throughout the program to ensure that they are mastering these skills.
- Ideally, those applying for careers as special agents have already taken this Federal Law Enforcement Training Center program
- Recruits who have not must go through the 56 day program that entails:
- Learning academic topics:
- Legal training
- Learning how to initiate and manage cases:
- Writing and executing search and arrest warrants
- Interviewing witnesses
- Handling physical evidence
- Managing criminal cases
- Learning practical skills:
- Staying in top physical condition
- Using firearms
- Tactical skills
- Handling a vehicle
- Learning how to work as part of a task force
- Learning academic topics:
The agency cautions against telling friends and family of a pending application with the CIA.