CIA agents in Massachusetts were recently involved in investigating the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013. Working with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), these agents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) gathered information on the Boston bombing suspects and their radical pasts. These types of duties are just a taste of what prospective Massachusetts-based special agents can expect from a career in the CIA. Protection of the state and the country through intelligence gathering and sharing is the main goal of CIA agents in Massachusetts.
In December 2013, Richard Fecteau a former CIA agent working out of Boston, was awarded the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Cross, its highest award for courage and heroism. Fecteau was captured in 1952 and held captive in China during the Korean War for 19 years. The CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Cross is awarded to agents who have displayed extraordinary heroism through voluntary acts in accepting dangers with courage and fortitude.
How to Become a Core Collector with the CIA in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, the CIA’s National Clandestine Service offers two entry-level positions for people interested in pursuing a career as a Core Collector: the Professional Trainee Program and the Clandestine Service Program.
The Professional Trainee Program: Offered to candidates with a Bachelor’s degree between the ages of 21 and 25 who have no prior work experience.
The Clandestine Service Program: Offered to candidates with a Bachelor’s degree, several years of military or work experience and who are between the ages of 26 and 35.
Each candidate should have a:
- Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree
- GPA of 3.0 or higher
For the Core Collector position, candidates with degrees in the following areas of study are preferred:
- Biological engineering
- Chemical engineering
- International business
- Nuclear science
- International relations
- Physical science
Candidates should be fluent in a second language, with preference given to those who speak Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Indonesian, Korean, Kurdish, Pashto, Persian, Russian, Somali, Turkish or Urdu. Applicants must also have prior residency in another country or a strong understanding of foreign countries and cross-cultural sensitivity.
Each candidate is required to participate in two preliminary interviews, psychological and medical exams, a background check and polygraph interview. Additionally, to move forward in the Core Collector application process in Massachusetts, applicants should also have abstained from illegal drug use for the previous 12 months.
Qualifying for Massachusetts-Based CIA Special Agent Jobs
Basic Qualifications – All CIA agents in Massachusetts must meet basic qualifications, including:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have no record of illegal drug usage in the past year
- Pass a thorough background check and lie detector test
- Pass medical and mental examinations
- Agree to adhere to the CIA’s code of secrecy, which prohibits them from discussing the job with family and friends
Education and Experience Qualifications – In addition to meeting the basic qualifications listed above, Massachusetts residents who wish to become CIA agents must also have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and three years of criminal investigation experience. While the bachelor degree may be in any discipline, certain fields have proven to be helpful to Massachusetts-based CIA agents in the past.
These majors are available at renowned Massachusetts colleges and universities:
- National Security Studies
- Foreign Languages
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement
- Legal Studies
Training Qualifications – The first step of training for Massachusetts CIA agents is completion of the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Georgia. This basic training takes 56 days and includes practical and classroom instruction in techniques for firearms, investigation, driving and the like.
Part two of a Massachusetts CIA agent’s training is the Career Analyst Program (CAP) at the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis in Reston, Virginia. It lasts for 18 months and combines practical and classroom instruction in analysis, leadership, counterintelligence, foreign languages and more.
CIA Presence and Involvement in Massachusetts
The CIA maintains a field office in Boston. In addition to this office, about a dozen companies in the Boston area work closely with the CIA. These companies are said to have financial backing from the CIA and provide services for the intelligence community. They include:
- StreamBase, a company in Lexington that can detect real-time threats in large data streams
- Recorded Future, a company in Cambridge that searches for events that may happen in various foreign countries
- Endeca, a Cambridge search engine technology company
- CallMiner, a Waltham speech-analytics company
- Veracode, a Burlington security software company
- QD Vision, a Lexington optical products company
- Ember, a Boston semiconductor chip producer
- Innocentive, a Waltham company dedicated to consulting and crowdsoucing
- Seventh Sense Biosystems, a Cambridge medical diagnostics company
- T2 Biosystems, a Cambridge medical diagnostic products company
- CopperEye, an enterprise data management company with an office in Boston
- Febit, a DNA analysis company in Lexington