How to Become a Military Analyst with the Central
Intelligence Agency

Military analysts with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) work within the Agency’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI) Home.

as experts in all things related to military and defense. These analysts are specialists in military forces, technology, military history, defense industries, and military strategy and operations.

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Similar to other DI analysts, military analysts with the CIA provide U.S. policymakers with written briefings and assessments regarding their research; however, their work also includes briefing military commanders on their findings.

DI analysts must be able to successfully anticipate and assess international developments that can develop or change at any given time. As such, these CIA professionals must be able to identify issues related to U.S. national security and provide clear and timely analyses on these issues.

The major responsibility of military analysts with the CIA is to evaluate the strategic capabilities and intentions of foreign forces, as well as non-state groups like terrorists and insurgents. The work of these CIA analysts also involves assessing the technical capability, performance and proficiency of foreign military defense and weapons systems.

Their work also extends into peacekeeping and military diplomacy efforts, and they are often called upon by U.S. policymakers and military officials to examine any number of political-military issues, including regional security, arms control, and military relations with foreign citizens.

What is Military Analysis?

Military analysis is used throughout the U.S. government, including all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well by news organizations and private consulting agencies.

Military analysis involves collecting information about military forces, whether domestic or foreign, studying the collected information, and then formulating an analysis, which is typically used by governmental decision makers when formulating policies, taking steps to ensure national security, or preparing for war.

Any number of topics may be explored through military analysis, including a military’s

  • Offensive and defensive capabilities
  • Budget
  • Training programs
  • Weapons systems
  • Military doctrine/policies


Educational Requirements for CIA Military Analysts

In addition to possessing a deep interest in military and international relations, individuals who want to become CIA military analysts must be United States citizens, and they must hold a bachelor or master’s degree in one of the following:

  • Political science
  • International relations
  • Security studies
  • Military history

A degree with a focus on a specific region or expertise is preferred, and candidates must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA to be considered for a career as a military analyst with the CIA.

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This CIA career choice demands individuals with strong verbal presentation and writing skills and the ability to write clear and concise text. Competitive candidates possess higher GPAs, relevant experience, and knowledge of strategic and military operational concepts and intelligence analysis.

In addition to submitting an application, individuals must write and include a cover letter, their college transcripts, and a 5 to 8 page analytical writing sample that clearly defines their substantive experience.

Candidates for military analyst jobs with the CIA are expected to successfully complete a thorough medical and psychological examination, background investigation, and a polygraph examination.

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