Requirements for CIA Jobs in Montana

Recently, a book was published on the life and mysterious death of Jerry Daniels, a former CIA agent from Missoula. Daniels became a U.S. Forest Service smokejumper at age 17 and at age 18 graduated from Missoula County High School class of ‘59. Three years later, he was a cargo kicker for the CIA working in Laos. He served as a liaison to the Hmong who fought communists in Laos, and even returned to Montana to earn a degree from the University of Montana in 1969. The book, Hog’s Exit, focuses on Daniels’ mysterious death and the various sides to his personality, necessary because of his clandestine work for the agency. His legacy is an example of how a person from Montana can meet the challenges of becoming a CIA agent.

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Another renowned CIA agent from Montana was recently profiled in the film “Manhunt: The Search for bin Laden.” Nada Glass Bakos grew up in a small town near Missoula and attended Montana State University. She applied online for a position with the CIA and was shocked to receive a call inviting her to interview for the job. Bakos worked as an analyst in the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, analyzing intelligence and reports from abroad. She then worked for the National Clandestine Service as a targeting officer looking for al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The information she gathered led agents to find Osama bin Laden in 2011, at which time U.S. Special Forces killed him in a raid on his Pakistan compound. Bakos is another example of a success story for Montana residents who dream of working for the CIA.

Meeting the Qualifications for CIA Agent Jobs in Montana

Standard Qualifications – Fundamental qualifications that all CIA applicants in Montana must meet are:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Did not use illicit drugs in past year (and pass a drug screen test)
  • Pass a medical exam
  • Pass a mental exam
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass a polygraph exam
  • Complete two personal interviews
  • Swear to keep the CIA job secret from friends and family
  • Ability to work as part of a team and independently
  • Ability to deal with persons at all levels in ever-changing scenarios
  • Quick thinking

Education Qualifications – Applicants in Montana who wish to become CIA agents may enter the agency in one of two ways:

  • Professional Trainee Program (PT):  For an applicant who has a bachelor degree in any field but does not have work experience and is usually ages 21-25
  • Clandestine Service Trainee Program (CST): For an applicant who has a bachelor degree in any field and a few years of work experience, and is no older than age 35
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All applicants must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average. Desirable skills and experience include:

  • Experience in foreign travel or residency abroad
  • Proficiency in foreign languages, especially Urdu, Kurdish, Turkish, Somali, Russian, Persian, Pashto, Korean, Indonesian, Dari, Chinese or Arabic
  • Degree in chemical engineering, biological engineering, nuclear engineering, physical science, economics, international relations, finance, or international business

Training Qualifications – New CIA agents in Montana will complete 18 months of intensive training in the Clandestine Service Trainee Program. This is a basic training program for all new core collectors, dealing with gathering and handling foreign intelligence, as well as defensive techniques and physical conditioning. Depending upon one’s career track, training may vary. Core Collectors have two tracks to choose from:

  • Core Collector/Operations Officer: will actively collect, assess, develop and handle persons with foreign intelligence in covert action, counterintelligence, or human intelligence collection, on overseas assignments that are two to three years long
  • Core Collector/Collection Management Officer: will oversee the collection, assessment, development and dissemination of foreign intelligence that is collected, and may be assigned overseas or to CIA headquarters

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