Oregon’s security is maintained with the help of the CIA. Gathering intelligence and conducting threat assessments are just some of the duties those serving in the nation’s preeminent spy agency perform. CIA jobs in Oregon require a high level of commitment and integrity.
Historically, intelligence gathering in the state has been necessary at key moments, such as during World War Two when a Japanese bomber was covertly launched from a submarine and attacked the state. Oregon also faces many risks in the present day, as demonstrated by the recent plot to attack a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.
How to Become a Core Collector with the CIA’s National Clandestine Service
There are two entry-level placement options for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a Core Collector in the CIA’s National Clandestine Service Division in Oregon.
Both the Professional Trainee Program (PT) and the Clandestine Service Program (CST) have the following individual requirements:
PT Program: This program is designed for applicants between the ages of 21-25 that have a Bachelor’s degree, but no prior work experience.
CST Program: This program is designed for applicants between the ages of 26-35 that have a Bachelor’s degree and appropriate years of work or military experience.
Additional qualifications that applicants for each position must meet to be considered for the Core Collector role are as follows:
Academic Requirements – Candidates must have a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree and a GPA of at least 3.0 during undergraduate studies.
Additionally, preference is given to applicants with degrees in the following areas of study: biological or chemical engineering, economics, finance, international business or relations, nuclear or physical science.
Career Aptitude Requirements – Candidates must have an interest in foreign affairs, as well as possess superior communication and interpersonal skills. Other requirements include being able to work individually or as part of an investigative team and the ability to quickly process information accurately.
International Travel, Multilingualism and Foreign Comprehension – Candidates need prior residency internationally, knowledge of international affairs, and must be proficient in multilingualism. Preferred languages for the Core Collector Position include Russian, Somali, Turkish, Urdu, Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Pashto, Persian, Indonesian, Korean, Kurdish.
Core Collector Conditional Requirements – To move forward in the application process, candidates must complete two interviews, a full criminal background check, polygraph test and medical and psychological evaluation. Illegal drug usage must also be nonexistent 12 months prior to application.
Becoming a CIA Special Agent
Meet the Requirements – Of key importance in the process of how to become a CIA Agent are the minimum requirements. To apply for special agent jobs with the CIA, applicants must be US citizens who:
- Have not used illegal drugs in the past year
- Have at least three years of well-reviewed professional experience dealing with complex matters of criminal investigations
- Have a bachelor degree in any field, such as:
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Law Enforcement
- Criminal Justice
- Police Science
Apply – The application process for CIA special agent careers is unique. Applicants start by creating an online account, which is valid for three days only. Within these three days, candidates will need to submit information regarding:
- History of illegal activity, including copyright infringement and drug use
- Peace Corps experience
- Certifications and licenses
- Work and discipline history
- Language proficiencies and other areas of expertise
If contacted for follow-up by a CIA recruiter, the applicant will be subjected to a hiring process that includes:
- Polygraph test
- Thorough background investigation
- Mental evaluation
- Physical examination
The case of a former CIA Agent from Oregon demonstrates the reason why the agency conducts such an extensive screening and evaluation. Holding the distinction of the most senior CIA officer convicted of espionage, the agent, nicknamed Batman, was convicted of passing secrets to the Russian Federation in the 1990s to help support his family who currently live in Eugene and Beaverton.
As part of the screening process, the CIA conducts an evaluation of an applicant’s:
- Soundness of judgment
- Trustworthiness and reliability
- Possible conflicting financial and ideological allegiances
- Capability of abiding by regulations
In-Service Training – New agents who have successfully made it through the application and hiring processes will need to complete the Criminal Investigator Training Program at a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. This is a 56-day CIA training program all agents must pass, and includes instruction in:
- Criminal case management
- How to obtain a warrant
- Physical techniques and conditioning
- Undercover operations
- Interviewing witnesses and detainees
- Legal case development
Thwarting a Bomb Plot in Portland
The training CIA Agents obtain will empower them to detect domestic and overseas threats posed by outside enemy nations or terrorist organizations. Oregon is unfortunately not immune to these types of activities as demonstrated by the recent Christmas tree bombing plot in Portland. A man believing he was working with operatives from al Qaeda parked what he thought was a vehicle filled with explosives near a crowded Christmas tree lighting event, and attempted to detonate the device. This is exactly the type of situation CIA Agents are trained to detect, with clues to such operations often first appearing in foreign countries.