The common perception among American civilians is that intelligence is gathered by either the CIA or the NSA, and then passed onto the military if action is needed to take out an enemy or protect American civilians. Though this is often the case, it’s also true that military intelligence specialists are employed by each branch of service, working their own intelligence connections and verifying work done by other government agencies. Though many people choose to make military intelligence their long-term career, others leave the armed forces to pursue civilian work. The military intelligence specialist position is one that translates well to work in a civilian capacity.
Government Jobs: The Natural Home of the Intelligence Specialist
Typically, veterans of the military who worked to gather intelligence in some capacity generally seek employment with one of the major government agencies that cultivates its own intelligence sources and connections. That means most veterans find themselves working in some capacity for the National Security Administration or the Central Intelligence Agency. The good news for veterans is that they’ll rarely have to take an entry-level position at these federal agencies and they likely already have the security clearance needed to get right to work without an extensive screening and hiring process.
The most common positions filled by military veterans in these sweeping government agencies are usually field or management positions, including the following:
Information Management Officer
The information management officer is concerned primarily with safeguarding intelligence that has been learned by those in the field. To that end, they’ll manage confidential files and they’ll control access to any higher-level files that require special clearance. They’ll be concerned with documenting access to files, revising information in some intelligence files, and generally setting agency policy when it comes to certain cases, sources, or targets.
Resource Analyst Positions
With extensive experience gathering intelligence for the military and analyzing the nature of threats, tips, and intervention, this position is a natural fit for former military intelligence specialists. They’ll work in this capacity to analyze the integrity of sources, the helpfulness of information, and the way in which each piece fits together into a larger puzzle of information. This senior-level position is a crucial one when it comes to relying on some sources, deciding not to trust others, and creating a clearer picture of the threat or crime for those in the field.
Records Management Opportunities at the NSA and CIA
Military intelligence specialists are often well versed in maintaining records and enforcing strict organization of information so that it is readily available and easily accessible to agents in the field. Those skills fit perfectly with the records management position available at both the NSA and CIA. In this capacity, former military intelligence specialists will dedicate their time to creating cohesive, accessible records that can be used at a moment’s notice to pursue other sources or act on previous intelligence.
Great Positions Await Today’s Veterans
Military intelligence is a rigorous field to work in, and one that inherently prepares veterans to enter directly into management roles at the CIA and NSA. With extensive experience handling files, working with sources, and acting on specific intelligence, the three roles above are only a brief look at what’s possible for military intelligence specialists seeking to transition their lives and skills back into the civilian side of things.