Which academy is best for intelligence

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by musi, May 18, 2013.

  1. musi

    musi Member

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    I am highly interested in attending one of the military academies and am wondering which branch/academy is the best to become an intelligence officer.
     
  2. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    Oh boy... here we go!:shake:
     
  3. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    Not USNA. Intel is part of Information Dominance, which is restricted line. Academy grads may not directly enter restricted line communities (Med Corps being an exception) after graduation unless they are medically disqualified from unrestricted line communities (for example, colorblind folks).

    SWO-Intel (must have at least 2 years as a SWO, must have warfare qualification, must be O-3 promotable before a guaranteed transfer to Intel) has only a handful of slots every year.

    There's rumors going around that Information Dominance (IW, IP, Intel, METOC) will be made an unrestricted line community, but I'll believe that when it happens.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Not USCGA. Probably USMA or USAFA... especially life after. But I also think many believe the intel field is much sexier than it is....
     
  5. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    That last sentence is 110% correct.
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Bingo. Ask any Old Crow.
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    You can go straight into Intel for the AF. I don't know how numbers and specifics vary across services though, so I can't really tell you which is "better."

    I would still advise you to look at the whole service. No career field is guaranteed from an academy.
     
  8. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I was a USN Intel officer. It definitely sounds sexier than it is, especially for a junior officer. Don't get me wrong . . . I enjoyed it and had some terrific tours. However, it wasn't how I wanted to spend my career, so I got out.

    It's VERY difficult today for anyone to go directly from USNA to the Navy Intel community. Most (if not all) of those who do are NPQ (not physically qualified for unrestricted line). I think it's probably easier to go Intel from USNA if you go USMC or to go from USMA or USAFA.

    However, be sure Intel is what you want. If you have visions of the thriller novels you're reading . . . forget it! If you envision yourself as a spy . . . forget it! You'll likely be an analyst -- reading reports and briefing your unit and/or senior officers. You stand a lot of watch -- meaning nights, weekends, shift work, etc. You get a lot of responsibility in a hurry but it's not "glamorous."
     
  9. musi

    musi Member

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    Usna1985 what you describe it as is what I was intending. I don't have the intention to be a spy and I enjoy doing what you said which is why I am interested in this career field.
     
  10. nick4060

    nick4060 Member

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    Im currently an intel officer in the AF. I can't give you much advice on the Army/Navy side of things, but if you have any AF-specific questions feel free to PM me.

    Good luck!
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Also understand people won't always appreciate you analysis. Sometimes it will be wrong. Often the people in the field will think you have no idea what it's like on the "ground" (or water)..... and usually they'll be right.
     
  12. musi

    musi Member

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    That type of thing doesn't bother me.
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    It should.
     
  14. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    For something that might be a 20 year career path or 4 year stint from hell it would bother me.
     
  15. icarus

    icarus Member

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    ...but that girl in Zero dark thirty made it look easy:wink:
     
  16. musi

    musi Member

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    By bother I meant discourage. If someone didn't appreciate what I did I would work harder to make them appreciate it.
     
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    And they would certainly appreciate that, every day. :thumb:
     
  18. robinhood17

    robinhood17 USMA Cadet

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    My father works with the Air Force office of special investigations,

    One thing he said is that the Air Force has in his opinion the most top secret intel,and the most "exciting".

    Just in OSI alone, most intel officers have at least a top secret, and many obtain an SCI (sensitive compartmented information)clearance.

    In the Army, correct me if I'm wrong, but most of CID and MI maintain lower levels of clearances until higher ranks.

    The reason the Air Force has so many with upper clearances is due to the type of technology they hold, almost everything the Air Force does involves sensitive information.


    When I looked at going to USAFA, I wanted to go OSI from the academy, but I thought the percentage that went was under 2%? Wouldn't that make the intel field in the AF more difficult to reach?

    In all though, I do believe being an intel officer in the Air Force is the way to go.
     
  19. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The military over-classifies and gives far too many secret clearances.

    Don't get too excited about TS or TS-SCI.... still doesn't mean you're top spy.... you'll find far too many people have TS.... and having plenty of access also means you have much more responsibility... losing classified material is a nice quick way to lose a job.


    I think Army and Air Force, if you are only interested in intel, are the branches you want to look at.
     
  20. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    OSI and CID, by and large, are not well thought of by the rest of their respective services and they're nothing like what that NCIS tv show makes you think. Come to that, neither is NCIS. Work with them and you'll spend most of your time investigating petty crimes and sexual assaults.

    A TS clearance doesn't really mean much. There's this misconception that once you get a TS, a world of amazing top secret cool info becomes available to you. Nothing could be further from the truth. The TS/SCI clearance is meaningless without a verified need to know, which results in being "read-on" to a program or compartmented information. If you have a TS/SCI but no read-ons, then you won't have access to much more than Joe Schmoe with his garden variety Secret clearance. That being said, I don't know a single MI officer who doesn't have a TS.

    Secondly, you need to think about what you think "intel" MEANS. When you picture being an intel officer, what are you picturing? What do you see yourself doing that draws you to intel?
     

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