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Calling for special agents.

THE U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, commonly known as CID, has an all-points bulletin out for qualified Soldiers who want to become special agents.

During peacetime and war, CID agents investigate felony-level crimes in which the Army has an interest; provide protective services for Department of Defense leaders; and work closely with other federal, state and local law-enforcement and intelligence agencies to solve crimes and combat terrorism around the world.

Agents are trained at the U.S. Army Military Police School, with advanced training available in a wide range of specialized investigative disciplines. Specialties include counter-narcotics, economic-crime investigation and computer crime investigation, among others. CID has more than 200 offices worldwide, and even has an airborne detachment at Fort Bragg, N.C.

"We're always looking for qualified prospects to join CID, and special agents are a unique breed," said Special Agent Paul Hudson, CID chief of operations. "Living the law-enforcement lifestyle is a challenge that our special agents willingly accept and dedicate their lives to. It takes a special kind of person to muster that type of dedication."

Special agents also have the opportunity to receive advanced law-enforcement training at the FBI National Academy, the Canadian Police College and at George Washington University, where they can pursue a master's degree in forensic science.

"Educating our agents in all facets of law enforcement is a top priority within CID," said Special Agent Hudson. "We strive to give the agents all the best training available, because a smarter agent makes for a stronger Army."

Prior military or civilian law-enforcement experience is preferred, but it is not a requirement to enter the program. There are numerous Soldier and civilian special agents throughout CID who come from various military occupational specialties, ranging from field artillerymen to administrative clerks.

Special Agent Nicholas Pappas, who was a light-wheeled vehicle mechanic before becoming a CID special agent said: "Coming from a line unit gave me a lot of insight into how units operate. So I understand the field mentality of the Soldier. I understand the 'food chain' and at which points the system can break down."

Special Agent Pappas has worked alongside other CID special agents, as well as other federal and local law-enforcement personnel during his nine years with the organization. "Agents are given a lot of independence, so you have to have a lot of self-discipline," he said.

Marianne Godin, chief of the accreditation division, said that regardless of an applicant's background, he must possess excellent communication skills and must be able to interact with people from varied backgrounds.

"Becoming a special agent takes more than just being good at the pistol range or having book smarts," Ms. Godin said. "A special agent has to learn how to adjust his method of communication to get to the information he's looking for. He must learn how to uncover information from someone's nonverbal cues as well."

Soldiers interested in becoming CID special agents should contact their nearest CID offices.

Qualifying for Training

To qualify for training as a CID agent, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen;

* must be at least 21 years old;

* must have at least two years of military experience but not more than 10 years in the military;

* must meet specified physical-fitness standards and have normal color vision, among other requirements.

Additionally, applicants

* must be able to speak and write clearly;

* must have two years of college or at least 60 semester credit hours;

* must hold the maximum grade of E-5 (non-promotable);

* must be able to complete 60 months of service obligation upon completion of the Apprentice Special Agent Course;

* must have no record of psychological or pathological personality disorders and no record of unsatisfactory credit;

* must be of suitable character as determined through a Single Scope Background Investigation leading to a top-secret clearance;

* and must have no civil-court or court-martial convictions.

Mr. Jeffrey Castro works in the CID Public Affairs Office.
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Author:Castro, Jeffrey
Publication:Soldiers Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2007
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