Covertly saving lives; Intelligence field seeks new Marines
CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan -- Counterintelligence and human intelligence specialist, a lesser-known military occupational specialty within the Marine Corps, is critical in detecting and preventing foreign and domestic attacks, ultimately saving lives.
An intelligence recruiter presented an educational briefing to interested applicants March 10 at 3rd Intelligence Battalion on Camp Hansen.
“We’re trying to pique the interest of the Marines,” said a staff sergeant, who is a recruiter for CI/HUMINT. “Hopefully their motivations line up with the intent of this job.”
During the briefing, the recruiter further defined the two areas of the job field. Human intelligence being the information an individual learns from another human. Counterintelligence involves safeguarding information from enemies by detecting infiltration and denying them the opportunity to gather information.
The recruiter also explained that one of the key roles that CI/HUMINT specialists have is the ability to aid commanders to prevent potential attacks, according to a warrant officer with 3rd Intel Bn., III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF.
“Our job is to give the commander the decision advantage, and that’s through using intelligence,” said a warrant officer with 3rd Intel Bn., III MHG, III MEF. “If we can detect, deny and deceive an adversary, (and keep) them (from) committing terrorism, espionage, sabotage and submersion (against) us, the commander knows that his information is free of compromise. He has the confidence to make a well-informed decision, which will either protect friendly forces or keep U.S. Marines alive.”
Applicants learned during the briefing that the job requires deploying frequently and working long hours while directly impacting mission success.
To become CI/HUMINT specialists, Marines first go through a month-long process of literacy exams, basic education tests, background checks and a screening board to determine whether they are qualified to attend the MOS school.
Once they pass the board, qualified applicants begin on-the-job training for three months at the battalion that recruited them for the program. Following the initial training, applicants complete a 20-week course for Marine Air-Ground Task Force CI/HUMINT to earn the MOS of CI/HUMINT specialist.
Although the process may be time consuming, it is a goal worth striving to achieve, according to the recruiter.
“At the end of it, the only people who are going to take an interest in (their careers) are themselves,” said the recruiter. “My job is to give them the information so that they can make that decision.”
The informational briefing inspired a number of participants to decide to apply for the coveted position.
“The work tempo drew me in, the challenge of it,” said one applicant. “I wanted to see if I qualified for it. The process has been pretty smooth, and they’ve guided me through it. I hope I get it.”