What is Counter-terrorism Operations?

The men and women who work in COUNTER-TERRORISM are the unseen heroes in the strategic war on terrorism. Only a select group of individuals, those specifically trained by the military, as Seal Teams and Special Forces units work as Counter Terrorism Operatives and carry out missions under the heading of the Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC) .

However, there are many Intelligence Officers working in support positions for these missions. Their primary focus is on threat analysis, which means analyzing, researching, tracking and gathering information. They are trained to look for indications and warnings (I&W) of terrorist activity. This information, better known as “intelligence”, is then, organized into reports or “briefs” and sent up a chain of command to policy makers before being sent to Field Operatives for the purpose of eliminating or counteracting potential national security threats.

Counter-Terrorism HQ

The National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), is the main US Government agency, which encompasses all counterintelligence activity via multiple departments and agencies. The NCTC reports to the President of the United States and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

Under this heading, COUNTER-TERRORISM Officers work for a variety of US Government agencies across the country and throughout the world. However, the major COUNTER-TERRORISM employers are located in the Washington DC metro area. The Department of Defense employs contractors, military and civilian personnel whose primary focus is on COUNTER-TERRORISM.

Students Seeking Employment in Intelligence

After careful screening, candidates are selected based on academic achievement, skills, background and relevant experience, such as Military service.

Student programs are available for those seeking to gain experience prior to employment in the intelligence field. For example, The Defense Intelligence Agency offers Academic Semester Internship Programs, Cooperative Education Programs and National Intelligence Scholars Programs. Potential candidates are encouraged to review the academic requirements before applying for positions in order to ensure qualifications meet agency specific guidelines.

Other agencies offering employment opportunities in the Counter Intelligence field are the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Security clearances are required for individuals working with classified information. Obtaining clearances can be a lengthy process and includes a thorough background check. Potential candidates applying for this type of government service are required to maintain a clean record, meaning no history of arrest or violations of the law.

The Lure of Intelligence Careers

Working within the intelligence community can be a rewarding career choice. Through analysis, collections, targeting intelligence officers have a direct impact on operations involving our nation’s security. Counter-Intelligence professionals have the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to society. Often, they are privy to classified information and have a behind the scenes influence on the newspaper headlines of tomorrow.

The demands of Counter-Intelligence grow and change along with the introduction of new technology and the global economy. Due to continuing demand in this field, growth and advancement opportunities exist. Perhaps this is why, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency website  in 2013, the intelligence community was one of the top five places to work in 2013, for the fifth consecutive year. In addition to employee benefits and career advancement, COUNTER-TERRORISM officers are vital to national security.

For more information, check out “Top 10 Best Online Homeland Security Degree Programs“.