Job Family: Intelligence Intelligence Officers
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps  | Coast Guard  | National Guard

Supplemental Information
Profile 1 |  Profile 2 |  Profile 3 |  Career Path
Photo 1: Intelligence officers review map. Photo 2:
Officers analyze intelligence data.

Neal Hayes
Occupation: Intelligence Officer

I graduated with a biology degree from the University of Puget Sound. I wanted to work in a health department or research lab; unfortunately, the j…

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Ramon Rodriguez
Occupation: Intelligence Officer

My father had a 24- year career in the Air Force before he retired at the rank of Master Sergeant, so the military has always been a pr…

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Joe Wiltz
Occupation: Intelligence Officer

At 14, I was struggling to separate myself from the gangs and violence in south central L.A. After my parents’ divorce, I didn’t have any int…

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Short Description
Information about the size, strength, location, and capabilities of enemy forces is essential to military operations and national defense. To gather information, the services rely on aerial photographs, human observation, and electronic monitoring using radar, satellite, and supersensitive radios. Intelligence officers gather technical intelligence needed for military planning.


What They Do
Intelligence officers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Direct sea, ground, and aerial surveillance
  • Integrate efforts to attack personnel, facilities, or equipment with the intent of degrading, neutralizing, or destroying enemy combat capability
  • Exploit imagery and geospatial data from satellite and airborne systems in support of military operations
  • Prepare, review, and approve investigative/operational reports of investigations and inspections
  • Brief commanders on intelligence findings
  • Help plan military missions including those involving electronic and pyschological warfare
  • Gather and analyze technical and human intelligence
  • Oversee security investigations
  • Provide technical expertise and manags activities during imagery interpretation activities

Helpful Attributes
Helpful fields of study include cryptology, computer science, mathematics, and engineering. Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to organize and manage activities
  • Ability to work with abstract problems
  • Interest in analyzing data
  • Interest in solving problems

Training Provided
Job training consists of classroom instruction. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. Course content typically includes:
  • Air, ground, and sea intelligence operations
  • Photograph interpretation
  • Use of surveillance equipment
  • Reconnaissance equipment and weapons systems

Work Environment
Intelligence officers work in offices on land and aboard ships. They may work in the field on maneuvers and military exercises.


Civilian Counterparts
Civilian intelligence officers generally work in federal agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). They perform duties similar to those performed by military intelligence officers.

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