Stories from Langley: A Glimpse Inside the CIA

Stories from Langley: A Glimpse Inside the CIA

Stories from Langley: A Glimpse Inside the CIA

Stories from Langley: A Glimpse Inside the CIA

Synopsis

Applicants to the Central Intelligence Agency often asked Edward Mickolus what they might expect in a career there. Mickolus, a former CIA intelligence officer whose duties also included recruiting and public affairs, never had a simple answer. If applicants were considering a life in the National Clandestine Service, the answer was easy. Numerous memoirs show the lives of operations officers collecting secret intelligence overseas, conducting counterintelligence investigations, and running covert action programs. But the CIA isn't only about case officers in far-flung areas of the world, recruiting spies to steal secrets. For an applicant considering a career as an analyst, a support officer, a scientist, or even a secretary, few sources provide reliable insight into what a more typical career at the CIA might look like.
This collection of the exploits and insights of twenty-nine everyday agency employees is Mickolus's answer. From individuals who have served at the highest levels of the agency to young officers just beginning their careers, Stories from Langley reveals the breadth of career opportunities available at the CIA and offers advice from agency officers themselves.

Excerpt

During the three years in the mid-2000s during which I served as a recruiter for the Central Intelligence Agency, I was often asked by would-be applicants, “Okay, I sort of get what I’d be doing. But what would I have to show for a career?” The answer for those considering a life in the National Clandestine Service (NCS), one of the four directorates of the CIA, was easy: just read the memoirs of such heroes as Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby, Gary Schroen, Richard Holm, Duane Clarridge, David Phillips, James Olson, Floyd Paseman, and countless others. In those pages, aspiring operations officers, collection management officers, staff operations officers, and targeters could learn of the multitude of experiences available to those who collect secret intelligence overseas, conduct counterintelligence investigations, and run covert action programs. But there was no easy answer for those considering a career as an analyst, support officer, tech officer, or a myriad of other roles critical to the Directorate of Support (DS) or the Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T). There have been a handful of books about how to run the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), most notably by former Deputy Director of Intelligence R. Jack Smith and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (himself a former DDI), but nothing on what a more typical career looks like.

I could tell them about my career, which included serving in analytical, operational, management, and staff positions in all four directorates of the Central Intelligence Agency for thirty-three years and involving high-profile, complex, and diverse functions . . .

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