A Special Kind of Education; FBI Trainees at Quantico Work hard.(LIFE - SCHOOLS)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 23, 2002 | Go to article overview

A Special Kind of Education; FBI Trainees at Quantico Work hard.(LIFE - SCHOOLS)


Byline: Ann Geracimos, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The FBI Academy at Quantico, Va., is a police school unlike any other in the world.

"It's the Harvard of law enforcement," says author Ron Kessler, who has written two books about the government's top investigative agency, the most recent being "The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI."

The exclusive training venue for special agents, housed on a sprawling 531-acre campus within the 60,000-acre Marine Corps base, compares with any Ivy League school - but with a difference.

Competition for admission is high and standards are rigorous for the specialized law enforcement training. Prospects must be 23 to 36 years old, have completed at least four years of college and been employed full time for at least three years. Most are on a second or third career.

The admissions process can take two years or more. Preliminary testing involves not only physical and oral exams, but a writing sample and a background security check. Being married is a plus, as it indicates maturity and stability, according to Andrew R. Bland, section chief in charge of new agent training.

Beginning in February, after Congress granted funds for the FBI to hire additional personnel and the agency began a widespread recruiting campaign, some 74,000 people applied for admission. Some 54,000 met the minimal qualifications, and about 25,000 of those seemed to have the critical skills the agency looks for: a background in computer science, information technology, physical science, engineering, foreign languages, accounting or counterintelligence. These days, classes of roughly 50 people begin every two weeks.

Fewer than 20 percent of those initially qualified will be taken. Seven percent will flunk the training or leave voluntarily. Between Oct. 1, 2001, and Sept. 30, the FBI hired 923 agents. They are hoping to hire 862 new recruits to join the bureau's current force of 11,600 agents in fiscal 2003.

"Some think they can get over on the polygraph because it isn't an exact science," says Joe Bross, acting chief of the applicant process section. "We knock out more than one of every two [with the polygraph]."

Diversity is the new byword, but common sense and street smarts count for more. Class time spent on counterterrorism and counterintelligence training has doubled in the last three months, and a seven-hour leadership development course has been added at the instigation of FBI Director Robert Mueller III.

* * *

The recruits generally are alpha types, high energy, competitive people who are accustomed to taking charge. "Leadership and followership are two sides of the same coin," says Mike Ferrence, the leadership unit chief. "They [new agents] are going out to work with multiple agencies and they won't always be in charge."

The leadership promotion material every agent receives reads, "Support an appropriate balance between work and non-work life."

Blond, blue-eyed 28-year-old Ashley is an accountant who has handled firearms since she was a child hunting game with her father in rural Mississippi. "I felt very blessed when I got the letter [of acceptance]," she says, noting that the hardest part of training is "the amount we have to learn." (Last names are withheld at the bureau's request to protect agents who might later go undercover.)

At 5 feet 2 inches and 110 pounds, Cindy, 27, is an epidemiologist who worked for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the anthrax scare. Long interested in bioterrorism, she didn't tell her father - a former agent - about her decision to join the FBI until she was selected.

She does not feel at a disadvantage tackling larger, much heavier men, she says, even though out of her class of nine women and 41 men, two trainees left in the first two weeks and three others have had injuries. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Special Kind of Education; FBI Trainees at Quantico Work hard.(LIFE - SCHOOLS)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.