FORT LEONARD WOOD, Missouri- The mission of Army Counterintelligence is to protect the Army, its employees — both military and civilian; equipment, information, and technology from foreign intelligence services and from international terrorist groups.
Robert Carothers, special agent in charge of the Fort Leonard Wood Field Office, said there is an easier way to understand what they do.
“What we do is catch spies and terrorists,” the retired Soldier said.
They accomplish their mission by investigating matters of national security as they pertain to the Army within Missouri, added Sgt. Shane Orsburne, special agent and NCOIC, Fort Leonard Wood Field Office.
Unlike the Army Criminal Investigations Division, CI is not involved in criminal investigations unless it is a matter of national security.
“Our specific jurisdiction is only national security,” Carothers said. “National security crimes are still crimes, but they are national security.”
When the two-man field office at Fort Leonard Wood is not out “catching spies and terrorists,” they are following-up on calls to the 800.CALL.SPY hotline that pertain to their jurisdiction, advising commanders on threat levels, providing threat briefs for Soldiers, Families and civilian employees who are travelling abroad or providing Threat Awareness and Reporting Program briefings (TARP) to units on post.
Carothers joined CI as a Soldier before retiring and becoming a civilian agent. Orsburne was an infantry Soldier looking for something new. Both special agents found a home within CI, and are looking for Soldiers interested in joining them.
The process to become a special agent starts with an application package that can be found online at https://ikn.army.mil/aps/IKNWMS/Default.aspx?webId=2200.
Story writer Stephen Standifird says requirements to be eligible include the ability to obtain a top secret clearance, be at least 21-years-old upon completion of the school, able to pass an Army Physical Fitness Test, be in compliance with height and weight standards and have a minimum rank of specialist and eligible for promotion to sergeant.
“We are looking for the entry level Soldiers because that is where our need is right now,” Carothers said.
All occupational specialties in the Army are eligible to reclassify to CI, as long as the prerequisites are met. It also helps to be self-motivated and able to interact with different people, Carothers added.
“If you are looking for a challenge and something very unique, this could be the possibility you are looking for,” Carothers said.
Orsburne agreed, saying he spent the first three years as a special agent at Fort Meade, Maryland, in cyber counter intelligence as a digital forensics examiner.
“This is probably one of the most unique career fields in the Army,” he said. “There are so many different opportunities in this career field, it just blew my mind.”
Soldiers wanting more information about CI, or the application process, can call the Fort Leonard Wood office at 573.596.0131, ext. 60598.