Becoming an Agent: Inside the Classroom
From day one at the FBI Academy, new agents train alongside intelligence analysts to be more prepared for collaborative work in the field.
Kellie Holland, Unit Chief, FBI Training Division: The Basic Field Training Course—the BFTC—is a monumental shift in how we used to do our traditional training, which is we had separate training courses for each of the intelligence analysts and the new agent trainees, or NATs. And we have found that in order for us to be more successful in identifying and minimizing the threats, we needed to have a combined team.
New Intelligence Analyst Trainee: I think the integration is necessary because it helps each individual understand the other’s job role. For example, the intelligence analyst can understand what the special agent is doing with the information that we may be providing to the intelligence community. And then similarly, when the special agent brings information in, you know, we’re understanding how they’re bringing information in so intelligence analysts can get it out to the intelligence community. And also, at the end of the day, build camaraderie between two very separate job roles that are still very closely aligned within our organization.
Carrie Richardson-Zadra, Special Agent, FBI Training Division: In order to better prepare new intelligence analysts and new agent trainees, it is important for each of them to understand the other’s specific job role. New agent trainees will learn analytic tradecraft standards, critical thinking, and threat analysis, while new analyst trainees learn how to be effective interviewers and basic investigative process.
M.A. Myers, Section Chief, FBI Training Division: Both the agent population and the analytical population are both better prepared once they arrive to a field office to work collaboratively because it starts at the foundational level here at the Academy. People who have different skill sets, who come from different backgrounds will be more able to accomplish the mission.
David, Special Agent: The one thing I think that Quantico does an excellent job of is bringing together a really diverse pool of people who are really good at different things. And then you put them in a situation that’s somewhat artificial, and you rely on their resolve and their ability—it’s that kind of environment. And it’s an environment that lends itself to you finding those people that make you better, where you’re not naturally or through the work you’ve done to get there, were necessarily strong in.
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