Becoming an Agent: The First Week

The first weeks of training at the FBI Academy can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. For many new trainees, the arrival at Quantico is a significant step in a lifelong journey to becoming a special agent.


Video Transcript

Kellie Holland: There's this mystique about being an FBI agent. You know, I know I questioned myself, "Hey, am I good enough for this? Do I really think I can do it?" And I think we need to just put that self-doubt on a shelf.

M.A. Myers: For some people this is going to be a lifestyle change for them. Many have not been in a situation where they've had to carry a weapon. They've never been in a situation where they've had to wear a tactical vest. They've never been in a situation where they've had to actually apprehend someone and take them into custody in a safe and effective manner.

Sunny: On the first day, I think, I assume like most folks who got here, everyone was really excited but also a fair bit nervous. I had a decent idea of what to expect but no idea who I was going to be training with or what the environment was really going to be like on a day-to- day basis.

David Lewis: And you don't always remember everything about Quantico because it's a long process, but you remember the first day. For me, the first day was a lot of uncertainty, I think, with the people, but then there's also the uncertainty of, you know, or even a general idea, I'm going to be an agent. But you don't have any idea what that really means. Alex: I didn't really know what to expect when I first showed up; I'd never done anything like this. You work so hard and you're actually finally here. It takes so long to get here and then you get here and it doesn't honestly feel quite real.

Holland: There's a lot going on in those first couple weeks. They're getting acclimated. They've just arrived; they've been introduced to their supervisors and their support team, which is counselors; they are getting their equipment issued to them; and we've put them in a situation where now they're residing in a dormitory setting with, you know, 49 other people that they don't know. It's a wide range of emotions, as you can imagine, and having experienced it myself, you've got a bit of excitement-I mean, you're getting to realize your dream of becoming a special agent with the FBI.

Marc Savine: Agents have to establish that they have an acceptable level of physical fitness to perform the job task associated with the job of a special agent. We validate a test that's basic exercises that would establish a level of fitness, and that's sit-ups, push-ups, a sprint, and a mile-and-a-half run. In order to effect a lawful arrest you're going to need a level of fitness. And in order to avoid injury, to get through the Academy, you're going to have to maintain a level of fitness.

Liz: On the day of PFT I think everyone was very excited and nervous right before the test. And before the test everybody was trying to provide words of encouragement and support each other, much like going into a big game. I think our class rallied together and did that for each other, and you go out and you give it 100 percent and put it all on the line, and we were successful with that.

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