T Nation

A Literal Kick Ass Job?

Im still in school as a business major (marketing and entreprenuership emphasis) with a minor in economics.

Great as it is…

If I were to join the police force, how long would it take me to make SWAT?

Or are there any FBI training programs that don’t involve joining the military?

How about CIA? NSA?

Something where I can fucking shoot someone? (joking, sorta)

I just put in applications for the NSA and FBI. You don’t need a military background to join as a security officer. It helps, but isn’t necessary. Go to their web site, and they will tell you what they are looking for.

Maybe they will call me up and offer me a job. I’m ready for 12-13 weeks of training at Quantico.

Nate, if you do go to Quatico, you are hereby ordered to attend at least one DC T-cell gathering.

I wish you luck on getting the appointment.

I had a friend (accountant) who is the squeekiest-clean individual you would ever hope to meet. This guy is honest to a fault. It took two years of interviewing/background checks/lie detector tests/psychological evaluations before the FBI offered him a job. By then he had bought a house, had a kid, and settled down.

i went to high school with a guy who said the FBI kept buggin him to work for them.

Why not give the SEALs or maybe Special Forces a try? Sure the pay is not great but you’d get to work with the best. And with the world being what it is today, there’s a very high chance of seeing combat in either of those jobs.

Oh, and I’m sure there are plenty of Spec Ops guys who’ve went on to work with the CIA.

Xen Nova,
you’re 19 if i remeber from your other threads. Not to smash this rather whimsical idea, but just the way you even present this question shows this is not the right field for you. If you just want to ‘kill somebody (even if you are just jokingly thinking it),’ think of joining overseas private contracting business, like Black H20, although with your experiance (none) you’ll have to go with a much less quality group. There are no rules, you choose your danger level and your own loadout. You are in essence a merc, and get paid a bundle, and can kill every ‘skinny or raghead’ you can find. There’s that ‘temporary T’ rush, as there is normally only small contracts to sign up for (months as opposed to till you retire, in the other options). These other options require you to JOIN the police, and then qualify ontop of that for SWAT (so its years down the road) and considering your educational background, you are rather over qualified (no insult ment to door kickers out there). In the CIA/NSA, an EXTREMELY small portion of the Directorate of Operations (DO) even do the basic spy stuff, let alone the Bourne Identity thing black ops. Which has been my goal for the last 8 years of my life and has been the reason i’ve been training, since my competition will be ex-spec ops men. In the polygraph, they will ask you WHY you are doing it, the second they detect this ‘macho’ thing… you wash out. Not to let this get political, but the last thing our intelligence services need is more people with the desire for killin’

Irregardless, i think just getting TRAINED for any of those special operator things would be the most amazing experiance of my life.
-if you are interested Xen, PM about things, i’ve met with a few ‘recruiters’ and could offer some advice

I must tell you that if you want to work for the CIA, it will be a serious commitment. The lead in time, interviews, background checks, etc… can be two years or more unless you have a skill set that puts you on the fast track. They also tend to weed out those that just want to “kick some ass.” I know that the FBI and NSA can be just as time intensive. Have you considered the State Department? They have some security positions that are not well known, but that involve executive security, extractions and the like. I don’t have any knowledge of local SWAT teams, but I would guess the best way to find out would be to contact the department that you would be interested in working for. The FBI’s HRT team is supercompetitive to join, plus I believe that you must be an agent for a few years first, which is not a bad thing. Honestly, most intelligence agencies don’t have kick ass jobs. The military is far more proficient in that field ie SEALs, DELTA, Rangers, Recon.

Becoming a cop just to join a SWAT team is kind of like enlisting in the navy just to be a SEAL. They’re cool-as-shit jobs, but also very elite and selective assignments. A vast majority of the people who become cops never work on a SWAT team. Not to shut you down, if you want to do it, then bust your ass and make the team. All I’m suggesting is that if you decide to join some sort of law enforcement agency, don’t do it just because you want to kick in doors or snipe terrorists. I don’t know a single member of our team that’s been on the job for less than 5 years as a regular cop, and most have been on for a lot longer. So be prepared to perform the other aspects of the job.

Even spec ops in the military(army in my case) takes a couple of years. You have to go through basic training, AIT try and go airborne enroute to duty station and then put in your 4187(I think that was the DA form) for SF selection. If you make it through the 21 day selection with out being dropped or peered out you then have phase 2 and phase 3 training which lasts upwards of 2+ years.

As for “the police force” and SWAT that takes time, you have to be at least 20 at your hire date and then I would say a good 3 to 5 solid years of regular work before you get to even try out for SWAT. As for the FBI, CIA and NSA since you don’t have a 4 year degree they won’t take you, most of these agencies require specific degrees. Typically the FBI doesn’t even consider you until the age of 27. As for the CIA and NSA I’m not to sure, When I worked in the Balkans with the CIA all the operatives I worked with were ex-DELTA. Plus their profilers would pick out your “just shoot someone” tendencies right off the bat.

Some people ask “should you shoot to injure or shoot to kill?”

I think these people are missing the point.

The point is that you get to shoot somebody!

(Funny quote from Reno 911)

For the question about FBI, CIA, etc. I have researched this quite a bit. All federal law enforcement seems to be very hard to get in to.

For example, for the FBI, you have to take a lie detector test to prove you have not used marijuana in the last three months or more than 15 times in your life, and that you have never used any illegal drugs.

For US Marshalls, you can’t even apply, you have to be enrolled in their bachelors degree program at selected universities.

I am going to apply to several agencies when I graduate, but I don’t think I will get hired. I have never used drugs, but my degree will be in engineering and not with a high GPA. As competitive as these positions are, it sounds like you have to be top of your class to get a look.

Keeping my fingers crossed


I’m about your age and currently on the road to becoming a cop. I used to really want to be a SWAT, ERT, ESU team member before I really knew what policing was all about. So, I enrolled in a post-secondary program that is focussed on policing. All my teachers are or were cops, ranging from patrol guys to a guy who was third in command in a large department. They opened my eyes to the many different career paths you can take being a police officer.

Examples of these other paths are K-9, Narcotics, Criminal Intelligence (what an oxymoron) Criminal Investigations. The list goes on and on. I don’t even know what I want to do anymore because everything else seems really cool too. I don’t even think SWAT is my top pick anymore. It looks really cool in the movies and everything, but that’s not how it really is. A lot of the time you are standing around for 8 hours, without eating, nervous as fuck because you never know when you’re going to have to run into a building that is housing a psychopath.

SWAT isn’t called in for routine arrests. SWAT is called in when a bulletproof vest, a semi auto or shotgun, and regular firearms training isn’t enough. These bad guys are bad news. There is a chance you can get wasted the second you go in the door. It’s not at all glamorous. A SWAT guy that is really good friends with a teacher of mine told him “This job is 95% boredom, 5% sheer terror.” Something to think about…
This is just MY perspective on it, and if you want a career in Law Enforcement, go balls to the wall and don’t give up. It’s a great ride from what I’ve heard.

PS: In regards to your other thread about Rooney’s DVD, which one were you watching? I have the “Training for Warriors: The Team Renzo Gracie Workout” book, and I’m thinking about buying the Warm up DVD’s…Any thoughts?

[quote]NC wrote:

PS: In regards to your other thread about Rooney’s DVD, which one were you watching? I have the “Training for Warriors: The Team Renzo Gracie Workout” book, and I’m thinking about buying the Warm up DVD’s…Any thoughts?[/quote]

Get the DVD’s it’s MORE than worth it. As a matter of fact they should come together. Getting to actually see these guys in action is not only a great motivating tool but you can really run through the workout in your head easier (no need to carry around a note book or anything) if you get the visual stimulus.

I apologize for approaching the subject with a whimsical attitude. That’s really just my personality :-p

But in all honesty the reason I’m interested is because while I can easily just graduate and be living a wealthy life and be content.

But a’regular’ job isn’t what I truly see myself doing. It’s not in me, as a little kid if you asked me what I wanted to be, I wanted to be a superhero. I got chastised and eventually just said astronaught. What I came to understand is that I really want to fight injustice and help people. I want to be on the forefront of combat and make a difference.

No “True Lies” pull a grenade pin with your teeth and say a snappy line shit.

But sure, sitting 4 hours in a swamp surrounded by snakes, gators, and mosquitoes the size of idaho taters till you get the order to move.

I can HONESTLY see myself doing that.

I’m pretty bright, and have successfully made money in different industries. I’m only 19 and I grossed a pretty large sum of money over the last semester and summer (more than you’ll guess- no I did’nt slang lol). During football season here I’ve created a few different little hustles that I can make easily 2 grand in a weekend (i love being at the #1 football school in the country lol).

So yes I can make money. I can make my parents happy and live a pretty comfortable life.

But I dont think I would be happy or complete unless I did something with myself that actually made a difference.

I dont think I could look my grandkid in the eye and be like “yup, I worked for the company for 40yrs. thats dedication”

I’d much rather tell them some story about grandpa in a far off country blah blah…

Hell if I even live that long which I really can’t imagine. Besides who wants to live forever?

I can’t say if this is a serious question or not that I’m asking of you guys but at the very least I want to get the information so that I can make the decision for myself.


Thanks for the reply. I will be ordering the DVD’s. I really hate carrying my notes around with me. At first I had to bring the book to my training area which is in a commercial gym. The word “Warrior” really raises a lot of eyebrows on the blue whales…

What’s your beef with joining the military?

There are perks if you join the military after recieving a degree.

Most FBI agents have law degrees, they like to hire people that know the law I guess.

Thought about law school?


My advice, finish school. You are at USC! I grew up in Southern Cal and I know how prestigious a school that USC is. Not everyone gets excepted there, you did and you have an opportunity to get a degree. Get the degree, then pursue your dreams.

For the most part, you can earn more money working for a local police agency as opposed to a state or federal agency (at least where I live). Plus, I have the opportunity to be an undercover narcotics detective and a SWAT team operator (entry baby, fuck sniper- no offense to them obviously, they have our backs). In my job I work closely with ATF agents, DEA agents, and FBI agents. I have also worked with US Marshalls. All of them have expressed how their jobs are difficult because of all the red tape involved with federal agencies.

Bottom line, a local government agency (ie police) seems to have more flexibility and sy-so in their investigations and job assignments. And for me, I was a cop for 3 years before making SWAT and 4 years before becoming a narc. And buying dope undercover is as much a rush as kicking a door on SWAT.


I applaud your enthusiasm, but here are some basics for law enforcement.

Most agencies won’t hire you for a patrol position until you are at least 21 years old. The state POST (Police Officers Standards and Training) board dictates this, and is not subject to dispute. While the agency can hire you for other civilian positions, a patrol (or even detention) position is out of reach until that 21st birthday.

A general figure for hiring breaks down like this. I’m only going to base this off of 100 applicants (for percentages), but the numbers apply to almost all agencies.

Given that 100 people apply for an open position, the average rate of people passing the minimum required testing process, approximately 10 will pass.

Of those 10 people, maybe 5 will past their background checks and get accepted to an academy. Should they pass the academy, they still must go through a field training program.

So, now you have (if you’re lucky) 5 new recruits ready to go out, kick ass and take names. If they make through field training and probation, which usually lasts 6 months to a year, they still have to prove themselves able to handle a street level job and make the smart decisions when faced with life and death circumstances.

You now have a force of the top 5 percent of eligible people, contending for the top spots in any given field within that agency. Most agencies (but not all) will make you wait at least 3 years before you can apply for, test to, and posibly get into any of these specialty positions, ie SWAT, K9, Narcs, CI, etc. And the positions within the agency are usually at, or near, 10 percent of the total work force for that agency.

So that leaves you at 0.5 percent of the original hiring pool making it to those specialty spots in the “elite” fields.

If you’re smart enough, strong enough, and able to withstand the grueling hours needed to get this far, keep going! But don’t come into it for the money. It isn’t there in public service. Satisfaction yes, money no.

Good luck with this.

And yes, I’m one of the “lucky” 0.5%