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How to Join the FBI With a Military Background

by Chiara Sakuwa, studioD

The Federal Bureau of Investigation offers a wide variety of opportunities for military veterans to further skills they acquired during their service. If you have a military service background, you can continue to serve and protect your country through FBI positions ranging from administrative and technical work to intelligence, science and investigative opportunities. Many FBI special agents have military backgrounds. Due to the exclusive and sensitive nature of FBI professions, the hiring process is a lengthy and comprehensive one, requiring an extensive background check. The FBI welcomes veterans and often recruits on military base career fairs.

Research employment opportunities online by visiting the FBI website, which will refer you to USAJobs.gov. You may also find out about positions at veteran's career fairs, as well as those open to the general public. Review each vacancy announcement thoroughly to find ones that are commensurate with your knowledge, skills and abilities.

Fill out the online application package thoroughly and accurately. You may be given an online questionnaire to fill out in narrative statements. Be sure any statements and answers on the questionnaire are consistent with your resume and can be verified by existing credentials. Gather all supporting documents, including your resume, transcripts, proof of citizenship and veteran's documentation, such as a DD-214 or SF-15. These will need to be sent via fax, e-mail or digital upload.

Submit your application package online and send in all of the supporting documents that the vacancy announcement specifies. Once received, your application package will be reviewed. Although wait times can vary, you should expect to hear from a hiring manager within several weeks, but only if you were selected to schedule an interview.

Prepare for your interview by researching the FBI by being ready to discuss how your skills and experiences in the military will best fit the duties and requirements of the position you want. Dress in professional attire. For FBI positions, a dark suit and tie for men and a pantsuit or skirted suit for women are recommended. Arrive at the interview site about 15 minutes early. Greet each interviewer by name. Speak confidently, maintaining good posture and eye contact. Be sure to have extra copies of supporting documents in case the interviewers request them. If your application is moving forward, you will be notified and given a security questionnaire.

Complete the security questionnaire for the background investigation needed to get your security clearance. Fill out all queries thoroughly and accurately. You will be asked a series of questions regarding foreign contacts, past drug use, financial and credit history, international travel and military service. Once submitted, you will be scheduled for a polygraph exam and drug testing. Once your background investigation is completed successfully, you will be given a Top Secret clearance and a start date.


  • Researching the FBI website for press releases and personnel testimonies relevant to the position you seek, particularly from veterans, may increase your chances of getting selected.


  • Give only truthful and accurate information on your application package and security questionnaire. Any inconsistencies, errors or false statements will render your application unfit for consideration. Or, you could be terminated later if you are hired.
  • Review the FBI website for list of potential employment disqualifiers prior to proceeding with your application to ensure they do not apply to you. Examples include being convicted of a felony or being in default on a government-secured student loan.

About the Author

Chiara Sakuwa has been a writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in publications such as the "Liberty Champion" newspaper and "The New World Encyclopedia" project. She is also the author of the novel "The Lady Leathernecks." She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Campbell University and a Master of Criminal Justice from Boston University.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images