An Army Counterintelligence Agent (MOS 35L) is responsible for detecting and countering foreign intelligence entities.
These specialized soldiers complete investigations, collect evidence, and help stop international terrorist threats.
This position is considered an entry-level position but has strict requirements due to the nature of the information obtained.
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Qualifications and Training
MOS 35L is a position that requires individuals to have a high-level security clearance.
Having a high-level security clearance requirement means that both you and your immediate family must be U.S. citizens.
This position also is not available to previous Peace Corps members.
These individuals must have high moral standards.
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In addition to being eligible to pass a Top Secret Clearance investigation and being a U.S. citizen, the eligibility requirements are listed below.
Entry Level Requirements:
- No record of conviction by court-martial or Article 15 proceedings including felony arrests or convictions
- Normal color vision
- No history of mental or emotional disorders
- Valid driver’s license
- High school diploma or the equivalent
- A minimum score of 101 in the Skilled Technical (ST) ASVAB test
- No physical or medical limitations
- At least 19.5 years of age upon CI Special Agent Course completion
Individuals wishing to be recruited into this MOS will be required to attend Basic Combat Training for 10 weeks and 18 weeks of Advanced Individual Training at the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
There are also advanced training opportunities in areas like CI Collection, Foreign CI Training, CI Cyber, Technical Surveillance and Countermeasures, and CI Debriefing.
Skills that are helpful in this Army MOS include:
- Ability to work independently and interact with senior officials from military law enforcement, intelligence, and security agencies from both the U.S. and host nations.
- Excellent writing, research, and critical thinking capabilities
- Ability to make judgment calls without direction from supervisor
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What Does a Counterintelligence Agent Do?
An Army Counterintelligence Agent completes investigations and collects evidence that keeps U.S. citizens, property, and information safe.
They operate under the Joint Task Force organization and can operate in a joint operational environment.
These specialists must be able to blend in as a civilian in order to stay undercover.
Not all agents perform undercover missions, but when they do, secrecy and integrity are crucial to their success, the mission’s success, and the safety of anyone around them.
It is important that they speak clearly, are personable, and write clearly so information obtained is accurately shared and presented.
Speaking and writing clearly is also important because they serve as an Army Counterintelligence liaison.
They brief senior officials from U.S. and host Nation agencies.
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Having computer skills such as higher typing efficiency and research experience is also helpful in this position because of the high amount of investigating and documenting performed.
While it is not required that the specialist speak a foreign language, it can be very beneficial.
Being personable is very important because it allows the agent to gain relationships and inside information.
The Counterintelligence Agent will work to detect and identify any counterintelligence-related threats.
Once threats have been determined, they will conduct any appropriate countermeasures against the threat including assessing, exploiting, manipulating, and neutralizing.
Part of this process includes performing threat intelligence collection assessments.
This information, along with any other information obtained in their work, will be appropriately collected and documented using reporting and communications equipment.
They are required to investigate national security crimes and collect/process digital, forensic, and physical evidence.
It is their job to learn all that they can about a target.
They will prevent sabotage, terrorism, espionage, treason, and sedition.
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The specialist can conduct missions, investigations, and surveillance to protect Army assets.
The investigations can be on individuals, organizations, installations, and activities.
Quick analytical thinking and decision-making are very important qualities in this position.
They are required to use their intelligence to make predictive analysis of what the enemy might do next.
This allows them to provide information on potential missions that can minimize any risks for soldiers or personnel.
Soldiers in this MOS do not always know where their job will be taking them next.
They can be part of a tactical, operational, or strategic counterintelligence mission at any location around the world.
Working in this position allows individuals to learn skills and advanced technology related to surveillance, hacking, networking, protection, and security.
There are also opportunities to gain additional training while in this position that will increase your rank and your work efficiency and can be funded through the military.
Certificates/Advanced Training Opportunities include:
- Certified Cyber Forensics Professional (CCFP)-Agency: International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium Inc.
- Certified Criminal Profiler (CCP)-Agency: McAfee Institute
- Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI)-Agency: International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council)
These certifications may have extra requirements but will open the door to more opportunities as a Counterintelligence Agent.
The Army video below has more information on Counterintelligence Agent job functions and job reviews from agents.
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What Does a Soldier in MOS 35L Get Paid?
Pay in this position will depend on your rank, time of service, and other factors upon entering.
This position requires higher training that may assist in your rank progression.
The Army base pay table below includes pay information.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-1 +4 months||Private||PVT||$1,917.60|
|E-2||Private Second Class||PV2||$2,149.20|
|E-3||Private First Class||PFC||$2,259.90|
|E-7||Sergeant First Class||SFC||$3,445.80|
|E-9||Command Sergeant Major||CSM||$6,055.50|
|E-9||Sergeant Major of the Army||SMA||$6,055.50|
Keep in mind that the Army offers bonuses for certain in-demand positions and other recruiting/position opportunities in addition to offering benefits.
This position in the Army, like other positions, gives individuals paid housing and food while living on base.
If the position requires you to live off of the base, an allowance to pay for your housing and food will be given that is dependent on factors such as rank, location, and family status.
The Army will give soldiers an annual allowance for uniforms and civilian clothing if it is required for their job.
Certain scenarios, such as when deployed, will allow individuals to receive extra compensation.
Other benefits that the Army provides include free to low-cost medical and dental, low-cost life insurance, paid sick time and vacation, and education tuition assistance.
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Being in Counterintelligence sounds like it would be an exciting position when you think of completing surveillance and catching “bad guys.”
The truth is, the position can be exciting, but it is also dangerous and requires hard work and motivation.
Mission success and your growth in this position depend heavily on your ability to learn, adapt, and progress.
Soldiers who have been in the Counterintelligence Agent position discuss the personal development they get from being in this position.
They also discuss how difficult it can be to have a family in this position as you are never sure where you could be going next.
A few job reviews from Counterintelligence agents are below.
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Civilian Career Opportunities
Working in Counterintelligence gives individuals experience that relates to criminal law and investigation as a civilian.
There are many government positions that relate to the skills learned in Counterintelligence in departments like the Military Intelligence Civilian Excepted Career Program, CIA, DIA, and FBI.
There are also private sectors that offer positions that relate to similar job functions.
Positions may include:
- Police Detective
- Private Detective
- Intelligence Analyst
- Criminal Investigator
- Management Analyst
- Security Officer
Training and certification opportunities outlined in the job description section will allow for more opportunities in the civilian career field, as well as higher starting pay and position negotiation.
An Army Counterintelligence Agent (MOS 35L) is responsible for collecting and interpreting intelligence that directly affects the safety and security of U.S. citizens, property, and equipment.
They complete this by investigating, detecting, and identifying counterintelligence threats and conducting countermeasures.
This high-security position requires a top-level clearance and additional qualifications that other entry-level positions do not require.
MOS 35L will follow the basic Army pay table, and soldiers will be given Army benefits and applicable allowances.
Individuals who have previously held this position found the work interesting and engaging as it generally changes from day-to-day.
Counterintelligence in the Army allows for civilian career opportunities working for both government and private intelligence and surveillance entities.
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What Army MOS is 35L?
An MOS 35L is a counter intelligence agent, who identifies and counters foreign and terrorist threats. The 35 series MOS focuses on military intelligence and includes specialties like intelligence analysts, human intelligence, and cryptologic linguists.
What does counterintelligence do in the army?
The role of counter intelligence specialists is to detect, identify, assess, and then counter or neutralize threats from adversaries and terrorists, as well as those posed by foreign intelligence services.
How do you become a counterintelligence agent in the Army?
Army Counterintelligence Agents (MOS 35L) need a Top Secret clearance. You'll also need a clean criminal, physical health, and mental health record, as well as a minimum score of 101 on the Skilled Technical portion of the ASVAB.
How long is AIT for military intelligence?
To become an Army Counterintelligence Agent (MOS 35L), you’ll attend Basic Combat Training for 10 weeks, then 18 weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
Is 35L an entry-level position in the Army?
Previously, candidates for Army Counterintelligence Agents (MOS 35L) had to be in-service soldiers with ranks of E-4 or E-5. Currently, the Army is accepting new recruits over the age of 20 as 35L candidates.