Wounded Warriors Get Intelligence Job Opportunities

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2011 — The intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty is reach­ing out to wound­ed war­riors, offer­ing new employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties through a unique intern­ship pro­gram.
U.S. Sen. Sax­by Cham­b­liss of Geor­gia and retired Air Force Lt. Gen.James R. Clap­per, direc­tor of nation­al intel­li­gence, wel­comed dozens of wound­ed war­riors to Joint Base Ana­cos­tia-Bolling, Md., May 18 to dis­cuss these new career options.

Address­ing the crowd of ser­vice mem­bers wound­ed in com­bat and now sta­tioned in the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., region, Cham­b­liss and Clap­per encour­aged them to con­tin­ue to serve their coun­try — this time out of the uni­form.

“You have been through some very dif­fi­cult chal­lenges, and you’ve faced those chal­lenges. You looked them in the eye and said ‘I’m going to over­come this,’ ” said Cham­b­liss, vice chair­man of the Sen­ate Select Com­mit­tee on Intel­li­gence. “You’re here because you have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to see what the world has to offer for you and the world has the oppor­tu­ni­ty to see what you have to offer to it.”

The intern­ship fair at the joint base was host­ed by the Office of Naval Intel­li­gence as a part of the wound­ed war­rior pro­gram coor­di­nat­ed by the Office of the Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence.

Start­ed in 2009 by retired Navy Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, then-Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence, the wound­ed war­rior intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty intern­ship pro­gram holds semi­an­nu­al career fairs to edu­cate sol­diers, sailors, air­men and Marines wound­ed in com­bat about the intel­li­gence field and poten­tial­ly match their skills with com­mu­ni­ty capa­bil­i­ty needs through short-term intern­ships.

Intel­li­gence careers have much to offer, Cham­b­liss said.

“The intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty today is a world apart from where it was a decade ago or two decades ago, and the oppor­tu­ni­ties abound for where the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty is going to be ten years from now,” said Cham­b­liss. “The intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty has been some­what of a bureau­cra­cy in years past, but things are chang­ing and things are chang­ing fast. The sit­u­a­tion involv­ing the take-down of [Osama] bin Laden is a clas­sic exam­ple of the changes we are see­ing in the intel­li­gence world today.”

Clap­per echoed the senator’s sen­ti­ments, say­ing, “It’s hard to top the take down of Osama bin Laden as a great suc­cess sto­ry for intel­li­gence and oper­a­tions, and I know you all share in our pride there. It’s a great tes­ta­ment to the team work of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty.”

The agen­cies rep­re­sent­ed at the gath­er­ing extolled the val­ue of the war­riors’ expe­ri­ence as their moti­va­tion for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event.

“Our man­agers and staff are com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing wound­ed war­riors and whole­heart­ed­ly pro­vide intern­ships to both build and uti­lize their mil­i­tary and non­mil­i­tary skills,” said Vir­ginia Cwali­na, human resource spe­cial­ist with the Defense Intel­li­gence Agency. “We want to help the war­riors find the best pos­si­ble fit.”

DIA had four recruiters on hand through­out the day to dis­cuss the agency’s mis­sions, goals and needs and find wound­ed war­riors with the right expe­ri­ence for the job. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion, the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency, the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency, the Naval Crim­i­nal Inves­tiga­tive Ser­vice, and sev­er­al oth­er agen­cies and offices joined DIA in reach­ing out to the wound­ed war­riors look­ing for their next career chal­lenge.

“Our pro­gram is delib­er­ate­ly designed to use their skill sets in new and dif­fer­ent ways,” said David Corey, Wound­ed War­rior Pro­gram Man­ag­er with the Office of the Direc­tor of Naval Intel­li­gence. “The intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty is seri­ous about help­ing the war­riors and also recoup­ing the ben­e­fits of their wealth of expe­ri­ence.”

In response to the increas­ing chal­lenges fac­ing the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty mis­sion, Corey explained, the num­ber of intern­ships offered at the fairs and through the wound­ed war­rior intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty pro­gram has jumped expo­nen­tial­ly from less than 25 when the pro­gram began, to more than 200 posi­tions today.

Sgt. Annette Mann, who sus­tained injures to her back and knees, was appre­cia­tive of the oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able to her at the fair.

“Even though I have these dis­abil­i­ties, it would be an hon­or for me to get a job and to help out [my coun­try] wher­ev­er I can,” said Mann. She said she hopes to bring her years of expe­ri­ence work­ing in per­son­nel admin­is­tra­tion to one of the agen­cies she talked to at the event.

“Even though I feel like I lost a lot, com­ing here to this [fair], made me feel like there is hope and I could see a lit­tle light,” said Mann. “This has giv­en me a brighter future.”

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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