Diplomatic Security Special Agents are federal law enforcement officers who are highly skilled. They advise ambassadors on security matters and manage security programs to protect personnel, facilities and information. In the U.S., Special Agents protect the Secretary of State and visiting foreign dignitaries, investigate passport and visa fraud and conduct personnel security investigations.
As a Diplomatic Security Special Agent, you will represent your country to the world. You will have an unprecedented opportunity to travel the world and experience different cultures.
Diplomatic Security Special Agent Requirements
You must be a U.S. citizen with a B.A. or B.S. degree and be between 21 and 36 years of age when appointed. You will undergo a thorough background investigation and must qualify for a Top Secret security clearance as well as pass a stringent medical examination.
You must also pass written and oral assessment exams as well as physical fitness tests. Fluency in a foreign language is desirable but is not mandatory.
Education and Training
New Agents receive six months of training in personal protection techniques, criminal law and investigations, firearms, specialized driving, first aid and background investigations. Training begins with orientation in Washington, D.C. followed by basic and specialized training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Georgia. Candidates must pass all required tests at FLETC.
Before being assigned overseas, Special Agents are trained in security management, post operations, counterintelligence and electronic security. Additional training may be required in advanced firearms techniques, explosive device detection, arson investigation and medical assistance.
Diplomatic Security Special Agent Salary
Starting salaries range from $37,413 to $51,788 and depend on qualifications, specialized experience and location of assignment.
Benefits include life insurance and medical coverage, law enforcement availability pay (LEAP), federal retirement benefits, paid education for K-12 dependent children and generous paid leave. The U.S. Department of State provides paid housing or housing allowance for overseas service and you will receive extensive language training.
Diplomatic Security Special Agent Career Opportunities
Special Agents spend half their careers working inside the United States and the other half living and working abroad.
Overseas assignments offer good opportunity for career growth in Diplomatic Security. Those who prove themselves on the job may be promoted to Regional Security Officer with the responsibility for managing security operations for an embassy or several diplomatic posts in a specific region. The Regional Security Officer serves as operational supervisor of U.S. Marine Security Guard detachments assigned to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities.
DS Special Agents are armed and have arrest authority. They are first assigned to a field office in the United States for up to two years and spend a great deal of time traveling on protective security assignments for the Secretary of State / dignitaries thereafter.
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