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Intelligence Officer opportunities in the U.S.?


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I'm new on this forum and have been sifting through many of the topics and find a lot of the discussions here quite helpful!  I didn't see an Introduction sub-forum so I thought this was as good a place as any to post some preliminary questions I have about recruitment.  Thanks to any insights anyone can provide!  My questions are a bit all over the map as I'm just at the very first step in the recruitment process. 

I'll provide a bit of background first.  I'm going to be a bit vague as to protect my privacy.  Basically, I'm 21 years old and coming up to finishing my university B.A. degree come April/May 2014.  I'm in a specialized political science program focusing on the United States.  Its similar to an International Relations degree, but instead of political science, history and economics course from an international perspective its U.S.-centric.  I'm not a dual citizen.  5th generation WASP guy (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) from the prairies.  However, I've always had a passion/interest in U.S. affairs so I streamlined my degree towards the area and I've also interned/studied abroad in Washington, D.C. back in 2012.  I'm at the point coming up to graduation where I'm applying to different career paths and the Canadian Forces is something I'm very seriously interested in.  I'm not looking to get into the general forces.  I'll have my degree in a few months and a specialized officer position is what I'd aspire to train towards.  So about a month back I applied for the Intelligence Officer position through the recruitment website.  Today I got the e-mail saying I was selected for further consideration and I'm giving them a call tomorrow to set up the in-person meeting for within the next 30 days.  So, I am just at the very, very first step.  I do have leadership experience through university and other involvements but I will be upfront that I've never hunted in my life and have very little experience with guns, etc.  That whole aspect of going into basic combat training I'd be entering at a completely beginner's stage.  Physically, I don't think I'd have any issues.  6'2''.  I run 3-4x a weeks.  I'd need to bulk up a bit for sure in terms of weight lifting but I'm not scrawny/skinny by any extent either.  No medical issues either.  Anyways, there's a snapshot into my profile/where I'm at.  I don't want to go into too many specifics/semantics with my questions, so I'll stay broad at this stage.  Just some basic, at random questions:

1) Given my degree and interest in the U.S., part of the attraction of this position is the opportunities for advancement and international postings.  Within Intelligence/CF, in general, how much opportunity is there to get postings within the U.S.?  If I were to receive an offer and go into training I'd be content with a life/career in Canada for sure.  I just have a particular predisposition to joint operations with the U.S. and am curious about the opportunities in that area.

2) Generally speaking, how competitive is the position? Should one be successful in being accepted and going into training, how long is it (roughly) between the stage I'm at now (e-mail to set up first interview) to going through all the tests/stages, getting the offer and Day 1 of training? 

3) Language.  I'm English as-my-only-language.  I've taken 12 credit course hours in French in university for degree requirements, so I'd modestly say I have a mediocre ability in reading & writing en français but my speaking abilities are nil.  How much of a negative in the recruitment process is one's lack of bilingualism?  I'm fully willing and interested in committing to learn the language and I'm aware the Gov't of Canada usually provides paid French classes for almost all federal employees to up their skills.  Is that something I'd likely be pursuing should I get an offer?  Would the non-French speakers be likely all taking French courses while in training?  Secondary to that, given my U.S. interests, I have an interest in Spanish given its growing prominence in the U.S.  Any value or opportunities in pursuing Spanish rather than French if you're posted internationally/U.S.? 

4) Forces attitudes towards LGBT members.  This isn't a major concern, but its something I'd want to go into with full awareness.  I know our Forces are very pro-equality and Canada is a leader in gay rights and we're not talking about anything NEAR what like the U.S. went/is going through with the DADT phase out.  Still, I'm not naive to the fact the institution would be inherently "heteronormative" in the sense its a masculine-energy/character trait driven entity (obviously). 

I am "openly" gay.  Open in the sense my family knows and I have no issue disclosing as such to my friends.  Still, I'm not your cliché/stereotypical type of guy at all.  Everybody is always "shocked" when I tell them and I always get those "but you don't look/act gay!" patronizing reactions.  I didn't grow up in a city.  Rural/farming town conditioning and my own personality are relatively "masculine" in general.  Normal voice, all my friends are straight, I'm not active in the LGBT community, not clubbing every weekend kind of thing. 

Not that I'm saying more "feminine" guys don't deserve equal treatment.  I'm just painting the picture of what I'm like and my own situation.  I have no problem with the more flamboyant gay guys and my approach is "to each their own".  The gay sub-culture doesn't really interest me all that much.  So I'm "out" and have no shame or issues in being openly gay, but I'm not a "wear it on my sleeve" kind of guy either. 

Anyways.  That all being said.  I'd want to go in with my eyes wide open.  High school always had guys dropping "fag", "no homo" and all that kind of BS in the locker room.  I'd assume all the government harassment/sensitivity professional development seminars means that, relatively speaking, that kind of ignorant change room banter likely doesn't exist in the CF? 

Diversity out reach.  Ok.  I'll be honest.  As a white guy I'm not a fan at all of affirmative action.  The whole Employment Equity thing rubs me the wrong way.  Still, you have to take your opportunities where they come.  I know sexuality isn't a defined category in the EE Act, but I know I've seen pictures of the CF recruitment people at gay pride parades and reaching out in the LGBT community.  I could care less if there is or not, but is being LGBT something that would be of a minor consideration to recruitment in their desire to reach out to certain demographics, etc.?

Finally, on this particular subject: relationships.  I know there's an obvious strict professional standard for relationships in general (regardless of gender).  But in the sense of encountering discrimination and prejudice off-duty, etc.  Its quite common for people to date/marry people they meet through work. What are the attitudes towards same-sex military couples?

I assume in this day and age its all a non-issue and given the state of the world I'm so thankful to be in Canada but I inquire about this kind of stuff because I'd want to go in with my eyes wide open.  After reading about the fiasco at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs this week, I'm realizing there can be quite the disconnect between official administrative policy and attitudes in the ranks, etc.


Anyhow, I'm sure I can find more info that answers other questions in the already existing threads.  These are just the main initial areas of curiosity I have.  Thanks in advance for the insights!

From my (Very limited) knowledge on the matter:

1. There sometimes are joint manoeuvres with the US army, so that's where I would expect you to be liaised if you got a position there, but do keep in mind that the forces will deploy you according to their needs, which may or may not take into consideration your specific experience.

2. I am told by recruiters that Intelligence is a very sought after position, in fact I am surprised you even got considered for it since last I heard, it was mostly internal transfers, so expect a lot of competition. I can't help you with delays, I've only been through the ROTP selection process, but it can vary quite a bit from recruiting center to another.

3. Focus in the forces is towards French/English bilingualism, but of course any other language is a plus. If you are not up to the level in French, you will undergo second language training after your BMOQ I believe, which can last from 2-9 weeks. Already being bilingual is definitely a plus.

4. I have no idea what the climate is in the forces towards LGBT people, but I would expect that while you will run into the usual homophobes, most will be pretty respectful, especially since we sign an agreement upon entering to abstain from any form of discrimination.

I can't answer about same sex couples however.

I wouldn't worry about weapon training, many go into BM(O)Q with little knowledge about them, and even those that do, there's a big difference between operating a C7 and a shotgun. The instructors will be there to help you through it.