By Robin L. Thompson, DM
Faculty Member, Intelligence Studies Program at American Military University

The many political games and power plays occurring throughout the world on a daily basis are not always as they appear. Members of the intelligence community (IC) must proactively seek out clues and dig deeper to fully comprehend what is really happening behind the scenes.

When I joined the fire service at the age of 21, I had two goals. My first goal was to provide at least 30 years of quality service. My second goal was to pursue training and education opportunities and seek to rise in the ranks within the department.

Interview by J. Mason
Special to

Whether you’re a recent graduate, or you’re jumping into an entirely new workforce, the interview is where you seal the deal with potential employers. Think about when they ask about your education, especially if it’s recent, what should you say about it?

Stay relevant in your field by knowing what is current, and what is happening right now. How can you do that without wasting hours scouring through countless RSS feeds and news sites? I have two words for you, Google Alerts. As long as you have an email address, alerts based on your queries will be sent directly to your inbox.

To the public, the field of “intelligence” can be quite a mystery – often sensationalized or misinterpreted in an attempt to fill in gaps between what is visible and the unknown. Some think intelligence is cool and sexy, while others believe it is a nefarious and unscrupulous field. In truth, it is impossible to fully assess agencies or their practices when a complete picture is undiscoverable by design.

The shift from military to civilian life is a scary time because it challenges you to start over with your life’s civilian goals. Career and education goals are among the top that I often hear Veterans discussing. You may likely find it challenging to do something as simple as communicating with the civilian world.