By Stefanie Pupkiewicz
III Marine Expeditionary Force Public Affairs Office
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa -- The counterintelligence and human intelligence military occupational specialty has opened to female Marines.
The MOS was formerly closed to females because CI/HUMINT specialists were embedded directly with combat units, but changes in warfare and strategy have made the exclusion of females obsolete.
"There is no real reason to keep them out," said the Okinawa CI recruiting officer in charge. "We can work it so they don't have to do that combat mission."
The opening of the MOS has been talked about and coordinated for a year. It was only last month that the field opened officially, said the recruiter.
The field will support a nine percent female workforce, according to the OIC.
CI specialists interrogate detainees and suspected terrorists and secure evidence within conflict areas so it can be used later in court, he said.
Females will have most of the responsibilities as male CI specialists except males will embed with infantry units, the CI recruiter said.
Marines can enter the field from any MOS if they meet the requirements, he said.
Marines interested in becoming a CI specialist must be 21 years old by the end of the CI school and be a corporal, sergeant or staff sergeant. A staff sergeant cannot have completed more than two tours of duty.
Marines need to have a level of maturity to be in counterintelligence because they deal with highly classified material and play a vital role in the war theater, the CI recruiter said.
Personality is a large part of working in counterintelligence, he added. Applicants need to be personable and able to speak easily to people. They also need to be accepting of other cultural views because they will be dealing with people from different cultures.
Other requirements include U.S. citizenship and a minimum general technical score of 110 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, said the CI recruiter.
After the requirements are met and a preliminary background screening is completed, the Marine will go before a formal board to determine the Marine's suitability for the MOS.
Typically, the Marine will receive orders and familiarize themselves with their unit before attending a 17-week school, said the recruiter.
After school, specialists can expect to attach to teams heading to Iraq and Afghanistan as there is no real substitute for the operational experience, said the CI recruiting OIC.