Before you consider working toward a career as an Army intelligence analyst, make sure you meet all of the basic requirements. New intelligence analysts must have:
- A high school diploma
- U.S. citizenship
- No convictions by court-martial or in a civilian court for offenses other than minor traffic violations
- A minimum score of at least 105 on the skilled technical version of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a series of standardized tests for newly enlisted
- Eligibility for top-secret security clearance and sensitive compartmented information access, which is determined through background checks and interviews with the soldier, his friends and relatives [source: TAOnline.com]
- An ability to occasionally lift more than 50 pounds (22 kilograms) and frequently lift more than 25 pounds (11 kilograms)
Army intelligence analysts must complete 83 total days of specialized instruction at the United States Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Huachuca in Arizona (in addition to nine weeks of basic training). The specific skills covered in the curriculum include using automated intelligence systems and software, analytical writing, assessing the effects of weather and terrain on operations, analyzing threats, developing courses of action and creating reconnaissance and surveillance plans [source: Linton]. Entry-level intelligence analysts should have a talent for gathering and organizing information, an interest in reading and interpreting charts and maps, and strong written and verbal communications skills [source: GoArmy.com]. More experienced analysts should also possess extensive knowledge of the culture, geography, and history of the region in which they are operating. They should also be competent speaking the language of the region in which they're working [source: Lewis].
In terms of personality, successful intelligence analysts are self-motivated people with a natural curiosity. They have a natural ability to solve complex problems, an aptitude for learning new computer software programs and an ability to think critically without bias.
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