24 January 2014
A Day in the CIA Operations Center
A Day in the Life of a CIA Operations Center Officer
Entrance to the CIA Operations Center
Undistorted red sign at left states: "Restricted Area Authorized Personnel
There is no substitute for juggling multiple classified, time sensitive
projects, 12 hours a day, over and over again outside of actually doing
it, said Bradley, an officer serving in the CIA Operations Center (Ops
Center). And that is exactly what Bradley and his Ops Center colleagues do
each day in one of the most fast-paced work environments at the CIA.
Ops Center officers provide around-the-clock alert and warning communication
to the CIA director and Agency leadership on international crises and priority
matters of national security. They also facilitate timely communication to
senior Agency and Intelligence Community leaders, as well as Presidents
Daily Brief (PDB) briefers and the White House.
While many CIA officers become subject matter experts on specific topics,
Ops Center officers address world-wide political, military and economic issues
daily, and they use a wide range of analytic and operational knowledge to
support the Agencys mission at home and abroad.
So what prepares a person for such an important job with very high stakes?
Bradleys experiences before joining the Agency were a good start.
As an undergraduate student, Bradley earned a double major in world
religions and politics and government with a national
security studies minor. After graduation, he went on to work five jobs
simultaneously as a police officer and dispatcher, resort manager,
the executive director of a national security think tank, a newspaper columnist,
and as a freelance marketing consultant. Bradley enrolled fulltime in graduate
school after leaving his law enforcement position, but he still maintained
his newspaper column and his position at the think tank.
Bradleys interest in intelligence and national security was piqued
during his years as a law enforcement officer. He always knew that one day
he wanted to contribute his skills to a higher purpose: the protection of
the nation and its interests abroad.
When I was growing up, my father a former Green Beret
always talked about the virtue of intelligence in carrying out Special Forces
missions. He taught me that there is nothing like timely, accurate intelligence
to help save lives, Bradley said.
Bradleys path to the Agency began when he worked with the CIA Center
for Studies in Intelligence for his final graduate project. Bradleys
task was to interview former 9/11 and Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission
participants about how well CIA worked with them during their investigations.
Bradley formed lasting relationships with the Agency officers he worked with
and was offered a job when the project ended.
I was given a few choices on which job I could take, and the Ops Center
position appealed to me, Bradley said. And since beginning his work
in the Ops Center, Bradley said, Its everything I imagined it
would be and more.
Bradley remarked about the composure and professionalism of his Ops Center
colleagues, no matter how hectic things get on the floor. Everyone
remains exceptionally poised and manages the pressure in a way our fellow
Americans would be very proud of, Bradley noted. Its a
great team environment.
And after three years in the Ops Center, despite sacrificing his weekends
and holidays, Bradley is still excited to come to work each day. Im
not burned out yet, he said. I will continue to work long days
for the sake of our country as long as Im able.
Posted: Jan 23, 2014 01:12 PM
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2014 01:12 PM