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How do I Become a Military Analyst?

By Ken Black
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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The process of becoming a military analyst is not an easy one, requiring a college degree, and usually a certain minimum grade point average (GPA). Those who wish to become military analysts should make sure they have a good background in foreign languages as well. Together, with the language training and college degree, jobs can be found. Getting them will often require a lengthy application process.

The education requirements are among the most important in order to become a military analyst. Without meeting those, it is very likely the rest will not matter. In addition to maintaining a GPA of at least 3.0, those interested in pursuing a military analyst career should try to earn a degree in military science, political science, or international relations. These offer the best, most well-rounded courses for students interested in a job as a military analyst.

Although it is not required, spending at least a little time in military service can only enhance the qualifications of a candidate. Those with military experience may better understand combat operations and military strategy. Therefore, this provides practical knowledge, rather than just theory, which could make the difference in a real-world situation. Furthermore, the military can provide some valuable money for college, even for those who only spend a few years in the service.

Many military analysts in the United States work for the Central Intelligence Agency, though there is also similar work available with the various military intelligence agencies. Securing a job there is not easy. Often, the application process will include a background check, psychological examination, physical examination, and aptitude test for foreign languages. Those who excel in these areas will find they have an advantage amongst the competition to become a military analyst. These tests are rigorous, but so are the demands for those working in a military analyst job.

Once the tests have been completed, and you are entered into a military analyst program, there is still much work left to be done. In order to become a military analyst, further specialized training is often required. This will include training based on the country or region you will be responsible for, and perhaps further language training. Both are essential in order to perform the job functions adequately.

A military analyst salary can vary widely. Those who are training will likely be offered paid training, simply because it is mandatory to attend, and a person's time is worth something. The salary often depends on the level of experience, language proficiency, and type of degree obtained.

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Discussion Comments

By David09 — On Aug 14, 2011

@miriam98 - As long as humans are involved in ferreting out intelligence, mistakes will be made.

Enemies of state are smarter than we think many times. Sometimes they bluff, and fake out our analysts. They make us believe what they know we want to believe, perhaps to advance other aims that they may have – political or strategic aims.

It’s an imprecise science, but we just have to learn from our mistakes and move on. People will never be perfect.

By miriam98 — On Aug 13, 2011

@everetra - Military analysts are much in demand, I agree, but they are not flawless. Sometimes they provide inaccurate intelligence.

My concern is what controls are in place to make sure the intelligence is good, so that we don’t wind up being involved in needless military conflicts?

This should be the goal of the military intelligence community – quality control, not simply recruiting more candidates. I don’t know what the answer is to quality control, whether it’s to use more technology or to insist on a multiplicity of sources before coming to a conclusion that could lead us to war.

I just believe that we need to raise our game in this area.

By everetra — On Aug 12, 2011

I can certainly see how the job of the military analyst would be much in demand, in the world that we live in today.

With the threat of terrorism and international conflicts breaking out abroad, someone who understands the regions and what is going on would be valuable. This person would probably provide advice on the underlying political, religious and military tensions that spark a conflict; he would have to be an insider of sorts on some of the political factions at large.

In addition to military personnel, I think other good candidates for this position would include defectors from foreign governments. Of course, you would have to be careful with such a person because of the possibility that you’re dealing with a double agent.

Still, a bona fide defector with demonstrated allegiance to the United States would be the best military analyst of all, in my opinion.

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