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  • Applying while still on active duty?

    I’m an active duty Air Force intelligence officer looking at possible career options on the federal LE side. I have no direct LE experience, but I’ve completed multiple deployments, hold a TS//SCI with poly, master’s degree and foreign language proficiency.

    I’m curious if anyone here has firsthand experience in making the switch from active duty to an 1811 position. Specifically, I'm wondering how realistic it is for someone to apply for positions while still on active duty? Is it possible to hold off separating from active duty until after receiving an employment offer? I’m pretty hesitant at this point about leaving my current career behind without having a new one lined up on the outside.

    I understand that in order to receive veteran’s preference on the application I would need to be separated with a DD214 in hand. Would my application be dead in the water if I decided to forego the vet points and apply while still on active duty?

    I’m planning to get in touch with my local AFOSI folks to ask some of these questions. But I was wondering if anyone here could add insight as well. I tried to search older threads for people posting their experiences with this, but no luck. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    So I was/am active duty Army on terminal leave and started applying about a year out. It is a good idea to start early as Fed LE is a long process. I had to find a temp job to hold me over until I hopefully get picked up by ATF/FBI/local PD. You can get your S1 to get you a "statement of Service". It is a document which has all your basic info and states you dates of service, rank, and projected ETS date. You can also go to your out processing place and get an unofficial DD214. I applied to FBI in Aug 14, ATF in Oct 14, and locals before either of the other two. It is a long process.
    Croc

    There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.

    Ernest Hemingway

    "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman

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    • #3
      Originally posted by VTguy View Post
      I’m an active duty Air Force intelligence officer looking at possible career options on the federal LE side. I have no direct LE experience, but I’ve completed multiple deployments, hold a TS//SCI with poly, master’s degree and foreign language proficiency.

      I’m curious if anyone here has firsthand experience in making the switch from active duty to an 1811 position. Specifically, I'm wondering how realistic it is for someone to apply for positions while still on active duty? Is it possible to hold off separating from active duty until after receiving an employment offer? I’m pretty hesitant at this point about leaving my current career behind without having a new one lined up on the outside.

      I understand that in order to receive veteran’s preference on the application I would need to be separated with a DD214 in hand. Would my application be dead in the water if I decided to forego the vet points and apply while still on active duty?

      I’m planning to get in touch with my local AFOSI folks to ask some of these questions. But I was wondering if anyone here could add insight as well. I tried to search older threads for people posting their experiences with this, but no luck. Thanks in advance.
      Plus one on that. Any info or experiences to share regarding the transition would be greatly appreciated.

      Comment


      • #4
        I did it. Applied to DSS a full year and half before I got out of the Navy got offered an academy date on my first day of terminal leave. Ended up turning it down but that is besides the point. I have completed the process for NCIS and will shortly complete the last major hurdle for FBI (read polygraph, still have to wait around for the BI to finish though). I applied to both of those while still on active duty.

        TDF's Guide to 1811 Hiring Success for Military Officers ©:
        Statement of Service as stated above and once you get the DD-214 use that. (vet preference is key)
        A bomb resume that emphasizes the following, it should be super detailed in order to WOW: TS/SCI, Intel exp, SOF exp, Investigative Exp, Leadership exp, responsibility, special skills/schools, number of people managed, operation exp. (note this is all only if applicable)
        Apply to every agency that has an opening
        Every face to face interaction be in good shape with a military haircut (perception is everything)

        Following my guide will most likely lead to success however it will not help you erase your drug history, explain that DUI or arrest, or help you lie during your polygraph because of something you arent man enough to admit to.

        TDF
        TheDamonFactor
        Freedom Fighter
        Last edited by TheDamonFactor; 04-26-2015, 10:22 PM.

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        • #5
          That's exactly what I was looking for, thank you. Fortunately I don't have anything questionable in my background, and haven't had any trouble with the poly for my current position. My main concern was whether or not I'd be hurting myself by applying before I have the DD214.

          I wasn't aware that the statement of service was an option. Does it hold the same weight during the application process as a DD214? Does it depend on the agency?

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          • #6
            The Statement of Service is a widely accepted document and is the proper way to detail your military experience prior to receiving a DD214. It will hold the same weight; agencies understand how it works and you will still receive your 5 or 10 points of preference. Just give them your DD214 once you get it

            Definitely apply at minimum a year or year and a half out. And don't expect a perfect transition, you will very likely have down time between getting off active duty and starting your new career. I would suggest getting a contracting gig for the interim; from my experience they're pretty happy if you stick with the same company for even 6 months and obviously the pay is decent.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ClassicRabbit View Post
              The Statement of Service is a widely accepted document and is the proper way to detail your military experience prior to receiving a DD214. It will hold the same weight; agencies understand how it works and you will still receive your 5 or 10 points of preference. Just give them your DD214 once you get it

              Definitely apply at minimum a year or year and a half out. And don't expect a perfect transition, you will very likely have down time between getting off active duty and starting your new career. I would suggest getting a contracting gig for the interim; from my experience they're pretty happy if you stick with the same company for even 6 months and obviously the pay is decent.
              Got it. Good to know, thanks.

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              • #8
                When did you go through the 14N school?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by texengland View Post
                  When did you go through the 14N school?
                  Three years ago. I missed the great San Angelo drought of 2011, fortunately...not that it was much better in 2012.

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                  • #10
                    I was just curious if I was one of your instructors.
                    texengland
                    Forum Member
                    Last edited by texengland; 04-27-2015, 11:08 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by VTguy View Post
                      Three years ago. I missed the great San Angelo drought of 2011, fortunately...not that it was much better in 2012.
                      That's funny, I was in San Angelo during the summer of 2011. I'm Navy, though. We're better

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                      • #12
                        While it wasn't federal I interviewed for my first LE job when I was on active duty. The LE community tends to be very friendly to military guys.
                        1*

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                        • #13
                          I applied to the DEA for a SA position in 2012 (June I think?). It's 2015 and I'm still on active duty, still in the hiring process. A lot of the delay had to do with sequestration, budget cuts, hiring freezes etc etc. I am obligated to stay on active duty until June 2016 as my first opportunity to get out came and went while still going through the hiring process (I signed up for another 3 years at that point). That being said, I only have 1 hurdle left to jump before I would qualify for hire. The DEA said they would hold my application/offer of employment until I am released from active duty (assuming I pass they psych eval. But why wouldn't I, right?). The time from when they say I'm good to go to the academy and the day I'm off active duty will likely be a year or more.

                          My advice, pursue your military career like you are not getting out. Depending on the agency, the hiring process can take anywhere from a year to (in my case) three years. I conducted the PTT in 2014 with a guy who had applied in 2010, so while long drawn out cases aren't the norm, they are certainly common. After you receive a conditional offer of employment, keep in contact with your recruiter about your military career and obligations. I had a long conversation with my recruiter before I made the decision to extend on AD and PCS cross country. I like to think, based on my experience, that if you are qualified for the position (as original post suggests) they will hold the offer of employment until you get out. But the last thing you want is to be scrounging around for a job to cover the gap between active duty and the academy.

                          Best of luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by joebro View Post
                            I applied to the DEA for a SA position in 2012 (June I think?). It's 2015 and I'm still on active duty, still in the hiring process. A lot of the delay had to do with sequestration, budget cuts, hiring freezes etc etc. I am obligated to stay on active duty until June 2016 as my first opportunity to get out came and went while still going through the hiring process (I signed up for another 3 years at that point). That being said, I only have 1 hurdle left to jump before I would qualify for hire. The DEA said they would hold my application/offer of employment until I am released from active duty (assuming I pass they psych eval. But why wouldn't I, right?). The time from when they say I'm good to go to the academy and the day I'm off active duty will likely be a year or more.

                            My advice, pursue your military career like you are not getting out. Depending on the agency, the hiring process can take anywhere from a year to (in my case) three years. I conducted the PTT in 2014 with a guy who had applied in 2010, so while long drawn out cases aren't the norm, they are certainly common. After you receive a conditional offer of employment, keep in contact with your recruiter about your military career and obligations. I had a long conversation with my recruiter before I made the decision to extend on AD and PCS cross country. I like to think, based on my experience, that if you are qualified for the position (as original post suggests) they will hold the offer of employment until you get out. But the last thing you want is to be scrounging around for a job to cover the gap between active duty and the academy.

                            Best of luck!
                            Thanks for sharing your experience. Its nice to hear that at least some agencies are willing to flex with you to an extent in terms of military obligations. A big fear of applying while still AD was that I'd potentially get an employment offer, only with some caveat saying I'd have to report right away or lose the offer.

                            Were they also flexible in terms of scheduling the various steps in the hiring process? I'm in the type of unit where deployments are relatively short, but very frequent and with little notice ahead of time. Would you say most federal agencies would be willing to compress or extend the process to accommodate?

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                            • #15
                              Not sure if I will answer your question, but I will share my experience. Keep in mind I only applied to the DEA - no other 3 letter agencies and no police departments, so I cannot say how they will react.

                              I applied while I was deployed and was able to complete the online tests overseas. I returned to the US before the next step in the hiring process was scheduled. In my unit, deployments were 7 months with about 18 months dwell time in between. So I really started knocking things out in that 18 month dwell time. I asked for leave for the days I was testing. I ended up PCS'ing before the next deployment rolled around so there wasn't really a long period of time that I couldn't continue in the process.

                              I will say that my recruiter out of San Diego was very flexible and understanding of my obligations. There were some 3-4 week periods where I was in the field, TAD, training, etc etc. I would send her an email a few months out letting her know that I would not be available for a month or so, and then remind her a day or two before I left for training. If she scheduled something that didn't jive with my CO, it was very easy to adjust, but I generally had a lot of lead time and was able to plan ahead.

                              During my PCS, I moved from CA to VA. I told her that I was moving 7 months in advance and we continued to knock things out up until I moved. There was a long lag time after I arrived in VA where I didn't hear anything from the DEA. I contacted my CA recruiter, she put in some phone calls, and within a month or so I had my poly scheduled by the DC recruiter. No lost documents, no rescheduling, no complaints. So, as far as I can tell, the DEA is very flexible with military applicants.

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