Army 35L MOS Overview: Counterintelligence Agent

Have you fantasized about being a spy? Another 007?

While you could apply to the Central Intelligence Agency, there is a position in the United States Army that “fits the bill.”

I am talking about the Army 35L Counterintelligence Agent.

No, I don’t believe you will get the fancy gadgets that James Bond always seems to have at the right time, in the right place. And I doubt you will have Russian, Korean and English opposite sex agents “falling all over you,” (or maybe they do! Could a 35L tell us please?) but this MOS is essentially a spy for the United States Army.

Today, I am going to walk you through a brief overview of the 35L MOS: Counterintelligence Agent.

Army 35L Basic Job Description

Formally, the 35L Counterintelligence Agent is law enforcement. As such, he/she does carry a badge and has arresting powers.

Often working jointly with others, this job entails aggressive and comprehensive activities all around the world to detect, identify, counter, neutralize and/or exploit foreign intelligence and terrorist threats to the Army and the United States of America.

Army 35L Responsibilities And Duties

Many of the responsibilities and duties of the Army 35L are on a “what’s needed” basis. Some of the basic ones are:

  • Detect and neutralize intelligence threats
  • Gathering information from processed evidence
  • Conducts Counterintelligence investigations of national security crimes
  • Serves as an Army Counterintelligence liaison
  • Collects and processes both forensic and physical evidence
  • and much more

Requirements To Become an Army 35L

First and foremost, the 35L MOS is not an entry level Army job. You must demonstrate your ability to follow and lead. Only Army personnel who have reached the level of E4 can reclassify to the 35L MOS if they meet all other requirements.

There are many:

  • Must be a United States citizen
  • PULHES of 222221
  • Physical Demands rating is medium
  • Must have an ASVAB score of 101 on Skilled Technical
  • Have normal color vision
  • Must be able to attain Top Secret clearance with SCI access
  • Clear enunciation and comprehension of the English language
  • Never been a member of the U.S. Peace Corps
  • No record of court-martial conviction
  • No record of civil convictions other than minor traffic violations
  • Immediate family members must be U.S. citizens
  • Soldier and spouse must not have immediate family members who reside in a country within whose boundaries physical or mental coercion is known to be common practice against persons acting in the interest of the United States.

These are the requirements I found. There possibly may be more.

Training For The Army 35L

As I stated, this is not an entry level MOS. The soldier must attend and pass Basic Combat Training and work within the MOS assigned. Once that soldier reaches the level of E4, he/she can reclassify to this MOS as long as requirements are met.

Once that is clear, Advanced Individual Training is done at Fort Huachuca, Arizona and lasts for approximately 19 weeks. The soldier will be in both classroom and field training.

Once completed and the soldier has gained their CI Badge, they are still on a 1 year probationary status.

Final Thoughts

Most soldiers who become Army 35L’s end up staying their full 20+ years in Army service. And after service, there are many paths to go with this kind of experience.

We would love to hear from any current or former Army Counterintelligence Agents. If possible, can you tell our readers more about this position?

If you have any questions or feedback, just post them in the comments area below. Thank you and have a great day.

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. Army 35P MOS Overview: Cryptologic Linguist
  2. U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM): 10 Cool Facts
  3. The Top 20 Most Needed Army Military Occupational Specialties
  4. 5 Reasons to Serve as a Military Intelligence Officer
  5. U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC): 13 Cool Facts
chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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4 thoughts on “Army 35L MOS Overview: Counterintelligence Agent”

  1. Hi Chuck,
    This MOS is entry-level now. However, they want you to be at least 19 1/2 upon graduating from AIT. A current 35L said that this is because they want people with an associate’s degree for the automatic advancement to E3 then accelerated advancement to E4 (he said specialist or Corporal depending on different factors) then to E5. However, I know a young man who depending on his ship date will graduate 35L AIT at 18-18 1/2 ish. I think he got an exception to policy as he got his AA in hs and scored well on the ASVAB.

    1. Hi Ray! Well, as with all things, there is nuance to the answer to your question. First, is it “non-combat”. Yes. However, this does not mean that you will not serve in a combat zone. Army CI works primarily in two areas: Combat Support and Strategic. In Combat Support roles, you may be in a combat zone but you are doing intelligence work to support the local combat command. You can still get shot at pretty easily though!

      In Strategic Intelligence, you are “more like” but not really “James Bond”. Instead of a Austin Martin, you are likely driving a Toyota Camry {maybe a BMW ;) }. But you can find yourself, depending on your experience and mission doing serious covert or clandestine work.

      As for LEOSA, yes you would qualify if you met the other requirements for the LEOSA benefit. The job itself qualifies as law enforcement. Again, because the Army CI component is small and so stratified, very few senior commanders understand CI enough so that LEOSA is tough to get approved. That said, if your retired Badge and Credentials are in hand and you have qualified appropriately, you are good to go.

      One final point. You wanna be a SUPER-Spook? Join the 75th Ranger Regiment in the Army. Stay there till you make at least Sergeant (E-5). Get as much specialized and advanced training you can (Ranger, Jumpmaster, Pathfinder, HALO, Scout Swimmer or Scuba, etc.). Then transfer to CI. Once there you will have some amazing opportunities with Special Mission Units that we can’t discuss here. You will then likely go Warrant Officer route and be more 007 than James Bond could ever hope for.

      1. Can you share thoughts on entry ages and their effects on this career? I am 33 seeking a career change. Any info on the training pipeline and how this may reflect physical risks for someone 30+ would be helpful. Hard to find 35L to talk too, and recruiters try their best.

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