Intelligence Officers provide military intelligence support in operations, planning and decision-making. Their work has an impact on military and national security, and the political and public relations of the government.
The primary responsibilities of Intelligence Officers are to:
- Recognize and analyze information which is likely to affect military operations, national policies and objectives
- Command, direct and control an intelligence unit, section or team
- Operate and manage information technology systems
- Advise and plan employment of sophisticated intelligence collection and surveillance systems
- Safeguard highly classified material
Intelligence Officers usually work in an office environment but they can also participate in local, national and international operations, in various climates and conditions.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Intelligence Officer is $51,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Regular promotions through the junior officer ranks take place based on the completion of required training and on the length of service as an officer. Once promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (Navy) or Captain, their salary is approximately $74,000 per year.
Intelligence Officers generally begin their career as a Watch Officer, Strategic Analyst or Intelligence Operations Officer, to gain experience under supervision. Intelligence Officers who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Related civilian occupations
- Intelligence Analyst or Operator
- Political Analyst
- Information Management Specialist
- Police and Security Investigator and Consultant
Basic military officer qualification
After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 15 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete depending on your ability in your second language.
Common Army phase
After basic training, you will go to the Infantry School at the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown, New Brunswick. You will build upon the leadership training you received in basic officer training in addition to learning the skills required of all Combat Arms Soldiers, including more advanced weapons-handling, field-craft, and section-level tactics.
Intelligence Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence in Kingston, Ontario. This course lasts approximately six months. Training includes intelligence skills and theory, strategic analysis, threat assessment and intelligence support. Emphasis is placed on leadership, administration, writing, oral briefing, and theory and application of intelligence operations. Intelligence Officers will learn to supervise and lead an intelligence section in tactical operations.
Intelligence Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including:
- Strategic Defence Intelligence Analyst
- Advanced Intelligence Officer Course
- Counter Intelligence
- Source Handling
- Imagery Analysis
There are different areas an Intelligence Officer can be employed into including for example, Human Intelligence, Counter Intelligence, Targeting Intelligence, among others.
If you already have a university degree, the CAF will decide if your academic program matches the criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.
Regular Officer Training Plan
Because this position requires a university degree, the CAF will pay successful recruits to complete a Bachelor degree program at a Canadian university. They receive full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for working with the CAF for a period of time.
Typically, candidates enter the Canadian Military College System as an Officer Cadet where they study subjects relevant to both their military and academic career. In some instances, the CAF is able to pay for Officer Cadets to attend other Canadian universities in a relevant degree program. Officer Cadets who attend other Canadian universities typically attend university during the regular academic year and participate in additional military training during the summer months. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and the Canadian university of your choice. For more information, see Paid education.
This occupation is available part-time within the following environments: Navy, Army, Air Force
Serve with the Reserve Force
This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at a Reserve Unit in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Intelligence Officers may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Air Force. They provide military intelligence analysis support in operations, planning and decision-making. Their work has an impact on military and national security, and the political and public relations of the government. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at CAF unit locations within Canada.
Reserve Force training
Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic officer training, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Intelligence Officers attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence in Kingston, Ontario for approximately six months to achieve their qualification.
Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.
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