Special Investigations Officers in the Air Force conduct internal investigations and oversee internal security. They handle a wide variety of cases including criminal, fraud, counterintelligence and security issues. The workload for these airmen includes external investigations as well.
They coordinate with other branches of the U.S. military, civilian law enforcement, and friendly foreign intelligence agencies.
This job is categorized as Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) 7S0X1.
Becoming an Air Force Special Investigations Officer
The special investigations career field is not entry-level; in other words, you cannot become a Special Investigations Agent when you first join the Air Force.
Enlisted Air Force members may apply for special agent duty once they've first served in another career field. Those eligible are master sergeants, technical sergeants, and staff sergeants with fewer than 12 years of military service, Senior airmen with fewer than six years of service, and senior airmen-selects. All applicants must have outstanding performance and disciplinary records.
Duties of Air Force Special Investigations Officers
There is a long list of duties in the special investigations field, most of which focus on keeping the Air Force and its personnel safe from illegal activity and criminal actors. Like civilian law enforcement, airmen in this role conduct investigations, interviewing victims and witnesses, and interrogating suspects who may have violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice and other laws.
These airmen frequently provide testimony in legal proceedings and regularly brief command officials on the status of investigative services. And they coordinate investigations of mutual interest with other local, state, federal and foreign law enforcement and security agencies.
In addition to traditional criminal investigations, Air Force special investigations officers investigate allegations of espionage, sabotage, terrorism, subversion and security threats to the U.S. They contact and liaise with other countries' counterpart agencies, developing sources to monitor potential threats. They may also be involved in offensive counterespionage operations targeting foreign intelligence services.
Another key part of this job is conducting what's known as psychophysiological detection of deception (PDD) examinations to determine when suspects are misleading authorities.
Requirements for Air Force Special Investigations Officers
If you want to serve in this job, you should have knowledge of special investigations policy, procedures, and techniques concerning criminal, economic, environmental, counterintelligence, force protection, computer crime, and technical services computer use and operations.
This job requires at least a bachelor's degree. And the Air Force and other branches of the military prioritize recruiting intelligence officials who speak foreign languages, with a special emphasis on Japanese, Korean, Turkish and Arabic speakers.
Also in demand are people knowledgeable in electronics, who may be valuable to the Office of Special Investigation's Technical Services or Computer Crime divisions.
Ideally, candidates for this job have experience performing or supervising functions such as investigations or inquiries, or experience managing special investigative activities such as criminal, fraud, counterintelligence, or technical services.
Training as an Air Force Special Investigations Officer
You'll need a score of at least 44 on the general (G) Air Force Qualification Area of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests.
You'll complete officer training school at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, and will take the special investigators course at the U.S. Air Force Special Investigations Academy. This is located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia.
Candidates for this job also need to qualify for top secret security clearance from the Department of Defense, which involves a background check into your finances and character. You'll also be subjected to a single scope background investigation.
Security officers in the Air Force must be U.S. citizens.