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Career Story: Internal Affairs Officer At The Pentagon

Internal Affairs Officer At The Pentagon

Job Title: Law Enforcement

Type of Company: The US Defense Department.

Education: BS, Organizational Security & Management

Previous Experience: I worked as a criminal investigator at the federal level for 21 years. In my job as special agent I conducted criminal investigations of felonies such as murder, fraud and narcotics-trafficking, conducted interviews and interrogations, processed crime scenes, collected evidence, prepared written reports, testified in various courts and trained to remain proficient in the use of my sidearm.

Job Tasks: In my current job I work to expose fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement in the Department of Defense, keeping tabs on both its military and civilian personnel and its contractors. I review complaints, assist the general public in reporting abuses and strive in other ways to bolster the efficiency and integrity of the department.

The complaints I review include a variety of allegations of contract and procurement fraud, and the violation of laws, orders, regulations, directives and established policy at all levels of the Defense Department. I generate reports and edit complaints for clarity and appropriateness.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is helping others in what, for most of them, is their last gasp at resolving an issue. Being able to identify criminals and apprehend them and bring them to justice is something I take pride in. It is also a great feeling to be a part of an operation where you can save the lives of thousands of people by a sniffing out a defective part or cutting off a short-cut that would have led to shoddy work. The job, too, has its perks, including travel to many places I would probably never have seen.

I would say the worst part of my job is being inside an office for 8-9 hours every day.

Job Tips: If you hope to get a position in law enforcement, and especially as an Inspector General, be sure your record's clean first. Obeying the laws and adhering to regulations should be a reflex with you. Secondly, you have to have the courage to do what's right regardless of how hard it is. Last, you have to want to be involved with people and the general public on a daily basis. If you don't or aren't interested, this may not be the job for you.

Additional Thoughts: Working in law enforcement at the federal level calls for people who are mature, dedicated and driven. You have to be self-motivated and willing to work on your own or as part of a team. You also have to be well-versed in federal statutes and able to apply principles and procedures quickly, since your life or the life of someone else may depend on it. You have to be flexible, responsible, and not easily intimidated.

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