I would have made a poor CIA officer...or failed completely. I cannot act, lie, or deceive. I do not know if acting, dishonesty, and deception are needed, but there are the character traits most evident in films about CIA agents.
I did think about such a career at one time, but military service came first. One can make only so many sacrifices for one’s country. After serving “God and my country” (someone else’s words), I assumed the one government agency was as screwed up as any other, only the outfits were different. Any organization with a hierarchical chain of command could not be good place to work, because longevity is not a great determinant of promotability. I took my chances on the civilian world, in hope that I could progress based upon my ability.
The CIA is fine for entertainment, but surely makes a lousy career choice for anyone with intelligence, ambition, and common sense. People with illusions of grandeur, either about themselves or their country, might thrive. Any large bureaucracy serving a larger bureaucracy can never do any good.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.