How To Take Advantage Of CHARC Experience As 35F?


Verified Military
Apr 23, 2020
United States
So, I got lucky...

Four months out of AIT, and I’m on my first deployment attached to a Counterintelligence/HUMINT Analysis and Requirements cell (CHARC). The only 35Fs are myself and another fairly new analyst.

The word is most 35F never get this type of opportunity to go outside the wire and such. The cross training and exposure to the CI and HUMINT way of operating is very cool. I had no real grasp on what they do other than talk to people/interrogate (HUM) and sit in cars with binoculars (CI) lol Also, the 35M team is smaller and more flexible and chill than the 35F platoon. PT on our own, relaxed grooming standards, and civilian clothes for the rest of deployment. Especially after this experience, I highly doubt I’ll be content filling the usual analyst role. My 1SG previously offered me a security manager position I was interested in, but after seeing what the current security manager has to do and deal with the luster has faded.

Currently working to get in the best physical shape I can to be ready for SFRE and/or whatever other school opportunities may come. I’m a NG Soldier and the competition is looking pretty low in my unit so the odds look good. Even earned an AAM recently, so hopefully my experience working in the CHARC will give me a leg up (civilian side as well).

Any tips or advice on how to make the most of this experience is greatly appreciated!
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When I was in Iraq HUMINT guys seemed to always be around outside the wire. Usually in Civis. So not unusual at all. Welcome to Shadowspear.
Shift your thinking from capitalize, ("take the chance to gain advantage from,") to extreme technical and tactical proficiency and usefulness. I'd keep your enthusiasm and motivation. You likely did not get "lucky" for this deployment. Everyday is a job interview.

Read everything, to include every Commander or Director's reading list you can find. Volunteer for anything that needs to be done. Don't talk about it. If you aren't sleeping, be strengthening your mind, your body, and your current expertise. Know everything about the streets where you're at and then expand to outlying locations. There is no such thing as a boring area when it comes to aquiring information.

When you are waiting for anything, instead of talking, consume relevant information. Memorize everything you see in appropriate circumstances.

In other environments, think, a small, approved, highly relevant paperback book, or do paper/pencil puzzles so you can do them fast. This keeps your mind occupied, and your mouth shut.

If you are proficient at a language, start another one. If you aren't, get language.

If you think this advice is too demanding or unreasonable for the time you have at the current tasking, adjust it by priorities. It's applicable anywhere.

Focus your enthusiasm and energy on these things, and you'll be prepared for the next experiences, or don't, and see what happens. You seem like an enthusiastic big thinker, hone those advantages.

Best of luck!
I absolutely will be implementing these strategies. Some I‘ve already started, so this is great confirmation.

Thank you!
Do what you're there to do. Note that "what you're there to do" may or may not be "what you want to do." You're an intel person doing intel things. Concentrate on that. If you see something sexier and you want to go do that, make the change after you get home. Too many intel types see ops and want to go do that. If you want to do ops, switch jobs and come back in an ops capacity. In the meantime, do what you're there to do.