German secret services recruit people from abroad

How do you become an agent? Career paths in the military defense service

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They are an indispensable part of films and series: Agents. They investigate in secret for the state, hunt down criminals and are exposed to constant danger and constant thrills. An agent's life seems exciting, varied, and dangerous. But how realistic is that? What do agents do? And how do you become an agent? What are career paths with the Federal Intelligence Service?

What is an agent?

Before answering the question “How do you become an agent? “It has to be clarified what exactly an agent is. An agent is one Person who works full-time for an intelligence service. An intelligence service is an organization that uses intelligence means to collect and evaluate information to gain knowledge about the foreign, domestic and security policy situation. In Germany there are three such federal intelligence services, namely the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) and the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD). We have already written articles on career paths at BND and career paths at BfV.

Intelligence services in Germany - the military counterintelligence service

If you ask yourself, “How do you become an agent? “So you have to look at the intelligence services in Germany. In this post lies the Focus on the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD).

The main focus of the MAD is military sector. As a defensive military intelligence service for the division of the Federal Ministry of Defense, it performs the tasks of an agency for the protection of the constitution.

The MAD collects information at home and abroad on counter-extremism and terrorism, as well as counter-espionage and sabotage and evaluates them. Intelligence resources are used for this purpose. also he assesses the security situation from agencies and institutions of the Federal Armed Forces.

In addition, the MAD also accepts Foreign missions of the Bundeswehr part. Here he collects Information about all circumstances and activitiesthat endanger the security of the German contingents and evaluates them. He also works Reviews from for the Bundeswehr people working on missions abroad with, as well as on technical security measures abroad. The MAD may only be active in the areas of operation within properties. Outside of these, the BND is responsible.

How do you become an agent? Career paths in the military counterintelligence service

But now we come to the answer to the question “How do you become an agent? ". To do this, you have to look at the career opportunities with the respective intelligence service, which will subsequently happen for the MAD.

Unlike the BfV or the BND, the MAD is no recruiting authority. This means that the way to the MAD usually takes place via a previous activity as a soldier, civil servant or employee of the Bundeswehr. The MAD recruits its employees from the Members of the division of the Federal Ministry of Defense.

Main location of the MAD is Cologne. In addition there is Branch offices in Kiel, Hilden / Düsseldorf, Hanover, Stuttgart, Koblenz, Munich, Wilhelmshaven and Schwielowsee / Berlin.


So what should you bring with you when you ask yourself “How do you become an agent? “? A general prerequisite for the MAD is, as mentioned, that you are already a soldier or civil servant or employee in the division of the Federal Ministry of Defense.

In addition, one should communicative and team player be, as well as discreet, responsible, loyal, modern, creative and solution-oriented.

According to its homepage, the MAD offers one for this unique task in the Bundeswehr. These include interesting and challenging Technical and managerial tasks. working area are, for example, intelligence processing, technology, security checks, IT / cyber, observation and administration. Also the Cooperation with national and international security authorities and intelligence services is one of the tasks at the MAD. In addition, the MAD says it offers a modern leadership culture, a high Work-life balance, the flexible participation in foreign assignments the Bundeswehr for soldiers, as well as a monthly job allowance for security serviceswhich vary depending on the grade.

Perspectives for soldiers

Let us now come to the answer to the question “How do you become an agent? ". Anyone who is already a soldier in the Bundeswehr has the chance to start a career with the MAD. This is looking for soldiers from all organizational areas as time or permanent users. In particular, the following are mentioned on the MAD website:

  • NCOs with portepee
  • Officers of the military technical service, lieutenant - captain (A11)
  • Troop service officers, lieutenant - captain (A11)
  • For officers (MilFD / TrD) with technical lead, it is possible in individual cases to receive a transfer to posts in the funding authorities A12 and A13 / 14

To switch to the MAD, a Transfer request by official channels to the responsible personnel manager in the BAPersBw be asked.

Perspectives for civil servants and employees

As a civil servant or employee in the division of the Federal Ministry of Defense, you have the opportunity to join the MAD. We are looking for officials of the middle and upper technical and non-technical service, as well as employees of Salary groups E4-E12 each from the business area mentioned. Corresponding bodies are available via the Intranet site provided.


There are several ways to answer the question “How do you become an agent? " to answer. When it comes to the military counter-intelligence, it is like that in advance to the members of the division of the Federal Ministry of Defense should belong as the MAD no recruiting authority is what is different from the BND and BfV. There are job advertisements for soldiers, civil servants and employees. Employee positions for external applicants are only advertised in exceptional cases. In return, the MAD has many career prospects and the opportunity to work with national and international security authorities and intelligence services.

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About the author J Bohlken