The fast track to joining OSI

  • Published
  • By Special Agent Leah Buckley
  • Air Force Office of Special Investigations Det. 407

How many children grow up dreaming of catching the bad guys and saving the world? They play “Cops and Robbers,” read mystery books and pretend to be detectives with their friends. Then, they grow up. Some grow into adults with fulfilling careers that inspire them. Others, however, go to work, complete their tasks and perform well, but maybe wish they had a job that challenged and inspired them. If you fall into that second group, you might want to consider reviving those childhood dreams and joining the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

The local detachment on base, AFOSI Detachment 407, identifies, exploits and neutralizes criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats affecting Air Force personnel and resources along the Gulf Coast. On a daily basis, agents here investigate felony-level offenses, including homicide, crimes against children, sexual assault, narcotics distribution and fraud.

Special Agent Kristy Noah, AFOSI Det. 407 superintendent, sees the job as an opportunity to do good things.

“We work to ensure justice and prevent victims from suffering further abuse,” she said. “It makes the job worth the effort.”

Although agents often find the work exceptionally rewarding, it’s not for everyone.

Job stressors include long hours, strenuous caseloads, difficult subject matter and extensive paperwork. Though the command warns applicants about these factors, new agents are often overwhelmed in the first months of their new career.

“We’re trusted with important issues and high level responsibility that often leads to increased standards and workloads,” said SA Travis Gardner, AFOSI Det. 407 agent. “We often have to work long hours on difficult tasks while meeting the needs of all our customers.”

In a recent example, agents completed a normal workday and went home. Two hours later, the duty agent received a phone call, notifying them that a major crime occurred. The entire unit returned to the office and worked straight through until the next day.

While these situations do not occur every day, all agents experience the midnight phone calls, abrupt departures from family gatherings and hectic pace. Agents must be prepared for difficult tasks, such as interviewing child rapists, watching autopsies and processing death scenes.

Despite the inherent difficulty of dealing with such situations, the opportunity to pursue justice for victims of these crimes can be especially rewarding.

“All the hard work and long hours are worth it because we get to ensure justice for both the innocent and the guilty,” said SA Anthony Mejia, AFOSI Det. 407 agent. “The Air Force remains safe because of our work.”

To join, AFOSI applicants must meet certain criteria. Applicants must be at least 21 years old. Total Active Federal Military Service Date will not exceed 6 years for senior airmen, 11 years for staff and technical sergeants and 12 years for lieutenants and captains with no more than 6 years of commissioned service. First-term Airmen must be within their retraining window. All applicants must have at least 12 to 18 months’ time on station. The minimum general ASVAB score is 44. Anyone interested in joining AFOSI can call 228-377-3420 to speak with an AFOSI agent.