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View Jobs and Apply button FBI Tactical
Hostage Rescue Team (HRT)
Be Where Special Becomes Extraordinary.
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Protect America and save lives by becoming an FBI Special Agent, and serve with the FBI Hostage Rescue Team.

The career of an FBI Special Agent is unique. It involves contributing to national security and enforcing over 300 federal statutes. FBI Special Agents investigate foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, organized crime, white-collar crime, public corruption, civil rights violations, kidnapping, drug trafficking, and more. But the number one priority of the FBI is to protect America from terrorist attacks, a very real threat in today's world.

The FBI is the lead Federal Agency for investigating terrorist threats against the United States. This responsibility includes tactical response to interdict and apprehend terrorists before they can act, and to conduct other high-risk tactical operations. The FBI has one full-time counterterrorist tactical team, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). As an FBI Special Agent* (SA), you may become a member of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team. Here, highly qualified and motivated FBI Special Agents volunteer to respond to challenges that are the most complex, critical, and urgent. They are a tight-knit team — highly trained, specially equipped, always prepared.

What is HRT?
Tactical Recruiting Program.
Who can join HRT?
Tactical Experience Requirements.
The Selection Process.
Specialized Training and Resources.
Mission Profiles.

*Candidates for the position of FBI Special Agent must possess a four-year college degree and three years of professional work experience; be available for assignment anywhere in the FBI's jurisdiction; be between the ages of 23 and 36; be in excellent physical condition with the ability to pass a rigorous physical fitness test; and consent to a complete background investigation, drug test, and polygraph. HRT Operators are Special Agents first, and will have investigative and managerial career opportunities in the FBI following their HRT assignment.

What is HRT?
The FBI's Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) was established in 1983 to be a national level counterterrorist unit, offering a tactical option for any extraordinary hostage crisis or other law enforcement situation that may occur within the United States. Today, HRT responds to the most urgent and complex FBI cases in the U.S. and abroad. It is part of the Tactical Support Branch of the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG), and is based at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

The HRT is organized into Tactical Units, each of which is made up of assaulter and sniper/observer Operators. These tactical elements are supported by a Tactical Helicopter Unit, Tactical Mobility Team, logistics, intelligence, communications, and command staffs.

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Tactical Recruiting Program.
The operational tempo for HRT has been high in the years since the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01. This has required that the staffing of HRT be increased to meet these demands. For the first time, the FBI is seeking candidates with special tactical qualifications, to become Special Agents (SA), and to serve as HRT Operators. This competitive program will be open to candidates with extensive tactical experience. To qualify, candidates must be fully qualified as Special Agents, and possess at least three years of either law enforcement or military tactical experience. Tactical candidates should be in excellent physical condition. Tactical candidates are required to perform to an enhanced standard on the FBI Physical Fitness Test. Physical fitness is one of the dimensions evaluated in this competitive program. Candidates must also demonstrate motivation and commitment to apply for the HRT when eligible, and to serve on the team if selected. Persons employed under the FBI Tactical SA program will receive accelerated eligibility to attend HRT selection, with possible assignment to the HRT.

To apply for the FBI Tactical Recruiting Program (TRP), applicants must first apply for the FBI Special Agent position using the on-line application. The link to the TRP application is located at the end of the SA application. Those candidates who qualify as SA applicants and the TRP based on the on-line applications, will be scheduled for the Phase I test. Those candidates who pass the Phase I test will then have a telephonic interview with the HRT personnel. The purpose of the interview is to verify tactical qualifications and ensure the candidate is fully informed about the TRP as it relates to the SA hiring process.

Those candidates who pass the telephonic interview will continue their SA processing as TRP candidates. Those candidates not deemed competitive as TRP candidates will be so informed, and will continue their SA processing under their original critical skills category. Those persons not accepted as TRP candidates, who later become FBI SAs, will later be eligible to try out for HRT under existing program guidelines.

You Should Know:
TRP candidates must understand that they are applying for the SA position first, and must gain at least two years of FBI investigative experience before receiving transfer to HRT. Selection to HRT is not guaranteed. After completing New Agents Training and being assigned to a field office to gain investigative experience, the candidate must compete for a place on HRT by attending a two-week selection course. HRT Selection tests for physical fitness, firearms skills, problem-solving ability, leadership, team compatibility, and other characteristics deemed essential for an HRT Operator. TRP candidates should understand that, if accepted to HRT, the minimum term is four years. There is no mandated maximum term, assuming continued satisfactory performance. There are promotional opportunities within the HRT structure, as Operators gain experience, to serve as team leaders or in other positions of leadership on HRT. HRT Operators are eligible to return to the field in an investigative role, or may compete for other FBI management positions, after completing the HRT tour.

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Who can join HRT?
Selection to HRT is open to all FBI Special Agents who have achieved a prescribed level of FBI investigative experience, are recommended to come to the HRT selection course by their Special Agent in Charge based on the quality of their work, and have demonstrated excellent firearms and physical fitness skills.

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Tactical Experience Requirements.
To qualify for the Tactical Recruiting Program (TRP), you will need to bring some special skills, talents, and experience. All candidates will be rated based on their experience levels, and the most qualified will be eligible for this program. Each candidate will have the opportunity to summarize tactical training and experience in the Tactical Recruiting Program on-line application, which may be accessed after completing the Special Agent application. Here is a snapshot of those qualifications:

Must have at least 3 years of tactical experience in either law enforcement or the military.

Law Enforcement Experience:
  • With a Federal Agency tactical team (This category includes all Military Police.).

  • Or with a Local/County/State Agency or Department tactical team.

- Full-time tactical team experience will carry more weight than part-time experience.

- Completion of continuing education courses in at least three of the following: Basic SWAT • Advanced SWAT • Hostage Rescue • High Risk Arrest • Barricaded Subject • Basic Sniper/Observer • Advanced Sniper/Observer • Tactical Firearms • Mechanical Breaching

Military Experience – Army
Combat Arms experience. Service in Special Forces Group or Ranger Regiment will carry more weight.

Military Experience – Navy
Must have served in the Naval Special Warfare Community as a SEAL or Naval Special Warfare Officer.

Military Experience – Marine Corps
Combat Arms experience.

Military Experience – Air Force
Must have served in Combat Controller, Combat Rescue (Pararescue), or Tactical Air Control Party fields.

Physical Fitness.
Tactical candidates should be in superior physical condition. Physical fitness is a critical evaluation element in determining competitiveness for the Tactical Recruiting Program. Tactical Candidates will be required to perform to enhanced levels when administered the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) after passing the Phase II Test, and will be required to achieve the following standard:

To ensure that Tactical Candidates are fully prepared to meet their responsibilities as Special Agents and potential future Hostage Rescue Team members, Tactical Candidates must pass an enhanced Physical Fitness Test. The test consists of five mandatory events that are administered in the following order:

  1. Maximum number of sit-ups in one minute
  2. Timed 300-meter sprint
  3. Maximum number of push-ups (untimed)
  4. Timed one and one-half mile (1.5 mile) run
  5. Pull-ups (Pull-ups Scoring Scale)

There is a strictly defined scoring scale and protocol for each event. In order to pass the enhanced Physical Fitness Test, Tactical Candidates minimum cumulative score of TWENTY points with at least one point in each of the five events. Candidates are reminded that minimum performance is just that. Competitive performance at the HRT selection course will require physical fitness well in excess of these minimums.

The Physical Fitness Test is administered to a Tactical Candidate Special Agent applicant at his/her processing FBI Field Office. Tactical Candidates must pass the Enhanced Physical Fitness Test as the next step after passing Phase II testing in order for any further background processing to take place and to be eligible for admission into a New Agent Training Class. A Special Agent applicant will have a total of three opportunities to achieve a passing score on the Physical Fitness Test. One immediately after Phase II testing, a second a minimum of thirty days and a maximum of ninety days after the initial test, and a final Physical Fitness Test a minimum of ninety days and a maximum of 120 days from the date of the second Physical Fitness Test. If a passing score is not achieved in any of the tests, the Special Agent applicant will not be eligible in the future for the Special Agent position. Tactical Candidates who pass the Physical Fitness Test at the enhanced levels are considered sufficiently fit to safely and successfully complete the physical training and defensive tactics portion of New Agent's Training at the FBI Academy, and have demonstrated the increased fitness level required for the Tactical Recruiting Program.

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The Selection Process.
FBI Special Agents who are invited to attend an HRT selection course undergo a physically rigorous and mentally demanding evaluation process. HRT selection is designed to identify those candidates with the physical toughness, mental acuity, and strength of character to operate in the demanding counterterrorist environment. Because a relative few possess all of these characteristics, attrition from selection is high.

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Specialized Training and Resources.
When not deployed operationally, HRT conducts training at the FBI Academy and at sites across the nation. The instruction, simulations, and exercises involve highly specialized counterterrorist tactics and techniques. With leading-edge integrated capabilities, which include aviation, maritime, and ground assets, HRT stands as one of the nation's most sophisticated law enforcement tactical units.

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Are you up for the challenge?
Being a member of HRT entails great responsibilities as well as great opportunities. HRT members must be ready to deploy on short notice to any location in the United States, or internationally. They perform a wide range of law enforcement tactical functions in all environments, under a variety of conditions. With its enhanced training, resources, and manpower, HRT is designed to confront the most complex of threats. HRT candidates must be ready to make a significant personal and professional commitment. While the selection process, training, travel, and daily operational tempo are highly challenging, equally exceptional are the opportunities to make important contributions to the FBI and to the United States.

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Mission profiles include:

  • Hostage rescue
  • Barricaded subjects
  • Helicopter operations
  • High-risk raids, searches, arrests, and warrants
  • Mobile assaults
  • Manhunt and rural operations
  • Maritime operations
  • Cold/extreme weather operations
  • Dignitary protection
  • Force protection for FBI personnel overseas
  • Assistance to military special missions

Joining the FBI...
...means embracing an exceptionally rewarding future. It means excelling with an organization of highly talented, ethnically diverse, professional men and women who have a daily impact on the quality-of-life of all U.S. citizens, and who carry out the FBI's ongoing mission:

  • To uphold the law through the investigation of violations of federal criminal law, and to protect the United States from foreign intelligence and terrorist activities;

  • To provide leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local, and international agencies;

  • And to perform these responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the public.

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