Careers at the Defense Security Service
You're invited to help us make a difference
Keeping information and defense technologies from falling into the wrong hands is serious business. Stay at the forefront of the technological and global economic environment by joining our workforce. Together, we'll address evolving threats to national security, thus keeping our nation and our warfighter safe.
By joining DSS, you'll help us provide critical security education, training and awareness services and products to those who serve and protect our national security. Protecting this classified information maintains the integrity of the technologies, information, and products used by the warfighter in the field.
DSS Locations: Most of DSS activities are performed at the Defense Security Service headquarters, in Quantico, VA, right outside of the nation's capitol in Washington, DC. We also have 57 field offices across the nation.
The bulk of the DSS workforce consists of Security Specialists, who are either Personnel Security Specialists, adjudicating personnel security clearances, or Industrial Security Representatives, who conduct surveys and inspections of industrial (contractor) facilities to ensure they comply with Federal security requirements. Additionally, DSS employs a number of Information Technology (Information Security) Specialists who evaluate customer IT systems to ensure they meet security standards. A brief description of the work being done by these groups follows.
Counterintelligence (CI) Professional
DSS Counterintelligence (CI) professionals are highly respected in the Intelligence Community. As a CI professional, you will make a significant contribution in keeping sensitive and classified information and technologies out of the hands of our nation's adversaries.
As a CI Professional, you will:
- Analyze reports of suspicious contacts or activity by industry
- Apply your analytical skills to identify real-time threats to U.S. classified information and technology
- Identify effective countermeasures to mitigate threats
- Participate in interagency working groups and exchange information to better define threats and counter new adversarial techniques
- Brief key decision makers on trends, analysis and studies related to counterintelligence and security
- Have access to the full investigative resources of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Intelligence Community
- Work in a collaborative environment with other CI Professionals
- Have an attractive career ladder with significant opportunities for career advancement
Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) Professionals
Foreign investment plays an important role in maintaining the vitality of the U.S. industrial base. While it is the policy of the U.S. Government to allow foreign investment consistent with the national security interests of the United States, foreign investment in U.S. industry poses a unique risk to the protection of classified information. As a member of our Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) team, you'll be working with experts in security, finance, business structures and governance. You will identify, record and analyze foreign investment in U.S. companies performing classified work and then help craft agreements to mitigate the impact of FOCI on the cleared company.
As a FOCI Professional, you will:
- Analyze corporate structures and determine the true ownership of a variety of investment vehicles
- Review and analyze complex financial reports
- Evaluate how evolving standards of foreign direct investment screening might impact the standard of performance we should expect from our industrial security program
- Participate in working groups and exchange information with legal and corporate governance experts
- Brief key decision makers on trends and analysis on new and emerging financial instruments
- Evaluate internal processes and procedures to find opportunities to increase our risk management capabilities
Top candidates for FOCI positions will have degrees or analytical work in business, finance or similar fields. Graduates with other four-year or post-graduate degrees will have the opportunity to complete specialized training and will also find rewarding opportunities at DSS.
Information System Security Professionals (ISSP)
As an Information System Security Professional (ISSP), you will be challenged to stay current with the latest technological developments in information security. You will be exposed to advanced technologies and will play a major role in identifying potential threats and intrusions on Information Technology (IT) systems by our adversaries.
As an ISSP, you will:
- Evaluate IT systems from simple stand-alone laptops to complex Wide Area Networks
- Determine the viability of industry IT systems to process and protect classified information and evaluate vulnerabilities
- Identify cyber security attacks and help develop mitigation strategies
- Develop and maintain technical proficiency of ever changing technology developments
A background in IT is essential for this position. DSS will provide intensive training toward certifications, including the Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information System Manager (CISM).
Industrial Security Representatives (ISR)
The Industrial Security Representatives (ISRs) at DSS are the primary interface between the U.S. Government and industry,
and interact with their industry counterparts on a daily basis. They provide oversight, advice and assistance and ultimately determine the ability of those companies to protect classified information.
As an ISR, you will:
- Conduct research and gather information to determine whether a U.S. company will be granted permission to work with classified contracts
- Meet and work with security professionals in government and industry
- Conduct analysis of the security posture of cleared facilities and recommend solutions to vulnerabilities and weaknesses
- Provide security education to industry professionals
- Develop skills leading to positions of increased responsibility within DSS and throughout government or industry
- Work independently and as part of a team
- Develop skills that are highly sought within the federal government and easily transferable to the private sector
- Have opportunities for career growth
Information Technology (IT) Professionals
As an IT professional, you will build information systems to support the DSS system.
Center for the Development of Security Excellence (CDSE)
DSS provides security education and training to security professionals through its DSS Academy. The Academy provides classroom and web-based training and is committed to providing and developing state-of-the-art training that can be accessed anytime or anywhere. You can help in one of these areas:
As an Instructor, you will:
- Deliver classroom training at a state-of-the-art facility located near Washington, D.C., as well as in other locations within the United States and abroad
- Collaborate with other professionals and develop dynamic classroom training, as well as interactive online learning
- Leverage opportunities to expand knowledge through cross-training, field experience and mentoring
As an Instructional Systems Designer, you will:
- Collaborate with instructors and curriculum managers to analyze, design and evaluate interactive innovative classroom and online learning
As an Information Technology (IT) Specialist, you will:
- Collaborate with instructors and curriculum managers to develop and maintain courseware using sophisticated delivery methods
- Develop interactive learning simulations such as gaming and other innovative techniques to enhance the learner's experience
As a Visual Information Specialist, you will:
- Employ creative talent to design multimedia security education, training and awareness products that are used throughout the Department
of Defense (DoD), other government agencies and industry
- Write, produce and edit audio and video training projects
Personnel Security Specialists
Personnel Security Specialists perform work as trained adjudicators working at DSS's Defense Industrial Security Clearance Office (DISCO). Adjudicators determine the security eligibility of individuals at the Top Secret and Secret levels for those working in private industry and who need to have access to classified information to perform their jobs. These individuals work at one or more of the approximately 12,000 companies in the United States that hold facility security clearances and work on classified contracts for the government. The DISCO adjudicators make their personnel security eligibility determinations by considering the disqualifying and mitigating conditions contained in 13 adjudication guidelines. These guidelines address such subjects as criminal conduct, drug involvement, alcohol consumption, financial considerations, allegiance to the United States, foreign influence, and the use of information technology systems. DISCO adjudicators participate in an 18-month training program which includes classroom, computer based, and on the job training.
Like any corporation or Federal agency, DSS also employs support personnel, such as Budget Analysts, Human Resources Specialists, Contract Specialists, Communications Specialists, Program Analysts, and IT Specialists to accomplish our mission. The support functions of DSS comprise less than 20 percent of the DSS workforce.
The Defense Security Service advertises open positions on the Office of Personnel Management's USAJobs website. Find out about available employment opportunities at DSS by clicking on Public or Status. For more information on upcoming recruiting events and employment with DSS please contact us at Careers@dss.mil.