FBI Quantico Training Academy
by Federal Bureau of Investigation
October 21, 2022
As the FBI Training Academy at Quantico
celebrates its 50th year, it would be nearly impossible to count the
miles run, classroom hours logged, rounds of ammunition fired, or
tactical exercises conducted. But there is something we can count.
The National Academy has trained nearly 54,000 law enforcement
students in those 50 years. And each year, hundreds of Bureau
special agents and intelligence analysts graduate from the basic
field training course at the FBI Academy.
FBI Training Academy at
Quantico (FBI courtesy photo)
Those students, whether they went on to
serve in the FBI after the basic field training course or took their
National Academy training back to law enforcement agencies around
the United States and the world, have helped raise the overall
standard for law enforcement.
The goals of improved training
and professionalism were the very reasons why the Bureau’s longest
serving Director, J. Edgar Hoover, moved on a recommendation to
create an FBI National Police Training School in 1935 (now the
National Academy) where police officers would come to train.
Around the same time, the FBI established a relationship with and a
presence on the Marine Corps Base at Quantico. FBI agents had been
given the authority to carry firearms and needed a firing range to
learn to use those weapons safely and effectively.
presence at Quantico grew with the National Academy’s development
and a growing number of special agents. By the 1940s, the FBI had
created a three-story brick building with classrooms, dining
facilities, and dormitories to serve students in both the FBI
Academy and National Academy.
But most of the training for
both programs still occurred in Washington, D.C., and the facilities
were limited in size and scope. “The firearms training unit was in
Quantico,” said Jim O’Conner, who retired in 1989 as the deputy
assistant director of the FBI Training Division, where he helped
plan for the new training academy. “And there was a small academy
building where you would go for a portrait of your new agents
training class, but not very much else.”
With a 1965 request
from President Lyndon Johnson, Congress approved funding for a
larger training campus, and planning for the FBI’s modern 547-acre
campus at Quantico began.
training continues to evolve at Quantico. Today, agents learn the
fundamentals of marksmanship, safety, and practical shooting
techniques, spending more than 100 hours practicing with their
Firearms training continues to evolve at Quantico. Today, agents learn the fundamentals of marksmanship, safety, and practical shooting techniques, spending more than 100 hours practicing with their FBI-issued weapons. (FBI
As the FBI planned for more living
quarters, added classroom space, expanded firing ranges, and more
comprehensive fitness facilities, O’Conner said it quietly began to
plan for something else: female special agents. Although Hoover was
not open to women joining the ranks as agents, O’Conner said that
the Bureau was noting the changes in society and in law enforcement.
“We knew we would have women because they were advancing in law
enforcement,” O’Conner said.
Hoover passed away just weeks
before the first class began its training at the new campus at
Quantico in June 1972. When the July special agent training class
entered that year, it had two female students.
anniversary celebration held this month at Quantico, FBI Director
Christopher Wray remarked on how the work of the training academy is
directly linked to the success of the FBI’s mission: “Since its
creation, the FBI Academy has been giving our employees and partners
the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to take on…every
responsibility of their jobs, from the routine to the
extraordinarily difficult. And thanks to what happens here at the
Academy, our agents go out into the field prepared, our analysts
expertly provide the critical information needed to support
investigations, and our law enforcement partners benefit from the
resources and expertise the FBI provides as the premier law
enforcement agency in the world.”
The campus has served the
FBI and the greater law enforcement community for five decades. It
has also undergone significant growth, and its programs and
curriculum are ever evolving so it stands ready to prepare the next
generations of law enforcement professionals.
Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) |