The Langley Files

File 016: Part I

“…that it is important for our country to have diversity, and especially in the Central Intelligence Agency, where we're trying to collect information for the safety of this country and for the free world. And so, uh, I said, I'm not going to let bigotry and discrimination define me. I am going to be a Black spy, and I came back and applied for the junior officer training program and was accepted.”

May 24, 2024
Season 3 File 016: Part I

Meet the Legendary Black CIA Officer who Made Cold War History - CIA Training

Part I: CIA Training - George E. Hocker Jr. joined CIA in the 1950s, as one of just a few Black employees in the Agency’s records office. Over three decades later, he retired from CIA’s senior ranks as a veteran clandestine operations officer with a series of intelligence successes to his name—including a Cold War espionage history first. Now, for the first time ever, hear about those espionage feats—and the barriers George broke as he rose through the Agency’s ranks back home—directly from the CIA officer who lived them. In part one of this special two-part episode, George returns to Langley to share with Dee and Walter the path that led him from a childhood in a still-segregated Washington, DC, to the CIA; what inspired him to apply for the Agency’s clandestine service; and the challenges and triumphs he experienced as the only Black officer in his CIA operations training class. From a moment of revelation watching Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to overcoming the elements in some of CIA’s toughest trainings, this is a story you won’t want to miss.

Look Inside File 016: Part I

Want to dive deeper into today’s episode? Here's a look into more of Langley's (unclassified) files:

Read more about George E. Hocker, Jr.’s remarkable career—and see photos from his time at CIA, including his original Agency job offer letter—here.

Want to follow in George’s footsteps and become one of the CIA operations officers gathering intelligence across the globe to keep Americans and others around the world safe? Apply here.  

Interested in the other high-impact CIA Directorate of Operations roles? Check out the Collection Management OfficerTargeting OfficerStaff Operations OfficerDirectorate of Operations Language Officer positions.