Walter Reca: CIA Applicant

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Walter Reca: CIA Applicant

The Central Intelligence Agency accepts job applications from civilians, who are then subject to rigorous background checks and testing. Young Walter Reca had an interest in the CIA and he began researching what was required for acceptance.

He took a literacy test in 1963 in order to get clearance on two languages - German and Polish - which he had learned throughout childhood. He was tested at an U.S. Army office in Detroit, Michigan and received passing scores for both languages. His Polish grandparents had spoken their mother tongue in the home and provided Walt with a rich cultural background. Walt seemed well-prepared by both his military experience and his rough-and-tumble upbringing to serve in covert operations. Walter made a formal application to the CIA and submitted himself for a background check. Then, he waited. In September of 1963,  Walt received disappointing news. “Operating Officials of the Agency have made a careful analysis of your background and experiences,” the letter read. However, “we cannot at this time utilize the qualifications which you have made available to us.”

The disappointment must have been crushing. Walt had not continued school past the eighth grade, so his career options were somewhat limited. He also had a history of run-ins with the law; perhaps he had been hoping to make a new future working for the government instead of subverting it. In any case, it seemed his career in the intelligence world was over before it had begun...


Ready to dive deeper? Purchase the memoir D.B. Cooper & Me here.
See the evidence for yourself - watch the documentary "D.B. Cooper: The Real Story" here.

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