NSA MDLAs are hired into the Language Analysis Development Program (LADP) or, in the case of MDLAs with extensive experience in Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), directly into positions supporting an analytic mission office.
The LADP, which lasts up to three years, is designed to provide an intensive, accelerated opportunity to acquire the unique technical skills and experience needed to successfully apply knowledge and analytic ability to the SIGINT mission and help MDLAs achieve core analytic competencies in accordance with the Cryptologic Training System Training Standard and the MDLA competencies framework. The program includes 4-5 operational tours in a variety of offices, interspersed with formal classroom and computer-based training. These on-the-job operational tours are primarily focused on analyzing foreign language materials within the framework of the two main SIGINT disciplines of intelligence analysis – SIGINT reporting and SIGINT development.
Multidisciplined Language Analysts are at the forefront of carrying out NSA’s SIGINT mission, and they do so in a variety of ways. MDLAs:
– Offer U.S. policymakers and military leaders a window into the foreign language world of intelligence targets by analyzing, transcribing, and translating key information
– Research and understand foreign intelligence targets, how they operate, and how they fit in the larger geo-political context
– Apply new techniques and develop creative solutions to address analytic problems such as synthesizing large volumes of data and disparate sources of information
– Demonstrate a firm understanding of the communications environment and technology trends of foreign intelligence targets
– Craft written and oral assessments of foreign intelligence that provide unique insights into target intentions unavailable from other intelligence disciplines
– Work independently and collaborate effectively (both within NSA and with other analysts in the Intelligence Community) in research, analysis, and reporting