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HERO Child-Rescue Corps Program

HERO Child-Rescue Corps Program

HSI HERO Child-Rescue Corps

Giving Veterans a Second Chance to be a Hero

The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) - Human Exploitation Rescue Operation (HERO) Child-Rescue Corps Program is a paid federal internship that recruits and trains veterans as computer forensic analysts to combat child exploitation. HERO interns assist HSI Special Agents in the rescue of child sexual victims, the prosecution of sexual predators, and the prevention of child sexual abuse. The HERO Program is open to wounded, ill or injured (VA/DoD Disability rating) veterans and transitioning service members.

The HERO Program is managed by the HSI Cyber Crimes Center and is an annual, federally funded program.

The HERO Program mission is to combat the growing problem of child exploitation by recruiting, training, and equipping wounded, ill, or injured veterans to become computer forensic analysts (CFAs). Although positions are not guaranteed, the goal at the end of the internship is to hire successful interns as full-time CFAs with HSI to assist Special Agents in accomplishing the mission of HSI.

HERO Program Legal Authority:

The HERO Act, signed into law by President Obama on May 29, 2015, formalized and endorsed the HERO Corps program within ICE, administered by ICE HSI's Cyber Crimes Center. Congress strengthened the HERO Program through passage of the Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017, which improved the HERO program by making the HERO program a DHS agency-wide program, ensuring that the program is open to all branches of service members and providing pay for HERO Program Interns.

The HERO Corps Program entails:

  • 13 weeks of paid HSI introductory and forensic training, leading to certifications in CompTIA A+ and other forensic tools
  • 9 month paid internship in computer forensics labs at HSI offices throughout the U.S.

Application Requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • VA/DOD Disability Rating or Statement of Service
  • Proof of Honorable Discharge (DD214)
  • Provide all requested supporting documents to include essay addressing specific topics
  • Pass Criminal History and Background Investigation (provided by HSI)
  • Pass Drug Test Screening
  • Obtain and maintain Top Secret Clearance
  • Must attend all virtual and in-person interviews
  • Must attend all 13 weeks of training
  • Willing to relocate at own expense to selected office location

Program Training:

  • 13 weeks of paid introductory and computer forensic training in Fairfax, VA, leading to certifications in CompTIA A+, and other forensic software programs
  • 9 months of paid practical experience assisting HSI Special Agents with criminal cases and prosecutions at various HSI domestic office locations
  • GS 5/7 pay during the entire internship. Lodging and per diem provided during the first 13 weeks of training only

Program Benefits:

  • Paid internship at the GS-5 or GS-7 grade level
  • Paid Annual Leave, Sick Leave, and Holidays
  • Federal Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance
  • Successful graduates of the HERO Program receive consideration for permanent full-time employment with ICE/HSI as a Computer Forensic Analyst
  • There are no guarantees that at the conclusion of the internship an offer of permanent, full-time employment will be made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Offers are contingent upon acceptable work performance, availability of funds, and operational needs.

How to Apply

The job announcement for the FY 2024 HERO Program is now closed. The job announcement for the FY 2025 HERO Program will open in late 2024.

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FY 2024 HERO Program Key Dates

  • December 4, 2023: Announcement Opens
  • December 18, 2023: Announcement Closes
  • Mid January 2024: Virtual Interviews
  • Late February 2024: In-Person Interviews
  • June 17, 2024: Training Starts
  • September 13, 2024: Completion of introductory training, report to field office

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is this an Operator or Special Agent position?

No. This is a support role.

80% of work time is in a lab processing electronic and mobile devices. 

Will I have arrest authority?

No. This position does not have arrest authority.

Will I participate in law enforcement actions?

Yes. In a limited capacity after the scene is secure in order to process electronic devices.

Will I carry a firearm?

No. You will not be issued a firearm and you cannot carry a personal firearm while on duty or in a federal facility.

Will I be exposed to child sexual assault material?

Yes. This position is in direct support of child exploitation investigations and the duties include locating, identifying, and preserving child sexual assault material for criminal prosecution.

Will this position allow me to transition to become a special agent?

No. This position is clearly defined and is not a gateway to a special agent position.

Will I be issued a government car?

No. You must drive your own car to work. A pool car may be available for duty hours response. 

Does the Government pay for my relocation to my new duty location?

No. Unlike the military, all new federal employees pay for their own relocation expenses.

Is a college degree, law enforcement experience, or technical/computer experience required to apply?

No, college degree, law enforcement experience or technical/computer experience are not required to apply to this position.

What locations are available in the HERO Program this year?

Locations will be listed in the announcement. Please apply only to positions you are willing to move to and work at.

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