Skip to main content

An official website of the United States government

HERO Child-Rescue Corps Program

HERO Child-Rescue Corps Program


Giving Veterans a Second Chance to be a Hero

The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) - Human Exploitation Rescue Operative (HERO) Child Rescue Corps 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, operated by HSI in partnership with Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT), 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.

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 and Psychological Testing as required
  • Obtain and maintain Top Secret Clearance
  • Must attend all interviews and 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

FY21 HERO Program Internship Locations and Corresponding Potential Permanent Job Locations:

If selected, upon successful completion of the internship, HERO interns are only eligible to apply for potential permanent positions that correspond to their internship location. Please review the table below to inform your choice of internship location(s). Note that some potential job locations are different from the training location.

Training Location Potential Permanent Job Location
Birmingham, AL Birmingham, AL
Baltimore, MD Baltimore, MD and Cambridge, MD
Frederick, MD Frederick, MD
Buffalo, NY Buffalo, NY
Massena, NY Massena, NY
Charlotte, NC Winston Salem, NC
Greenville, SC Greenville, SC
Raleigh, NC Raleigh, NC
Oakbrook Terrace, IL Oakbrook Terrace, IL and Milwaukee, WI
Springfield, IL Springfield, IL
Lubbock, TX San Angelo, TX
Greenwood Village, CO Greenwood Village, CO and Salt Lake City, UT
Greeley, CO Colorado Springs, CO
Detroit, MI Detroit, MI
Cleveland, OH Cleveland, OH
Grand Rapids, MI Grand Rapids, MI
Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati, OH
Albuquerque, NM Albuquerque, NM
Honolulu, HI Honolulu, HI
Guam Guam
Houston, TX Houston, TX and Galveston, TX
Kansas City, MO Kansas City, MO and Springfield, MO
Omaha, NE Omaha, NE and Sioux City, IA
Saint Louis, MO Saint Louis, MO
Wichita, KS Wichita, KS
Cedar Rapids, IA Cedar Rapids, IA
Des Moines, IA Des Moines, IA
Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas, NV
Long Beach, CA Long Beach, CA
Miami, FL Miami, FL
Nashville, TN Nashville, TN and Bowling Green, KY
Memphis, TN Memphis, TN
Louisville, KY Louisville, KY
New Orleans, LA New Orleans, LA and Houma, LA
Baton Rouge, LA Baton Rouge, LA
Mobile, AL Mobile, AL
Gulfport, MS Gulfport, MS and Jackson, MS
Lake Charles, LA Lake Charles, LA
Fayetteville, AR Little Rock, AR, and Fort Smith, AR, and Texarkana, AR
New York, NY New York, NY
Jamaica, NY Jamaica, NY
Central Islip, NY Central Islip, NY
Newburgh, NY Newburgh, NY
Newark, NJ Newark, NJ
Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE
Pittsburg, PA Pittsburg, PA
Tucson, AZ Douglas, AZ and Flagstaff, AZ
Yuma, AZ Yuma, AZ
San Antonio, TX Del Rio, TX
Brownsville, TX Brownsville, TX and McAllen, TX
San Diego, CA San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA San Jose, CA
Fresno, CA Bakersfield, CA
San Juan, PR San Juan, PR
Blaine, WA Blaine, EA
Spokane, WA Spokane, WA
Lakewood, WA Lakewood, WA
Idaho Falls, ID Boise, ID
St Paul, MN St Paul, MN and Rapid City, SD
Reston, VA Reston, VA
Tampa, FL Sarasota, FL and Tallahassee, FL
Norfolk, VA Norfolk, VA

How to Apply

The FY 2021 HERO Corp job announcement has closed.

Please check back for updates and remember to subscribe via the Contact Us link at the bottom right of the page.

Sign up to receive HERO Corps email updates

FY 2021 HERO Program Key Dates

Please note that the timeframes listed below are approximate and dependent on COVID-19 protocols / restrictions.
Any updates or changes will be noted in the table below.

Date Description
March 8 – April 9, 2021 FY 2021 HERO Program – Open application
Late April 2021 FY 2021 HERO Program – First stage interviews
Mid May 2021 FY 2021 HERO Program – Second stage interviews
Late August 2021 FY 2021 HERO Program – Selected interns start indoctrination and forensic training
Late November 2021 FY 2021 HERO Program – Selected interns report to HSI SAC Offices
Mid August 2022 FY 2021 HERO Program – Completion of internship


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.

Updated: 04/12/2021