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HSI Cadet Academy

HSI Cadet Academy

The HSI Special Agent Cadet Academy was created in 2013 as an outreach mechanism to educate teenagers and young adults with disabilities and chronic illnesses about the HSI mission.

HSI Cadet Academy: 2019

The Academy

The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Cadet Academy was created in 2013 to educate teenagers and young adults with disabilities and chronic illnesses about HSI's mission. The program is a week-long camp that takes place every summer and offers students instruction on a range of topics such as transnational gangs, intellectual property rights, forensic document analysis, narcotics and contraband smuggling and cybercrimes. Throughout the classroom sessions, HSI instructors guide the cadets through a mock investigation with cadets working together to solve their case.


The pilot program was implemented by HSI Headquarters (HQ) in partnership with the Medstar Georgetown University Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., on June 12, 2013. Eight cadets were chosen for the three-month pilot and were offered several two-hour interactive overviews presented by subject matter experts from HSI's 1811 Programs Section, the HSI Forensics Laboratory, National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center and the National Gang Unit.

HSI also partnered with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to further enhance the mock investigation by providing the cadets and their families a tour of the Port of Baltimore and inspecting a shipping container with smuggled "narcotics" concealed inside.

The students wrapped up their investigation at the HSI Cadet Academy Field Day exercise at the CBP Advanced Training Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, where members of the HSI DC Special Response Team trained the cadets on search warrant execution and vehicle stop tactics. The Field Day culminated with the cadets performing a high-risk vehicle stop and arrest of the “bad guy.” The top cadet was presented with the Edward J. Smith Award. This award was given in honor of Mr. Smith, an HSI special agent who passed away from cancer. The inaugural class concluded with a graduation ceremony at HSI HQ on August 13, 2013, for the cadets and their families.

Academy Expansion

  • 2016: The Cadet Academy expanded to HSI Philadelphia, partnering with Nemours Alfred I. DuPont Children's Hospital in nearby Wilmington, DE.
  • 2017: HSI HQ added Inova Children's Hospital in Fairfax, VA, as a partner.
  • 2018: HSI Grand Rapids conducted a modified pilot program focused on mentoring high school juniors and seniors who were interested in a law enforcement career and provided instruction to the students on HSI and its investigative capabilities.
  • 2019: ASAC Brownsville, TX and Driscoll Children’s Hospital kicked off their inaugural program on December 5, 2019.

Unfortunately, the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Cadet Academies were canceled because of COVID. We are eagerly looking forward to restarting the program in summer 2023.

Map of Cadet Academy Locations mentioned above

Your Journey Awaits

Interested in joining the HSI team and becoming an HSI cadet? Take the next step by speaking with your hospital or healthcare system’s point of contact. There is no initial application process for the HSI Cadet Academy. Each year, partnering hospitals or care facilities announce the opportunity to participate in the Cadet Academy to their patients. The partnering facility then solicits and recruits cadets for the program. Please note that potential cadets must be under the care of a partnering hospital or care facility. Once chosen, a cadet must submit the proper consent and release forms to fully participate in the program.

Hospitals and care facilities that are interested in partnering with HSI are kindly asked to send an email to the mailbox.

Have Questions? We have answers.

Want to know more about the HSI Cadet Academy or have questions? View the HSI Cadet Academy brochure.

  • HSI Cadet Academy Brochure

    HSI Cadet Academy Brochure

    Educating today's youth about public safety and public service.

HSI Cadet Academy Classes