Prior to World War II, national intelligence in the U.S. was scattered between departments, with gathered information sometimes not being used the way it ought to be. In fact, there’s evidence showing that the Pearl Harbor bombing could have been prevented, or at least mitigated, had the gathered intelligence been used in the correct channels.

The solution to the data silos? Create one unified source of intelligence for the country. Today, this source is the Central Intelligence Agency, aka the CIA. How much do you know about this critical agency? Take our quiz and test your knowledge!


The CIA was officially born on September 18, 1947, with the National Security Act of 1947, but that wasn’t the beginning of national intelligence. Prior iterations included The Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI), formed under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 to gather foreign intelligence related to the war. Next up was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a centralized intelligence agency created in 1942.

The OSS lasted a little longer than the OCI, but was abolished at the end of World War II in 1945. Then came the Strategic Services Unit (SSU), which absorbed some branches of the OSS – for a few months, at least, until the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) was formed in January 1946, until finally President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 which created the CIA we know today.

The CIA gathers intelligence with both overt and covert operations around the globe. Once gathered and processed, they get the information to the right people, safeguarding national security and ensuring access to vital information.

Working for the CIA doesn’t have to mean you’re a secret agent conducting covert meetings and going on secret spy missions. The CIA hires people from all walks of life, including doctors, mechanics, and accountants!


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Brynn Mahnke is a freelance writer specializing in researching, writing, and ghostwriting for clients in the career, finance, SaaS, and B2B/B2C niches. She focuses on writing case studies, whitepapers, ebooks, and articles showcasing the value her clients bring to their customers. When she isn't writing, you can find her running, cycling, or wrangling children. She can be reached through her website or at