National Nuclear Security Administration

Here’s what happened when a middle schooler emailed NNSA about becoming a Nuclear Material Courier

April 5, 2018

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Jocelyn Bice, a 13-year-old from St. Louis who write to NNSA about becoming a Nuclear Material Courier.
Jocelyn Bise

The NNSA Office of Secure Transportation (OST) Federal Agent recruitment office gets frequent inquiries from military and law enforcement personnel who are interested in pursuing second careers as NNSA Nuclear Material Couriers, the federal security force that transports national security cargo throughout the nation.

But when a 13-year-old student from Marian Middle School in St. Louis, Jocelyn Bise, wrote that she was researching future jobs for an assignment in her seventh grade language arts class and she had decided on OST, Federal Agent recruiter Curtis Johnson took the opportunity to counsel her about the preparations she should make for a future in OST or other law enforcement careers.

“Hello, Jocelyn,” he wrote back in response to her questions. “So great to hear that you are interested in the Nuclear Materials Courier (NMC) Federal Agent career field! I applaud your diligent efforts in researching career fields that you might want to pursue in the future. It is always encouraging to find young people thinking ahead about their futures and pursuing what they love.”

“The Nuclear Materials Courier career field is a great job for both men and women. We love to get female applicants and we are working to attract more women to the career field. I would definitely recommend this job to women who are interested in law enforcement and national security careers.”

Curtis said his first advice for a middle or high school student would be to stay out of trouble.

“Whether you want to go to college, join the military, or go directly into law enforcement, the standards are very high,” he wrote. “If you have a history of getting into trouble it is very possible that you will be turned away and have to choose a different line of work.”

Good grades throughout middle school and high school open up career opportunities, he added.

“If you choose to go to college right after high school, your good grades will get you into better schools and may even lead to scholarships that will help pay for your schooling,” he advised Jocelyn. “If you choose to enter the military after high school you will take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). If you score high enough on the ASVAB you will be able to pick from almost any job you want in the military.”

Curtis noted that he applied to become a Federal Agent while working on a college assignment that was very similar to the paper Jocelyn was writing for her language arts class.

“Growing up, I had always been very interested in law enforcement work, so the career fields that I chose for my research paper were Secret Service, U.S. Marshals and Nuclear Material Courier Federal Agents,” he said. “At the time I was writing my research paper I had just finished serving in the U.S. Air Force. During my time in the Air Force I had the privilege of working alongside some Nuclear Material Courier Federal Agents at my Air Force base and thought that the job looked really cool! When I logged on to the Nuclear Material Courier website to do some research for my paper, I saw that they were hiring Federal Agents so I applied to the job. Fifteen years later I am working in the same career field and still loving every minute of it!”

Curtis also sent Jocelyn an OST lapel pin and an OST medallion.