Here's what it's really like to work for the FBI


1983 Arrest photo

Gary Noesner

Gary Noesner, left, and a colleague escorting a kidnapper they arrested after rescuing a hostage in Washington, D.C., in 1983.

Gary Noesner wanted to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation since he was just 12 years old.


That dream came true in 1972, a few days after he turned 22.

For the next three decades, Noesner was heavily involved in numerous hostage, barricade, and suicide incidents; more than 120 overseas kidnapping cases involving American citizens; and prison riots, right-wing militia standoffs, religious zealot sieges, terrorist embassy takeovers, and airplane hijackings.

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He retired from the FBI in 2003 as the chief of the FBI's Crisis Negotiation Unit and has since been hired as a senior vice president at Control Risks, an international risk consultancy, and authored "Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator."

We recently spoke to Noesner, 65, who told us what it was really like to work for the FBI. He says it's important to note that every employee's experience is completely different, but he was open to sharing his own with Business Insider.