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  3. HERO Child-Rescue Corps

HERO Child-Rescue Corps

HERO Child-Rescue Corps

A paid federal internship that recruits and trains veterans as computer forensic analysts to combat child exploitation.

We are looking for wounded, ill or injured veterans and transitioning service members who are looking to serve their country. Join us for a second chance to be a hero.

Applications for the fiscal year 2025 class will be announced in late 2024.

The Human Exploitation Rescue Operation (HERO) Child-Rescue Corps Program is a paid federal internship that annually recruits, trains and equips wounded, ill or injured (VA/DoD Disability rating) veterans and transitioning service members to become computer forensic analysts (CFAs) to combat child exploitation and rescue of child sexual victims.

HERO interns directly support HSI special agents in the:

  • rescue of child sexual victims
  • prosecution of sexual predators
  • prevention of child sexual abuse

Interns and HERO CFAs are exposed to child sexual abuse and exploitation material.

The training program consists of:

  • 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.

You will receive GS 5/7 pay during the entire internship. Lodging and per diem provided during the first 13 weeks of training only.

After successfully completing the program, HSI hires interns as full-time CFAs to assist special agents. Full-time, permanent employment is not guaranteed at the end of the internship. Offers are dependent on acceptable work performance, availability of funds and operational needs.

This program does not allow you to transition to become a special agent and you must pay for your own relocation expenses.

Most of the work of a HERO CFA is performed in a lab processing electronic and mobile devices to locate, identify and preserve child sexual assault material for criminal prosecution.

  • You may be expected to participate in law enforcement actions in a limited capacity after the scene is secure to forensically process electronic devices.
  • This is a support position. You will not have arrest authority.
  • You are not issued firearms and may not carry a personal firearm while on duty or in a federal facility.
  • You will not be issued a government car. You must arrange your own transportation to and from work; however, a pool car may be available for duty hours response.


  • 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
  • Obtain and maintain Top Secret clearance
  • Must attend all virtual and in-person interviews
  • Must attend all 13 weeks of training
  • Willing to relocate at own expense to selected office location

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 HSI as a Computer Forensic Analyst

Key Dates

  • December 4, 2023: Announcement opens
  • December 18, 2023: Announcement closes
  • Mid-January 2024: Virtual interviews
  • Late February 2024: In-person interviews
  • June 17, 2024: Training starts
  • September 13, 2024: Completion of introductory training, report to field office

HERO Program Legal Authority

The “Human Exploitation Rescue Operations Act of 2025” (or HERO Act of 2015), signed into law by President Obama on May 29, 2015 (Public Law 114-22), formalized and endorsed the HERO Corps program. The program is administered by the Cyber Crimes Center (C3).

Congress strengthened the HERO Program through passage of the “Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017” (Public Law 115-392), which made it a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wide program that is open to all branches of service members and providing pay for HERO Program interns.

Last Updated: 04/22/2024
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