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‘G-Man’ Tackles FBI Rookie Camp

TIMES STAFF WRITER

There’s nothing like a national security crisis to bring about a closer examination of our methods for safeguarding the American way of life, which is why tonight’s Discovery Channel premiere of “G-Man--The Making of an FBI Agent” (9 p.m.) carries a heightened sense of mission.

The hourlong program follows the 40 brave souls of Class 0105 through the agency’s 16-week training and testing ordeal at Quantico, Va. It takes a year of screening just to make it to rookie camp at Quantico, and the candidates’ backgrounds are as varied as their reasons for accepting the challenge.

The almost swaggering confidence exhibited by some of these men and women at the outset of training fades from view as the days wear on. Physical ability tests, firearms training and hand-to-hand combat instruction are interwoven with 370 hours of classroom work.

The courses on international warfare, forensics, ethics, the law and more come in wave after wave.

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Any spare moments are spent studying or working out. The combined assault on mind and body leaves some by the wayside, as the single-minded survivors doggedly push toward the finish line.

The straightforward style of executive producers Tom Cochran and Jack Smith and writer Kevin Finch works effectively to bring the Quantico experience alive through the eyes of the candidates. By graduation day, there’s a palpable sense of relief and pride in these people we’ve come to know.

And any lingering trace of swagger has been replaced by a cool confidence born of having gone through a crucible the likes of which few ever experience.


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