In 1995, just two weeks before leaving the military service to begin his first day of class at the FBI Academy, Richard Diaz was the victim of a hit and run. He lost his arm and to add insult to injury, Diaz was forcibly retired by the military and told by the FBI that he was no longer a candidate because he could not fire a weapon. Diaz later shattered this notion during his career in the CIA.
In 1999, when Diaz joined the CIA, he was offered a position in the Office of Inspector General, but he had set his goal on becoming a Clandestine Service Officer (Case Officer). In his own words, “I’ve battled a lot of skepticism over the years about what my limitations were and whether I could reach my goal of becoming weapon qualified and ultimately becoming a Case Officer. Nonetheless, I pushed forward." Diaz was eventually recruited into the Directorate of Operations in 2001 just prior to 9/11 by the Director of the Counterterrorism Center. He went on to deploy overseas following 9/11, becoming the first CIA disabled officer with his type of disability to qualify with a weapon and deploy to a warzone. He followed up in 2007, by becoming the first disabled officer in CIA history with his type of disability to certify as a Case Officer. Diaz joins us fresh from his 2019 CIA retirement to share his inspirational story of “beating the odds.”
Following Diaz’s presentation, you’ll be able to ask questions via our online platform.
The Spy Museum is proud to present this program as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor
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