Jack Ryan isn’t just a good action-political-thriller, it also gives audiences a sneak peek into the world of the CIA. Read on to know what!
Jack Ryan is one of the biggest web series to hit the streaming platforms. Amazon Prime has a winner with this series. Amazon Prime brings to the streaming screens one of the oldest fictional characters, Jack Ryan, an ex-Marine who becomes a rookie CIA agent. The series has a Tom Clancy character, and the author is known for the stunning details and factual correctness in his books. As much as we are fascinated by the show and character, we were totally blown away by these uber-cool facts we discovered about the CIA, thanks to the show.
The prominent “seventh floor” at the old headquarters building at Langley is home to the office of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, possibly one of the most important individuals in the global intelligence community. Vast swaths of wood panelling and heavy carpets set the sombre mood that such an office deserves! The Director of Central Intelligence Agency has of course, been a part of several such political thrillers.
The CIA seal is a reference to the seal built into the lobby floor of the CIA’s Original Headquarters Building. It is a 16-foot granite circle protecting an eagle, a shield, and a 16-point compass star. According to the CIA website, the shield signifies defense, the star signifies the coming together of intelligence records from around the world at a central point, and the eagle, America’s national bird represents strength.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan features a reference to the CIA’s Memorial Wall. The wall has permanent inscriptions of five-point stars to represent CIA officers who have died during their service. The deceased officers are also memorialized in the CIA’s Book of Honor which is kept in a display case below the Memorial Wall although some of them remain publicly anonymous.
According to the 2012-Armed Forces Journal article, ‘Understanding the CIA,’ CIA mission centers, such as the Counter Terrorism Center where Jack Ryan works, gather officers from all of the CIA executives alongside officers from other organizations, like the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). This allows the CIA to work seamlessly, covering the whole world in a way that acknowledges the interconnectedness of a myriad security and defense issues.
In the second episode of Jack Ryan, you can see Jack’s frustration over the amount of time he thinks it will take to crack Suleiman’s 8-digit cellphone passcode. This scene was inspired by real events. The CIA’s Kryptos sculpture (created by American sculptor Jim Sanborn comprising of an S-shaped copper screen on which are four cut out ciphers in a jumble of 1700 letters) still stands in the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virgina. 3 out of 4 cryptographic puzzles were solved in 1998 by a CIA analyst, David Stein, who supposedly spent about 400 hours decoding the messages during lunch breaks.
All episodes of Prime Original series ‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’, the CIA analyst cum field officer are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.