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This piece also appeared in the journal of the Marine Corps Intelligence Association, THE INTSUM. The combination of posting to MILINET and its appearance in THE INTSUM prompted the largest number of responses to a MILINET item to date. The responses included my exchange with the CMC, General Charles Krulak and other MILINET subscribers who joined in on 2 November 1997: That "conversation" appears at the end of this piece.


09 September 1997


Marine Intelligence Drivers


Anthony F. Milavic 

Major, United States Marine Corps (Retired)


The 11 August 1997 issue of the Navy Times reported that the Marine Corps needed “131 captains in intelligence to reach full manning” and an unspecified number of majors. The article added, in the context of the entire Marine Corps, “The biggest shortage is in Intelligence, where only 59% of captain's billets are actually filled by captains.” This article prompted a heated discussion among members of the Marine Corps Intelligence Association (MCIA), Inc. over the internet service MILINET. Implicit in the membership's comments was the question: How could an organization that subscribes to the dictum that “Intelligence drives operations” permit the “biggest shortage” in its officer complement to be in its “drivers?” Also, the current situation has been exacerbated by half-truths, myths, and ill-conceived statements made by senior Marine officers in public and in official correspondence. The following “Marine's eye view” traces the history of this undermanning phenomenon with the intent of showing that it is fundamental to problems associated with Marine intelligence and, by extension, the combat readiness of the entire Marine Corps.     

The Corps approached the 1960s with a tactical philosophy that would be euphemistically characterized later as “fighting the terrain.” Marines fought WW II and Korea by landing over the best beaches available and then seizing and holding critical terrain to dominate avenues of approach/lines of communications. With one exception, this emphasis did not demand full-time intelligence officers (officers with a primary 02xx MOS), only full-time intelligence enlisted men in the occupational fields of counter-intelligence, intelligence analysis, and photo-interpretation--the exception was Japanese linguists during WW II. Photography and Marine reconnaissance elements were the sources of the bulk of Marine combat intelligence; counter intelligence personnel functioned only as security specialists. The part-time intelligence officer was steeped in the details of his primary MOS and relied on his enlisted staff for the details of intelligence during his secondary MOS employment tour. This system was intended to complement the development of the combat-arms officer--the “operator”--not produce a professional intelligence officer. The operator and future commander became, however, familiar with the capabilities and limitations of intelligence and familiar with intelligence officers. In garrison, however, there was a disturbing practical effect; many of these officers used their 02xx secondary MOS tours as vacations. 


In 1962, I was assigned a secondary MOS of 8631 Translator/Interrogator to my primary MOS of 0369 Infantry Unit Leader. When the offer came from Headquarters, Marine Corps in 1964 to replace the 8631 secondary MOS with the new 0251 primary MOS and enjoy permanent pro-pay, I elected to return to the 2nd Marine Division in 1965 as an infantry platoon sergeant rather than continuing to serve under the incompetent officers that populated my unit--the 1st Interrogation/Translation Team (ITT). All were part-time intelligence officers with an 0250 Language Officer secondary. In the two years I spent in 1st ITT, we had only one officer who could function as a linguist and because he married a Vietnamese women during a language-employment tour, he lost his clearance and left the Corps. Another officer who was sent to the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) as a Vietnamese linguist--because he was trained in Vietnamese and was the Commander, French/Vietnamese Sub-Team--was thrown out of Vietnam by the CO, Marine Task Element 79.3.3.6 at Danang for incompetence. After returning to 1st ITT, he counted his days until separation from active duty. The other officers played cards, worked on papers for their night college courses, and/or worked on creating an insurgency board game they hoped to sell commercially. 


A token effort to create full-time intelligence officers began in 1960 with a program to select meritorious NCOs/SNCOs for appointment to Warrant Officer (WO). The program required successful completion of the Warrant Officer Candidate Screening Course (WOCSC) at OCS, Quantico and the Basic School. This brought 02xx primary WOs into the Corps who had proven themselves in their occupational specialties and completed the same basic training as their commissioned officer colleagues. There was one curious wrinkle to this program: In 1961, after applying for the WO program, MSgts John Guenther and James East were selected for direct commissioning to 2nd lieutenant, Limited Duty Officer (LDO) as 0202s. They became the first two commissioned officers with a primary 02xx MOS in the Marine Corps. In any case, the WO program only resulted in a handful of intelligence WOs being appointed each year; in my 1966 class, 7th WOCSC, there were three of us. When the call came in 1966 to dramatically increase U.S. Force presence in RVN, the Corps commissioned nearly all existing WOs, as well as a large number of NCOs/SNCOs, “2nd lieutenant (temporary) not restricted in the performance of duty.” However, all were warned that if they were not selected for a permanent officer program in 3 years, they would be reverted back to their permanent enlisted/WO rank. Starting in 1968, many of us were selected for LDO with a few receiving reserve commissions. The newly commissioned future LDOs, would be sent to Vietnam as, in effect, “firemen.”


There was a critical shortage of intelligence officers in RVN and those billets that were filled, were filled by part-timers. The situation was most pronounced in the First Marine Aircraft Wing (FMAW). The preponderance of Squadron S-2 billets were assigned as on-the-job- training/additional duty to Naval Aviators on flight status; these were part-time intelligence officers in the most profound sense of the word. In 1967, I joined HMM-263 with Special Landing Force (SLF) Alpha as the S-2.  In preparation for our first operation, my CO, Lt. Col. E. K. Kirby, sent me to the G-2 section, FMAW with the instructions: “See Don Johnson. He's the only one up there who knows what's going on.” 2nd Lt. Don Johnson was a WOCSC classmate of mine and since Lt. Col. Kirby's previous assignment was in that G-2 section, I took him seriously. After four opposed air/amphibious assault operations with the SLF, the squadron deployed ashore to join MAG-36 at Chu Lai Air Base south of Da Nang. I knew of no other squadron there that had a non-aviator commissioned officer serving as S-2. After some weeks operating out of Chu Lai, I suddenly received orders from Headquarters, USMC to report to the 7th ITT, 3rd Marine Division. The Assistant G-2, Lt. Col. Lemuel C. Shepherd, III appointed me the acting team commander so the team commander, Capt. Champion, could go on extension leave. The Team had one other officer, a 1st lieutenant, U.S. Naval Academy graduate; as a 2nd lieutenant, I became his superior officer--Vietnam had curious fires.


I returned to the States in the late summer of 1967 to attend a 6-month course in Spanish. Upon graduation, I waived my right to remain in the States for two years under the stipulation that I be assigned to the 3rd Marine Division. In May 1968. I joined the Division as its Order of Battle Officer for my third Vietnam tour of duty. Shortly thereafter, Col. Michael Spark, the G-2, offered me the job of G-2, Task Force Hotel (TFH) at Khe Sanh; I was a 1st lieutenant and this was a Lt. Col.'s billet. In leaving Col. Spark's office after accepting, I passed his two Lt. Col., assistant G-2s and wondered why one of them didn't get this plum assignment--another curious Vietnam fire. I remained the “2-Actual” for some six weeks when Capt. “Jock” Mackenzie, now an LDO, was assigned the job and I became the assistant G-2; there were then two officers in the G-2, TFH. Later, I would get the job of S-2, 4th Marines leaving Jock as the only intelligence officer in a headquarters directing division-size combat operations. 


During the 12 July 1997, 4th Annual MCIA Awards Banquet in San Diego, Lt. Gen. Carlton W. Fulford, Jr., USMC used his opportunity as Guest of Honor to complain that the S-2 section of his 1st Marine Division battalion had one WO and one sergeant who would “mark dots on a map.” What LtGen Fulford does not recognize is that his battalion was lucky to have an officer in the S-2. From May 1968 through May 1969, the 3rd Marine Division had few if any commissioned officers serving as battalion S-2s and, at times, an NCO even served as a regimental S-2. For example: During my service as the S-2, 4th Marines during 1968 and 1969, there was one, and at the most, two NCOs in the “2” shop of any one of my battalions--no commissioned officers. This situation required regimental S-2s to force feed their battalions. Colleagues have informed me that the personnel situation in the 1st Division was similar.


Lt. Gen. Fulford also propagated the myth that Marine intelligence suffers from a “Green Door” mentality that had its genesis in Vietnam; i.e., Marine intelligence personnel conspired to keep Special Intelligence (SI) away from operations personnel. During the Vietnam War, there were four billets in each Marine regiment approved for SI access: the commanding officer, the executive officer, the intelligence officer and the operations officer. During the period May 1968 to May 1969, an overwhelming majority of regimental XOs and S-3s in the 3rd Marine Division refused to be cleared for SI access: the most commonly stated reason to me was that they did not want to be constrained by the attendant travel restrictions when they returned to the States. Marine regimental operations officers in combat refused SI access to safeguard their vacation options. 


In reporting to Khe Sanh Combat Base, the CG, Brig. Gen. Carl W. Hoffman and I were the only two officers on the staff that had SI access. The chief of staff and the G-3 refused to be cleared. On 27 June 1968, the Headquarters, TFH redeployed to Vandegrift Combat Base and we began preparations for a division-size operation into the central DMZ. Days after the operation commenced, I flew into the headquarters of the 3rd Marines and 9th Marines to brief the COs; no one else had SI access and neither regiment had a commissioned officer as S-2. Weeks later, I discovered the 4th Marines in an even worse situation. Its new CO, Col. Martin Sexton, never had a Top Secret clearance or had a background investigation (BI) performed. I became his temporary “2” because no one in the regiment had SI access. During the period between submitting his BI and the granting of an interim access, Col. Sexton and I would take “briefing walks.” Illegal? Yes! “Green Door” mentality? No! Intelligence officers regularly put their careers in jeopardy by illegally sanitizing SI information and feeding it to their operators. Other intelligence officers have told me that the situation was similar in the 1st Marine Division. The “Green Door” was never locked; many operators just refused to turn the door knob. 


Additionally, SI was instrumental in the success of the 3rd Marine Division. A few examples: The trip I took to the 3rd Marines and 9th Marines mentioned above, was to give them 10-digit coordinates for the location on Dong Ha Mountain of the two, 75mm pack howitzers that had been interdicting movement along Rte. 9 for months and a large cache of rockets and other munitions--all were captured that day. Also, the 9th Marines had a Radio Battalion element, led by a SNCO, attached during Operation Dewey Canyon. Among other things, that element was responsible for warning the 9th Marines when enemy 122mm artillery fire-missions were being called on them; real-time target intelligence that justified the diversion of B-52 bombing missions to those targets; and the Intelligence that permitted the regiment to ambush an NVA 8-truck convoy on 22 February 1969. In the collective memory of LTG Richard G. Stilwell, USA, Maj. Gen. Raymond Davis, USMC and Brig. Gen. Frank Garretson, USMC this was the first time since WW II that U.S. ground forces had ambushed an enemy convoy. In August 1997, General Robert H. Barrow, July 1968-April 1969, CO, 9th Marines, commented to me: 



“I would characterize Marine intelligence in Vietnam as exceptional in view of the 'fog of war' associated with the combat environment there. The most striking performance was that of the signals intelligence unit attached to my headquarters throughout Dewey Canyon. The unit provided me immediate tactical intelligence and contributed to the overall success of that operation into the Ashau Valley.”



By the way, remember those “dots” that Lt. Gen. Fulford's S-2 kept putting on the map? Well, some of them were “URSs”--reports locating U/I enemy units. The abbreviation, “URS,” was a generic term for a sanitized tactical report that originated from behind that proverbial “Green Door.” Lt. Gen. Fulford had “Green Door” Intelligence available to him; had he talked to his S-2, he might have known it.


Lt. Gen. Fulford was not unique in his failure to speak to his unit intelligence personnel: On 16 July 1968, I gave the final intelligence briefing for a division-size operation into the central DMZ, RVN. After asking for questions, the CO, 9th Marines said, “General Hoffman. We kick-off tomorrow. When do I get my maps for this operation?” The general looked back at his regimental commander than to me his 1st lieutenant, G-2. I said, “General, I'd like to answer that question." I then looked at the subject colonel and said, "Colonel. Yesterday, I personally delivered YOUR maps to YOUR intelligence chief in YOUR COC.” The colonel immediately retorted, “General, I know what the problem is.” “The problem” was obvious to everyone in the room--he did not talk to his S-2. Days later, Col. Robert H. Barrow, assumed command of the 9th Marines and the rest is history. 


In any case, I would guess that, at any one moment, about half the intelligence officers in the division  were WOs/LDOs: Capt. Wayne Mason, Special intelligence Officer, Capt. Robert Jackson, Division Combat Intelligence Officer, CWO Robert Connelly, Photo Interpretation Unit, Capt. R. B. “Jock” Mackenzie, G-2, TFH, and 1st Lt. Robert R. Spitze, 7th ITT. The other “about half” were secondary 02xx officers: Col. Michael M. Spark, G-2, 3rd Marine Division, Maj. Larry Ogle, S-2, 4th Marines, 1st Lt. “Bill” Alexander, Asst. S-2, 4th Marines. There were still others, WO/LDO/unrestricted, who's names I don't recall, such as, the WO who commanded the Radio Battalion Direct Support Unit we had at Vandegrift Combat Base and the Major, 02xx secondary, S-2, 9th Marines during Dewey Canyon. Also, this article has emphasized officers because it is a response to the Navy Times article mentioned in the introduction. We were not alone: Marine intelligence NCOs and SNCOs were always with us and frequently, as indicated above, they had to “go it alone.”  


How did we perform? In Vietnam, intelligence began to drive operations. The 3rd Marine Division operated in Quang Tri province, the northern-most province of RVN and I Corps. During 1968 alone, the Division fought and defeated four confirmed North Vietnamese Army (NVA) divisions (304th, 308th, 320th and 325C) and the independent NVA regiments of the B-5 Front; all enjoyed direct tube-artillery support and the shortest lines of communication of any NVA force in the Republic of Vietnam. In 1971, I asked several Marine combat commanders to compare the Marine intelligence they received in Vietnam with the intelligence they had received in previous wars:



General Raymond G. Davis, May 1968-May 1969, CG, 3rd Marine Division: “Marine intelligence in Vietnam enabled me to fight the enemy rather that the terrain as I had to do in two previous wars.”

Brig. Gen. Frank E. Garretson, September 1968-April 1969, CG, TFH:
“The Marine combat intelligence I was provided with in Vietnam was categorically superior to that of World War II.”

Col. Martin J. Sexton, September 1968-January 1969, CO, 4th Marine Regiment; January 1969-September 1969, Chief of Staff, 3rd Marine Division: “During my 29 years as a Marine, 19 with the Fleet Marine force, I never saw a better manifestation of Marine intelligence as I witnessed in I Corps.”

Col. William F. Goggins, January 1969-August 1969, CO, 4th Marine Regiment: “I have nothing but the highest praise for the intelligence provided the 4th Marines during my tenure as its commander.”   



General Davis and his subordinate commanders were furnished intelligence fused from the products of a plethora of intelligence agencies: ground reconnaissance, aerial observers, aerial photography, signals intelligence, human intelligence, sensors, both ground and airborne, and imagery. This was the most diverse suit of intelligence assets ever available to a Marine commander in combat and the commanders of the 3rd Marine Division capitalized on it. Intelligence did not cause General Davis to overlook terrain as an essential consideration of combat operations; it “enabled” him to shift the focus to the enemy situation in his planning; i.e., “fight the enemy rather than the terrain.” For example, on assuming command of the Division, General Davis observed in his autobiography, The Story of Ray Davis, that operations were:



“...usually tied to selecting an ideal place for a helicopter to sit  down as opposed to sitting down where you could best defeat the enemy.” 

In using intelligence to drive operations, he led the Division “
...to get mobile and go out and destroy the enemy on our terms....” However, he was able to do this because:

“I knew all the sources of intelligence, and I knew the reliability of  them in such a way that I could be completely bold and confident in what I was doing, what I was responding to, and what credence I could give things. A lot in my outlook and performance in Vietnam was because of those four years in the inner sanctums of the intelligence business.” 



Of his subordinate commanders, at least General Barrow also had served in intelligence. For these commanders, intelligence was already a familiar and comfortable conversational subject before they arrived in the combat environment of Vietnam--they were PREPARED to use intelligence to drive operations.  


Most, if not all, WOs/LDOs served their entire Vietnam tours in intelligence billets.  Conversely, most officers with an 02xx secondary and all those named above, had split-tours between intelligence and combat arms. Obviously, the bulk of combat intelligence experience was accrued by the “firemen.” Unfortunately, the LDOs were required to retire with 30 years active enlisted/commissioned service. In order to retain that brain trust, the Corps needed to develop an intelligence officer from 2nd lieutenant to colonel and even above to meet the growing need for Intelligence created by the shifting Marine tactical focus from the terrain to the enemy. But, the Corps was slow to awaken to this need to change its intelligence officer personnel policies. 


From 1973 to 1975, the G-2 Section, 2nd Marine Division was predominantly WO/LDO: Capt. Robert A. Connelly, Combat Intelligence Officer; Capt. Anthony F. Milavic, first Ground Surveillance Officer, after the departure of Capt. Connly, Combat Intelligence Officer; Capt. Frederick H. Seage, CWO Thomas Lesh, CWO Gerald J. Bolick, Photo-Imagery Interpretation Unit; and, CWO Bruce Windsor, Special Security Officer. There were still more WOs/LDOs in the interrogation/translation and counter-intelligence teams. The unrestricted were: Col. John J. Peeler, G-2; Lt. Col. Dan Little, Asst. G-2,  Capt. George Houle, USMCR (Mustang), Ground Surveillance Officer/Staff Counter-Intelligence Officer; and, two to three lieutenants. As far as I recall, there were no WOs/LDOs below division and regimental/battalion manning was by part-time intelligence officers (primary combat arms officers with a secondary 02xx MOS) who bore the brunt of additional duties in their units. These officers, the few that they were, were so busy with non-intelligence matters that we infrequently saw an S-2 officer at the regular intelligence briefings given at the Combat Intelligence Section--the NCOs/SNCOs came. Also, during exercises, I do not recall ever seeing a regimental S-2 accompany his CO to the CG's briefing: the S-3 almost always, the S-2 never. Its hard to talk to the S-2 if you don't spend time with him. 


This period was highlighted by operations officers attempting a return to fighting the terrain and driving by themselves. The G-3 directed that G-2 would brief after G-3 for a forthcoming amphibious exercise. The G-3 briefer described the scheme of maneuver as attacking into the left half of the Objective Area. I came on and described the enemy disposed in the right half of the Objective Area. The CG suggested that the G-3 change his scheme of maneuver and that the G-2 brief first in the future. The next year, the G-3, with the CO, Reconnaissance Battalion, again tried to drive by itself. Reconnaissance Battalion would function wholly under the direction of the G-3 during the next exercise rather than be tasked by and report through intelligence channels. But, intelligence proved to be a valuable commodity and during the subsequent exercise, the division went back to using its reconnaissance battalion to collect it.


In spite of operators' resistance, Marine intelligence officers started Marine intelligence on the professionalization road. The below are just a few of the milestones on that journey:  



--1976/7: The Corps determined that unrestricted officers should constitute the bulk of its force of full-time professional intelligence officers and began selecting officers at The Basic School and from other occupational fields for training as a primary 02xx. There was optimism in the field; the part-time intelligence officer was finally on the way out. 

--1978: A Marine Corps level school was established for the training of intelligence Marine enlisted and officers at the Landing Force Training Command Atlantic (LFTCLant), Little Creek, Virginia. We were finally reducing our dependence on the other Services for intelligence training.

--1981: LFTCLant commenced all-source intelligence instruction for intelligence officers.  

--1983: A Senior Executive Services (SES) position, Special Assistant to the Director of Intelligence was created to give in-depth experience and continuity in Marine intelligence to that office.  The position title was changed in 1991 to: Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence. In the absence of a career intelligence general officer, the Marine intelligence community was to have a knowledgeable and credible representative.

--1983: Marine intelligence suffered a major set back. The Corps decided to phase out Marine Photo Reconnaissance Squadron Three (VMFP-3) and retire the RF-4B aircraft, thereby eliminating its dedicated aerial imaging capability. This capability was to be replaced by F/A-18Ds with Tactical Aerial Reconnaissance Pods (TARP). In August 1990, the squadron was deactivated, days AFTER Iraq invaded Kuwait; neither TARPS nor any other replacement system had yet been delivered. In spite of the fact the Director of Intelligence opposed the deactivation of VMFP-3 from inception to execution, Marine intelligence would be blamed for the consequences this act of operational mismanagement.

--1986: Marine intelligence training at LFTCLant moved to a newly constructed facility: Navy-Marine Intelligence Training Center, Dam Neck, Virginia. 

--1987-91: During his term in office, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, Jr., attempted to awaken the Corps to the new tactical focus by taking General Davis' observation one step further with the frequent use of the dictum--“Intelligence drives operations.” 

--1987-88: The Commandant directed that a Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group (SRIG) be formed in each Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) to direct and coordinate all MEF assets that conduct intelligence functions and maritime direct action missions. He also directed the establishment of the Marine Corps Intelligence Center to provide mid- and long-term intelligence support to Marine Corps doctrine, training and acquisition efforts.



The professionalization of Marine intelligence had been underway for 14 years when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.  Unrestricted officers had become the bulk of the full-time intelligence officer force and would constitute the majority in Marine units deployed to South-West Asia (SWA). There was, however, a curious consequence to professionalization. Operators were no longer learning intelligence through tours in a secondary intelligence MOS; they had to learn it from intelligence officers in their battalions/squadrons and regiments/groups and those billets were undermanned. As a consequence, the Corps, again, could not meet its war-time intelligence personnel needs. Active and the Reserve forces were cannibalized to fill billets in units deploying to SWA--many unit operations and intelligence personnel met for the first time on the way to war.


It was not enough. According to an Inspector General, DoD report, dated 24 September 1993, “Personnel shortages affected the capability to produce and disseminate intelligence; the production unit of the reinforced MEF, for example, was manned at 60-73 percent of authorized strength, and authorized strength was only 40 percent of the equivalent Army production unit.” In terms of collection assets, with the exception of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), the Corps had no organic, dedicated aerial imaging capability; they had to rely on, and compete for, support from National assets. In any case, Marine intelligence personnel accepted these shortcomings as challenges in the best tradition of the United States Marine Corps. The result? United States and Coalition forces accomplished their primary mission--the ejection of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. For most Americans, it was a resounding success. For me, as a retired Marine intelligence officer, I was proud of those intelligence Marines; a pride that was reinforced in reading the FINAL REPORT TO CONGRESS: CONDUCT OF THE PERSIAN GULF WAR, dated April 1992:


"No combat commander has ever had as full and complete a view of his adversary as did our field commander. Intelligence support to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm was a success story."

General Colin Powell, USA
Chairman
Joint Chiefs of Staff


“The great military victory we achieved in Desert Storm and the minimal losses sustained by us and       Coalition forces can be directly attributed to the excellent intelligence picture we had on the Iraqis.”

                                                                                       General H. Norman Schwartzkopf, USA
 Commander-in-Chief
Central Command


However, Gulf War Marine intelligence veterans were not prepared for the ill-conceived comments contained in a 9 March 1991 Memorandum written by Brig. Gen. P. K. Van Riper to Lt. Gen. E. Cook. The general was reporting his observations of “... things that we need to reexamine in the months ahead to ensure we are ready for the future.” These were observations he made as “MCCDC representative-at-large” from January to March 1991 during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The general's opening remark on Intelligence was, “The weakest area I observed was intelligence.” He continued by describing the intelligence weaknesses as being in “...the way we, select, train, and educate our intelligence personnel,” “'green door' mentality," and an absence of an “operational mindset.” In describing the training and education weaknesses, the general wrote: “...I worked closely with a Marine '02' major who was unaware of how aerial photos were assembled into mosaics.” 


The general “worked closely” with one, Maj. Mike Howard, S-2, 1st Force Service Support Group who made a lateral move into intelligence and received a new 0202 primary MOS. Actually, when the general asked him to ASSEMBLE a photo mosaic, Maj. Howard told him that he did not know how to do it. The training for, and requirements of, the 0202 MOS do not include assembling mosaics anymore than the training for, and requirements of, military parachutists include packing their own parachutes--the general is a trained military parachutist. Additionally, after recognizing that “readouts” of imagery were provided to “commanders”--the Intelligence gleaned from the imagery--Brig. Gen. Van Riper concluded his memorandum: “To sum up my case,” he then described the difficulty in obtaining “quality images of breach sites;” i.e, pictures of the wind-swept Arabian terrain and its ever shifting sand. Evidently, the “operational mindset” of Marine intelligence personnel and Gen. Schwartzkopf was the enemy but for some Marine operators and Brig. Gen. Van Riper, it was the terrain. There was an evident lack of communications here.

   

That lack of communications, or even miscommunications, is further evidenced by Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication (MCDP) 2, Intelligence,  dated 1997. The treatment "A Case Study: Desert Storm 1990-1991" concludes:


“The intelligence assessment developed and refined during Operation Desert Storm reduced uncertainty, enhanced situational awareness,         and aided Marine commanders in planning and decisionmaking. This assessment did not answer every question, but it did identify the               enemy's critical vulnerabilities which were exploited to achieve decisive results.”



This doctrinal Marine Corps statement comes a little late. Marine intelligence knew that it had contributed to those “decisive results;” but, for them, a Marine general officer's earlier ill-conceived memorandum took the glow off that victory. This situation was exacerbated when an edited version of the memorandum appeared in the June 1991, Marine Corps Gazette. “Marine '02' major” and the “To sum up my case” parts were deleted, but the published part: “The weakest area I observed was in intelligence.” constituted a public condemnation of intelligence personnel and drove intelligence and operations personnel further apart. 


In December 1992, Marines were deployed to Somalia initiating Operation Restore Hope and the driving force of intelligence was recognized in the field. In his 24 January 1993 Situation Report, Maj. Gen. Charles E. Wilhelm, USMC, Commander, Marine Forces, Somalia wrote, in part: 


“It is refreshing to see things in their proper order--intelligence driving operations, instead of operations driving intelligence....As a consequence, we have been able to maintain a constantly high tempo of productive operations.”


 

In April 1993, the now Maj. Gen. Van Riper became the Marine Corps Director of Intelligence (DirInt). He then initiated studies into his perceived “weaknesses” of Marine intelligence: "A First Look"  and "A Second Look"  were products of that initiative. A First Look contained the following observation:  

“...the root cause of [operators'] negative attitude [toward intelligence] appears to be that Marine Corps operators never really learn what intelligence is, what it can do, and how to use it. They receive little training on the intelligence function and rarely get much realistic practice with intelligence during peacetime.”

 InspectorGeneral
 Department of Defense
 United States Marine Corps Intelligence:
 A First Look
 24 September 1993



A Second Look  “validated” that observation. 


About this time, Maj. Gen. Van Riper, published the following statement: 


    “There are only two possible outcomes:
   Operational success or intelligence failure.”

His second attempt at publicizing his views on intelligence caused further malaise in the intelligence community:

                                                           
“The first time I saw the General's statement, I was surprised and very disappointed. It implies that commanders do not make mistakes, and that any mission not accomplished should be attributed to faulty intelligence. It neglects to take into account  those so-called 'intelligence failures' which were actually situations where  intelligence assessments were accurate, and warnings were conveyed in a timely manner, but were either ignored or not acted upon in a timely enough manner. To me, the statement is indicative of a general lack of understanding of -- and appreciation for -- intelligence.” 
                                                                                              Lt. Col. Denis Eaton, USMC (Ret) 
 

Reportedly, it was an attempt at irony. According to Col. Laurence Burgess, USMC (Ret), after the general assumed his new post, he regularly received complaints from operators about intelligence. The intent of his statement was to reflect the attitude of some operations personnel who perpetually criticized intelligence without fully understanding its capabilities or limitations. If that is true, Maj. Gen. Van Riper again miscommunicated; this time, to his own intelligence personnel. Absent the foot note, he also gave ammunition to their detractors who could now say, “If the Director, Marine Corps Intelligence says it's their fault, it must be their fault.” In 1995, Maj. Gen. Van Riper was assigned the position of CG, Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) and promoted to lieutenant general. 


It is over six years since Desert Storm and Brig. Gen. Van Riper's observations. What is the condition of Marine intelligence? 



1. ATTITUDE: The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory has no intelligence officers on its staff. The reported rationale is: “We do not need intelligence officers for intelligence has failed us in the past.”

2. PERSONNEL STRENGTH: The intelligence field suffers the highest percentage of vacant captain's billets of any occupational field in the Marine Corps and even more major's billets. The Corps plans to fill these billets by voluntary and, if necessary, involuntary lateral personnel moves from the combat arms specialties. This will result in intelligence billets being filled with inexperienced company- and field-grade officers. 

3. COLLECTION ASSETS: The OV-10 and its complementary aerial observers have been deactivated and neither TARP nor any other imaging system has been delivered for the F/A-18. Today, save UAVs, the Corps no longer has ANY organic, dedicated aerial reconnaissance capability.


Those conditions are echoed by the following from a “Marine's eye-view:”

 

       
          September, 1996, Marine Corps Gazette:  

Although, today's regimental/battalion S-2 has a primary 02xx, he is still being diverted from being a full-time intelligence officer. This issue featured an article by Capt. Scott E. Ukeiley, USMC who was identified as being simultaneously tasked with the jobs of CO, H&S Co. and S-2, 2nd Bn., 1st Marines. 

In another article, “In Marine aviation squadrons, lack of MOS-trained intelligence officers makes it difficult for the squadron to train as it wishes to fight. I believe there are two primary factors that cause negative perceptions of the intelligence community. It is understaffed, and lacks organic collection assets”  Maj. Mark E. Marek, USMC

In another article, “We cannot let the phrase 'we have met the enemy, and he is right where we scheduled him to be' describe our exercises. We must exercise our intelligence skills, and that will mean embarrassment and failure for our commanders on occasion.”  Capt. Paul A. Shelton, USMC



1997 MILINET:


  I have only been in two battalions. In one I was the intelligence officer as a sgt and am now the intelligence chief in another battalion.”            SSGT Daren R. Dewbre, USMC.

“We are like the Jamaican Bobsled Team. We get no respect. No one listens to us. We use what we can get. Our training is unrealistic and when we get decent training we have to go elsewhere to get it. We are not judged fairly against our peers of equal rank; i.e., Lt/Capts in S-3 are always ranked higher than Lt/Capts in S-2." Capt. Richard Hardin, USMCR.


“Even during training/exercises, the S-2's ability to provide insightful analysis that can influence the battlespace decisionmaking process is limited. Predetermined scripting (amphib assault on day one, night defense/OPFOR attack, heliborne assault on day two, etc.) supports the S-3's training objectives, not the S-2's. When was the last time the concept of 'recon pull' was actually exercised?”  Lt. Col. William R. Murray, USMC (Ret.)

“I think the view (largely negative) of senior officers is precisely the problem. Their (I guess we mean the general officers and the influential colonels) attitudes are the Center of Gravity of the Marine Corps 'Intelligence Problem', and to fix the problem, the Focus of Main Effort must be those attitudes.”  Maj. H. C. Peterson, USMC (Ret.)

“From a human resources perspective, the Corps has always been a failure in the intelligence community. In the last few years, most of the junior 02xx officers I've known either wanted to get out, or decided to get out--primarily because there is no real career field. In fact, it's difficult to remember any who wanted to stay.”  Maj. Harold B. Kempfer, USMCR


“In the officer arena, our selection rate for promotion, especially to colonel and LtCol. has been sporadic at best. I can recall years in which 0202s had the second lowest selection rate of any MOS (only financial management had a worse percentage).”  Lt. Col. Denis Eaton, USMC(Ret)

“I personally believe the Marines Corps is missing a great opportunity by not continuing the WO/LDO program. These officers, I believe, bring a sense of maturity to the intelligence field.”  Capt. John F. McMakin, Jr., USMC (Ret.)

“What really makes me sad is that the Marine Corps purged our intelligence experienced WOs. The fact that we have a Bronze Star recipient (CWO-2 Bini) in charge of making fire breaks aboard Camp Pendleton makes me sick. The rest of our experience, generally 12 to 16 years worth is now found at TMO, Admin sections throughout the Corps, or worse, gone from our Corps.  Some cases include lateral service transfers to the Army. Truly suicide in my opinion.” SSGT James W. Biggs, USMC



The Marine Corps entered the 1960s ill-prepared for the rapid growth in intelligence capabilities and the resultant change in tactical focus.  Caught unaware, it called on WOs/LDOs to buttress its force of part-time intelligence officers and enable commanders to take advantage of this new environment. In 1968, General Davis seized the opportunity and introduced Marine formations to “fighting the enemy rather than the terrain as [he] had to do in two previous wars.” His “lesson learned” fell on the deaf ears of those operators who had refused to enter the intelligence domain and still others who had never been introduced to its capabilities and limitations. From 1987 to 1991, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Alfred M. Gray, Jr., attempted to awaken them with the dictum, “Intelligence drives operations.” Later, Maj. Gen. Wilhelm would recognize that driving force with success during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. Unfortunately, these officers were outnumbered by those who did not enjoy their level of intelligence experience. As a result, Marine intelligence has suffered from mismanagement, miscommunications, misunderstandings, etc. But, it has been debilitated by missing people--intelligence can neither drive operations nor drive its own course if it has no drivers. The protracted period of undermanning has deprived too many Marines of an in-house source of intelligence and forced them to drive by themselves. If there is no intelligence officer in a unit or if the officer is encumbered by other duties, operators do not train in intelligence and do not learn what intelligence can and cannot do for them. Additionally, commanders do not get in the habit of talking to their S-2 and they fail to develop the understanding and confidence to drive with intelligence. Pressed by the necessity to act, commanders will “fight the terrain.” 


With the lowest manning of any occupational field and a world bristling with belligerents, it is again time for the “911 Force” to call in the “firemen.” Bringing, WOs/LDOs into these billets, will provide commanders with trained and experienced intelligence officers in the shortest possible time--significantly shorter time than that required to produce an experienced intelligence officer from a lateral mover. Certainly, this is a stop gap measure, but with 131 vacant intelligence captain's billets and still more vacant major's billets, there is no other choice: Commanders need to start talking to their own experienced S-2 in garrison; when the 911 call comes, it is too late.



EXCHANGE WITH THE CMC, GENERAL CHARLES KRULAK (AKA: CCK), AS IT OCCURRED/WAS POSTED

2 November 1997


MILINET: Conversation With CMC & Responses


================================


MAJ MILAVIC,


     LIKE MANY THINGS THAT NEWSPAPERS PRINT, THERE ARE ALWAYS GAPING HOLES IN 

THE "TOTAL PICTURE."  WHAT WAS NOT PRINTED IS THAT THE REASON THAT WE HAVE A 

SHORTAGE IN THE MANNING OF INTELLIGENCE BILLETS WITHIN THE CORPS IS THAT WE 

JUST RECENTLY INCREASED THE NUMBER OF INTELLIGENCE BILLETS BY ALMOST A FACTOR 

OF THREE.  THIS WAS IN RECOGNITION OF THE IMPORTANCE OF INTELLIGENCE IN A 

CHAOTIC WORLD.  FEAR NOT...WE HAVE LEARNED THE LESSONS OF VARUS!!!


SEMPER FIDELIS, CC KRULAK, COMMANDANT


--------------------------------------


General Krulak,


Your encouraging words are much appreciated and I have posted them to MILINET--an unofficial service to the Marine Corps Intelligence community. Unfortunately, I and many Intelligence Marines were reminded of many problems stemming from Marine intelligence under-manning when we read the referenced Navy Times article. In response to the comments made to MILINET and our collective experience, I prepared a paper on the issue that was posted to MILINET a few weeks ago; that paper will also appear in the forthcoming issue of our newsletter "The INTSUM." For your reading consideration, a copy of "Intelligence Drivers" accompanies this response.


Semper Fidelis,


Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC(Ret)


--------------------------------------

Lesson being learned, does this mean 0205's are returning?



Woody


----------------------------------------

MAJ. "M",


     I HOPE YOUR ARTICLE IS ACCURATE AND DOES NOT LEAD TO THE MIS-PERCEPTIONS 

THAT PROVE TO BE SO HARMFUL TO THE CORPS AS WE MOVE TOWARDS "CHANGE" FOR THE 

21ST CENTURY.  IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN OUR INTELLIGENCE CAMPAIGN PLAN...WRITTEN 

WHEN I WAS CG, MCCDC...IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE QUANTUM INCREASE IN THE 

NUMBER OF INTELL OFFICERS IN THE FMF...IF YOU ARE NOT AWARE OF THE EFFORTS IN 

DEVELOPING FOREIGN AREA OFFICERS, INCREASE IN LANGUAGE TRAINING, ETC.ETC. 

THEN I AM AFRAID YOU WILL ONLY "ADD" TO THE CONFUSION.  TELL ME I DON'T HAVE 

ANYTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.


CCK


-----------------------------


General Krulak,


You do have intelligence to worry about. I am again attaching my paper as a file to this message; I suggest that you read it. And if I can be of ANY service in this area, please do not hesitate to call. I live in the metro-Washington area 703-620-1117 or 301-980-0660.


Semper Available,


Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC(Ret)


----------------------


MAJ "M",


     A VERY MYOPIC VIEWPOINT OF INTELLIGENCE IN OUR CORPS!  DATED, 

ANECTDOTAL, BITTER, LITTLE RIGOR IN YOUR ANALYSIS.  THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT 

MARINE CORPS INTELLIGENCE HAS HAD ITS "UPS AND DOWNS"...ITS "SUPPORTERS AND 

DETRACTORS"...BUT YOUR PAPER IS SO "ONE-SIDED" AS TO DISCOUNT ALL THE GOOD 

THAT IS ON-GOING IN THE INTELL COMMUNITY TODAY.  THE EFFORTS TO BUILD A SOLID 

FOUNDATION OF INTELL OFFICERS AND SNCO'...THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT THE CORPS 

IS DEVOTING AND HAS DEVOTED TO UPGRADING OUR C4I SYSTEMS (OVER 50% OF OUR PMC 

EACH YEAR THAT I HAVE BEEN COMMANDANT!)...THE EFFORTS OF THE WARFIGHTING 

LABORATORY (WHAT A LOW-BLOW YOUR COMMENT RE. THE LAB WAS!  MARINE INTELL IS 

CENTRAL TO WHAT WE ARE DOING IN THE LAB...WE HAVE HAD INTELL OFFICERS AND 

SNCO'S WORKING WITH THE LAB THROUGHOUT OUR EFFORTS...YOUR OWN COMMENTS 

REFLECT WHY WE HAVEN'T PLACED A "DEDICATED" INTELL OFFICER INTO THE LAB...WE 

ARE STILL BUILDING THE SUPPORT TO THE FMF AND ARE NOT GOING TO "ROB" AN 

OPERATING UNIT.)


     NOT MUCH MORE TO BE SAID ON THIS ONE.  I THINK YOU DID OUR SUPERB YOUNG 

(AND NOT-SO-YOUNG) INTELL OFFICERS A REAL INJUSTICE WITH YOUR ARTICLE.  THIS 

IS NOT THE VIETNAM WAR DAYS...THIS ISN'T EVEN THE DESERT STORM DAYS.  I AM SO 

PROUD OF OUR INTELL COMMUNITY...WHERE THEY ARE GOING...HOW THEY ARE EXECUTING 

THEIR JOBS...WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IN THE PAST FEW YEARS TO BUILD A 21ST 

CENTURY CAPABILITY...ETC. ETC.  THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT!  THEY ARE HIGHLY 

RESPECTED BY COMMANDERS IN THE FMF AND BY THE CINC'S AROUND THE WORLD.  WHAT 

YOU PERSONALLY SAW AND WHAT YOU MAY HAVE READ OR HEARD MEAN VERY LITTLE WHEN 

TALKING OF THE REALITY OF TODAY AND THE DRIVE TO THE FUTURE.  THE MARINE 

CORPS INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY HAS THE RESPECT AND ADMIRATION OF THE ENTIRE 

CORPS...THEY ARE FORWARD-THINKING AND FORWARD-LEANING!  YOU DID THEM A 

DISSERVICE!


SEMPER FIDELIS, CC KRULAK, COMMANDANT



--------------------------------------

General Krulak,


Thank you for taking the time to both read and respond to "Intelligence Drivers." Your comments are being relayed to the Marine intelligence community on MILINET. The same community that I not only hold dear but whose views are reflected in that paper and who overwhelmingly endorsed that paper over the past weeks since it weas first posted to MILINET. 


Lastly, there have already been responses to your first comments to me and I have attached one of them below:


-------------------------------

 

Sir,


Increasing the number of billets is one thing.  Filling them, and keeping them filled, and keeping your intelligence personnel aboard, are different matters.  I hope that the marine Corps is finally going to turn the corner and get serious about intelligence, but please excuse me if my optimism remains rather guarded for now.


Very respectfully,

E. Denis Eaton, Jr.

LtCol, USMC (Ret)


--------------------------------


Again, thank you for your time.


Semper Fidelis,


Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC (Ret)


=======================

----------------------------------------------


2 Nov


MILINET: More Conversation With CMC & Responses


Responses from MILINET subscribers are presented first followed by an additional exchange between myself and the Commandant.


Semper Communicative,


Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC(Ret)


================================


Anthony,


Judging by the Commandant's last comment on your article, I would like to welcome you to the ranks of what many call "out of the box thinkers." Out of the box thinkers, as I have read quite often on MILINET, are rarely understood.  At least now it has started to embrace the 0-4 level.  I am hopeful that it will continue to move its way down the officer ranks and embrace even those brash young LTs and former LTs out there, some of whom have valuable insights, and yes, strong opinions too.


Welcome.

S/F

Dan


-------------------------------


Anthony:


Outstanding conversation, and much needed.  It is heartening to see such an increase in intel billets, and the dramatic investment into C4I.  However, what are we doing to educate current commanders and staffs on how to utilize this new intelligence ability (beyond what they may recall from the limited coverage in PME)?  


In modern parlance, let me share.  My experience working as an 0202 under General Krulak was in Desert Storm, where I was eventually assigned by his Chief of Staff as the the S-2 for DSG-1 (Direct Support Group One supporting 1st MarDiv CSS under the Direct Support Command).  This assignment was in response to my request to transfer from being assigned as an 0202 Captain filling the S-2 billet for 7th ESG - a T/O Sgt's billet (for which there were already two very outstanding and capable Sgts). Upon arriving to DSG-1, I was immediately assigned as a CSSOC Watch Officer for the duration, and essentially watched my S-2 Chief, an outstanding SSGT, continue as the entire S-2 section.  Mine was a career broadening experience, no doubt, but not what I would consider an example of the best use of the limited 0202s we had in Theater.  Unfortunately, my experience is not unique.  It also revealed how too many commanders undervalue the abilities and knowledge of our exemplary 02xx SNCOs and NCOs.  I found the term "empire building" (if they have an 0202 Officer, then we should have one) accurately describe the mentality of many of these commands.  We have a tendency to write glowing requirement justifications as to why we need an 0202 officer of a certain rank filling a given billet, but these too often describe the "maybe in a blue moon the S-2 at this command might do this" duties (Artillery Bn S-2 Billets come to mind), and ignore the real intelligence process and skillsets that should be addressed.  This eventually leads to underutilized and disgruntled 02xx officers and NCOs leaving the Corps, or attempting to get back to an operational billet again competing in an overfilled MOS.  The reality is that in peacetime or garrison, intelligence rarely drives operations, and we fight like we train. 


Personally, I found participation in the ground offensive in Kuwait with DSG-1 to be a high point of my Marine career, and something that I wouldn't trade for anything.  The CSSOC job was challenging and exhausting, but an exceptional personal accomplishment in stretching my abilities and knowledge.  Also, my CSSOC WatchO counterpart was a lawyer, so we all had to stretch some.  Gen. Krulak's staff and command did a phenomenal job in the CSS arena requiring a 110% genuine team effort, and we all did whatever the mission required, regardless of MOS.  However, I'll always wonder what I could have done if my request to fill the vacant S-2A billet at 6th Marines, who were supposed to be going against Republican Guards units, had been approved.


Simply creating new intel billets is only half the battle.  Until the importance of how intelligence drives operations is fully appreciated throughout the Corps, we'll still have the historic cultural problems repeatedly noted on MILINET over the last few months, and from experience derived from several decades.


Semper Fi,

Major Hal Kempfer


-------------------------------------

Anthony;


I think that your posting of your e-mail correspondence with the CMC does a

service to all participants in Milinet. In fact, I think it does the entire US

Military a positive service. I would be even better if we could get the rest

of the service chiefs to embrace e-mail as Gen. Krulak seems to have.


Bill


-------------------------------------


Anthony,


     Nice piece of work.  Who says nobody reads your stuff?


V/R, Ted



--------------------------------------



MAJ. "M",


     UNFORTUNATELY, RETIRED MAJ. EATON IS DRINKING FROM "OLD" BATH WATER.  

AGAIN, I STATE THAT "YESTERDAY" IS NOT WHAT WE SHOULD "MEASURE" OUR 

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY EFFORTS AGAINST.  THE RECENT GENERAL OFFICER SYMPOSIUM 

CUT ALMOST 11,000 STRUCTURE SPACES FROM THE "TOTAL" FORCE IN ORDER TO USE THE 

MANNING OF THOSE SPACES TO FILL CRITICAL BILLETS WITHIN THE FMF.  A 

PERCENTAGE OF THOSE MANNING SPACES WILL GO TO HELP SOLVE THE MANNING ISSUE 

THAT MAJ. EATON AND YOU HAVE RAISED.  UNTIL THE CORPS HAD THE MORAL COURAGE 

TO CUT SOME STRUCTURE, WE COULD NEVER ACHIEVE THE MANNING THAT WE ALL 

DESIRED.  WELL, THE CORPS FOUND THE MORAL COURAGE AND WE HAVE TAKEN THE 

ACTION NECESSARY TO INCREASE THE FMF MANNING.  AGAIN, UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN 

ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN WHAT HAS BEEN TRANSPIRING IN THE CORPS LATELY, YOU CAN 

ONLY ADD TO THE CONFUSION AND TO THE RUMORS THAT DO SO MUCH DAMAGE TO ANY 

INSTITUTION...MARINE CORPS OR GENERAL MOTORS.  TRYING TO "EDUCATE" WITHOUT 

FACTS, HELPS NO ONE.


    THERE ARE SOME GREAT MARINE INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS OUT THERE WHO HAVE BEEN 

KNOCKING THEMSELVES OUT TO HELP "DO THE RIGHT THING" WITH REGARD TO THE 

INTELL COMMUNITY.  BEFORE YOU LAY OUT AN ARGUMENT THAT DENIGRATES THEIR 

MAGNIFICENT EFFORTS, YOU SHOULD SIT DOWN AND SEE WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING!  

I THINK YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED AT THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS!  WHEN I TRAVEL, (AND 

I JUST GOT BACK FROM A TRIP, LTERALLY, AROUND THE WORLD) EVERY PLACE I GO, 

THE CINC HAS POSITIVE WORDS TO SAY ABOUT "THEIR MARINE" INTELL COMMUNITY!  

BELIEVE ME, WE HAVE GOT GREAT PROFESSIONALS WHO HAVE THE RESPECT OF EVERYONE 

THAT THEY COME IN CONTACT WITH...AND THAT GOES FOR THEIR FELLOW MARINES..IN SPADES!!


CCK

CCK  


-----------------------------------------


General Krulak,


OK, General. I thought you read my paper entitled, "Intelligence Drivers" but obviously you did not for you have my theme just as wrong as you have LtCol Eaton's rank wrong when you called him a major--twice. The issue raised was that Marine intelligence has suffered from a protracted period of undermanning punctuated by an 11 August Navy Times article that revealed: "The biggest shortage is in intelligence, where only 59% of captains' billets are actually manned by captains. The Corps needs 131 captains in intelligence to reach full manning." That, sir, is not myopic; that is a clear precise statistic provided to the Navy Times by your headquarters. On the other side of the spectrum, the same article reported that, "The most overmanned specialty is infantry, where there are 118 captains for every 100 captains' billets." Obviously, the bodies are there; the Corps is NOT spreading the wealth evenly. Or is it that, the Corps cannot keep intelligence officers? I have heard numerous reports to that effect. In either case, Marine combat efficiency suffers.


This undermanning has existed in Marine intelligence since I was introduced to it in 1962 and has persisted to this day--protracted period. You stated that: "...THE CORPS... JUST RECENTLY INCREASED THE NUMBER OF INTELLIGENCE BILLETS BY ALMOST A FACTOR OF THREE." If by saying "recently," you mean the Corps has tripled its total of intelligence billets during your tenure, with all due respect, I would find that difficult to believe. In any case, adding billets does not add intelligence support to the Corps, as LtCol Eaton alluded too--intelligence Marines add intelligence support to the Corps, and the Corps suffers the LOWEST manning of any MOS in the area of intelligence captains. That means as I said in my paper:


<<The protracted period of undermanning has deprived too many Marines of an in-house source of intelligence and forced them to drive by themselves. If there is no intelligence officer in a unit or if the officer is encumbered by other duties, operators do not train in intelligence and do not learn what intelligence can and cannot do for them. Additionally, commanders do not get in the habit of talking to their S-2 and they fail to develop the understanding and confidence to drive with intelligence. Pressed by the necessity to act, commanders will “fight the terrain.” >>


I am abundantly aware that there are outstanding intelligence Marines serving the Corps today and I have proudly participated in recognizing them with the Marine Corps Intelligence Association over the past four years. However, the point of my paper is that, there aren't ENOUGH and the Corps is NOT pursuing an adequate remedy for the problem. In fact, many Marines responded to the Navy Times article by saying the Corps is NOT serious about intelligence because of the manning issue. And because my paper illuminated a manning problem in Intelligence--NOT A COMPETENCY PROBLEM AMONG THE CURRENT INTELLIGENCE MARINES--I felt obliged to present a solution that I repeat here:


<<With the lowest manning of any occupational field and a world bristling with belligerents, it is time that the “911 Force” again call in the “firemen.” Bringing, WOs/LDOs into these billets, will provide commanders with trained and experienced  intelligence officers in the shortest possible time--significantly shorter time than that required to produce an experienced  intelligence officer from a lateral mover.  Certainly, this is a stop gap measure, but with 131 vacant intelligence captain’s billets and still more vacant major’s billets, there is no other choice: Commanders need to start talking to their own experienced  S-2 in garrison; when the 911 call comes, it is too late.>>


Semper Fidelis,


Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC(Ret)

END OF EXCHANGE