Training the MI Force for the Future

Training the MI Force for the Future

Richard J. Quirk III

The intelligence soldier of tomorrow will require a professional education; our traditional military training will not be sufficient. The U.S. Army Intelligence Center (USAIC) has begun to develop a career-long educational program that will produce the intelligence professionals that our nation will require. In the end, all MI leaders will have to execute that program for it to work.

Evolving Personnel Requirement

We have all seen the requirement emerge over the past years. The cries for men and women who can master large quantities of information and extract its meaning have increased with the loss of an easily templated opponent in the Soviet Bloc. During the same period, we have begun demanding a deeper technological understanding by our force (see Figure 1), because of the great variety of continuously changing hardware and software systems in use across the Ml community.

With the advent of the information revolution, our electronic systems have gained enormous flexibility and potential for performance. All of this emerging potential in our systems has shown us again that our human capital–our soldiers and civilians–is the independent variable in future operations. They will employ our system of systems in unexpected and unbelievably productive ways, or they will fail to exploit the great potential of our systems and units. Antoine Henri Jomini once wrote that generals create the “Art of War” by the ways in which they build “combinations” from the tools and possibilities before them. [1] In our future, there will be artists at many levels, making “art” by the combinations they put together in a collaborative way on the digital systems they operate.

Educating MI Soldiers

To make these soldiers the artists of systems, the artists of information, and, most importantly, the masters of the Intelligence Art, we must educate them. Task-based training will no longer suffice.

With the dissolution of the single Soviet competitor, we have lost for a time the value of expertise on a given target or threat. In its place has emerged great value in the kinds of broader expertise that lead to versatility. This expertise, this breadth and depth to cover whatever emerges in the world, can come only from education.

We at USAIC are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the idea that any critical task list for any military occupational specialty (MOS) can do justice to the magnitude of responsibilities that our soldiers will face in jobs that range from national to “mud in their scopes”. The professional education program that MI soldiers and civilians will require must be a continuous, career-long effort. The seemingly magical ability of the World War II officer corps to mobilize our industry so quickly and rejuvenate our Army was due in part to the professional educational programs of the 1930s. Today’s high tech, fast-moving world requires an all-Army effort, with even more rigor than did that previous inter-war experience. Each professional must take on his or her own education as a personal responsibility. However, the education of our MI professionals has become too important in the information age to leave to the individual, so we must unite Service-sponsored educational efforts with other education.

Managing Education

USAIC is laying a foundation for managing and contributing to the professional education of MI soldiers and civilians. The first challenge we have faced is that our classical methods of systems-engineering our training and our old instructional techniques might not apply well to the education program. We are studying other management models at present.

In the interest of developing higher cognitive levels and more flexibility in our graduates, we have already replaced our old, task-based instructional methodologies with a Constructivist approach. This approach teaches by placing the students in realistic situations and allowing them to learn by doing, with minimal intervention.

We are functionally redesigning our MOSs, and integrating educational experiences throughout careers to build breadth as well as depth in MI soldiers. In fact, we are inserting a civilian education path into each of these studies that enable noncommissioned officers (NOOs) to earn bachelor of arts or science degrees by their attendance at the Advanced NCO Course (ANCOC) and a masters degree for those in designated positions. We very likely will specify certain degrees as meriting rewards. We have begun a pilot program which grants an associates degree to our 97B (Counterintelligence Agent) advanced individual training (AlT) graduates by the addition of a few low-cost, distance-learning college courses. Eventually, all of our AIT students will be eligible to obtain associates degrees in a similar way.

In order to recognize the need for change and to make that change quickly, USAIC is instituting an extensive system of field surveys and other assessment devices, tied to our customer base. These automated devices will, we believe, help us to discover opportunities ahead and to implement them quickly.

raining Tools

We are building web-based tools to provide more knowledge and skills to our soldiers regardless of their locations. Among those initiatives is “object-oriented doctrine,” which modularizes our doctrinal material, places it on the web, and connects it to standing operating procedures (SOPs); tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP); lessons learned; and random ideas. This allows the soldiers to gain all germane information and skills, as they are required during an operation. [2] This “chunky doctrine” will also serve as a nucleus for idea sharing on intelligence. From this nucleus will grow an extensive distance-learning infrastructure and many other tools for moving information and knowledge to those who need it.

We are also transforming the Intelligence Center, rapidly changing most of our courses from manual to digital conditions. Students will become fully familiar with digital tactical operations centers (TOCs) and all of their electronic systems by training in mockups from the battalion to joint levels. They will gain sophisticated insights that will enable them to perform their work on any system they may find in the field. Leaders will learn how to integrate the systems at hand and how to adapt those systems to accomplish their tasks, often in new and different ways. We now have more than 30 “plug and play” classrooms at the Intelligence Center, allowing us to configure our classroom computers to serve as tactical systems or operations centers. You can read more about “the digitization of USAIC” in the article on page 33 by Colonel Gary Parrish.

More Cradle-to-Grave Evolution

We are reprogramming our NCO and warrant officer professional development courses to educate their students more broadly and more deeply as well. We may very well “track” our MOS technical training for some MOSs to other training or educational institutions that provide world-class instruction in the appropriate fields.

Perhaps the evolution of the Warrant Officer Corps will be most exciting. Our MI warrant officer “cradle to grave” study, which delves deeply into the unique role of the Military Intelligence warrant officers of the future, highlights the need for significant educational preparation if the warrant officer corps is to provide added value as the technicians of the future.

Editor’s Note: For more information on the cradle-to-grave assessments of USAIC functional training, please see Intelligence Training XXI–Ready Now! and our July-September 1998 issue of the Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, especially the philosophy and process article by Colonel George K. Gramer, Jr. You can find it on the Internet at http://huachuca-usaic. army.mill/mipb/miphome/welcome.htm.

Achieving the Goal

So, our internal courses are taking on an educational quality and we are threading other forms of education into the careers of our soldiers. We are transforming USAIC in order to build an Ml corps that can make its contribution to information superiority anywhere in the world, under any conditions. All Ml leaders must support this move to increased education. Commanders should encourage, even demand, professional education and self-directed study programs. We will all have to lead by example, challenging ourselves and each other to rise to the intellectual and technological challenges of our business through study and discussion.

End notes

(1.) Jomini, Antoine Henri, The Art of War, Translation of Precis de I’Art de Ia Guerre (Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1992), 410 pages.

(2.) This “just in time” training may be available online, through software tutorials, or online through mentors.

Brigadier General (P) Richard J. Quirk, Ill, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, was commissioned into the U.S. Army’s Military Intelligence branch. Now the Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca, Arizona, BG Quirk has served in numerous tactical and strategic assignments. He has participated in campaigns in the Republic of Vietnam, Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM, and Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti. He commanded the 511th M1 Battalion, and the 525th M1 Brigade, and served as S2, G2, and J2 in Berlin Brigade, 24th Infantry Division, and U.S. Southern Command. Readers may contact BG Quirk via E-mail at or telephonically at (520) 533-1141 or DSN 821-1141.

Figure 1. The Expertise Required of MI


The Expertise Required of MI Leaders

Before 1990

Key Threat Soviet Bloc

Key Environment Plains of Western Europe

Overall Emphasis IPB on Known Threat

Type of Operation Conventional/Nuclear War

Echelon Battalion/Brigade

Systems Army Tectical

Type Team Battalion S2 Staff

Type Intelligence Tactical


Key Threat Wide Range, Worldwide

Key Environment Worldwide, all Varieties

Overall Emphasis Information Superiority over

Unfamiliar Threat

Type of Operation SASO, SSC, MTW

Echelon Tactical/Joint/National/


Systems Tactical/Joint/National/


Type Team S2/ACE/JIC/Agency

Type Intelligence Tactical/Operational/


Note: See the glossary on page 64

for expansion of the acronyms.

COPYRIGHT 2000 U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group