Military Intelligence Officer Career Progression

Military Intelligence Officer Career Progression – News Q&A: Lt. Col. Keith Miller (U.S. Army) on the role of strategic intelligence in U.S. national security policy

Representing the U.S. Army, Lt. Col. Keith B. Miller is the service’s National Security Affairs Fellow for the 2021-22 academic year. In this conversation, Miller talks about his two-decade career in the Army; first as an armor officer, then in strategic intelligence.

Military Intelligence Officer Career Progression

Representing the U.S. Army, Lt. Col. Keith B. Miller is the service’s National Security Affairs Fellow for the 2021-22 academic year.

Intelligence Corps Phase 2 & 3 Training

In this conversation, Miller talks about his two-decade career in the Army; first as an armor officer, then in strategic intelligence.

He described the unique role of the strategic intelligence officer. Unlike armed forces tactical intelligence specialists, who collect and analyze information about the activities of U.S. adversaries, strategic intelligence officers provide a holistic view and answer vague questions about the global threat environment. For example, Miller explained that their mission includes not only overseeing the build-up of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, but more importantly, addressing the various geopolitical factors behind President Putin’s decision to threaten Ukraine.

Miller said he hopes to use his fellowship year to examine how the United States can best respond to Russia’s unconventional and information warfare against its immediate neighbors and EU member states, and what innovative intelligence capabilities or practices could shed light. gray areas Zone operation. Another area of ​​interest for Miller is changing the current culture of the U.S. military to one that is less risk-averse. While emphasizing the need for innovation among military brass, he explained that the process of change is slow and creativity is often stifled by stubborn adherence to age-old mission control principles that place too many restrictions on leaders. When the stakes are high.

My father was in the military. However, when I was born, he had already moved to the reserves. I grew up in the military, but military service was never imposed on me. I also love watching movies about knights and their heroism, so I’m always inspired to fight for good versus evil and protect those who can’t fight.

From Struggling Student To Military Expert

My twin brother and I attended the University of Washington, and he decided on a whim to enroll in the school’s Army ROTC program. I thought it was funny and said: “Hey, I’ll follow you.” I did my best to finish what I started. I also felt that as a citizen I owed it to my country, and this set me on the path of service. The military just took control of me and here I am twenty-one years later.

I majored in sociology and had to finish college to pay for room and board. I am a cleaner. I’m a night office painter. I clean yachts in Puget Sound in the winter, which sucks because it’s so cold and rainy. I also delivered pizza and worked as a barista.

After enlisting in the army, I served as an armored officer for more than ten years. After returning to the United States from Iraq in 2009, my wife told me she was tired of worrying about me getting shot. Also at that time, officers in the army were free to choose new specializations, that is, functional areas. I began exploring the idea of ​​becoming a strategic intelligence officer and was pleased to learn that this would provide me with the opportunity to attend graduate school; this was only a remote possibility while in armor.

Strategic intelligence officers have a comprehensive understanding of a variety of national security threats, including terrorism, irregular warfare, and hybrid warfare. We look at all regions of the world, especially the borders of Russia and China and the current hot spots in the Middle East. There are significant differences between our work and the work of tactical intelligence officers in the services. A tactical intelligence officer might say: “Russian battalion tactical groups are approaching the Ukrainian border area.” A strategic intelligence officer asked a more vague question: “What are Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motives?”

D Mi Bn Understanding The Army Space Badge > Buckley Space Force Base > Display

We try to ask questions of senior leaders at combatant commands or on the Pentagon staff. We also work with various agencies within the federal government, including the FBI and CIA.

I spent most of my strategic intelligence career at European Command and Special Operations Command. My work in Europe involves security cooperation among NATO member countries and strengthening their military capabilities. I specialized in hybrid warfare and gray zone operations at Special Operations Command. Much of this work has focused on the activities of Russian special forces. I also examine the potential for nuclear use by unconventional state actors.

Part of our job is analysis, but in many ways we lead the intelligence community. The best part about this job is that it has two aspects. First of all, as I mentioned before, we are carrying out security cooperation studies with partners such as Romania, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan. We share intelligence with these and other countries to deter adversaries. Another part of the job that I really enjoy is leading a team and interacting with multiple agencies across the government to ensure we are doing our part to protect America’s national security interests.

Each deployment has its own unique challenges and rewards. The increased number of troops in Iraq in 2007-08 was a difficult deployment. The nature of this task is sensitive. We are trained to fight, not to organize our forces to stimulate the economy, rebuild roads and infrastructure, and win the hearts and minds of the local population. However, we were tasked with completing all of this work in the hope of suppressing the rebellion.

Military Career Opportunities

Then suddenly we are caught off guard by an improvised explosive device (IED) blast or sophisticated small arms fire. We hope that some of the local population will step in to some extent to prevent such violence. Of course, they could not notify us for many reasons, including the risk of punishment to their families.

I am very familiar with Europe’s security challenges, but I wanted to examine how the United States could best respond to Russia’s unconventional and information warfare against its immediate neighbors and EU member states. For example, I wanted to learn more about the different propaganda techniques the Kremlin uses to sow divisions, spread false political narratives, and create instability in European societies. When a country is unstable, it is more vulnerable to invaders.

I also want to research how military personnel can be developed. The military talks a lot about innovation, but the truth is that we can be extremely risk averse at times, and that’s understandable, because second place is not a good position in our line of work. But sometimes risks have to be taken. Those who get promotions tend to follow a stereotyped path. Some people take just enough risks to attract attention, but they are less likely to risk failure for fear of damage to reputation or status. Throughout the military we often promote people who look like us or follow traditional paths. Sometimes we think: “This is how I got to this position and this must be the best way.”

We have a military philosophy called mission command. Simply put, it is about centralizing intent and decentralizing execution, and encouraging freedom and speed of action and initiative within clear limits when the stakes are too high. Although this has been a philosophy in the military for years, we still must do more to empower and reassure our subordinates. It is often difficult for senior officials to change. Because if you were reporting to me, I might look bad in that snapshot if you failed.

Meet The Staff: Intelligence (s2)

I also spent a lot of time with Stanford students, one a freshman and two sophomores. They are awesome. So far they have had little interaction with government personnel, let alone the military. I enjoyed telling them about some of my experiences in the military and encouraging them to consider a career in public service.

I told them that a joint personnel rescue team that would rescue American servicemen and women killed in wars in other countries was a possibility. I encourage them to consider serving as a diplomat at the State Department or as an intelligence officer at the CIA or other agencies. One of the students is interested in art history. I said to the student, “Look, there are a lot of museums and art restoration programs within the government and the military.” This could be a service path.

There are many ways to serve our country and give back. It is not necessary to be a civil servant. You can even give back to your local community in some way. Sky

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