Marine Corps Intelligence:
Officer Training in the Future
by Major David A. Rababy
A recent Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps message
(ALMAR 100/95) stated, "The senior leadership of the United States
Marine Corps has made a dedicated commitment to significantly
enhance the Marine Corps intelligence capability." Analysis after
Operation DESERT STORM, conducted both internally and externally
from the Marine Corps, identified six fundamental intelligence
The Marine Corps is undergoing a major restructuring of its
intelligence community. The former Director of Marine Corps
Intelligence (DIRINT), Major General Van Riper, developed a plan to
fix intelligence. Currently under implementation, this plan
requires a paradigm shift from generalized intelligence to specific
intelligence. In the past, a Marine intelligence officer earned the
military occupational specialty (MOS) 0202 by completing 14 weeks
of basic intelligence training at the Navy and Marine Corps
Intelligence Training Center (NMITC), in Dam Neck, Virginia. The
NMITC course was the beginning and the end of professional training
for the intelligence officer (IO). There was no follow-on training
as an officer's career progressed.
- Inadequate doctrinal foundation.
- No defined career progression for intelligence officers.
- Insufficient tactical intelligence support.
- Insufficient joint manning.
- Inadequate imagery capability.
- Insufficient language capability.
Mission and Principles
The mission of Marine Corps intelligence is to provide commanders,
at every level, with tailored, timely, minimum essential
intelligence, and ensure that this intelligence is integrated into
the operational planning process. The seven principles required for
mission completion are--
- The focus must be on tactical intelligence.
- The intelligence emphasis must be downward.
- Intelligence drives operations.
- An experienced, knowledgeable and multidisciplined IO
must direct and manage intelligence.
- Products must be timely and tailored to the user.
- Intelligence staffs use intelligence produced by
- The last step in the intelligence cycle must be
utilization, not dissemination.
Based on the DIRINT's direction on the mission and principles, the
Marine Corps reorganized the occupational field. The entry-level IO
will now enter the Marine Corps as one of the MOSs described in
Core Intelligence Package
The reorganization of the Marine Corps intelligence field has had
a major impact upon intelligence training. Since the U.S. Army and
U.S. Navy are now training entry-level Marine Corps intelligence
officers, the Marine Corps Intelligence Training Directorate at
NMITC has developed a comprehensive read-ahead core intelligence
package. Initially developed for reserve officers as a supplemental
self-paced text, through expansion it also augments basic
intelligence officer training at the entry-level schools. The core
package consists of four parts:
- The Marine Corps Institute (MCI) "Introduction to Combat
Intelligence" (MCI 02, 8b).
- NMITC handouts on Marine Corps-unique intelligence
subjects complete with quizzes.
- Military symbology and mapping.
- Several reference documents to help the new IOs establish
their intelligence libraries.
Officer Advanced Course
In addition to the core package, the Marine Corps developed the
officer advanced course. February 1996 is the scheduled start for
the pilot advanced course. The major blocks of instruction are--
Noncommon Tasks Training. This training spans all intelligence
disciplines. During the noncommon training block, cross training of
all basic officer skills will be conducted to ensure that all
students are at the same level of knowledge. This will include
updates on all Marine Corps and joint intelligence structure;
ongoing Headquarters, Marine Corps initiatives; enhanced
intelligence writing techniques; and an introduction to tactical
Planning and Directing. The planning and directing block focuses on
deliberate and rapid response planning cycles, staff interaction
and responsibilities, coordination of intelligence activities, and
operations at all levels of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. It
will also include more wargaming and tactical decisionmaking.
Collection. The full continuum of collection assets, capabilities
and limitations will be the focus of the collections block. It will
include managing collection assets, collection planning techniques,
tactical reconnaissance and surveillance, and the integration of
both tactical and theater assets in support of operations other
than war (OOTW).
Processing, Analysis and Production. The development of models,
matrices and templates will be the emphasis of the processing,
analysis and production block. Students will use advanced
intelligence preparation of the battlefield methods. The focus will
be on the thirteen missions of OOTW coupled with U.S. Navy
Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS) doctrine. With the
assistance of national agencies, this block will incorporate
detailed analysis products and methods.
Dissemination. An entire block of training dedicated to
dissemination identifies the Marine Corps emphasis upon
dissemination. The block stresses dissemination planning, means and
techniques with emphasis placed upon future systems and support.
Targeting. The targeting block will cover both organic and
non-organic agencies using techniques to develop and analyze
targets. Target management, battle damage assessment, and data
sourcing will all be elements within this block.
National Agencies Field Trips. Students make these week-long trips to visit the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence
Agency, National Security Agency, and the National Ground
Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. They also visit
the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Marine Corps Intelligence
Agency. They are able to tour each facility including the watch
Intelligence Systems Architecture. During the intelligence
architecture block of instruction, there will be detailed
discussion of all organic, theater and national agencies
highlighting connectivity to the agencies. A systems planning and
management section will focus on present and future capabilities
General Intelligence Procedures. The day-to-day operation of an
intelligence section will be the focus of the general intelligence
procedures block. This block will have a heavy emphasis on unit
intelligence training coupled with logistics, security and special
security office functions.
Scenarios. Practical applications and tactical decision gaming
(TDG). Practical applications and wargaming will reinforce all
training. OOTW and OMFTS will be the focus of the wargaming and
TDGs. Shaping the battlefield through situational development and
tailored support to the commander will all result in enhanced
intelligence decisionmaking skills for the students.
Professional development. During this block of instruction, the
DIRINT and his deputy address student officers on current
operations and future trends. Students can then ask questions.
The Marines at NMITC have been working hard to develop, enhance,
and refine intelligence training. The changes the DIRINT is
implementing will affect the quality of Marine Corps intelligence
well into the 21st century. The changes implemented throughout
Marine Corps intelligence are just the beginning; changes in Marine
Corps entry-, intermediate- and advanced-level schools are
necessary. We need to address and put to rest the myths and
misconceptions about intelligence capabilities and limitations.
With improved training in both the intelligence and operational
schools, an enhanced S2 and S3 relationships is inevitable. Timely,
accurate intelligence to the commanders will give them the tools
necessary to make their decisions.
Major Rababy is the head of the General Military
Intelligence Department, Marine Corps Detachment, NMITC. He is a
veteran of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM where he was
the Marine Forces intelligence liaison officer to the Saudi Arabian
Army Eastern Forces Area Command. In Operation RESTORE HOPE in
Somalia, Major Rababy served as the intelligence officer for the
Marine Ground Combat Element. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree
from the University of Michigan. You can contact Major Rababy at
DSN 433-8321/8325, commercial (804) 433-8321/8325, or on E-mail