THE RETIREMENT OF GEN. HARRY E. SOYSTER -- HON. DAVE MCCURDY (Extension of Remarks - September 12, 1991)
HON. DAVE MCCURDY
in the House of Representatives
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1991
- Mr. McCURDY. Mr. Speaker, I want to advise my colleagues of the impending retirement of the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Harry E. Soyster. General Soyster will soon leave the Army after more than 34 years of exemplary service.
- As Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA] since December 19, 1988, General Soyster has exhibited a quality of leadership that has enhanced the Agency's reputation as the Nation's preeminent military intelligence organization. Nowhere was his understanding of the reality that intelligence, to be useful, must be both timely and reliable, more evident than during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. As a part of the response of United States forces to the invasion of Kuwait, General Soyster took the unprecedented step of establishing a national level Joint Intelligence Center to expedite the flow of intelligence information both to national decisionmakers and to the forces deployed in theater. The success of the Center has led to calls, from both within the Department of Defense and without, to institutionalize this concept. This example is illustrative of the foresight General Soyster has brought to his work, and demonstrates that his influence over the mechanisms for collecting, producing, and disseminating military intelligence has been far-reaching and significant.
- In his tenure as head of DIA, General Soyster has devoted himself to improving the quality of the intelligence product available to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, the operational commanders of the unified and specified command system, the Congress, and other national decisionmakers. In this regard, he has directed a reorganization of DIA to further enhance the Agency's efficiency. these efforts will be both a lasting contribution, and a lesson to other intelligence agencies that organizational changes can be made in ways which reduce duplication of effort without sacrificing the quality of the intelligence product. As budget constraints become more widely felt, restructuring will be necessary throughout the intelligence community, and General Soyster performed a valuable service in taking the lead in this area.
- I want to especially note and commend the cooperative approach General Soyster adopted in his dealings with the Intelligence Committee, and other key committees of the House. Cognizant of the Intelligence Committee's important oversight responsibilities, he responded promptly and fully to all requests for information or testimony. The members of the committee found him to be candid and forthcoming, and we appreciated the dedication with which he discharged his duties.
- Mr. Speaker, I want to applaud General Soyster for his distinguished career of service to the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency. His commitment to excellence in defense of the Nation has well served the people of the United States. I want to wish him a fulfilling retirement, and continued success in his future endeavors.