Washington, D.C., June 6, 2017 —
Nearly 70 senior enlisted leaders from all services met at the Defense Intelligence Agency May 12 to discuss policy and current events at a classified world-wide threat seminar.
The leadership summit provided briefings of DIA’s five no-fail mission areas, as well as overviews of the roles and capabilities of the National Security Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and DoD integration with Five Eyes Partners across the world.
The seminar was opened by Command Sergeant Major John W. Troxell, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who provided a senior perspective from Pentagon and highlighted the importance of intelligence to the DoD and joint mission.
Led by DIA Senior Enlisted Leader Master Gunnery Sergeant Scott Stalker, the summit provided valuable collaboration opportunities across the spectrum of armed services, special operations leaders, Coast Guard, combatant commands and intelligence specialty areas.
Highlights of the threat briefs included classified intelligence on China, Russia, North Korea, Iran and trans-national terrorism as well as an overview of DoD intelligence. “The difference between us and the CIA is our customer,” said Stalker. “We support policy makers such as the President, Congress and SECDEF … but just as importantly we support the COCOMs and warfighters on the ground.”
The summit emphasized the global role of the intelligence profession. “This building is not DIA. DIA is in 140 countries across the globe, with half our workforce outside Washington D.C,” said Stalker. That point was reinforced by the Defense Attaché service, which includes the largest cadre of enlisted members at DIA and provides military personnel to embassies around the world.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re an E-6 or an O-5, a case officer is a case officer,” said one briefer. You’ll be working with ambassadors, 4-star generals, private corporations. You’ll come back a better person.”
That breadth of experience pays off for enlisted personnel. “We see our enlisted promotion rate usually above the average, particularly at senior levels,” said another briefer.
The summit discussed a number of inter-agency initiatives, including presentations by NSA/Cybercom and NGA. NSA Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sergeant Major David Redmond said " Cyber is an integral part of every aspect of war … I spend my time reinforcing defense. It shouldn't be cyber just for cyber's sake." Among his challenges Redmond said "We're not a domestic collection agency, despite what you may have heard."
Closing remarks were provided by DIA director Lt. Gen. Stewart who emphasized DIA’s dedication to the warfighter. “We really work for the warfighters outside the intel community. Keep spending time with us like this; we need to hear firsthand from our clients. Tell us your requirements… what is that critical piece of information you need to make a decision? We owe you an answer in time for you to make an informed decision,” said Stewart.
DIA's mission is to provide intelligence on foreign militaries and operating environments that delivers decision advantage to prevent and decisively win wars. Nearly 50% of DIA's 16,500 employees are stationed outside Washington, DC at national intelligence centers, combatant commands, combat zones, and defense attaché offices worldwide in more than 140 countries.