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First Defense Intelligence School established

By DIA History Office

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Fifty-three years ago, the Deputy Secretary of Defense established the Defense Intelligence School under DIA. Known today as the National Intelligence University, 735 full-time and part-time students are enrolled in the university’s Bachelor of Science in Intelligence, the Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence and the Master of Science and Technology Intelligence degree programs and graduate certificate programs.  

Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric directed the establishment of a Defense Intelligence School under the Defense Intelligence Agency Feb. 27, 1962.  

In a memorandum addressed to the Secretaries of the Military Departments, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Assistant Secretaries of Defense, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency and other key officials, Gilpatric wrote:    

“In recognition that professional military education is critical to the career development of military and civilian intelligence personnel of the Department of Defense, a Defense Intelligence School (DIS) will be established in the Washington D.C. area under DIA . . . The initial curriculum of DIS will be designed for advanced (or postgraduate) intelligence staff officers and attaché training and generally will be based on (1) the postgraduate course in intelligence presently being offered at the Naval Intelligence School, and (2) the courses presently being offered at the Army Strategic Intelligence School.”  

Gilpatric requested that the DIA’s director develop a plan and submit it for approval to the Secretary of Defense through the Joint Chiefs of Staff. DIA submitted the plan that June, the DIS stood up the following year, on Jan. 1, 1963, with the first class graduating in June 1963.   

Over the years the school saw dramatic growth and transformation. The school has grown into the National Intelligence University, a dynamic learning community with a professionally diverse student body of over 700, representing a balanced mixture of experience in federal agencies and all branches of the US Armed Services. Its modern charter reflects the deep value attached to the university by the U.S. national security community and the trust given to the university to educate future intelligence leaders in the Armed Services, the U.S. Combatant Commands, and the departments and agencies of the intelligence and homeland security communities.  

DIA uses all-source defense intelligence to prevent strategic surprise and deliver decision advantage to war fighters, defense planners and policymakers. The agency collects and analyzes key data using a variety of tools, and deploys its personnel globally, alongside war fighters and interagency partners, to defend America’s national security interests.

For more information about education opportunities at the National Intelligence University, visit: www.ni-u.edu.