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Military Intelligence Board
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in an 8 February 1961 letter to the JCS conveyed his decision to establish a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The planning that ensued in the Spring of 1961 culminated in a 5 July 1961 memorandum from Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric that stated: "After careful consideration of the issues and problems involved, Mr. McNamara and I have decided to establish a DIA . . . " and attached ". . . a draft DoD Directive creating DIA." Furthermore, the memorandum established the Military Intelligence Board (MIB) to advise and assist the Director, DIA, in the establishment of the Agency and in the exercise of his responsibilities:
"The appointment and membership of a Military Intelligence Board, as outlined in the JCS concept and plan for a DIA . . . is approved on an interim basis to act only as an advisory body to the Director, DIA. The MIB will meet on the call of the Director, DIA. When DIA has become fully operational the desirability and utility of continuing the MIB will be reconsidered."
The MIB was activated on an ad hoc basis beginning on l5 August l961 to assist in the development of the DIA "Activation Plan," and the selection of personnel. During the weeks prior to DIA becoming operational on 1 October 1961, the OSD Director of Organizational and Management Planning monitored the planning efforts, and the Military Intelligence Board made up of the Service intelligence chiefs provided advice to Lieutenant General Joseph Carroll, Director-designate, DIA, and the DIA planning staff.
When the "Activation Plan" was approved by OSD and the JCS for implementation on 29 September 1961, the MIB had demonstrated its usefulness as a forum for discussion and advice significantly. Therefore, it remained in existence as a mechanism for coordinating a Defense position on intelligence issues among the Director of DIA, the J-2 of the Joint Staff, and the Service intelligence chiefs.
The only membership change subsequent to 1961 was the deletion of the J-2, whose staff section in the Joint Staff was disestablished on 28 June l963 and reassigned to DIA. Within DIA, the MIB support office was placed organizationally within the Command Element. The MIB met irregularly during the first 30 years of the Agency's history even though a periodic reemphasis on strengthening the Agency's external relationships caused renewal in the importance of the role of the MIB. Notably, however, the role and membership of the MIB changed significantly in the 1990's.
During DESERT SHIELD/STORM, Lieutenant General Harry Soyster (Director, DIA) restructured the MIB as an advisory and decisionmaking body chaired by the Director, DIA, and made up of the Service intelligence chiefs and the Director, NSA. It also included nonvoting representatives of the Joint Staff Directorate of Command, Control, and Communications (J-6) and the Defense Support Program Office. The MIB convened periodically--sometimes weekly--to coordinate intelligence support and allocate scarce resources.
Director for Intelligence, Joint Staff
Asst. Chief of Staff for Intelligence, US Army
Asst. Chief of Naval Operations (Intelligence)
Asst. Chief of Staff for Intelligence, US Air Force
Asst. Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Marine Corps
FROM: Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
SUBJECT: Establishment of Military Intelligence Board (U)
- SecDef Memo of 5 July 1961, Subject: Establishment of the Defense Intelligence Agency
- DoD Directive 5105.21 of 1 August 1961
- In order to advise and assist the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in the establishment of the Agency and in the exercise of the responsibilities and functions specified in reference b, the Military Intelligence Board (MIB), is hereby established.
- Membership. The MIB shall be composed as follows:
- Director, Defense Intelligence Agency - Chairman
- Director for Intelligence, Joint Staff - Member
- Asst. Chief of Staff for Intelligence, US Army - Member
- Asst. Chief of Naval Operations (Intelligence) - Member
- Asst. Chief of Staff for Intelligence, US Air Force - Member
- Asst. Chief of Staff for Intelligence, US Marine Corps - Member
- Meetings. Meetings of the MIB will be called by the Director, DIA, as he deems necessary. Any member may request the Director, DIA, to call a meeting as appropriate.
JOSEPH F. CARROLL, Lt. General, USAF Director, DIA
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE BOARD DURING THE GULF WAR
Interview with Vice Admiral Mike McConnell, Director, NSA, conducted by DIA Deputy Historian, Mr. Brian Shellum, September 1995. Admiral McConnell was DIA J2 during the Gulf War.
My view is the Military Intelligence Board came of age in [the DESERT SHIELD/STORM] effort. .... The pressure and the heat of the Gulf War caused the system to become really focused on what we were going to do. . . . Because the MIB stepped up and became a dynamic, coordinated, demanding group of people to resolve problems, I think it came of age. It would have been a big mistake not to capitalize on that. I think when we went from DESERT SHIELD to DESERT STORM, we got more utility out of the MIB. General Soyster [Director, DIA] grabbed hold of it and I think it really established itself as a viable, useful part of the structure--a useful decisionmaking body that could get things done. Its future is assured if it keeps doing what it achieved in DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM.
This page was last updated May 18, 2012.