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This Day in History: DOD Announces the Establishment of DIA
Photo by Cecil Stoughton.
Aug. 2 is perhaps one of the most significant dates in DIA's history. It was on this day in 1961 that the Department of Defense issued a press release officially announcing the establishment of "a new military intelligence organization, the Defense Intelligence Agency."
It explained the agency would report through the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense and would combine functions that were previously carried out independently by the separate military departments.
"The establishment of the Defense Intelligence Agency was based primarily on a concept and plan developed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the request of Secretary [Robert] McNamara," the press release stated. "[Deputy Secretary of Defense] Mr. Gilpatric characterized the principal objectives in establishing the DIA as obtaining greater unity of effort among all components of the Department of Defense in developing military intelligence and as strengthening the over-all capacity of the Department for collection, production and dissemination of Defense intelligence information."
The release went on to state that it would take a period of time for DIA to become fully operational, and that it was anticipated that DIA's director would be a three-star general or flag officer on active duty.
Shortly after the press release was issued, McNamara selected Lt Gen Joseph Carroll as the first DIA director. The agency became operational two months later Oct. 1, which marks the day that DIA celebrates its anniversary. The rest, as they say, is history.
To learn more about DIA's past and present, click here.
DIA is the nation’s premier all-source military intelligence organization.
It provides the nation’s most authoritative assessments of foreign military intentions and capabilities. The agency’s four core competencies -- human intelligence, all-source analysis, counterintelligence and technical intelligence -- enable military operations while also informing policy-makers at the defense and national levels.
DIA’s mission is unique and no other agency matches its military expertise across such a broad range of intelligence disciplines.
This page was last updated March 21, 2013.