LTG Donald Bennett, USA
September 1969 - August 1972
1969 began with the inauguration of President Richard Nixon. The change in the Nation's chief executive was echoed by a change in DIA's directorship later that year. With Lt. Gen. Donald Bennett's assumption of command, there was a change in style — but not in the substance of the Agency's leadership. Bennett's tenure witnessed transformations within and outside the Agency, including administrative reorganization, analytical refocusing, and shifting alliances and policies in foreign and military affairs.
Throughout the 1960s, the Department of Defense studied many ways to improve defense intelligence, which led to DIA's second major reorganization in July 1970. The early 1970s were transitional years, as the Agency's focus shifted from the consolidation of internal and external management roles to that of making the Agency a more effective and perceptive producer of national intelligence. Such improvement proved difficult at first, due to sweeping manpower decrements that reduced the Agency's workforce by 31% from 1968 to 1975, causing mission reductions and organizational restructuring.
The early 1970s was a period of transition and maturation for DIA. Under Bennett's leadership, the Agency expanded its influence as a producer of intelligence.