posted on April 01, 2011 00:10
April 2011 Navy
By ISCS Jon C. Altmann, USN (Ret)
In the early 1940s, the “World Wide Web” was made up of radio signals. In the basement of a building in Hawaii, Sailors broke a Japanese naval code and turned the tide of war in the Pacific, laying the roots to information dominance of today.
Flash forward to January1968 in the Sea of Japan – the USS PUEBLO was paying the ultimate price in the battle for information dominance. Six months prior, Sailors on the USS LIBERTY also became causalities in that battle.
Today, nations rise and fall with Facebook, Twitter and the latest, a Muslim dating Web site. The Internet adds to the mass confusion information and the most unreliable intelligence source – human intelligence – HUMINT. We started it with a DoD Web project, moving to real time chat, e-mails with attachments and adding banks of computers and high-end programs to our national sensor inventory. These supplement, not replace, our intellectual analysis capability.
Prior to 1968, the Intelligence Specialist rating did not exist – yeomen and photographers contributed to the work needed. The Cryptologist rating began in 1948 and has been evolving since. Radiomen were a key player for decades before evolving into IT’s.
The Information Dominance Corps will consist of more than 44,000 Active and Reserve Navy officers, enlisted and civilian professionals with extensive skills in informationintensive fields to develop and deliver dominant information capabilities in support of warfighting requirements. We bring aboard in one discipline setting information professional officers, information warfare officers, naval intelligence officers, meteorological and oceanography officers, space cadre officers, aerographer’s mates, cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians and civilian personnel. If it is knowable, we’ll find it.
Proudly, enlisted members of this new combined community will have their own warfare pin – as it should have had many years before. The road towards information dominance is paved with the lives of many shipmates lost in cold and hot wars.
There are two key imperatives for those who sail these seas of information. First, intelligence and information evolves from history and we are the custodians. I recall asking Sailors to explain why the Navy no longer uses spy ships. They could not – but they did embark on a learning curve to know why. The obligation of intel professionals to mentor success is imperative. We must constantly hone professionalism so it is generational.
Second, we must provide top customer service to the warfighters and decision makers. My most demanding work was for Navy SPECWAR – knowing where my product was going and who was using it. Customer satisfaction had to be 100%. No matter how obtuse or indirect the info product, ultimately lives may depend upon that analysis.
Our integrity protects our nation. I am saddened that a military member is implicated in the Wikki leaks ongoing saga. The greater story is the many that have held TS/SCI status and kept their oath. Integrity is directly related to the work quality produced. We must continue to mentor and monitor shipmates to keep them on course.
Information Dominance professionals are the HUMINT intellectual analysis providing a top product to the warfighter. History has demonstrated the smallest of detail that sometimes turns the tide of battle. The subtle is our success.