Marine Corps Intelligence:

Officer Training in the Future

by Major David A. Rababy

A recent Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps message (ALMAR 100/95) stated, "The senior leadership of the United States Marine Corps has made a dedicated commitment to significantly enhance the Marine Corps intelligence capability." Analysis after Operation DESERT STORM, conducted both internally and externally from the Marine Corps, identified six fundamental intelligence deficiencies:
The Marine Corps is undergoing a major restructuring of its intelligence community. The former Director of Marine Corps Intelligence (DIRINT), Major General Van Riper, developed a plan to fix intelligence. Currently under implementation, this plan requires a paradigm shift from generalized intelligence to specific intelligence. In the past, a Marine intelligence officer earned the military occupational specialty (MOS) 0202 by completing 14 weeks of basic intelligence training at the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center (NMITC), in Dam Neck, Virginia. The NMITC course was the beginning and the end of professional training for the intelligence officer (IO). There was no follow-on training as an officer's career progressed.

Mission and Principles

The mission of Marine Corps intelligence is to provide commanders, at every level, with tailored, timely, minimum essential intelligence, and ensure that this intelligence is integrated into the operational planning process. The seven principles required for mission completion are--

MOS Reorganization

Based on the DIRINT's direction on the mission and principles, the Marine Corps reorganized the occupational field. The entry-level IO will now enter the Marine Corps as one of the MOSs described in Figure 1.

Core Intelligence Package

The reorganization of the Marine Corps intelligence field has had a major impact upon intelligence training. Since the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy are now training entry-level Marine Corps intelligence officers, the Marine Corps Intelligence Training Directorate at NMITC has developed a comprehensive read-ahead core intelligence package. Initially developed for reserve officers as a supplemental self-paced text, through expansion it also augments basic intelligence officer training at the entry-level schools. The core package consists of four parts:

Officer Advanced Course

In addition to the core package, the Marine Corps developed the officer advanced course. February 1996 is the scheduled start for the pilot advanced course. The major blocks of instruction are--
Noncommon Tasks Training. This training spans all intelligence disciplines. During the noncommon training block, cross training of all basic officer skills will be conducted to ensure that all students are at the same level of knowledge. This will include updates on all Marine Corps and joint intelligence structure; ongoing Headquarters, Marine Corps initiatives; enhanced intelligence writing techniques; and an introduction to tactical decision wargaming.
Planning and Directing. The planning and directing block focuses on deliberate and rapid response planning cycles, staff interaction and responsibilities, coordination of intelligence activities, and operations at all levels of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. It will also include more wargaming and tactical decisionmaking.
Collection. The full continuum of collection assets, capabilities and limitations will be the focus of the collections block. It will include managing collection assets, collection planning techniques, tactical reconnaissance and surveillance, and the integration of both tactical and theater assets in support of operations other than war (OOTW).
Processing, Analysis and Production. The development of models, matrices and templates will be the emphasis of the processing, analysis and production block. Students will use advanced intelligence preparation of the battlefield methods. The focus will be on the thirteen missions of OOTW coupled with U.S. Navy Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS) doctrine. With the assistance of national agencies, this block will incorporate detailed analysis products and methods.
Dissemination. An entire block of training dedicated to dissemination identifies the Marine Corps emphasis upon dissemination. The block stresses dissemination planning, means and techniques with emphasis placed upon future systems and support.
Targeting. The targeting block will cover both organic and non-organic agencies using techniques to develop and analyze targets. Target management, battle damage assessment, and data sourcing will all be elements within this block.
National Agencies Field Trips. Students make these week-long trips to visit the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. They also visit the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Marine Corps Intelligence Agency. They are able to tour each facility including the watch centers.
Intelligence Systems Architecture. During the intelligence architecture block of instruction, there will be detailed discussion of all organic, theater and national agencies highlighting connectivity to the agencies. A systems planning and management section will focus on present and future capabilities and limitations.
General Intelligence Procedures. The day-to-day operation of an intelligence section will be the focus of the general intelligence procedures block. This block will have a heavy emphasis on unit intelligence training coupled with logistics, security and special security office functions.
Scenarios. Practical applications and tactical decision gaming (TDG). Practical applications and wargaming will reinforce all training. OOTW and OMFTS will be the focus of the wargaming and TDGs. Shaping the battlefield through situational development and tailored support to the commander will all result in enhanced intelligence decisionmaking skills for the students.
Professional development. During this block of instruction, the DIRINT and his deputy address student officers on current operations and future trends. Students can then ask questions.


The Marines at NMITC have been working hard to develop, enhance, and refine intelligence training. The changes the DIRINT is implementing will affect the quality of Marine Corps intelligence well into the 21st century. The changes implemented throughout Marine Corps intelligence are just the beginning; changes in Marine Corps entry-, intermediate- and advanced-level schools are necessary. We need to address and put to rest the myths and misconceptions about intelligence capabilities and limitations. With improved training in both the intelligence and operational schools, an enhanced S2 and S3 relationships is inevitable. Timely, accurate intelligence to the commanders will give them the tools necessary to make their decisions.
Major Rababy is the head of the General Military Intelligence Department, Marine Corps Detachment, NMITC. He is a veteran of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM where he was the Marine Forces intelligence liaison officer to the Saudi Arabian Army Eastern Forces Area Command. In Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia, Major Rababy served as the intelligence officer for the Marine Ground Combat Element. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan. You can contact Major Rababy at DSN 433-8321/8325, commercial (804) 433-8321/8325, or on E-mail RABABYD@MQG-SMTP3.USMC. MIL