Army military intelligence (MI) officers lead enlisted soldiers in the effort to capture information about enemy forces. To prepare for this mission, MI officers are well-trained, not only in the principles of intelligence collection and analysis, but in the principles of organization and leadership as well. The training program can take up to a year, but once complete, new MI second lieutenants are ready to take command of their first platoons.
The purpose of Army intelligence officer training is to create a corps of officers who can plan and execute intelligence-collection operations. They should also be able to conduct a thorough analysis of this information and brief commanding officers on relevant details. The Army intelligence officer training program also teaches soldiers how to manage military intelligence enlisted personnel and direct them to accomplish the unit mission.
Candidates must reach basic qualifications before beginning training. For one, they must be commissioned in the U.S. Army as second lieutenants. There are three commissioning sources for the Army: the United States Military Academy, the Reserve Officer Training Cops program and Officer Candidate School. Any of these three courses can lead to a career in MI. Prospective MI officers must also be able to obtain a Secret clearance.
The first step on the training path is the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course (MIOBC). Here, students learn the overall structure of the MI branch and standard operating procedures regarding intelligence operations. Officers also learn about supervising soldiers and directing maintenance of unit equipment. Part of the MIOBC is composed of classroom lectures, while another part is composed of simulations out in the field.
After the MIOBC and further leadership training, MI second lieutenants head out to their units. After attaining the rank of captain, they are eligible for additional training. The MI Captains Career Course trains MI captains in advanced intelligence collections and analysis techniques. Students also learn more about management and leadership skills. The course is good preparation for future battalion staff assignments.
There are several different types of Army intelligence officers. Each type emphasizes a different skill set and thus leads different advanced training courses and assignments. Imagery intelligence officers lead satellite collection operations. Signal intelligence officers specialize in capturing enemy communications information. Human intelligence collectors lead enlisted team teams in the field to gain information by questioning prisoners of war and non-combatants. All-source intelligence officers draw together information collected by all of the sources listed before and store that information in intelligence databases. Each of these specialties is unique and essential to the Army intelligence team.
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