MI Training Center opens at Camp Ritchie, Md.
June 19, 1942
The Military Intelligence Training Center at Camp Ritchie began operations on June 19, 1942. It was the closest thing to a centralized school for intelligence the Army had up to that point.
General intelligence courses ran for about eight weeks; the first five focused on basic instruction in intelligence procedures. The remaining three weeks were reserved for specialty training.
The schoolâ€™s curriculum changed to meet the express needs of field units overseas and to incorporate lessons learned. It began with courses in interrogation, interpretation, and translation, and quickly expanded to include terrain studies, signal communications, captured document analysis, staff duties, counterintelligence, order of battle, photograph interpretation and familiarity with enemy small arms.
The Ritchie Boys, a special group of counterintelligence specialists, trained at MITC. These drafted German refugees and Jews received specialized training before being sent into the European Theater in six-person teams assigned to combat divisions or to the Counter Intelligence Corps. Once overseas, they interrogated German prisoners, prepared propaganda leaflets and interpreted German documents and maps.
The MITC at Camp Ritchie phased out in October 1945. Throughout the war, the MITC trained just under 20,000 combat intelligence specialists.
â€œThis Week in Historyâ€ is a feature on the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence Command History Office website.
Those with AKO access, can go to their website, https://ikn.army.mil/apps/mi_history/.
To learn more about the 2012 MI Branch and Corps Commemoration, go to the public website, https://www.ikn.army.mil/apps/mi_comm/.