Army

July 26, 2012

US Army establishes Military Intelligence Branch 50 years ago

Tags:
USAICoE History Office

Gen. G. H. Decker, chief of staff, U.S. Army, signs General Order No. 38 establishing the Intelligence and Security Branch. The branch was redesignated as the Military Intelligence Branch in 1967. The ACoSI, Maj. Gen. Alva Fitch, stands on the far left.

Military Intelligence has been a part of every American conflict since the American Revolution, but it was not until just 50 years ago, on July 1, 1962, that it was recognized as a basic branch of the U.S. Army. This event culminated a 45-year effort to recognize the vital role of the Army’s intelligence specialists in national defense.

The first steps towards an intelligence branch came during World War I. In the summer of 1917, as the Army was expanding to fight in France, it created two groups of intelligence personnel: the Corps of Interpreters and the Corps of Intelligence Police. The former provided competent linguists to perform intelligence functions, while the latter conducted counterespionage activities in France and the United States. After the war, the COI was dissolved, but the CIP continued to maintain a presence in the Army for the next four decades, becoming the Counter Intelligence Corps during World War II.

In 1921, the Army established the Military Intelligence Officers Reserve Corps to retain the services of officers who had served in intelligence positions during World War I. The MIORC would provide a pool of trained manpower if the Army needed to mobilize for another war. During World War II, as anticipated, many MIORC officers did provide valuable intelligence expertise. Once mobilized, these reserve officers served under the auspices of other branches, as did every officer performing intelligence functions.

After the war, the MIORC evolved into the Military Intelligence Branch in the U.S. Army Reserves in 1952. It was joined by the Army Security Branch, which consisted of cryptologic specialists. As with the MIORC, only reserve personnel not on active duty could be assigned to these branches, and when called on active duty, these officers were “carried” by other branches. These reserve branches continued to provide the majority of intelligence personnel throughout the 1950s. Smaller numbers of officers were detailed from one of the existing Regular Army branches. The Regular Army remained without an intelligence branch.

By the 1960s, many of the reserve officers trained in intelligence had begun their service in World War II and were facing mandatory retirement in the coming years. This would leave the Army without an adequate pool of trained intelligence officers by 1965. The result of not having a branch for the discipline was that officers failed to view intelligence as a viable career option. As Maj. Gen. Alva Fitch, the Army’s assistant chief of staff for Intelligence from 1961-1964, stated, “Many high-potential, high-quality career officers rightly or wrongly were reluctant to jeopardize their careers by intelligence assignments while at the same time attempting to maintain branch proficiency.”

Fitch successfully argued that the best solution and the only way to ensure the availability of qualified intelligence officers was the creation of a new branch. On July 1, 1962, as a result of Fitch’s efforts, the Army formed the Army Intelligence and Security Branch, which for the first time included both regular and reserve officers. The Army finally had a permanent cadre of professional intelligence specialists. At that time, it consisted of approximately 5,000 personnel in 25 different Army Intelligence and Army Security officer military occupational specialties. Five years later, on July 1, 1967, the branch was redesignated the Military Intelligence Branch.

This year marks not only the 50th anniversary of the Military Intelligence Branch, but also the 25th anniversary of the Military Intelligence Corps. For more information on the 25th and 50th anniversary commemoration, go to https://www.ikn.army.mil/apps/mi_comm/.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Natalie Lakosil

Change of responsibility brings new MI Corps chief warrant officer

Natalie Lakosil From left, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Fairley, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence; outgoing Chief Warrant Officer of the Military Intelligence Corps, Joe Okabayashi, chief warrant officer 5; Maj. Gen. Ro...
 
 
Natalie Lakosil

TRADOC Army Reserve Instructor of Year awarded at Fort Huachuca

Natalie Lakosil From left, Brig, Gen. Jason Walrath, 100th Division, and Maj. Gen. A.C. Roper, commanding general of the 80th Training Command, pose for a photograph with U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Army Reserves In...
 
 
Transition-Assistance-Program

Soldier Life Cycle — three phases help with transition

Transitioning from the military takes time, and unfortunately most Service members run out of time by the end of their career. The Department of the Army established the Solider Life Cycle, SLC, to help. The three phases of the...
 

 
Stephanie Caffall

B Troop hosts ribbon-cutting ceremony for new barn

Stephanie Caffall From left, in background, Capt. Joshua Hengst, commander of B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry (Memorial), and Pete Criscuolo, first sergeant for B-Troop, stand while Sgt. John Payne of B Troop brings his horse into th...
 
 

Survey shows decline in military sexual assaults

WASHINGTON — An independent survey confirms the prevalence of sexual assault in the military has dropped, Defense Department officials recently said. Statistics in the 2014 RAND Military Workplace Study show the percentage of active-duty women who experienced unwanted sexual contact during the past year declined from 6.1 percent in 2012 to an estimated 4.3 percent...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo

Military Intelligence – Moment in MI history

Army Intelligence showcases Medal of Honor recipients U.S. Air Force photo Retired Master Sgt. Roy Benavidez receives his Medal of Honor in 1981 for actions in Vietnam in 1968. The Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin