Army Intelligence Center established at Fort Holabird, Md.
Sept. 1, 1954
In the years following World War II, the Army’s intelligence organizations were divided into the assistant chief of staff for Intelligence (previously the Military Intelligence Division, or MID), the Army Security Agency, or ASA, with its headquarters at Arlington Hall, Va, and the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) Center, headquartered at Fort Holabird, Md. While the ASA maintained operational control over signals intelligence collection assets worldwide, the CIC Center was largely an administrative and training organization.
When the Korean War broke out, ASA and CIC Center personnel found themselves scrambling to put together organizations of intelligence assets to support the theater of operations. Since there was no active duty Military Intelligence Branch at the time, trained specialists were hard to find and even harder to retain, as those who had experience were only detailed to work in intelligence while holding other primary specialties. In addition, the skills that were taught at the CIC School were specific to counterintelligence. The Army needed to professionalize its human intelligence collection capability without diverting trained CIC agents to do that work.
The lessons learned during Korea caused the Army to take corrective action. First, in June 1953, the Army’s assistant chief of staff for Intelligence, or ACSI, recommended the creation of an intelligence board that would consolidate in one location an intelligence school, a field intelligence center and the intelligence units that were in the Army’s reserve forces. Fort Holabird, with its CIC School and Center and counterintelligence records facility seemed the logical site.
The Army had been training CI personnel at Fort Holabird since 1945. However, in 1954, the mission of the CIC School expanded to include Field Operations Intelligence training in order to fulfill the Army’s new mission of training a human intelligence collection capability. The records facility, which contained all of the Army’s counterintelligence files, was moved under the command of the CIC Center soon thereafter.
On Sept. 1, 1954, the ACSI officially redesignated the CIC Center as the Army Intelligence Center, and the chief of the Counter Intelligence Corps became its commanding general. The following year, the Intelligence Center expanded further with the addition of the Photo Interpretation Center. Additionally, combat intelligence training, including order of battle techniques, photo interpretation, prisoner of war interrogation and censorship, was transferred from the Army General School at Fort Riley, Kan., to Fort Holabird, giving the commanding general the additional title of commandant, U.S. Army Intelligence School.
This arrangement centralized nearly all intelligence training at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School, Fort Holabird. The Intelligence Center and School remained at Fort Holabird until overcrowding during the Vietnam War forced its relocation to Fort Huachuca, which became the “Home of Military Intelligence” on March 23, 1971, and the last class graduated from Fort Holabird on Sept. 2, 1971, nearly 17 years to the day after the Army Intelligence Center was established there.