- By Dan Verton
- Aug 14, 2000
C4I Officer of the Year
Marine Capt. Charles Walker, a command and control systems officer with
the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, received the Gen. Alfred M. Gray Trophy
on July 29 for outstanding command and control leadership. The award makes
Walker the Marine Corps' C4I officer of the year.
Gen. James Jones, commandant of the Marine Corps, cited Walker's "boundless
energy, technical knowledge and personal initiative" in planning and coordinating
communications systems in support of Marine Corps exercises in the Pacific.
Beginning this year, Marines in the 0602 communications occupational specialty
and those who held that billet during the prior calendar year may be nominated
for the trophy. The Sprint Foundation provided a grant to the Marine Corps
University Foundation to sponsor the award.
The Dual-Hat Dance...
...Is getting tiresome for the Marine Corps' director of C4I. My Henderson
Hall outpost reports that not only have the Marines received a new C4I director
in Brig. Gen. (select) Michael Ennis, but they also are about to get a new
director of intelligence — the first in more than a decade. Jones recently
established an Intelligence Department within Marine Corps Headquarters.
However, the C4I director will no longer have to split his time between
"C4" and "I." This summer, the Corps plans to name its first director of
intelligence. Who knows, he or she might even be an intelligence officer,
rather than an infantry officer retread. Maybe I'll really go out on a limb
and bet that he or she will have a communications and computer background
The Bottom Line @ CIA
The CIA's online advertisement for clandestine service operatives paints
a glamorous picture of life as a spy. "For the extraordinary individual
who wants more than just a job, this is a unique career — a way of life
that will challenge the deepest resources of your intelligence, self- reliance
and responsibility," the advertisement reads (see story, Page 26).
However, my Langley, Va., listening post recently reported that this
is actually an encrypted message. The translation reads: "Don't expect to
be paid much." According to one long-time CIA type, the salaries in the
Directorate of Operations do, in fact, lag one or two pay grades behind
the directorates of science and technology and intelligence for equivalent
qualifications and experience.
The intelligence community has made its decision: Stick with what you
know and hire retirees to keep the current generation of pony tail- sporting
techies under control. First there was the National Security Agency, which
rehired one of its own retirees, William Black Jr., to be its next deputy
director. Then NSA decided to bring retired Maj. Gen. Harry Gatanas in as
its new senior acquisition executive.
However, my Langley receive station reports that concerns are high that
the retiree bug could infect the minds of some at the CIA and their bosses
in the White House when the administration changes in November.
Some think that the incumbent CIA director George Tenet has the best
chance of getting the job under the next administration. However, given
the intelligence community's love affair with recruiting old blood, the
next thing you know, the new administration will be resurrecting the likes
of former CIA chiefs William Casey and Allen Dulles. I don't think they're
Rumors that the Marine Corps is considering its own version of the Navy/Marine
Corps Intranet have some business types pondering the fallout if such a
rumor proves to be true. One of the best theories to come across the Interceptor's
desk in the past few weeks goes something like this: If the USMC goes its
own way on N/MCI, it would create the MCI. And because Sprint is the premier
communications provider at the Marine outpost at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, it
might pave the way for an actual MCI/Sprint merger.
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