While assigned the Garrison duty of Company Training Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), and the field position of Fire Team Leader, I was also given the newly developed (at the time) position of Company Level Information Collector, or Company Level Intelligence Cell. This position was a new development in the Marine Corps as the need for information collection regarding High Valued Targets and enemy Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP’s) was growing significantly. The standard assignment of Military Intelligence trained personnel was no where close to the number needed to effectively manage intelligence. So the Marine Corps developed this program to get infantrymen trained in Information collection and reporting to aid the Battalion Intelligence sections (S-2) in developing and disseminating intelligence to units in the field.
My duties as the CLIC for Bravo Company included:
- Developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for the collection of data and information from Rifle Squads returning from patrols and organizing and reporting that information to the Battalion S-2.
- Actively collecting the data and information and organizing into pre-defined categories in order to report it to Battalion S-2, separating information into varying levels of significance and importance.
- Developing skills in analyzing information in order to identify actionable intelligence that can then be given to the unit commander for follow on operations as the opportunity to do so presents itself.
- Receiving Intelligence summaries from Battalion S-2 and developing SOP’s for disseminating that Intelligence effectively to Platoon Commanders and Squad Leaders in the field so they can act upon it.
- Reporting to Company Commanders and Platoon Commanders on a regular basis with Intelligence Summaries and reports to keep them up to date and to aid in their decision making.
My experience as an Information collector gave me significant skills in the analysis of qualitative information, identifying important information that can lead to the development of actionable intelligence, and having the ability to report that Intelligence to commanders. This duty gained me the following professional skills:
- Collection of data and information, organization of data and information, and analysis of that information into actionable Intelligence to aid in decision making.
- The ability to identify information of importance, separating it from irrelevant data, and the ability to categorize it in a manner that is effective and useful for decision making.
- Planning for data collection and development of methods for organizing it.
- Active collection of data and information.
I was able to utilize these skills while on Deployment in Afghanistan. I was also trained as a pilot of the DragonEye Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV). I was able to conduct the first successful mission utilizing the DragonEye, collecting information regarding the terrain and identifying a possible shipment of weapons that resulted in follow on operations being conducted. Though a series of events led to our inability to acquire those weapons, this was the first time that the DragonEye UAV had been successfully used in country. During this deployment, I had an additional duty assigned to me in place of my Garrison role of Company Training NCO, which was the position of the Command Post NCO in Charge.