Military Intelligence Corps Association
by Colonel John H. Black, USA (Retired)
The U.S. Army MI Corps has
its own professional organization, the MI Corps Association (MICA).
Organized for fraternal and educational purposes on 2 November
1995, MICA is a worldwide Army MI professional organization. This
article covers the mission, background, and the wide variety of
programs which have evolved over the past 20 months.
Mission and METL
To help us articulate MICA's fundamental purposes and tasks we have
developed a mission statement and a mission essential task list
(METL). The mission of MICA is to
Provide a Military Intelligence Professional Organization
to serve as a medium for members to share ideas and experiences,
and to continually upgrade the intelligence profession.
The METL covers our basic tasks
- Serve as MI's professional organization.
- Encourage esprit de corps.
- Broaden education and professionalism.
- Preserve our past and link lessons learned to the future.
- Establish and support the MI Corps Museum.
- Provide a medium for ideas and growth.
- Become leaders in information operations.
- Educate the rest of the Army about MI and the MI
Membership and Chapters
MICA offers two types of memberships, individual and corporate.
Individual membership is open to MI professionals and anyone who
supports MI. Members receive a membership card; subscription to
this publication; a MICA coin (designated the official MI Corps
coin by the Commander, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort
Huachuca (USAIC&FH)); and periodic updates from the national
Executive Committee. Members are automatically part of the local
MICA chapter. As of 1 October 1996, we had about 2,000 individual
members, with a weekly growth rate of about 25 new members.
Corporate membership is open to any company, corporation,
organization, or business which supports the objectives of MICA.
Currently we have at least 60 corporate members who are making
significant contributions to many of our programs.
As of August 1996, there were nine fully organized and operational
MICA chapters. They are Huachuca (Fort Huachuca, Arizona), Hawaii
(Fort Shafter, Hawaii), Chesapeake (Fort George G. Meade,
Maryland), Airborne (Fort Bragg, North Carolina), Potomac
(Washington, D.C. area), Heidelberg (Campbell Barracks, Germany),
Phantom (Fort Hood, Texas), Pikes Peak (Fort Carson, Colorado), and
Fort Lewis (Fort Lewis, Washington). There are various degrees of
effort and organization at 12 other locations.
It is not difficult to form a MICA chapter; Figure 1 lists the
basic requirements. If a MICA Chapter does not exist is your area
or on your post, talk to the senior intelligence officer (SIO)
about starting one.
Probably our single most enduring and positive accomplishment since
MICA's organization has been the sponsorship and support to the
establishment of the Army's MI Museum. The first anniversary of the
formation of MICA, 2 November 1995, was a very proud day our
dedication ceremony officially opened the MI Museum. Four essential
factors led to the Museum opening: the financial backing of MICA
and the former Intelligence Museum Foundation, the volunteers who
labored many weekends preparing the building, the outstanding
support from Major General Charles W. Thomas and other leaders at
USAIC&FH, and the expert efforts of Mr. Jim Finley and Mr. Tim
Phillips of the Fort Huachuca "Post" Museum staff who built the
Beginning with the Revolutionary War Period, the Museum theme
displays progress through World War I, World War II, and Operation
DESERT STORM. The evolution includes counterintelligence, signals
intelligence, imagery intelligence, and MI in space. The museum,
featuring 2,500 square feet of displays, includes a Cold War
exhibit with a large piece of the Berlin wall and an armored
Mercedes Benz used by the American Military Liaison Mission in East
MICA is planning many projects and improvements in the MI Museum.
Current projects include the Knowlton Room (a research and meeting
room) and a second exhibit hall which will feature a Korean War and
Vietnam displays and human intelligence tradecraft artifacts.
Also located in the museum is a small gift shop featuring
MICA encourages all of you to visit the new museum on your next
trip to Fort Huachuca. It is at the corner of Christy and
Hungerford Avenues in Building 41411 (the old post print plant).
The operating hours are from 1000 to 1400 hours Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday and on weekends from 1400 to 1600 hours.
Knowlton Award and Our MI Hero
Another accomplishment in which we take pride is the establishment
of the Knowlton Award. Under the MICA METL of "encourage esprit de
corps," we perceived a need for a special, distinctive, MI Corps
award to recognize excellence in MI. After staffing a number of
alternative choices for the MI hero, Major General Thomas selected
Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Thomas Knowlton as the MI Corps and MICA
"Hero." During the Revolutionary War, LTC Knowlton commanded the
first intelligence and reconnaissance unit in the U.S. Army. Many
regard the creation of his unit as the birth of U.S. MI. The
Knowlton Award is presented for demonstrated excellence in
intelligence or superior support to MI. Our philosophy has been to
"power down" to the local intelligence leaders, and allow them to
decide who deserves Knowlton Award recognition. At present, all
G2s, installation SIOs, MI commanders in the rank of lieutenant
colonel, MICA chapter presidents, and any MI colonel or MI general
officer can approve the award. The Knowlton Award is a silver
medallion with a MI-blue ribbon, worn around the neck on formal and
special occasions. Presentation of the first awards was at the MI
Hall of Fame Ceremony on 30 June 1995. Since then they have been
awarded to deserving individuals throughout the Army, Air Force,
and Marine Corps in the Active and Reserve Components, and to
As you can tell, we are very proud and pleased with the tremendous
response and support MICA is receiving throughout the intelligence
community. One of our most encouraging observations is that there
seems to be a great deal of interest and support not only from
senior and retired intelligence officers, but also from the MI
Corps noncommissioned officers, civilians, and junior officers. If
you desire additional information about MICA, write to: MICA, P.O.
Box 13020, Fort Huachuca, Arizona 85670-3020 or visit our Internet
Home Page at http// www. primenet. com/~usa mica/index.html. Let us
know if you have any ideas on how we can improve and grow. We
believe that MICA's time has come in the evolution of the MI Corps,
and we are excited about the incredible growth and momentum MICA
Colonel Black (Retired) is the President of MICA.
While on active duty, he served in numerous command and
intelligence positions in Vietnam, Korea, Germany, the Middle East,
and the United States, including Training and Doctrine Command
System Manager for the Ground-Based Common Sensor. During Operation
DESERT STORM, he served on the Third Army G2 staff where he devised
the IEW Synchronization Plan and Matrix. Colonel Black has a master
of arts degree in National Strategy from the Naval War College and
a Master of Business Administration from Idaho State University;
his bachelor's degree in History was from Fort Lewis College in
Colorado. Currently, Colonel Black is a strategic planner for a
defense contractor. Readers can contact him at (520) 458-9759 or
via E-mail at [email protected] com.