CSM Forum

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by Command Sergeant Major Randolph Hollingsworth

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Machines are machines, but soldiers are people who operate machines; who make machines do all sorts of great things. But unlike soldiers, machines can’t think, feel, lead, or follow. Machines are not committed to our profession.

CSM Gary A. Jones, 111th MI Brigade


Since the birth of our Army more than 220 years ago, there have been thousands of changes that have made it the great organization that it is today. Gone are the muskets, horses, Gatling guns, salt pork, brown coffee cups, tin trays, M-14 rifles, Jeeps, OV-ID Mohawks, and, eventually, grease pencils. No longer does the Army’s inventory include the equipment without which we once believed we could not do our jobs. The old hand-powered light table and other high-speed, low-drag equipment are gone. Instead, we now have the All-Source Analysis System, Ground-Based Common Sensor, and unmanned aerial vehicles. On the horizon, as products of our Battle Command Battle Lab-Huachuca's efforts, we see emerging technologies that will make our present equipment obsolete.

For almost 30 years, I have seen the doctrine of our Army change based upon the intelligence that our soldiers provide the commanders. Commanders no longer think of us as a secondary battlefield operating system when they do their intelligence planning------they think of MI first. Properly deploying assets and using intelligence correctly is a major concern for all commanders. Commanders think of their MI soldiers and NCOs as the "early warning system" in all types of operations. Our commanders want to ensure that we get the training we need to fulfill that critical mission.

Soldiers Are Our Credentials

Despite all of the changes that have occurred in our Army, there are two constants: the soldiers and the noncommissioned officers (NCOs) who lead, train, and care for them. The same caliber of professionals who fought with George Washington, Robert E. Lee, George Patton, and Douglas MacArthur are serving America and the world today. Soldiers from the rank of private through command sergeant major still support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America every day by obeying the orders of the officers that lead them.

From Hawaii to Maine and from Alaska to Florida, America’s young men and women have come together and formed the only first-class Army in the world. During the darkest of days and darkest of nights, they have made the difference between success and failure in war, peace, and humanitarian efforts that span the globe. Women and men of different ethnicities and religious beliefs are America’s "credentials." They provide the staying power that remains while systems and organizations come and go.

As the senior enlisted soldier in the MI Corps, I know there would not be an MI Corps sergeant major without great soldiers and noncommissioned officers in our ranks. It is not me who makes our Corps great------it is our soldiers and NCOs.

Thanks to Our NCOs

As Brigadier General Charles Canham (September 1944) said, "our soldiers are our credentials." Without our great soldiers, military intelligence would not be the combat multiplier that it is today. This issue of the Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin is dedicated to all MI soldiers and NCOs who keep our Corps "Always Out Front." We dedicate this issue to the------

This issue of MIPB is for all soldiers, young or old, who wear MI brass. For those who analyze, intercept, cue, interrogate, translate, and perform other intelligence functions, this is our way of saying "Thank you."

On behalf of Major General Thomas, our Corps commander, I want to personally thank every MI soldier for believing that excellence is not just a word, but, rather, our way of life. I also want to thank every NCO for training our soldiers to the highest standard, for leading them through tough times, and for keeping faith in our leadership.

Don’t forget that "Always Out Front" starts with soldiers. The 21st century belongs to all of us in military intelligence: soldiers, NCOs, commissioned officers, and civilians.