Strategic Intelligence Officers Course

by Major Richard C. Hoehne

The Strategic Intelligence Officers Course (SIOC) developed as result of the recent changes to DA Pam 600-3, Commissioned Officer Development and Career Management; it in turn was driven by the Officer Personnel Management (OPMS) XXI initiative that created Functional Area (FA) 34, Strategic Intelligence Officer (SIO). The course will prepare both non-MI and MI officers for the Postgraduate Intelligence Program (PGIP) and their follow-on assignments by concentrating on analytical skills and operational intelligence. The course will be “hands-on” with instruction modeled after the experiential theory of learning.

Officers assess into a functional area around the fifth year of commissioned service. SIOs are part of the Information Operations Career Field (CF). As soon as practical after the CF designation, FA 34 officers will attend the SIOC, enroute to the PGIP at the Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC). After successful completion of their theses and the PGIP program, the officers will receive the degree Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence (MSSI). FA 34 officers will then work in one of the strategic agencies or commands for a longer than usual period in order to develop specialized knowledge in the strategic realm.

The JMIC leadership has been very supportive of this project. There will be no redundancy in the courses. The SIOC will complement the graduate program by addressing long-standing academic and training deficiencies apparent in many Army PGIP students without strategic exposure.

Course Approach

The present (and foreseeable) international environment demands mental agility different from the Cold War “order of battle” paradigm. The SIOC enhances learning through ill-defined-problem solving. The course adopts experiential learning—where ill-defined problems have multiple solutions, solution paths, and contain uncertainty about the concepts, rules, organizations, and principles that lead to solutions. Hands-on system training, diverse case studies, engaging guest speakers, and research requirements are hallmarks of the course.

The Course

Because there will be MI and non-MI officers attending, the course requires a basic understanding of both Army and joint intelligence doctrine and terminology. Therefore, the 47-day course (see Figure 1) begins with a foundation block and introduces the Open-Source Information System (OSIS) for an unclassified re- search and briefing requirement.

The next block will introduce analytical theory: learning theory, learning tools, examination of analytical pitfalls, and finally experiential learning through the use of case studies. In addition, every week the students will train on a different intelligence information system. In all cases, extensive practical exercises will follow the instruction. The students will then use the systems to research the various study requirements. Sev- eral guest lecturers from both the government and academia will participate in this block of instruc- tion. There will also be training on INTELINK (Intelligence Link) and an introduction to strategic thought.

The third block of the course introduces information operations (IO) doctrine and the students participate in several case studies on the effective or ineffective use of IO throughout U.S. military history. This phase of the instruction will prepare the student for application of IO in the capstone exercise. Proposed guest speakers for this block include representatives from the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA), National Security Agency (NSA), Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the U.S. State Department.


The theme of the fourth week is collection management (CM); the students will first gain an understanding of CM doctrine and then conduct several case studies on effective and ineffective use of CM in current U.S. operations. This phase also sets the stage for the students’ application of joint collection management operations in the next block and in the end-of-course capstone exercise. Guest speakers for this block include serving theater collection managers.

The next phase is on Intelligence Operations at the joint task force (JTF) and higher. This phase lasts 4.5 weeks and is the heart of the course. The first week covers Army intelligence operations at the division level and higher. The second week focuses on joint theater-level intelligence operations. The third week covers national intelligence operations and capabilities followed by a week on intelligence architecture-building from the JTF level through national level. The final three days explore the unique aspects of intelligence operations in stability and support operations.

Tying the training together is extensive intelligence systems training. The systems include the Military Intelligence Database (MIDB), demand-driven direct digital download system (5D, imagery database), COLISEUM (community on-line intelligence system for end users and managers), and RMS (Requirements Management System).

The course concludes with a crisis-action team practical exercise. It will test all of the previous instruction and systems training.


We at the Intelligence Center are excited about this course. We have recently modernized the entire intelligence architecture and will soon be able to train on virtually any system that the joint and national intelligence community uses. This year’s program runs from 23 May until 30 July. Please contact either Major Rick Hoehne or Major Sal Gomez at (520) 533-1466 with any questions.X

Major Rick Hoehne currently is the Lead Course Developer for the Strategic Intelligence Officer Course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Previously, he was the Executive Officer for the 304th MI Battalion. He has also served as a Brigade S2, Battalion S3, Company Commander, Intelligence Watch Officer, Field Artillery Battery Executive Officer, and Aide-de-camp in various stateside and overseas locations. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Arts degree in Management from Webster University. He also holds a Master of Science  in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College. He earned his commission via the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps from Northern Illinois University. Readers can contact MAJ Hoehne via E-mail at hoehner