Intelligence Community Officer Programs (ICO Programs)
(Effective 04 February 2000)

1. References to Authorities

Pursuant to section 113, 104(f) and 103(c) of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, 50 U.S.C. 401 et seq., and consistent with the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Director of Central Intelligence and the Deputy Secretary of Defense (titled "Intelligence Community Assignment Program", dated 17 January 1997), this directive establishes the Intelligence Community Officer (ICO) programs. Applicable provisions cited in DCID 1/1 (19 November 1998) are included by reference.

2. Purpose

This directive establishes policy and assigns responsibility for the Intelligence Community Officer (ICO) programs. The ICO designation is designed to develop the future leadership of the Intelligence Community (IC) through a program of rotational assignments, training and experience, and related guidelines to promote a wider understanding of IC missions and functions; bolster IC coordination; and enhance the effectiveness of the Community. Other policies regarding the implementation, management, and administration of the program will be detailed in the DCID implementation guidelines and Department of Defense (DoD) regulations. Within DoD, these policies will be further elaborated through the DoD Directives System.

3. Policy

The ICO programs are designed to foster development of an intelligence professional with Community experience, Community perspective and applied expertise. These programs develop Intelligence Community professionals by providing defined opportunities to expose them to at least one intelligence organization other than his or her parent organization, as well as to the entire spectrum of IC functions and supporting elements. The programs lead to ICO designation, which is contingent upon successful completion of the three program components as follows:

Intelligence Community agencies and elements shall implement policies in a manner consistent with making the ICO designation a required factor for consideration for promotion eligibility into Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service (DISES) Senior Intelligence Service (SIS) or equivalent level positions beginning in FY2002.

In FY2003, this DCID shall be reviewed for revisions based on lessons learned to date. In particular, modifications for career fields requiring special consideration shall be considered. Subject to DCI review in FY2003, beginning in FY2005, the ICO designation shall be mandatory for promotion eligibility into SIS. The Secretary of Defense has determined that these requirements shall be mandatory for DISES and equivalent level positions beginning in FY2005, if adopted by the DCI review in FY2003. Other IC components appointed under Title 5 US Code may implement as appropriate.

Waivers will be granted by heads of agencies wherein designation as an ICO is not applicable because of cover or other equally imperative necessity. The ICO programs provide the IC with a means of developing well-rounded senior intelligence professionals with a broad community customer perspective.

4. Responsibilities

This section identifies key entities responsible for carrying out the ICO programs Directive.

ICO/ICAP Board of Governors

The Board of Governors (BoG) shall establish program parameters; approve designated and equivalent ICO programs and validate assignments; provide oversight for program implementation, evaluation, and modification; monitor interrelationships and resolve disputes between Host and Parent agencies; and recommend alternatives to the DEPSECDEF and DCI as necessary to enhance program participation and effectiveness. The Board shall consist of one senior representative (DISES/SIS, or equivalent) from each participating agency, as designated by the agency Head. The Board will be led by a Chair and Deputy selected by the DDCI/CM and the ASD/C3I. The Board shall carry out its duties and responsibilities in a manner that maximizes each participating organization's administrative and programmatic autonomy.

ICO Director

The ICO Director shall be responsible to the BoG for overall program guidance and development. The ICO Director keeps the DASD(I) and the ExDir/ICA informed for purposes of the ICO programs. The ICO Director is authorized to levy tasks, organize working groups, collect and maintain data, and take action on behalf of the BoG to resolve ICO and component program issues.

ICAP Executive Secretariat

The ICAP Executive Secretariat (ICAP ES) shall provide ICAP program and administrative support to the BoG. The ICAP Executive Secretary shall levy tasks, organize working groups, collect and maintain data, and take action on behalf of the BoG to resolve ICAP issues.

Participating Organizations

Participating organizations of the Intelligence Community shall incorporate designated and equivalent ICO programs into their agency-specific senior-level employee development policies and programs; provide pertinent data requested by the BoG, ICAP ES, and the ICO Director. These organizations shall market and publicize the ICO designation and component programs to ensure the widest possible dissemination of information, including vacancy announcements, and shall lead and/or participate in various Community-sponsored marketing and promotional activities. Participating organizations will certify ICO designation for their employees based on minimum definitive criteria established by the BoG. The ICO/ICAP representative of each participating agency will also be responsible for oversight and monitoring of the ICO Training program for their organization.

5. Applicability

The ICO programs shall apply to civilian intelligence personnel in participating organizations.


1. Board of Governors (BoG): The organized body of administrators for the ICO programs consisting of one senior representative (DISES/SIS or equivalent) from each participating agency.

2. ICAP Executive Secretariat (ES): The ICAP ES shall be staffed initially with three positions. Two positions are the ICAP Executive Secretary and the ICAP Program Coordinator. The third position will provide secretarial and administrative support. The ICAP Executive Secretary shall rotate every two to three years between a DoD and non-DoD agency, and be selected jointly by the DASD(I) and the ExDir/ICA. The Executive Secretary is the staff member responsible for the day-to-day administration of the ICAP and reports to the ICO Director and the ICO/ICAP BoG.

3. Host Agency: The organization that sponsors an ICAP position.

4. Parent Agency: The organization from which an employee is detailed to an ICAP position.

5. Intelligence Community (IC): The agencies and organizations enumerated in E.O. 12333 and Section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947, as well as, the intelligence components of the Department of Defense as defined in 10 U.S.C. 1614(2).

6. Intelligence Community Assignment Program (ICAP): Rotational program designed to enhance and broaden the perspective of senior civilian intelligence personnel through assignment to an intelligence position external to his/her own service performing work integral to the host organization. The assignments will be for grade level 13 or above on a rotational basis (two to three years) and will be in positions that broaden the incumbent's knowledge and understanding of the Intelligence Community's mission and function.

7. Intelligence Community Officer (ICO) Designation: A designation established by the ICO/ICAP BoG signifying completion of the three components of the ICO programs:

8. ICO Director: The individual responsible for managing and supervising the ICO programs under the direction of the BoG Chair.

9. ICAP-Equivalent Assignments (ICAP-E): An ICAP-Equivalent assignment is defined as a two-year external rotational assignment to an intelligence organization or intelligence position performing work integral to the host organization. ICAP-Equivalent assignments begun on or after 1 October 1986 will be grandfathered and receive credit for ICO designation. The definition is further defined as follows:

The definition captures previous permanent assignments encompassing a minimum of four years in an intelligence organization, two of which are external to the parent organization. Recorded experience must have been at grade 13 position or higher, or uniformed military intelligence experience commensurate with duties at or above the grade 13 level. Credit will be given for ICAP-Equivalent assignments begun on or after October 1986. Parent agencies will validate ICAP-Equivalent assignments to the Executive Secretariat.

10. Participating Organizations: The Intelligence Community plus the National Security Council. They are enumerated in, but not limited to, Executive Order 12333, Section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947 and Title 10 U.S.C. 1614(2).

11. Head of Agency: In DoD, head of agency refers to the directors of the defense agencies and secretaries of military departments. In equivalent agencies, head of agency for waiver purposes refers to:

12. Participants: The ICO Programs are designed for civilian intelligence personnel in grades 13 through senior executive. Highly qualified 12s may also apply.

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