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

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.

MI Museum

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 displays.
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 Germany.
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 MI-related items. 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 civilians.


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 has exhibited.
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.