In this episode of “Intelligence Matters,” host Michael Morell speaks with Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), about the agency’s mission, its workforce, and about the top strategic threats its analysts are tracking today. Morell and Berrier discuss evolving and intensifying threats from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. Berrier also describes his own professional trajectory and how applicants to DIA can pursue opportunities to work in posts around the world.
- DIA’s mission: “At its core, the Defense Intelligence Agency is an all-source analysis agency that does intelligence operations. That is, collection. Human collection and technical collection. And our mission really is foundational military intelligence. So if there is an Army or Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps out there, we it’s our job to know about that, and it doesn’t matter where it is. The White House and the Department of Defense set our priorities and we go after those.”
- Threats from al Qaeda and ISIS-K: “I think as long as they have access to technology and the ability to meet, that means the ability to plan, right? And so whether they’re threatening the homeland or our partners in Europe or other partners in Central Asia, I think it’s a real possibility. And that’s why the over the horizon effort, whatever that turns into, is really, really so important for the Department of Defense and our country.”
- Threats from Russia: “When I think about Russia – we prioritize them behind China, but let’s not kid ourselves, here: Russia is a menace, and they have a competent nuclear triad and that is an existential threat. And we do have to watch that because I think Vladimir Putin is kind of tough to read sometimes. And we have to be very, very careful about how we’re watching Russian activity play out with our partners in Europe and NATO. And we have a pretty good effort going in the direction of Russia right now to keep an eye on that.”
INTELLIGENCE MATTERS – Defense Intelligence Agency Director Scott Berrier
PRODUCER: Olivia Gazis
INTELLIGENCE MATTERS – LIEUTENANT GENERAL SCOTT BERRIER
MICHAEL MORELL: General, thank you so much for joining us. It is an honor to have you on the show.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Michael, it’s great to be here. Thanks for having me and I really look forward to this.
MICHAEL MORELL: You know, I bet I know better than most just how busy you are. So thank you for taking the time out of your very, very busy schedule to join us.
I would love to start by talking about you a bit, which I know that most leaders of organizations don’t like to do. They’d rather talk about their organization. But we have a lot of young professionals and students who listen to the podcast, and they are, no surprise, constantly thinking about their futures. And in doing so, they love to hear about the career progressions of others.
So I just want to spend a little bit of time talking about you, and I’d love to start by asking you, why did you join the military? Why did you choose the U.S. Army and how did you become a career intelligence officer?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Well, Michael, thanks. Thanks for that question. Pretty humble beginnings in a small town called Spencer, Wisconsin. My dad had been a sailor. My grandfather had served in the army in World War II. My brother was in the army. And from the earliest time that I can remember as a kid, I always wanted to be a soldier. And I always associated success with being an airborne ranger. And so that was the big dream.
But then I went to the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, and I got involved in this thing called the Russian and Central European Studies Program. So this is the early ’80s, the Cold War was on. That seemed to be really intriguing. The history of the politics at all. It all grabbed me, and I soon changed my plan of being an infantry officer to being a military intelligence officer and somehow the Army sought that out and commissioned me as a military intelligence second lieutenant.
MICHAEL MORELL: So not many people in college think they want to be military intelligence officers, right? I mean, that’s a little unusual, I would think.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Well, I had a great mentor. In the ROTC program there was a military intelligence captain there, that was on the staff. And so when he found out that I was in the RECES program, he grabbed me and said, “Hey, listen, infantry is probably not going to be for you. You probably need to go in this direction.” So that was great advice and I don’t regret a bit of that.
MICHAEL MORELL: So you’ve obviously been successful in your career. Any advice for folks just starting a career about things they should think about in terms of being successful down the road?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Well, I think what worked for me was was finding the right mentor at the right time. And so I quickly got very operationally focused because I was assigned to the kind of units, like infantry units and special forces and special operations units. So I found mentors there that had an appreciation for intelligence, that knew how to use intelligence and actually taught me to be a better intelligence officer.
And so I think for our youngsters coming in, it’s always about finding the right kind of mentor. Somebody that maybe necessarily doesn’t look like you, but somebody that you admire that you appreciate their career path and can help guide you. I think it’s important today for kids coming out of school. I think it’s really important at DIA for our new officers to find a mentor inside the organization and work the relationship and understand the networks and you get better at your craft much quicker, actually.
MICHAEL MORELL: Yeah, I agree with you a hundred percent. I was lucky enough to have a handful of mentors and it’s not only having somebody who can teach you, but it’s having somebody you can confide in and be candid with and ask tough questions and just have that bond with; that’s so incredibly important.
I’m wondering if there are general a couple of moments during your career that really stand out for you. I know, for example, that you served in both Afghanistan and Iraq as well as Korea, so are there a couple of couple of moments you can share with us?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Well, Michael, great question. And as I have pondered this, almost thirty-seven years now on active duty, I think of my career in three different segments, almost like being in three different armies.
When I came in in 1984, it was the the army of the Cold War and that was really focused on the Soviet Union and competition in its own right back then. And my first assignment was in Alaska. It was all about defending the Alaska pipeline from a from a Spetsnaz invasion or sabotage of that thing, which is kind of funny to think about.
But then when the Cold War ended, the wall came down. It was about the army of being ready, and lots of rotations into the Joint Readiness Training Center and the National Training Center and quarterly training briefings and we were really focused on getting very, very good at war fighting.
And then the last army that I’ve been in for the last 20 years, of course, is, as you know, and have been involved in, is this this global war on terror. And that really changed. And that is the army that I think has probably for me been the most impactful because of the sacrifices of so many of our service members and all services, quite frankly, that have fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places and the multiple deployments and how our army sort of turned itself upside down to do the force generation model to make sure that we could have the right forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s a very different army.
And as I think about it in those three segments there, there are pieces of each of those that I think were very, very special. But that’s how I think about it today.
MICHAEL MORELL: So a couple of questions about DIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, which you run. What are the fundamental missions of the organization and how do you see it fitting into the fabric of the broader intelligence community?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Thanks for that question. So I’ve been here a year now. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. We’ve done some things to to change a little bit. But at its core, the Defense Intelligence Agency is an all-source analysis agency that does intelligence operations. That is, collection. Human collection and technical collection. And our mission really is foundational military intelligence.
So if there is an army or navy, Air Force, Marine Corps out there, we it’s our job to know about that, and it doesn’t matter where it is. The White House and the Department of Defense set our priorities and we go after those.
I think what’s really unique about DIA is this global footprint that we have. And Michael as you know, we have accredited attachés in 183 different countries. We man all of the combatant command intelligence staffs. We have bases in a lot of different locations, a lot of different operations going on. So I think we’re uniquely postured within the Department of Defense to contribute to strategic competition. I’ll stop there and let you ask a question, if you want to follow.
MICHAEL MORELL: Yeah, I was just going to say that I think this is true. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you probably have more analysts forward-deployed than any other agency in the intelligence community, including CIA, I would imagine.
BERRIER: Well, if you count the analysts that are in our combatant commands, that’s for sure. But even today, we still have folks deployed in all the places that you might imagine: Iraq, Syria, Africa and we continue that. And as long as our war fighters are out there doing what they do, DIA will always be there. In the last deployments that I’ve had since 9/11, I’ve been surrounded by DIA officers, quite frankly.
MICHAEL MORELL: So if somebody said to you, “What’s the difference between DIA and CIA?” what would you say?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: You know, that is a great question. And when I talk to people about DIA and they want to make comparisons, we’re most like – it sounds strange, but we’re most like the CIA. We have similar capabilities. We don’t do covert action. We don’t have the air arm, if you will. But we do a lot of similar things that I think are complementary.
And you know, the difference for us is we both do title 50 kinds of missions. Ours is in support of the Department of Defense, and the CIA is really in support of the president of the nation. But they’re very, very complementary with very, very similar capabilities.
MICHAEL MORELL: You know, one of the things that I think is important for listeners to understand is that it is important for the president and senior decision makers to have multiple views on an issue, right?
So it’s actually important for DIA to look at an issue, and CIA to look at it, and NGA and NSA. And if there’s differences, you know, that’s OK, right? It’s not good to force a decision and it’s not good to have just one agency looking at something because these issues are so important.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Michael, I completely agree. We look at everything through the lens of defense intelligence. The tradecraft may be similar. Our analysts are probably trained in the same ways. But I do believe we bring a different element to that discussion. And I think a variety of points of view are really, really good for our senior leaders, for sure. I agree.
MICHAEL MORELL: So sir, as you think about the future of the Defense Intelligence Agency and where it needs to go, what do you see as the big muscle movements, the big investment, the “big ideas,” as my former boss, Dave Petraeus, used to put it, that you have to do, that you have to get right for the agency to continue to fulfill its mission in the years ahead? And I know that’s probably a tough question.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: That’s actually a great question, Michael. And it really opens the door for me to talk about some of the initiatives that we’ve taken here.
So when I got here a year ago, I got with the team and asked them some pretty tough questions about how we were postured for strategic competition: was the organization that we had set for competition? Did we have the right processes in place?
And so we embarked on a study and the team came back and you might imagine what the answers would be. It was, we weren’t really in the right position, in the right set. And so in order to bring this notion of Title 50 defense intelligence to the Department’s Title 10 strategic competition problem, we had to reorganize ourselves. And so we’ve done that internally.
And now more of the agency reports directly to Mr. Greg Ryckman, who’s my deputy director for global integration. Think of him, Michael, as like a chief operating officer for mission in the agency, with tasking authority and the ability to monitor budgets and really set priorities under my direction and really make sure that the team is rowing together.
And through that, we hope to strengthen partnerships, not just foreign partnerships, but, say, partnerships with academia and partnerships with key folks in the defense industrial base and think tanks, non-traditional partners, other government partners – think of Treasury, the FBI as an example.
And then really at the core, we want to be able to get at strategic competition. And that’s really more about sensitive intelligence, sensitive activities; I won’t go into that here. But we’re doubling down in that arena to make sure that we can deliver much more than just finished intelligence to the department; perhaps finished intelligence with some options and thoughts on what you might do with that intelligence.
MICHAEL MORELL: The agency, CIA, just did a big review, and one of the findings was they need to do much better on the technology front – both understanding foreign commercial technology developments and bringing technology into the building, right, to help them with their mission. And I’m wondering if you face a similar problem.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Michael, we do. In fact, we have a great innovation office here that takes all the great ideas that are out there, and demonstrations, and we try to infuse that into what we’re doing.
Right now, as you know, the Military Intelligence Integrated Database, what we call MIDB, is morphing and transforming into the Machine-assisted Rapid-Repository System, MARS. So that’s taking that kind of information and fusing with advanced AI/ML and making a much more robust and richer database.
And we need that sort of thinking and those sort of tools to be able to compete as we go forward here. Because the databases that we have now, they kind of look clunky – 1990s clunky; Excel spreadsheet kind of clunky – and we can do much better and we’re moving down that path right now.
We’ve got a great program manager and a timeline and by FY23. We’re going to be a very, very good position to replace wholesale MIDB with MARS.
MICHAEL MORELL: So this is a question I get all the time from small and mid-sized companies who say, “If we have an offering, if we have a product or service that we think will contribute to national security, contribute to the intelligence community, who do we talk to?”
So if there’s a startup out there that thinks they have something special to offer the Defense Intelligence Agency, what do they do?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Right, so there is an outward-facing door to the community that does that for us, our S&T team in our innovation office. So if somebody has a good idea, a product, a software demonstration, we want to be able to bring them into the building. We want a demonstration of that or a white paper and a discussion about it. And I think it’s actually pretty easy and I think we do that pretty well here, actually.
MICHAEL MORELL: General, in terms of talent: So we’ve talked about technology, but in terms of talent in both your civilian workforce and your military workforce, what are you looking for in terms of skill sets, attitudes, behaviors? What do you want your workforce to look like?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Michael, thanks for that question. When you walk into the lobby of DIA, before you get to the missile lobby, we have our workforce ethics on the wall as you walk in. And in the end it’s all about ‘In defense of our nation,’ right?
And so when I think about that, it’s really about those core mission areas. Think of analysis and collection and science and technology development. And then we have our enabling mission areas – and we know that we can’t do anything without our enablers, right? We have to be able to finance ourselves. We have to have mission support facilities.
And so we’ve got this really, really cool blended workforce. And so I think all of that, what we need are really bright, talented people who are patriots that want to serve their country.
Certainly STEM and those skills are a big part of what we want. But we also want people who geek out on history, who geek out on politics, who geek out on social issues. We need that all to really create this diverse workforce that gives us a much better view of the world and provides, as you talked about earlier in the broadcast, the differing views from the different intelligence agencies. And I think that’s really what DIA can bring to the Department of Defense.
MICHAEL MORELL: And I’ve heard you speak before, General, about the importance of analysts being curious. And I couldn’t agree more. I think that’s one of the things that you look for in an analyst; just somebody who’s curious.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: We want really curious analysts, but we also want to make sure that they have a great attention to detail for tradecraft. And so as I think about analytical tradecraft, we rest on that tradecraft. We have to fall back on that tradecraft. And when we’re challenged, we have to analyze how we how we executed the tradecraft. So it’s about everything.
So I think we have a great program here at the DIA to bring to bring that out for everybody.
MICHAEL MORELL: So general, I’d love to turn to some substantive issues, if I may. And I’d like to start with Afghanistan, and I’d like to ask you two questions.
The first is, there’s been some finger-pointing at the intelligence community for its analysis of whether the Taliban would take over if we left, and if so, how long would that take. [There was] just a piece in the Wall Street Journal. I know you can’t go into details, but can you just react to that sense out there that the IC could have done better?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Sure. Thanks for the question. For the first time in a long time, many of the agencies were, I would call, ‘in concurrence’ on how this would end. That eventually, the government would collapse and that the Taliban would move in.
I think we got wrong for sure the timeline of how that would unfold. But really, that was based on a set of assumptions. And so, you know, from my own personal experience and having deployed to Afghanistan many times, I thought, and my assumption was, that the government would hold for much longer and that the fight would be for Kabul. It turns out that that assumption was flawed, and those assumptions really underpin all the planning.
So, you know, there’s some work to do there about how we view that and we are engaging in a review here in the Defense Intelligence Agency about that. But we were in sync to a great degree. And as July unfolded and we got into August and it was more chaotic, I think it’s one of those things – we’ll continue to study this as an example and a case study of how we can always do better, I would say.
MICHAEL MORELL: And then the second question is that a number of senior DOD officials that have talked in recent weeks and even in recent days about how fast ISIS-K and al Qaeda might be able to reconstitute if the U.S. is not able to collect the intelligence it needs to collect in Afghanistan and if we don’t act to degrade those groups if they pose a serious threat to the U.S. What can you tell us about that?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Yeah, it’s interesting. The Taliban appear to not be impeding al Qaeda. And so, I’ve publicly said something like, one to two years on al Qaeda; we’re probably in about the same in the same place with ISIS, with the number of prisoners that escaped in what appears to be unfolding in Afghanistan right now. So I think we’re in that one to two-year range. And you know, you could mince it a little bit with Al Qaeda and ISIS-K.
But I think as long as they have access to technology and the ability to meet, that means the ability to plan, right? And so whether they’re threatening the homeland or our partners in Europe or other partners in Central Asia, I think it’s a real possibility. And that’s why the over the horizon effort, whatever that turns into, is really, really so important for the Department of Defense and our country.
MICHAEL MORELL: And for the intelligence community, right? They play a huge role in this as well.
LTG BERRIER: For sure. And Michael, going back to your first question, really, for DIA and many of the our intelligence partners out here, as U.S. forces drew down in Afghanistan, so did our intelligence assets and everything that we were doing in Afghanistan. So when you don’t have the touch point day-to-day that we had for many, many years, you start to lose insights there.
And I think that certainly contributed to where the assessments fell out, for sure. And as you know, we drew down over the last couple of years to just what turned out to be our attachés in the in the embassy at the end.
MICHAEL MORELL: General, let me move west from Afghanistan to Iran. We obviously know from the IAEA that the Iranians are aggressively pushing their nuclear program beyond even where it was when the JCPOA, the the nuclear deal, was signed, which the U.S. withdrew from in 2018. Seems to me just reading the open media that Iranian proxies are as active as they’ve ever been across the region, including attacking U.S. troops. How worried are you about Iran at the moment?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Well, Michael, in the National Defense Strategy, Iran is one of those regional threats that we have to keep an eye on. You know as well as I do they continue to be active and fomenting the kind of activity that you were talking about.
I think the big difference now, say, from when I was the CENTCOM J2 just in 2014 is the number of proxies that they do have, the expansiveness of IRGC Quds force across the region. Think of their operations in Yemen. Think of their outreach to Lebanon and LH and the Shia militia groups there. They’re certainly dangerous and it really requires a focused watch on our part.
It seems that we need stronger deterrence, right? It seems to me that they don’t think anything is going to happen to them as they move forward aggressively on both the nuclear front and the regional front. And I’m just wondering if you share that view or have a different view?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER:
Well, I think it’s my job to make sure that we can illuminate their activities to the Department of Defense so that our senior leaders can make really smart decisions about about next steps. And so from from my perch, not to get into the policy land there, but I want to deliver decisive information at the right time to Secretary Austin, to Chairman Milley, so that they can have an understanding of what’s going on and give them options, really, of what actions to take.
MICHAEL MORELL: Yeah. Let me jump to North Korea if I can, General before coming back to our peer competitors and your peer competitors, China and Russia.
North Korea’s strategic weapons program – you know this as well as anybody. Its nuclear weapons program, its ballistic missile programs have advanced, have moved forward across every single administration for the past 30 years, right? The North Koreans are better off at the end than they are at the beginning.
The North continues to conduct a number of missile tests, including some submarine-launched ballistic missile tests. And I’m wondering, are those tests meaningful in pushing their program forward? And I’m wondering if there’s any reason to think that the next 10 years – I don’t want to just focus just on this administration – but if the next 10 years are going to be any different than the last 30 with regard to the North Koreans. Just any thoughts you may have on North Korea would be great.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Yeah, Michael, I’ve got a lot of thoughts on North Korea. As you know, I spent a good number of years and in my career trying to predict when North Korea might conduct provocations or attacks, and it’s an intractable problem.
The good news is we’ve got DIA officers at U.S. Forces Korea. They watch this problem every day, very, very closely with our teammates at INDOPACOM. And so, as I look at Korea in the last 30 years and looking forward, I have a hard time seeing my way through what would actually change their behavior and how they view the world in their own state survival. So I don’t see much of a change in their trajectory at this point.
MICHAEL MORELL: You know, I was a young North Korean analyst in the early 1990s, and one of the things we used to talk about is when the regime would collapse, right? We said, “Surely this can’t last forever. Surely outside information will leak in. And at some point the regime will come apart.”
And I think we’re still waiting for that, 20, 25 years later. It may never happen.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER:
Yeah, it’s interesting we’re talking about North Korea because I’m holding in my hands the the unclassified North Korea Military Power study that we’ve just completed. I think we let this go here in October. And it’s a really nice unclassified reference, and I’d be happy to send you one. It’s pretty neat. And I think one of the things we really do well here at DIA is put together these unclassified studies, and North Korea is the newest one that we have. So, yeah, it’s always on our mind for sure.
MICHAEL MORELL: I should tell people that you put out these studies and they’re available on your website. I actually go there every once in a while and see if there’s anything new, and they really are rigorous, thoughtful, well put-together. And students out there who are looking for good information on these issues can find it there.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: It’s actually a great reference, for sure. Thank you.
MICHAEL MORELL: OK, China and Russia are our near-peer competitors. The National Defense Strategy and National Security Strategy they all talk about shifting our focus towards those. And I’m wondering – and I know they’re very, very different. These are very, very different challenges that we face from the two of them.
I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit about each and how you see the challenge that they pose to the United States of America.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Sure. Happy to do so. Secretary Austin has been very, very clear on China as the pacing threat. We’re in sync with that; that is certainly the priority here at DIA.
But when I step back and think about China – as I have been even in my time as the army G2 – I think about it in this form of a three-stranded cable.
The first strand of that cable is Xi’s political strategy, right, which has been able to police the party, put the leaders in place that he wanted to and really sort of set the tempo for the kind of reforms he wanted to to play out in China’s rise.
That second strand of the cable is really that the Belt Road Initiative, their economic strategy to move into other countries with infrastructure offerings of 5G, buying out debt, building, which has really, really fueled their ability to afford this military modernization, which they have – it’s been exponential and in all domains, to include cyber and space.
And then you think about them as a nuclear power with the intent of modernizing their nuclear capability. And so you’re moving from pacing threat to the eventual existential threat. And so, this is our number one priority here at DIA.
And I think the threat is real. But if you go back to the three-stranded cable, there would be a sheath that would cover that cable and that would represent the largest theft of intellectual property in the history of mankind, which is what the Chinese have been very active in the last 30 or 40 years – not only us, but against other partners in the West. And they’ve done that and continue to do it. They present a threat in the past. They will represent a threat in the future with that, and our system has has played into that, unfortunately. So that’s China.
When I think about Russia- we prioritize them behind China, but let’s not kid ourselves, here: Russia is a menace, and they have a competent nuclear triad and that is an existential threat. And we do have to watch that because I think Vladimir Putin is kind of tough to read sometimes. And we have to be very, very careful about how we’re we’re watching Russian activity play out with our partners in Europe and NATO. And we have a pretty good effort going in the direction of Russia right now to keep an eye on that.
MICHAEL MORELL: So on China, they just, as you know, they just did a hypersonic missile test that Chairman Milley really used some strong language on, called it “nearly a Sputnik moment.” And I guess that fits into the nuclear advances that you talked about earlier.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: It does. And so one of the things that DIA does really well is try to monitor that activity and understand it so that our acquisition community can be that much better as we develop the kinds of weapons that can counter that sort of thing.
MICHAEL MORELL: So, General, I’m going to ask you a couple of more questions. And the first is that I noticed reading your bio that your two sons are in public service. And you talked earlier about your father, your grandfather. My three children are in public service as well. Public service has clearly been important to you. And I’m wondering if you talk a little bit about why.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: When you come from when you come from a patriotic family, Michael, as you have, it’s sort of ingrained in you very, very early to serve. And I think the neat part about where I sit now is I’ve had all of these experiences and I’ve had all of this interaction with just superb intelligence professionals across the community. And they give me a lot of insight here. And so what I’m trying to do right now to give back in these last couple of years, in my career – and at some point I’ll I’ll retire from this job. But it’s really to use that experience and that insight and this time right now, which I think is a bit of a crisis, actually, when you think of the China threat, you think of the Russia threat.
I do think that this this presents a slow-boiling crisis for our country, and I’m trying to bring all of that knowledge to bear, all the experience and what people have given me to, to make DIA a better organization to support the department’s strategic competition problem.
MICHAEL MORELL: And then I’m wondering when you’re with a group of, say, students, if you happen to be visiting a university, I’m wondering what the pitch is that you make to folks to come work at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Yeah, the pitch is we are an all-source analysis agency and we do collection and it’s pretty exciting. And if you want to be challenged, if you want to work with the best people within national security, you should come to DIA.
Not only do we have a great mission set here in the national capital region, but guess what? We’re global. And so if you want to go to Hawaii to be an analyst within the JIOC account, we’re here for you and we can make that happen. And so what I try to do is sell everybody on the diversity of the mission, the diversity of locations and that DIA can be your stop for the dreams of your future.
MICHAEL MORELL: And I guess if you blend it with that point you just talked about, is that we’re at this inflection point in history with regard to our national security and leadership in the world. What better thing to do for your country right now than serve, right? You put those two things together.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Yeah, Michael, you hit it there because we can offer great locations, we can offer a great mission. But I also know that tech companies are out there looking for the same kinds of young people that we are and they can pay a lot more money. And so it really does come to serving your country and doing the right thing for America, for sure. So thanks for saying that.
MICHAEL MORELL: And then, the last question, Sir, is I’m wondering what you would want our listeners to know about the women and the men of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: The women and the men of the Defense Intelligence Agency are some of the most dedicated people I’ve ever been with or worked around and are tireless in their mission to provide this intimate understanding of what’s happening in the world for the Department of Defense.
And if you’re so inclined, I would love you to join the mission here at DIA because of everything that we do, and I just feel honored and privileged to lead this organization for the short time that I’ll have here, and we will support the department’s programs and do the best we can for the Department of Defense.
MICHAEL MORELL: Maybe let’s do one add-on, here, which is trying to make this pitch to people who may be interested in coming to work for you here. What does a career progression look like for somebody who has just graduated with a B.A. or M.A. and comes to work for you? What can they expect in terms of career progression?
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: So the first thing that they could expect is a quality onboarding process, where we’re going to link you up with the right people, right mentorship frameworks to get you integrated into the agency.
If you’re an analyst, you’ll go to analytical training that we call PACE. You’ll be assigned to, say, a regional intelligence center here within DIA. And within a couple of years, you could move out to INDOPACOM or United States European Command or move to another segment here in the national capital region.
And before you know it, the promotion train will start and then you will rise with more experience inside the agency. And then what we really want, Michael, are global officers. And so we want in an officer the combination of a subject matter expert, but also getting some leadership training and also the ability at some point in the not too distant future to run analytical teams or run collection teams or run scientific development and research teams so that we have an officer within 10 or 15 years that has the basics and fundamentals of the intelligence craft, whatever they do at the agency, but also to be a really, really solid leader to lead the next generation into the fight.
MICHAEL MORELL: General, thank you very much for joining us. It’s been terrific. Thank you for taking the time and I wish you all the best.
LTG SCOTT BERRIER: Michael, it’s my pleasure. It’s been great talking with you. Thank you.