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"Always Engaged" U.S. Army Reserve Military Intelligence.


The U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Military Intelligence (MI) operational and training support to active component missions have been, and will continue to be, a true test of leadership. Throughout most of the last decade, a dynamic shift from a strategic reserve force to an operational force was necessitated by USAR engagement in various overseas contingency operations. Although the shift did come with significant challenges, USAR MI forces have proven themselves in combat and peacetime as relevant and integral to the total MI force structure.

Geographic C2 Concept

The command and control (C2) for USAR intelligence forces was a Senior Intelligence Officer who was also the G2 for the USAR Command (USARC). Prior to 2005, USAR intelligence organizations fell under a myriad of functional and operational organizations mixed with many types of units in geographic regions roughly aligned with Federal Emergency Management Agency regions and some overseas locations in Europe, Asia, Alaska, and Hawaii.

The USARC G2 had five direct reporting Army Reserve Intelligence Support Centers (ARISCs), previously called Reserve Training Sites-Intelligence and one MI Augmentation Detachment (MIAD), also known as the MI Special Training Element Program (MISTE). The ARISC mission is to sustain and improve the readiness of USAR MI soldiers and units to perform individual and collective tasks through a training program supporting unit METLs and MI skills directly related to battlefield success.

The MIAD was an organization that would fund specialized intelligence professionals for travel to Inactive Duty Training battle assemblies, formerly known as "drills," and annual training with MI units where the Soldier's skills would be best utilized.

Prior to 2005, USAR MI battalions did not report to MI brigades but to Area Support Groups (ASG) which were similar to active duty brigades or in many cases directly to the Regional Support Command. Although these USAR MI battalions were administratively controlled by the different ASGs, their operational control was determined by their "war-trace." The war-trace related to an active duty MI organization with a specific area of responsibility and mission. USAR MI forces would backfill their respective war-trace active duty units with individuals, teams, or entire units. Some of the tactical MI battalions were also affiliated with Army National Guard maneuver divisions. There were also numerous MI Army Reserve Elements and MI Detachments. These units had a predominately strategic mission and supported such organizations as the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Ground Intelligence Center, the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific and U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command.

Generating Force Structure for MI

USAR training of MI Soldiers in Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) specific courses, as well as MI noncommissioned officer educational courses (NCOES) was the mission of five separate MI Total Army School System (TASS) training battalions, also located regionally. Like the operational intelligence units, training battalions directly reported to different divisions and different regional support commands.

Transformation to Functional Operational Command (2005-Present)

Major General Gregory Schumacher was the first commander of the Military Intelligence Readiness Command (MIRC). The MIRC, formed in July 2003 and activated on 15 September 2005, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, pooled USAR MI organizations to improve C2, mission management, and readiness.

The vision of the MIRC was "To be the preeminent provider of trained and ready Army Reserve intelligence forces complementing active component intelligence capabilities in support of Combatant Command and the Intelligence Enterprise requirements." The MIRC motto "Always Engaged" would be indicative of its continuous support to our Army at war. The new command was to provide C2 for over 40 tactical and strategic USAR MI units.


The newly activated MIRC was the solution that would provide the necessary reserve intelligence support to Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle, and New Hope. Now having the C2 of all functional USAR intelligence forces, the process of mobilizing individuals, teams or entire MI units within the MIRC would become nearly seamless.

USAR MI Support to the Operational and Generating Forces (2005 to Present)

Since its inception the MIRC has deployed over 6,000 Soldiers, both as individual augmentees, as well as units in support of numerous contingency operations throughout the world and providing operational intelligence support to nearly all national intelligence agencies. The MIRC continues to refine its C2 structure, as well its capabilities, and will continue to be the premier provider of military intelligence support to the overall MI force structure.

From 2004 to 2008, the USAR mobilized a USAR MI Training Battalion to support the increasing demand for MI Soldiers overseas. The unit consisted of cadre from all five USAR MI TASS Battalions and some augmentation from the Army National Guard. The "Mobilize-Train-Deploy" Battalion, as it was known, trained over 500 MI professionals for MOS reclassification requirements and NCOES.

Concurrently, the 100th USAR Training Division established the 1st MI Training Brigade (USAR) and consolidated the MI Training Battalions under that Headquarters. This improved C2 for the battalions has greatly improved the current and future training of USAR MI Soldiers by ensuring a onestandard training model.

Requirements and Resources Drive Change

Moving from a strategic to operational posture in a few years, then developing and enhancing support to the operational USAR MI forces could not have occurred without the requirement demands and resourcing from the recent and current operations. The improvements in C2, performance, readiness, and force generation standards are unmatched in the history of the USAR. USAR MI will continue to excel in providing trained, ready, and seasoned intelligence Soldiers and units to deter conflicts or win the fight.


by Command Sergeant Major Johnny Fekete and Sergeant Major Guy Farr
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Author:Fekete, Johnny; Farr, Guy
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Date:Jul 1, 2012
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