The role of a Military Intelligence Officer
Hear how LT COL Whitney Allen turns satellite and source information into Army intelligence.
My name is Lieutenant Colonel Whitney Allen, a military intelligence officer in the United States Army. Basically, what a military intelligence officer does is collect intelligence either by use of satellites, human agents or sources, imagery, use of helicopters, a variety of things and take all that information and create it in to good data for commanders to do their missions. It ranges from missions in Bosnia, peace keeping missions, to helping our friends in Afghanistan relate to their population.
It’s been a great experience. I’ve served in several countries, Germany, Afghanistan and Kuwait, as well as many assignments in the United States; Louisiana, my home state, as well as the state of Kentucky.
I’ve had some very interesting jobs. By the time I was 30 years old I had 100 individuals under my leadership, which supported the military policemen in a variety of ways. Very unique position, I can’t complain. It’s been a joy serving in the Army.
Now you may wonder why a guy with a physics degree joined the military. Well, one interesting thing about the Army is that unlike many positions or many companies out there, usually an engineer or scientist would go into a technical job. So they may go in and start working on projects, and then maybe in 10 years they have an opportunity to become a project manager or go into the company’s management, where in the Army it’s reversed. Once I joined I didn’t go into being a scientist, I ended up having 20 individuals under my leadership and worked in chemical warfare. It was great. I learned how to take care of people, come up with plans and also work with other organizations.
Three years later I had 100 individuals under me. As I said, they were working for the military police; a very unique position. Later on I went on to become a part of the United States Army recruiting command and served in the position as operations research assistant analysis. That’s where I started using a lot of my technical skills from my math and physics background.
In that position there I used a lot of data mining assistance to help the Army project how we asses people in the United States Army. From there, after that position, it was back out in the real world as an intelligence officer; help guiding the Afghan military on how to be a better, more professional and proficient Army organization.
Now I find myself here at NSBE for the second year in a row as a judge doing the robotics and the science fair, but also telling the Army story; what I’ve done in the past, what other people have done, and basically connecting America to its Army.
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