OSMS and YOU: Coast Guard Intelligence

This blog post is the fourth in a series of posts highlighting the various specialties and sub-specialties offered by the recently launched Officer Specialty Management System. Stay tuned as we share key information about each specialty/sub-specialty in the coming weeks!



Written by Lt. Cmdr. Michael Fisher, CG-21

There has been rapid growth of the Coast Guard Intelligence enterprise in the past decade to include adding intelligence staffs to Districts and Sectors, creation of Intelligence Fusion Centers, and rebirth of a Coast Guard signals intelligence capability. To meet these demands the service understood that it could no longer rely on intelligence positions filled by enlisted members who do a single special duty assignment in intelligence or officers that serve one intelligence tour. Today there are over 400 active duty Coast Guard personnel serving as Intelligence Specialists and officers serving in intelligence coded positions directly supporting operations and providing decision advantage.

While the size of the intelligence workforce is a relatively new phenomenon, visionary leaders have long understood the importance of intelligence to Coast Guard operations. Adm. Russell Waesche a former commandant expanded the Coast Guard’s signals intelligence capability during WWII resulting in the decryption of critical German and Japanese codes. Lt. Charles Root created an Office of Intelligence to coordinate intelligence collection and analysis efforts to thwart smugglers during the Rum War. Today, the intelligence profession is more technically sophisticated requiring a higher level of professional competence. The creation of the Intelligence Officer Specialty and the associated training, experience and competencies is part of this process.

LCDR Kelly Moyers, USCG serving as an Intelligence Officer in Afghanistan

Lt. Cmdr. Kelly Moyers serving as an Intelligence Officer in Afghanistan. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Intelligence, CG-INT10 specialty is comprised several key components:

– Experience – At least one year in a CG-INT10 coded billet or four years enlisted intelligence experience
– Training – Completion of the Intelligence Officer Course
– Personnel Qualification Standards – Completion of Intelligence Personnel and Processors and Disseminators PQS
– Clearance – Current Single-Scope Background Investigation, eligible for a Top Secret /SCI clearance

For officers assigned to their first intelligence assignment prior to the summer of 2013, completion of Introduction to Intelligence, CG Intelligence Collectors and an Intelligence Analysis Course such as ODNI Analysis 101 is required in lieu of the Intelligence Officer Course. The specialty manager works closely with OPM-3 to review specialty applications and provide feedback to officers who entered the intelligence community prior to 2013. Recognizing that reserve officers are a key component of the Intelligence Workforce, the office of intelligence or CG-21 created a pathway for reserve officers to achieve the INTEL001 Competency and the Officer Specialty. This pathway includes the completion of PQS, attending an Introduction to Intelligence Course, CG Intelligence Collectors Course and an intelligence analysis course as well as completing the same amount of time in an intelligence billet as their active duty counterpart.

To ensure the officer specialty provides the support to human resource processes and decisions requires continued refinement of the specialty. Aspects of the specialty to examine include the inclusion of sub-specialties and additional requirements for the “Master” level of specialty such as obtaining at least one sub-specialty to be eligible for the “Master” level. Intelligence functional areas such as analysis, collection management, counterintelligence, and signals intelligence are examples where creating sub-specialties could be beneficial for the workforce.

For more information please visit the Officer Personnel Management, OPM-3 website.


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