Military intelligence

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Military intelligence (abbreviated MI, int [Commonwealth], or intel [U.S.]), is a military discipline that focuses on the gathering, analysis, protection, and dissemination of information about the enemy, terrain, and weather in an area of operations. Intelligence activities are conducted at all levels from tactical to strategic, during peacetime and in war.

Most militaries maintain a military intelligence division, section, or corps. Officers and enlisted men assigned to military intelligence are selected for their analytical abilities and the ability to keep secrets. They receive formal training in these disciplines.


Strategic intelligence

Strategic intelligence usually proceeds by assessing or anticipating changes in world society. Relevant changes may be scientific, technical, tactical, or diplomatic, but these changes are analyzed in combination with known facts about the future, such as geography, demographics and industrial capacities.

Strategic intelligence is usually packaged as simulations or games based on particular scenarios. These games let policy-makers test new types of tactics and forces against the anticipated abilities of possible future enemies.

United States

The United States Armed Forces have various ways of referring to their intelligence functions. When on a joint service staff, the intelligence officers is referred to as as the J-2. For the individual services, several different names apply.

United States Army

The USA refers to its intelligence officers as the G-2, depending on whether his or her assigment is with a joint service staff, a general officer's staff. For staffs of a unit commanded by an officer who ranks below general, the intelligence officer is referred to as the S-2. In infantry battalions, this post is usually held by a captain, with a first lieutenant as a deputy and a Master Sergeant (pay grade E-8) or Sergeant First Class (pay grade E-7) as staff NCO.

The Army trains military intelligence officers at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

United States Navy and Marine Corps

The USN refers to intelligence officers on a flag officer's staff as the N2. At this level, the N2 is usually a senior officer, such as a Captain or Commander. When the seniormost officer is a Captain or lower, the intelligence officer is called an INTELOFF or INTEL (note the capitalization) and is usually a Lieutenant Commander or Lieutenant with senior enlisted personnel on hand, such as Master Chief Petty Officers or below.

The USMC's intelligence structure largely follows the same rules as the Army; however, while at sea naval terminology is used.

The Navy trains USN and USMC military intelligence officers at the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center at Dam Neck, Virginia.


In Britain the MI abbreviation is used by MI5 and MI6, but neither organization is a military intelligence group—the use is a historical vestige relating to their origins. The intelligence group of the British Army is the Intelligence Corps.

See also

External links

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