Every year, when the next year’s calendars go on sale, my mom goes out and buys one specifically for family birthdays. She spends a few days going page-by-page, month-by-month, and copying over all the birthdays from the old calendar. She’ll add in the new ones, even for distant cousins’ kids’ newborns. She’ll subtract all the ones no longer with us — even for distant cousins. She always says, “We should never forget important birthdays. And these are all important.”
The United States Intelligence Community was formed on December 4, 1981, and is an umbrella organization comprised of 17 separate US government agencies and offices. These all work both separately and together to conduct intelligence activities in support of US foreign policy and national security objectives. Member organizations include intelligence agencies, military intelligence units and commands, and civilian intelligence offices found within the federal government’s executive departments. This is all overseen by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) (headed by the Director of National Intelligence), and reports directly to the President of the United States.
The 17 Intelligence Community member organizations include two independent agencies (who do not fall within a department), seven offices that fall within other departments, and eight Department of Defense elements. Let’s see who they are, and when they were founded…
The two independent agencies in the U.S. Intelligence Community are:
- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) — founded on 22 April 2005
- the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) — founded on 18 Semptember 1947
The seven offices of other departments in the U.S. Intelligence Community are:
- the Office of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence of the Department of Energy — founded on 1 August 1977
- the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security — founded on 25 November 2002
- US Coast Guard Intelligence of the Department of Homeland Security — founded on 28 January 1915
- the Federal Bureau of Investigation Intelligence Branch of the Department of Justice — founded on 26 July 1908
- the Office of National Security Intelligence of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the Department of Justice — founded on 1 July 1973
- the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the Department of State — founded on 1 October 1945
- the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of the Treasury — founded on 13 December 2003
The eight Department of Defense elements are:
- the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) — founded on 1 October 1961
- the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Security Service (CSS) — founded on 4 November 1952 (CSS, 1972)
- the National Geospatial- Intelligence Agency (NGA) — founded on 1 October 1996
- the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) — founded on 6 September 1961
- the Sixteenth Air Force of the United States Air Force — founded on 15 July 1956
- the Intelligence and Security Command of the United States Army — founded on 1 January 1977
- the Office of Naval Intelligence of the United States Navy — founded on 23 March 1882
- the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity or the United States Marine Corps — founded on 21 April 1939 (with MCIA-proper being established in 1987)
These dates may not be as important as my mother’s 5th cousin, thrice-removed’s birthday, but the dates are important. With the nation’s birthday season upon us, and DEA intel turning 47 on 1 July… why not have an extra piece of cake to celebrate the men and women who stand in the shadows, on the walls, and in those air-conditioned vaults to make sure we know more about the badguys than they know about themselves.
Always Out Front.
Feature image courtesy of the Defense Intelligence Agency.