Posts Tagged ‘Defense Intelligence Agency’

tumblr_lwjey98RlV1qz9qooo1_1280_thumbHuzzah! The ban barring women from combat positions has been lifted! This is a good thing, especially considering that women have served on the front lines in unofficial combat and intelligence positions for over a decade now, but in the immortal words a one Eddie Izzard: “Ein minuten bitte…”

The story is that in the same week that Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, ended his tenure by lifting the ban preventing women from serving on the front lines if they are qualified to do so, an employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency celebrated this progress in equality by presenting a briefing about “How to Dress for Success”. Now this is a perfectly acceptable presentation if it suggests sensible shoes, clothes that travel easily, and how to adjust a flak jacket to accommodate female anatomy, but – sigh – such was not the case. Invaluable bon mots such as suggesting makeup, high heels, and color! seem to be the message of the day, which is all fine and good if that day were in the 1960s, but apparently the DIA is a little slow on the upswing.

In a time where women are finally being realized as the proverbial smart-bombs that they are, it seems it is still not enough to be competent and smart if you are not first and foremost a sex bomb. The worst part of this whole debacle is that this nonsense is coming from a woman, which further goes to show that women are equally capable of not only firing a weapon, but firing said weapon into their own feet, thus proving, that at the end of the day, women are their own worst enemies.

To its credit, the DIA officially announced their “regret” over the briefing, clarifying that it was “unapproved” with the Director Lt. Gen Michael Flynn going as far as calling it ” highly offensive”.

So at least there is that…

If I were a praying girl, I would be screaming “Amen and Hallelujah” from the rooftops today over the confirmation of Letitia Long as the new Director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. But since I am not, let’s just discuss Long instead.

But if I may, can I comment on the fact that there are 16 Intelligence agencies in this country and we are only just now appointing a woman as the head of one? Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased as punch, but it’s still akin to waking up today and feeling like it’s 1990 and not 2010. Baby, you’ve come a long way, but not long enough…

So who is Letitia Long? She is a longtime Navy-civilian professional entering the trade in 1978, where she worked in project engineering in the area of submarine acoustics, and climbed the ranks to join the Office of Naval Intelligence where she managed R & D programs.

From there, Long performed a dizzying rotation in the Senior Intelligence Executive Service while also serving as Director of Resource Management for the Office of Naval Intelligence in 1994. She then completed a hat trick by joining the Defense Intelligence Agency during this time where she eventually became the Deputy Director of Information Systems and Services in 1996.

Can you say “dayamm”? I’m tired just typing all of that.

Please let this be a lesson to everyone out there who is stuck in the belief that Intelligence revolves around poli-sci, history, and computer science. Long is a trained engineer. And let’s think about that: it involves design (establishing a requirement and refining it); building (collection, exploitation); testing (production), roll-out (dissemination); and checking (feedback when it’s given).

Engineers work in teams; they are often great collaborators. They require project engineers to manage them; someone to juggle the pieces and keep in mind the bigger picture. They require communication skills to dumb-down the technical terms for non-engineers (read: clients). And most importantly, they require sound, logical thinking lest the whole contraption falls apart.

A person who can accomplish honing all of those skills is a golden egg and it looks like NGA just got theirs.