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Department of Homeland Security  
Strategic Intelligence Studies
Why Study Intelligence?

Understanding strategic intelligence is essential because these courses address the core requirements of an operational Coast Guard officer. 

The Coast Guard has assumed a key role in the collection, analysis and dissemination of maritime information and intelligence in the post-9/11 world.  As a formal member of the Intelligence Community (IC) and part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Coast Guard is responsible for ensuring relevant information is available to decision makers; this requires critical thinking skills and an understanding of the maritime domain. In the world beyond the Academy, Coast Guard officers must have the foundation for strategic, operational and tactical intelligence in order to effectively execute the various safety, security and national defense missions in the ever-changing national security environment. 

When considering a career in the Coast Guard, remember that strategic, operational and tactical intelligence experience can begin with attending a lecture by a distinguished professional in the IC or enrolling in courses designed to complement the studies across all Academy majors. This educational groundwork can then be applied toward a prestigious intelligence internship at a federal agency such as the CIA or National Security Agency. Beyond graduation, the opportunities for further study and an illustrious career working in the highest levels of government abound. 

History of Intelligence Development Program (IDP) at the CGA 

Discussions between the Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Intelligence and Criminal Investigations (CG-2) and the Coast Guard Academy (CGA) to establish an IDP to deliver intelligence education and training to cadets, officer candidates and students at the Leadership Development Center (LDC) was formalized in a landmark initiative 18 NOV 2005 with the dedication of the SIPRNet classroom by then CGA Superintendent RADM James C. Van Sice, and then CG-2 James F. Sloan. The agreement also allowed for two Coast Guard intelligence officers to be detailed to the CGA full time as liaisons to form the hub for all things intelligence related at the CGA, and for the first time establish a comprehensive effort to bring guest lecturers and intelligence learning support to the CGA from seasoned intelligence professionals of the entire national intelligence community (foreign, domestic and homeland); many from the highest levels of the community. 

This initiative directly relates to the May 2010 National Security Strategy which notes America's long term success will depend on students in higher learning who "can learn to think critically," and innovate, as well as the Director of National Intelligence's Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 610 that looks to academic institutions to provide higher learning to fulfill core competencies outlined in ICD 610 (notably critical thinking, communications, collaboration, leadership and ethics) as well as to inspire future leaders for possible service in intelligence. 

The Coast Guard Academy is the only U.S. service academy with a SIPRNet classroom dedicated to the study of intelligence. The Coast Guard Academy is also the only U.S. service academy with focused coursework and a continuum in Strategic Intelligence Studies. Strategic Intelligence Studies courses recently became an integral part of the newly established Security Studies Concentration in the Government Major in the Department of Humanities. 

Further information about the LDC is available at