Int Corps Selection

Of course, the need to state those maxims highlights that what actually happens is precisely the opposite. You don't need to tell people to do the things they already do. I'd suggest a similar principle applies to Integrity and the Int Corps, certainly for field grade officers and above.
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Always made me chuckle "integrity is non-negotiable" was plastered everywhere when I was in the Met.

Did wonder what that said about the place? Mind you, I had mates in the Department of Professional Standards and even they said that the department mainly couldn't find its own arse with both hands and a mirror.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
One of the useful maxims my own little peer group in the Corps - and adjacent cap badge - used to live by was that 'we don't lie to each other or to the customer'. That ran, generally, from LE Major to Lance Corporal.

This could lead to some difficult conversations, sometimes, especially with people outside that cohort, when, for example, a staff officer or someone external, but inside the operational hierarchy, wished for a particular line of analysis or reporting to strengthen or confirm a particular Bright Idea they'd had.

This sometimes meant that reporting seemed vague and unhelpful when customers didn't know or appreciate the difference between 'probably' and 'possibly' and didn't get that a Comment was just that - a comment, not a statement of fact.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
One of the useful maxims my own little peer group in the Corps - and adjacent cap badge - used to live by was that 'we don't lie to each other or to the customer'. That ran, generally, from LE Major to Lance Corporal.
Admirable, but I'm afraid it doesn't run to DE Major or above in the modern Corps. Who tend to be the ones doing most of the talking.

That's not necessarily to say that Int Corps field-grade officers are substantially more sycophantic or less honest than a general sample of their non-J2 peers, but a) that isn't exactly a high bar, and b) it matters more when your intelligence function detaches from the concept of truth.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Admirable, but I'm afraid it doesn't run to DE Major or above in the modern Corps. Who tend to be the ones doing most of the talking.

That's not necessarily to say that Int Corps field-grade officers are substantially more sycophantic or less honest than a general sample of their non-J2 peers, but a) that isn't exactly a high bar, and b) it matters more when your intelligence function detaches from the concept of truth.
You'll note my specific exclusion of the DE contingent from my statement. That's always been the case, they're playing a bigger game for which the Army and the Intelligence Corps are just the bearer ecology.

Generally, in my old world, the DE community was largely on the customer side and the bizarre distortions and crazy theories tended to happen on that side of the fence and we'd only see the results in odd and fantasy-based draft IRs and ill-informed feedback on reporting.

Military customers were by far the worst to deal with and by far the most likely to build airy structures of aspirational nonsense in support of their next OJAR (annual confidential report, in my day).
 
'we don't lie to each other or to the customer'. ...

...This sometimes meant that reporting seemed vague and unhelpful when customers didn't know or appreciate the difference between 'probably' and 'possibly' and didn't get that a Comment was just that - a comment, not a statement of fact.
Indeed, and at times in Northern Ireland, particularly when the source of information was such that direct passage could compromise it, it could become morally stressful. The 'form of words' became a particular skill for liaison types like me who had to pass, and justify, sensitive information between organisations who were all highly sensitive to the idea that they were being conned/lied to/competed with by allied organisations. Usually, not-the-whole-truth sufficed, however sometimes, a black lie had to do, but knowing the history of the information helped to dull the pain.

On one occasion, and given Very Strict instruction that the plan to attack members of X Xxxx at a certain bar was not to be passed to them, but knowing that the off-duty toms were probably on their way there, and that due to the vagueness of the report there was a high probability of the attack succeeding, and a few other factors, my oppo said something like; 'f this, I'm going to tell them to stay clear', rather than passing through HQNI - Bde - Bn. He did just that, and may have saved many lives that night, without compromising the source, but certainly endangering his career.

Many years later, in a Middle Eastern city, I told this to the Bn's former AIO (he'd been at the bar that night), who wondered why my oppo hadn't been officially recognised for his action; the answer was simple, of course.

'Comment' was frequently a get-out clause, for a multiplicity of reasons. Usually it's a precis, of a summary, and opinion, and prejudice, of previous experience in the particular subject discussed, and shouldn't influence the receiver at all; but it's intended to by the commenter. 'Form of words' is key.
 

CRmeansCeilingReached

ADC
Moderator
On one occasion, and given Very Strict instruction that the plan to attack members of X Xxxx at a certain bar was not to be passed to them, but knowing that the off-duty toms were probably on their way there, and that due to the vagueness of the report there was a high probability of the attack succeeding, and a few other factors, my oppo said something like; 'f this, I'm going to tell them to stay clear', rather than passing through HQNI - Bde - Bn. He did just that, and may have saved many lives that night, without compromising the source, but certainly endangering his career.

Was told by a very reliable source that a similar attack of conscience occurred prior to the Derryards attack. Outcome would have been even worse, if not for an off-the-record Brent call to the KOSB.
 
Was told by a very reliable source that a similar attack of conscience occurred prior to the Derryards attack. Outcome would have been even worse, if not for an off-the-record Brent call to the KOSB.
I don't know anything about the Derryard attack, but in this case, there were a few other factors which he took into account before deciding, correctly as it turned out, to take action himself. Our job was to pass intelligence between the various agencies, units and headquarters, and frequently to act immediately - to save life when necessary - when the Int required immediate action, usually in the case of a UDR or resident unit individual or family, and we were usually successful (although not, unfortunately, always). He was the N Belfast fallguy while I was the W Belfast chump, but we worked as a team. Our principal aim was to save life whenever possible, by whatever means available. We were trusted to be impartial (we were accredited to SB, not Army) to the occasionally competing needs of Army/Police/Other agencies, but as the liaison bods, had the information ASP and passed it ASP ("...in time for it to be of use..."). He made a judgement, and it was the correct one.

Many others at the Green Hut and elsewhere have found themselves in similar positions, then and since, I'm sure; and in this particular one, he disobeyed specific orders, knowing that the operational outcome was possibly subject to a personal or inter-agency bias. Note the Form of Words there.
 
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Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
'Comment' was frequently a get-out clause, for a multiplicity of reasons. Usually it's a precis, of a summary, and opinion, and prejudice, of previous experience in the particular subject discussed, and shouldn't influence the receiver at all; but it's intended to by the commenter. 'Form of words' is key.
Tearlines suffered from the same massive gaps between the actual report and the tearline, quite often which totally negated the meaning or utility of the report.

I'd take a different lesson though. Form of words isn't key. Any system which relies on either the (usually non-existent) writing skill of the analyst, or the ability of the (usually busy and unskilled) customer to interpret deliberately cryptic meanings to divine accurate information, is a system that doesn't work and needs changing.
 
Tearlines suffered from the same massive gaps between the actual report and the tearline, quite often which totally negated the meaning or utility of the report.

I'd take a different lesson though. Form of words isn't key. Any system which relies on either the (usually non-existent) writing skill of the analyst, or the ability of the (usually busy and unskilled) customer to interpret deliberately cryptic meanings to divine accurate information, is a system that doesn't work and needs changing.
There speaks a GSO3. The paragraph above refers to Comment, not content. Content must always be unambiguous, while Comment can be used to reinforce specific points in the content with the originator's opinions on the validity of the report. I'd also take issue with your views on the reasoning and communication skills of the parties at both ends of the chain, but that's for another occasion.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
There speaks a GSO3. The paragraph above refers to Comment, not content. Content must always be unambiguous, while Comment can be used to reinforce specific points in the content with the originator's opinions on the validity of the report. I'd also take issue with your views on the reasoning and communication skills of the parties at both ends of the chain, but that's for another occasion.
Except that:

1. Content is not always unambiguous.
2. Reasoning and communication skills were often insufficient to understand the content.
3. So some combination those three things wasn't working.

Also, never a GS03 (had they even existed, which they no longer did). My point was that tearlines, in particular, but also other sources were often neutered to the point of meaning something entirely different to the actual report.

But by all means continue to assert that the way things should have been done 30 years ago is necessarily informative about how things actually were done 10 years ago. Notice I don't come on here and tell you how HUMINT worked in NI.

New point: arrogance and ill-founded confidence often gets in the way of Int Corps types doing their job.
 
@devexwarrior


Don't bluff or make stuff up, never lie; and if you don't know, say I don't know - but I either know someone who does, or I will get back to you having found out.

That's what I was taught - short, sharp and succint and stood me in good stead over the years.
 
Except that:

1. Content is not always unambiguous.
2. Reasoning and communication skills were often insufficient to understand the content.
3. So some combination those three things wasn't working.

Also, never a GS03 (had they even existed, which they no longer did). My point was that tearlines, in particular, but also other sources were often neutered to the point of meaning something entirely different to the actual report.

But by all means continue to assert that the way things should have been done 30 years ago is necessarily informative about how things actually were done 10 years ago. Notice I don't come on here and tell you how HUMINT worked in NI.

New point: arrogance and ill-founded confidence often gets in the way of Int Corps types doing their job.
Yep, sure.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Yep, sure.
If you are going to post a hugely patronising ad hom in reply to a basically neutral comment I make, don't then get a sad on and posture that you are above it all when I reply in the same vein. Perhaps just don't be patronising to start with.
 

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