GOLDEN CANDLE AWARD: CONGRESSMAN ROB SIMMONS (R-CT-02)
IOP '06. To Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT-02), who, as a pioneer in the 1990’s, won his first Golden Candle as a Lieutenant Colonel commanding an open source unit, later officially recognized as the “Best Small Unit in the US Army Reserve. As a Congressman, elected in 2000, he has been diligent and faithful to the Republic in pressing for open source intelligence (OSINT) reform across both the defense and the homeland security communities. There is no more influential champion for public intelligence and open source information exploitation serving the U.S. Government today.
Below is the paper Rob Simmons, as gentle and intelligent a Member as we have ever encountered, wrote in 1995 as a Major in the Post Graduate Intelligence Program.
General Al Gray, USMC, then Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) created the Marine Corps Intelligence Center (MCIC) at the same time that he created the Marine Corps University (MCU). He was guided by the reality that the larger serices–the Army, Navy, and Air Force–devoted all of their attention to trainng, equipping, and organizing for “Big War” against the Soviet Union and China. He also recognized that there were many strategic assumptions in the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS), including the assumption, by the large services, that they would have lead times for deploying and employing forces abroad.
The Marine Corps Intelligence Center (MCIC), today a Command, broke new ground, but failed to achieve traction despite strong support from the mid-career professionals. For example, the Marine COrps submission won the Joint National Intelligence Development Staff (JNIDS) competition one year with its proposal for a generic all-source analytic workstation, but they were over-ruled by a Navy Admiral who ordered them to do an anti-submarine problem instead. It is that lack of integrity that has incapacitated the intelligence and defense communities–both the Admiral who abused his position, and the JNIDS staff who allowed him to do so, lacked the kind of integrity that the Constitution calls for among its civilian and uniformed servants to the public interest.