Thomas R. Wilson

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Thomas R. Wilson
Vadm thomas r wilson.jpg
Vice Admiral Thomas R. Wilson
Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
July 1999 – July 2002
Born (1946-03-04) March 4, 1946 (age 73)
Columbus, Ohio
AllegianceFlag of the United States.svg  United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg United States Navy
Years of service1969-2002
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Vice Admiral
Commands heldDirector, Defense Intelligence Agency
Director of Intelligence, U.S. Atlantic Command
Battles/wars Cold war
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Distinguished Service Medal (Navy)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3)
National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal
Director of Central Intelligence Director's Award

Thomas Ray Wilson (born March 4, 1946) is a retired United States Navy vice admiral. He previously served as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from July 1999 to July 2002.



Vice Admiral Thomas R. Wilson, USN was the 13th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Other flag rank assignments included Director of Intelligence (J2), The Joint Staff; Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support, Central Intelligence Agency; Vice Director of Intelligence, The Joint Staff; and Director of Intelligence, United States Atlantic Command. Following retirement from the Navy in 2002, he served in several senior executive roles for Alliant Techsystems, Inc. (ATK): President of ATK Missile Systems, Corporate Senior Vice President and President of ATK Precision Systems Group, and ATK Senior Vice President for Tidewater Operations, retiring from ATK in 2009.

Central Intelligence Agency National intelligence agency of the United States

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the United States Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States.

United States Atlantic Command was a Unified Combatant Command of the United States Department of Defense. In 1999, U.S. Atlantic Command was renamed and given a new mission as United States Joint Forces Command.

Alliant Techsystems American industrial company

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) was an American aerospace, defense, and sporting goods company with its headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia, in the United States. The company operated in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and other countries. ATK's revenue in the 2014 fiscal year was about US$4.78 billion.

Vice Admiral Wilson and his wife, Ann, have three sons: Jeffrey, Gregory, and Matthew.

Early life

Thomas Ray Wilson was born on March 4, 1946 in Columbus, Ohio, and raised in the small community of Groveport, Ohio. As a youth he spent much time working on family farms, acquiring a lifelong interest in agriculture and rural life in America. He graduated from Groveport Madison High School in 1964, where he was active in sports, band, and other school activities as well as the Boy Scouts of America and the Groveport Methodist Church. He is a member of the Groveport Madison High School Alumni Hall of Fame. [1]

Columbus, Ohio Capital of Ohio

Columbus is the state capital and the largest city of and the most populous city in the U.S. State of Ohio. With a population of 892,533 as of 2018 estimates, it is the 14th-most populous city in the United States and one of the fastest growing large cities in the nation. This makes Columbus the third-most populous state capital in the US and the second-most populous city in the Midwest. It is the core city of the Columbus, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses ten counties. With a population of 2,078,725, it is Ohio's second-largest metropolitan area.

Groveport, Ohio City in Ohio, United States

Groveport is a city in Franklin County, Ohio, United States. It is a suburb of Columbus. The population was 5,363 at the 2010 census.

Boy Scouts of America Scouting organization in the United States

The Boy Scouts of America is the largest scouting organization and one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with about 2.3 million youth participants and about one million adult volunteers. The BSA was founded in 1910, and since then, about 110 million Americans participated in BSA programs at some time in their lives. BSA is part of the international Scout Movement and became a founding member organization of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922.

Education and training

Wilson entered Ohio State University in 1964, and in 1968 graduated with a B.S. in agriculture with concentrations in agricultural economics and rural sociology. He entered Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, in October 1968 and was commissioned an Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserve in March 1969. Wilson was a distinguished graduate of the Defense Intelligence College in 1975, and was a member of the Defense Intelligence College class that participated in the pilot program leading to the college being able to grant a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence Degree. Other Military training included Communications Officer Ashore Course at Newport, RI in 1969; Targeting and mission planning at Nuclear Weapons Training Group Atlantic, in Norfolk, VA in 1980; and Flag and General Officer CAPSTONE Training in 1995. In 1978, while stationed in Keflavik, Iceland, he earned a Master's degree in Management and Human Relations from Webster University of St. Louis, MO.

Ohio State University public research university in Columbus, Ohio, United States

The Ohio State University, commonly referred to as Ohio State or OSU, is a large public research university in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1870 as a land-grant university and the ninth university in Ohio with the Morrill Act of 1862, the university was originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College (Mech). The college began with a focus on training students in various agricultural and mechanical disciplines but it developed into a comprehensive university under the direction of then-Governor Rutherford B. Hayes, and in 1878 the Ohio General Assembly passed a law changing the name to "The Ohio State University". It has since grown into the third-largest university campus in the United States. Along with its main campus in Columbus, Ohio State also operates regional campuses in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and Wooster.

Agriculture Cultivation of plants and animals to provide useful products

Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first.

Agricultural economics is an applied field of economics concerned with the application of economic theory in optimizing the production and distribution of food and fiber. Agricultural economics began as a branch of economics that specifically dealt with land usage, it focused on maximizing the crop yield while maintaining a good soil ecosystem. Throughout the 20th century the discipline expanded and the current scope of the discipline is much broader. Agricultural economics today includes a variety of applied areas, having considerable overlap with conventional economics. Agricultural economists have made substantial contributions to research in economics, econometrics, development economics, and environmental economics. Agricultural economics influences food policy, agricultural policy, and environmental policy.


Vice Admiral Thomas R. Wilson commenced active naval service on 26 October 1968 when he entered Navy Officer Candidate School at Newport, RI. He was commissioned an Ensign, USNR, on 14 March 1969 and was assigned to the Intelligence Division (J2) of the United States Taiwan Defense Command (USTDC) in Taipei, Taiwan in April 1969. Wilson served for two years as an Indications and Warning center watch officer, intelligence analyst, and command briefer at USTDC, a joint military command charged with planning for the defense of Taiwan. In March, 1970 he was promoted to Lieutenant (Junior Grade), USNR.

Taiwan Country in East Asia

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The island of Taiwan has an area of 35,808 square kilometres (13,826 sq mi), with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanised population is concentrated. Taipei is the capital and largest metropolitan area. Other major cities include Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan and Taoyuan. With 23.5 million inhabitants, Taiwan is among the most densely populated states, and is the most populous state and largest economy that is not a member of the United Nations (UN).

Lieutenant (junior grade) Junior commissioned officer rank in the United States

Lieutenant , commonly abbreviated as LTJG or, historically, Lt. (j.g.), is a junior commissioned officer rank of the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps. LTJG has a US military pay grade of O-2, and a NATO rank code of OF-1a. The rank is also used in the United States Maritime Service. The NOAA Corps's predecessors, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps (1917–1965) and the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps or ESSA Corps (1965–1970), also used the rank.

In May 1971 LTJG Wilson was transferred to the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC, serving virtually his entire tour there as an intelligence analyst in the current intelligence division (DI) supporting The Joint Staff. A People's Republic of China (PRC) air and missile analyst, he participated in national level current and crisis analyses of the Sino-Soviet border mobilizations, Chinese strategic bomber and missile development and deployment, and the 1974 Paracel Island conflict between the PRC and Vietnam. During this tour of duty, Wilson was promoted to Lieutenant, augmented into the regular Navy, and changed his designator from reserve unrestricted line (1105) to special duty intelligence (1630).

Defense Intelligence Agency United States federal agency

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), an external intelligence service of the United States federal government, specializes in defense and military intelligence.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city, located on the Potomac River bordering Maryland and Virginia, is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Intelligence analysis is the application of individual and collective cognitive methods to weigh data and test hypotheses within a secret socio-cultural context. The descriptions are drawn from what may only be available in the form of deliberately deceptive information; the analyst must correlate the similarities among deceptions and extract a common truth. Although its practice is found in its purest form inside national intelligence agencies, its methods are also applicable in fields such as business intelligence or competitive intelligence.

Following graduation from the Defense Intelligence College in May 1975 LT Wilson transferred to USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) home-ported in San Diego, CA. He served as the Division Officer for the ship's Intelligence Division and as the Multi-Sensor Interpretation (MSI) Officer in the ship's Integrated Operational Intelligence Center (IOIC) during a six-month deployment to the western Pacific Ocean in 1975. KITTY HAWK changed home ports from San Diego to Bremerton, WA, in March 1976 where the ship underwent a one-year overhaul, during which LT Wilson managed the ship's force rehabilitation of all intelligence division working and berthing spaces.

From June 1977-June 1979 then LT Wilson served at U.S. Naval Station Keflavik, Iceland, where he was the operational intelligence officer at the Commander Iceland Sector Antisubmarine Warfare Group (COMICEASWGRU) in the Antisubmarine Warfare Operations Center (ASWOC) Promoted to Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) during this tour he supported antisubmarine warfare (ASW), airborne surveillance, and intelligence collection operations by P-3 patrol squadrons and special purpose surveillance aircraft and ships of the Atlantic Fleet and by patrol aircraft from a variety of NATO nations. This period of time was at the height of the "Cold War", a period of extraordinary growth of the Soviet Navy, and characterized by unprecedented levels of Soviet submarine, surface ship, and naval aircraft deployments into the Norwegian Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

From July 1979 - June 1981 LCDR Wilson served as the senior intelligence officer for Carrier Air Wing THREE, stationed at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida. Carrier Air Wing THREE embarked on USS SARATOGA (CV-60) for pre-deployment training in 1979 and made a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean in 1980, where major operations included air-to-air missile exercises demonstrating freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Sidra.

From June 1981 – June 1984 LCDR Wilson was assigned as Force Intelligence Officer for Commander Patrol Wings Atlantic (COMPATWINGSLANT) at Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine. As the senior intelligence officer in the patrol force, he directed the intelligence planning and support for two patrol wings consisting of twelve P-3 Orion squadrons and one Special Projects Unit. LCDR Wilson was promoted to Commander (CDR) during this tour.

From July 1984 – June 1987 CDR Wilson served in Naples, Italy, where he was assigned as Commander, Task Group 168.3 and Officer-in-Charge of the U.S. Navy's European Forward Area Support Team (EURFAST). A field command of Commander Naval Intelligence Command that reported operationally to the Commander U.S. SIXTH Fleet, CTG 168.3/EURFAST was responsible for intelligence collection and direct support operations for SIXTH Fleet ships, submarines, and squadrons operating in the Mediterranean, including the deployment on ships and submarines of command Intelligence Specialists and Sonar Technicians (Acoustic Intelligence Specialists). In addition to these direct support operations, CTG 168.3/EURFAST operated an Acoustic Intelligence (ACINT) Analysis laboratory and supervised numerous bilateral intelligence agreements with allied European Navies. During this period of time, CDR Wilson was "dual-hatted" as Commander Task Unit 168.4.2, a Human Intelligence (HUMINT) organization supporting operational and administrative U.S. Navy commands in Southern Europe.

From July 1987 - June 1989 CDR Wilson served as Director, Fleet Intelligence (N2) for Commander U.S. SEVENTH Fleet embarked in USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC-19) home-ported at Naval Station, Yokosuka, Japan. In this role, CDR Wilson directed intelligence support operations for all U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Forces home-ported in or deployed to the Seventh Fleet Area of Operations in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, including Carrier Strike Groups, Amphibious Ready Groups, the Submarine Force, and Patrol Wing. During this period of time the Seventh Fleet intelligence team developed and experimented with the concept of "OSIS (Ocean Surveillance Information System) Afloat," which was the temporary assumption by Seventh Fleet on USS BLUE RIDGE of fleet intelligence support operations normally performed by Fleet Ocean Surveillance Information Facility Western Pacific (FOSIF WESTPAC) in Kamiseya, Japan. Commander SEVENTH Fleet conducted extensive deployments throughout the Western Pacific, including an historic port visit to Shanghai, China - - the first since World War II. CDR Wilson was promoted to Captain, USN during his tour of duty as SEVENTH Fleet N2.

Returning to the United States for duty after five years overseas, CAPT Wilson reported to the Navy Staff at the Pentagon in July 1989 where he assumed duties as Special Assistant for Intelligence and Special Access Programs (SAPs) for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Naval Warfare Requirements (OP-07). In this position Captain Wilson coordinated the preparation of the Director of Naval Warfare for Special Program Review Group (SPRG) deliberations and decisions on the degree to which intelligence and highly classified developmental operational programs actually satisfied validated naval warfare requirements. This period of time included the run up to and conduct of Desert Storm combat operations against Iraq, during which Captain Wilson synchronized the transition of select high impact Special Access Programs from the later stages of development into highly successful early operational use in Desert Storm combat operations.

In early 1991 Captain Wilson transferred to Norfolk, VA, where he assumed duties as Director of Intelligence (N-2) for the Atlantic Fleet. In this role he had responsibility for direction and oversight of intelligence training and deployment preparation for Atlantic Fleet carrier battle groups (including carrier air wings), amphibious ready groups, submarines, and maritime patrol aviation squadrons. He also had overall responsibility for the Norfolk-based naval intelligence commands that supported Atlantic Fleet operations - - Fleet Ocean Surveillance Center Atlantic (FOSICLANT) and Fleet Intelligence Center Europe and Atlantic (FICEURLANT). In 1991-92, as the impact of the end of the Cold War manifested itself in vastly reduced Russian (as opposed to Soviet) naval operations and submarine deployments into the Atlantic and Mediterranean, new, different requirements for the fleet became increasingly challenging, e.g. counterdrug surveillance and interdiction operations. As a result, CAPT Wilson developed the concept and initiated the proposal to convert some of the Navy’s ocean surveillance ships (T-AGOS) operated by the Military Sealift Command to counterdrug platforms and to do the same for some of the P-3 maritime patrol aircraft of the Atlantic Fleet. Under his leadership three STALWART class T-AGOS ships were modified for a drug interdiction mission. The underwater acoustic arrays were removed, and air-search radars, integrated display systems, sophisticated communications suites and other special mission equipment were installed to detect and monitor suspected drug traffickers. Counterdrug Upgrade P-3 aircraft were also modified during this period of time, to include communications upgrades and the addition of air-to-air radar systems to track and identify potential drug-smuggling aircraft. An additional, and hugely important, responsibility during this period of time was capturing and evaluating all of the intelligence "lessons-learned" from Atlantic Fleet Carrier Battle Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups that were returning from combat operations during and in the immediate aftermath of Operation Desert Storm. Atlantic Fleet Intelligence staffs and commands employed a highly disciplined process during this undertaking to identify and submit to the Chief of Naval Operations and Atlantic Command the recommendations that ultimately signaled the way toward significantly improved fleet operational intelligence support.

In May 1992 at the recommendation of the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Command (USCINCLANT), CAPT Wilson was nominated for the flag-rank billet of USCINCLANT Director of Intelligence, J-2. He was subsequently chosen for that assignment and later that year selected by the Navy for promotion to Rear Admiral (Lower Half). RDML Wilson served as the CINCLANT J2 until November 1994, a period of time that was highlighted by the interdiction of unprecedentedly large Haitian and Cuban refugee boat flotillas toward United States territorial waters and the construction and occupation of equally unprecedented refugee camps in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; training for, deployment and execution of a USCINCLANT-led military intervention in Haiti; the implementation of many of the Desert Storm "lessons-learned" for enhanced electronic intelligence dissemination to operating forces; the transfer of most "echelon-above-corps" intelligence support resources from the military services to the combatant commands; and the transition of the United States Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) mission from the near-total focus on its geographic area of responsibility to equal focus on joint force packaging, doctrine and training. This resulted in significant intelligence re-alignments and focus, as well the command being known as USACOM vs. USLANTCOM. Under Wilson's leadership, USCINCLANT Intelligence conducted development and initial operational use of new intelligence dissemination and communications capability, along with the creation of the initial Joint Tactics Techniques and Procedures (TTP) documents that governed their introduction into current operations. These capabilities included Atlantic Command versions of what would eventually become the widely distributed Joint Deployable Intelligence Support System (JDISS) and Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communication System (JWICS). Both of these Atlantic Command-developed systems were used to provide intelligence support to operational forces engaged in the Haiti intervention in 1994. In what was to become standard operating procedure later in the 90's and throughout the first decade of the 2000s, the Haiti intervention featured the first use of JWICS in a command and control function, including regular JWICS teleconferences between the President, Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, USCINCLANT and all of his component commanders (Forces Command, Air Combat Command, CINCLANTFLT, and COMARFORLANT), and operational commanders Haiti JTF Commander/18th Airborne Corps Commander/US SECOND Fleet Commander (all co-embarked on USS MOUNT WHITNEY), 10TH Mountain Division (embarked on USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER), JSOC (embarked on USS AMERICA), embarked Marine Amphibious forces, and Commander Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay.

From November 1994 - September 1997 RDML Wilson was assigned as Vice Director for Intelligence (VJ2), The Joint Staff in the Pentagon. In his responsibility as the J-2's principal deputy, he played a significant role in helping provide current and crisis intelligence support to senior civilian and uniformed military leadership in the Department of Defense. This support included providing daily intelligence briefings to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), Assistant Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (ACJCS), and the following additional Joint Staff flag and general officers: Director and Vice Director Strategy and Plans (J-5), Vice Director (VDJS), and Vice Director for Operations (VJ3). He also conducted the daily intelligence briefing for the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (USDP) and his entire staff. During this period of time, the U.S. military continued to be engaged in crisis operations around the world, including Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, conduct of Operation Northern and Southern Watch in Iraq, and United Nation Peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to his current and crisis intelligence support responsibilities, RDML Wilson led the Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Joint Warfighting Capability Assessment (ISRJWCA) as a part of the newly established Joint Warfighting Capability Assessment process sponsored by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) chaired by the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS) and consisting of the Vice Chiefs of each of the military services. The ISRJWCA team, which consisted of representatives from the Joint Staff, all military services and all combat support intelligence agencies, conducted landmark analysis on the ISR requirements necessary to achieve "dominant battlespace awareness" over a range of contingency-type operational scenarios. It is out of this continuing analysis, which was briefed twice a year during JROC trips to each of the Unified Commands, that the identification and measurement of the contributions of various types of intelligence disciplines and platforms (satellite, manned aircraft, and UAV's) was determined. An optimal mix of these platforms, along with an essential commitment to reserve funding for adequate tasking, processing, exploitation, and dissemination (TPED) investment, was the strong recommendation that resulted from the ISR JWCA studies and was adopted by the JROC. The major contributions of UAV's with multiple sensor packages in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and the Global War on Terrorism are considered validations of the ISR assessment work done in the mid-1990s.

In September 1997 RDML Wilson commenced a short tour of duty at the Central Intelligence Agency where he served as the Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support. In addition to coordinating intelligence support operations between the Central Intelligence Agency and United States Military Combatant Commands, RDML Wilson served as the DCI representative to the Military Intelligence Board, regularly supported the DCI at the Principals' Committee meetings of the National Security Council, and frequently represented the DCI at the Deputies' Committee meetings of the same organization. He was promoted the Rear Admiral (upper half) during this tour of duty.

In March 1998, at the recommendation of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and with the concurrence of the Secretary of Defense, RADM Wilson was assigned as the Joint Staff Director of Intelligence, J-2, a [Defense%20Intelligence%20Agency%20(DIA) Defense Intelligence Agency] billet operationally allocated to the Joint Staff. The J2 concurrently serves as the Defense Intelligence Agency's Director of Current Intelligence Operations and is responsible for the operation of the National Military Joint Intelligence Center (NMJIC) which is collocated with the National Military Command Center. The Joint Staff J2 is charged with leading and directing current and crisis intelligence support for the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and managing intelligence support for contingency operations, including targeting and battle damage assessment responsibilities, with the combatant commands. The Joint Staff was almost continually engaged in high paced contingency operations during RADM Wilson's time as J2 in 1998-99: Daily No Fly Zone enforcement over Iraq, the conduct of a four-day strike campaign (Operation Desert Fox) against Iraq in December 1998, and the escalating crisis in Kosovo culminating in a 78-day NATO bombing campaign (Operation Allied Force) led by the U.S. against the former Yugoslavia from 24 March – 11 June 1999. Terrorism against the United States also escalated significantly during this period of time when Al Qaida operatives in Kenya and Tanzania conducted suicide bombing attacks against United States embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam on 7 August 1998. This resulted in strike operations conducted less than two weeks later by U.S. forces against Al Qaida targets in Afghanistan and Sudan. In addition to coordinating intelligence support both up and down the chain of command, the Joint Staff intelligence team was intricately engaged in the analysis, selection, targeting, and battle damage assessments (BDA) associated with the respective strike campaigns. RADM Wilson frequently provided targeting and BDA briefings to the President, his national security team, and relevant congressional committees. He also was one of the primary Pentagon spokesmen who regularly briefed the national press corps on ongoing strike operations and BDA.

In May 1999 Thomas R. Wilson was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate for promotion to Vice Admiral and appointment as the 13th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He assumed that post on 27 July 1999, relieving Lieutenant General Patrick M. Hughes, US Army. As DIA Director VADM Wilson also served as the Chairman of the Military Intelligence Board (MIB) consisting of the military service intelligence chiefs, the combatant command directors of intelligence, and the directors of the intelligence community's designated combat support agencies - - the de facto Director of Military Intelligence. In this role he immediately convened the MIB in executive session and encouraged the senior leaders to work together to identify the four or five most pressing challenges facing the military intelligence community, assemble joint teams and leaders to put together plans and guide united efforts to address those challenges, and to conduct sustained campaigns aimed at solving intractable problems and implementing new doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures appropriate for the next century. The idea was to collectively narrow down the agenda to the agreed upon most pressing challenges, obtain military intelligence leadership "buy-in," and conduct a concentrated, sustained campaign to achieve success without getting diverted by the "here and now."

The priorities chosen by the MIB, which became known as "The Four Thrusts," were as follows:

  1. "Shape to Meet the Asymmetric Threat" - - essentially making the unequivocal statement that intelligence plans and capabilities driven by "Cold War" priorities and doctrine would not suffice for the future and committing to develop new, more appropriate capabilities and tactics, techniques and procedures for the new emerging challenges.
  2. "Attack the Data Base Problem" - - an unambiguous recognition by the MIB that the constant diversion of resources away from focused data base work toward current and crisis intelligence commitments was undermining the "life blood" of biographic and facilities intelligence, including targeting support and validated "no-strike" lists.
  3. "Achieve Integration and Interoperability" - - a stated awareness by the MIB that the proliferation of different information technology systems with non-standard formats and protocols, both inside the intelligence community and among its customer communities, was significantly hindering the capability to provide first rate intelligence support in an efficient and effective manner.
  4. "Revitalize and Reshape the Work Force" - - a salient acknowledgement by the MIB that, to meet the challenges laid out in the "Four Thrusts Agenda," one of those "thrusts" had to be a commitment to improving and making far more flexible the human resources system that was employed to identify skill set requirements, find and recruit, hire, train and educate, incentivize, and compensate the people needed to meet the challenges of the future.

The agenda identified by the MIB, which was the unrelenting focus of military intelligence system improvement during Vice Admiral Wilson's time at DIA, proved to be a prescient set of priorities as the intelligence community was thrust into a new set of realities that were precisely aligned with the "Four Thrusts:" The expanding asymmetric threat of terrorism leading up to and exploding with the attacks of 9/11, the vital importance of accurate and complete data bases as military operations associated with the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) emerged, the absolute reliance of tactical forces on timely and interoperable data delivered electronically on integrated operational systems, and the need to expand and improve the personnel resources of the military intelligence community to respond to dramatic new challenges in the post-9/11 environment.

While the "Four Thrusts" were an elected area of concentration of DIA and the military intelligence community, the brazen and barbaric attacks by our country's terrorist enemies plunged the entire military intelligence team deep into a concentration on defending the country against terrorists and attacking this vicious enemy wherever and whenever possible. While the attacks of 11 September 2001 were the largest and most significant, they were preceded on 12 October 2000 by an Al Qaida suicide bombing of USS COLE (DDG 67) in the Yemeni port Aden, killing seventeen American sailors and injuring thirty-nine others. This bombing resulted in an accelerated shifting of intelligence resources to the terrorism crisis that had begun after the African embassy bombings in 1998.

The attacks of 11 September 2001 thrust DIA into the war on terrorism in a personal, emotional, and unanticipated way as seven DIA civilian employees were killed and eight more (seven civilian and one military) DIA personnel were wounded when a hijacked American Airlines Boeing 757 was crashed into the Pentagon. The immediate aftermath of this tragedy was for the agency a painful and demanding period of time as DIA's workforce did everything possible for the families of the dead and cared for the wounded and their families. The agency simultaneously "spun up" operationally to take the battle to Al Qaida on a worldwide basis, beginning with the start of Operation Enduring Freedom strikes against Al Qaida and Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan on 7 October 2001.

While the continually expanding Global War on Terrorism was the central area of operational concentration for the balance of Admiral Wilson's tenure as DIA Director, additional significant and important issues were addressed aggressively, including a counterintelligence effort that resulted in the arrest of a Cuban spy inside DIA and intense focus on huge and dangerous military buildups on the India-Pakistan border following a militant attack on the Indian parliament on 13 Dec 2001. With regard to the latter issue, Admiral Wilson traveled to both countries in early 2002 for consultations with their military intelligence services aimed at explaining U.S. views of the dangers inherent in the buildups and chances for miscalculations that could potentially result in nuclear exchanges. Additionally, intense intelligence preparations for what was to eventually become Operation Iraqi Freedom began in 2002. A final issue of extraordinary importance – one that commanded VADM Wilson's personal attention and effort during his time as DIA Director – was the issue of LCDR Michael Scott Speicher who was shot down on the first night of Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and was the only military member not accounted for when that conflict was concluded. During this period of time DIA became the primary intelligence community organization leading efforts to learn the truth of this case, which was not finalized until his remains were recovered on 2 August 2009 and positively identified shortly thereafter.

Other notable events during the 1999-2002 period of Vice Admiral Wilson's DIA directorship include: successful Y2K preparations and transition into the year 2000, dedication of the Shelby Center for Missile and Space Intelligence at Huntsville, AL, the emergency landing of a U.S. Navy EP3 aircraft on China's Hainan Island, the historic visit of Vice President Cheney to DIA, and winning authorization for expansion of the Defense Intelligence Agency Headquarters at Bolling Air Force Base.

Vice Admiral Wilson was relieved as Director of DIA on 29 July 2002 by Vice Admiral Lowell (Jake) Jacoby, USN.

After retiring from the Navy in 2002, Vice Admiral Wilson joined Alliant Techsystems, Inc. (ATK) as President of ATK Missile Systems Company in Woodland Hills, California, and was elected a corporate Senior Vice President in August 2003. From 2003-2006 he served in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as President of ATK Precision Systems, a $600M business group specializing in design, development, demonstration and production of tank ammunition, precision-guided weapons, and defense electronics and force protection systems for the U.S. military and our allies. From 2006-2009 Vice Admiral Wilson was ATK's Senior Vice President for Tidewater Operations and Combatant Command Relations. In that position he led ATK's efforts at understanding and shaping near and long term military requirements emanating from the military commands in the Tidewater area, as well as the worldwide joint combatant commanders.

Vice Admiral Wilson is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Global Defense Technology and Systems, Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors of Global Integrated Security (U.S.), Meggitt Defense Systems, Inc, and Wilcoxon Research. Inc. He is past member of the National Defense Industrial Association Board of Trustees, The Ohio State University Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Defense Science Board's task force on intelligence, and a Director of National Intelligence task force on security.

Awards, decorations and badges

Admiral Wilson has received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (three awards), Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal (two awards), and Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (four awards), and Navy Overseas Service Ribbon (four awards).

Unit awards include the Joint Meritorious Unit Award with Oak Leaf Cluster and Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with two Bronze Stars.

Authorized badges include the Atlantic Command Badge, The Joint Staff Identification Badge, and the Defense Intelligence Agency Badge.

Vice Admiral Wilson has received the following awards from foreign countries: Republic of China (Taiwan) Service Ribbon, Czech Republic Order of the White Lion, and the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit.

Vice Admiral Wilson is also the recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Central Intelligence Agency Director’s Award, and the Defense Intelligence Agency Director's Award. In 2001 he received the NAACP’S Meritorious Service Award for his leadership of DIA's nationally recognized Diversity and Equal Opportunity programs.

U.S. military decorations
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Defense Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with 2 oak leaf clusters)
Navy Distinguished Service ribbon.svg Distinguished Service Medal (U.S. Navy)
US Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Superior Service Medal
1 golden star.svg
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg
Legion of Merit (with gold star)
1 golden star.svg
Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg
Meritorious Service Medal (with gold star)
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg
Joint Service Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
1 golden star.svg
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation ribbon.svg
Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with award star)
Battle Effectiveness Award ribbon, 1st award.svg Navy "E" Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
National Defense Service Medal (with bronze star)
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.svg Bronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.png Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (with 3 bronze stars)
Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon.svg Bronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.png Navy-Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon (with 3 bronze stars)
Noribbon.svg Republic of China (Taiwan) Service ribbon
Order of the White Lion.svg Czech Order of the White Lion (degree unknown)
Den kongelige norske fortjenstorden.svg Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (degree unknown)
Unit awards
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Joint Meritorious Unit Award-3d.svg
Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with oak leaf cluster)
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Bronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.png Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (with 2 bronze stars)
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Seal of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).png Defense Intelligence Agency Badge
United States Atlantic Command Badge
National non-military awards
NIDRib.gif National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal
Director of Central Intelligence Director's Award
DIA award
Dir DIA Award.JPG Defense Intelligence Agency Directors Award

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Chief of Naval Operations statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the United States Navy

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Joint Chiefs of Staff Body of senior uniformed leaders in the U. S. Department of Defense which advises the President on military matters

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense which advises the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council and the National Security Council on military matters. The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by statute and consists of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), the Military Service Chiefs from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, all appointed by the President following Senate confirmation. Each of the individual Military Service Chiefs, outside their Joint Chiefs of Staff obligations, works directly for the Secretary of the Military Department concerned, i.e., Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force.

United States Fleet Forces Command

The United States Fleet Forces Command (USFF) is a service component command of the United States Navy that provides naval forces to a wide variety of U.S. forces. The naval resources may be allocated to Combatant Commanders such as United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) under the authority of the Secretary of Defense. Originally formed as United States Atlantic Fleet (USLANTFLT) in 1906, it has been an integral part of the defense of the United States of America since the early 20th century. In 2002, the Fleet comprised over 118,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel serving on 186 ships and in 1,300 aircraft, with an area of responsibility ranging over most of the Atlantic Ocean from the North Pole to the South Pole, the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the waters of the Pacific Ocean along the coasts of Central and South America. The command is based at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads in Norfolk, Virginia and is the navy's service component to U.S. Northern Command and is a supporting command under the U.S. Strategic Command.

United States Second Fleet

The United States Second Fleet is a numbered fleet in the United States Navy responsible for the East Coast and North Atlantic Ocean. The Fleet was established following World War II. In September 2011, Second Fleet was deactivated in view of the United States Government's perception that the potential military threat posed by Russia had diminished. On 4 May 2018, Admiral John M. Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, announced plans to reestablish Second Fleet amid heightened tensions between NATO and Russia. It was reestablished on 24 August 2018, with Vice Admiral Andrew “Woody” Lewis in command.

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