Value and Handling of Prisoners in World War I

Published with Permission by:
Lori S. Tagg, Command Historian,
US Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, AZ.

“Prisoners or deserters constitute one of the most fruitful sources from which information of the enemy is obtained.”
Intelligence Regulations, American Expeditionary Forces, October 21, 1918

By the time of the Armistice ending World War I on November 11, 1918, the US held nearly 48,000 prisoners of war. The majority had been captured within the final months as the war moved out of the trenches.  The American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) G-2, Maj. (later Maj. Gen.) Dennis Nolan put much emphasis on the information obtained from enemy prisoners. After the war, he remarked, “[A prisoner] can, as a rule, tell you much more than a spy…who is trying to get around and find out about the enemy.  [A prisoner] knows and the other man is frequently guessing at it.”

In mid-October 1918, Capt. Ernst Howald (standing right), the lead interrogator for the 28th Division, Second US Army, used prisoner statements to construct a detailed template showing the enemy facing the division. After the war, his estimates were proven to be highly accurate.

As Nolan shaped his formal intelligence organization in the early months of American involvement, he recognized prisoners could be captured any time on any battlefield, and commanders at every echelon wanted to examine the prisoners they captured.  He also realized that, due to a lack of personnel and the high operating tempo, in-depth interrogations at lower echelons were not practicable or effectual.  Nolan developed a hierarchical system for the examination of prisoners at all echelons and outlined clear guidelines for handling prisoners in the 1918 Intelligence Regulations and Instructions for Regimental Intelligence Service. Those same guidelines were published in the Army’s first (provisional) Combat Intelligence Manual, also printed in 1918.

Nolan’s system started at the regiment.  The Regimental Intelligence Officer, typically a first lieutenant, determined the name, rank, and organization of any prisoners, as well as the time and place captured.  Prisoners were searched and then quickly transferred to division assembly points.  The division G-2 sections, led by a lieutenant colonel or major, conducted limited questioning, with the help of commissioned linguists from the Corps of Interpreters.  This questioning focused on necessary tactical information about the division sector to a depth of two miles behind the enemy front lines.

From the division, prisoners were transferred to the corps collecting centers, where more in-depth questioning began.  The number of prisoners, especially during offensive operations, often stressed the corps G-2 sections.  At those times, Army headquarters dispatched teams of four sergeants and one officer to augment the corps’ interrogation efforts.  During the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives in the fall of 1918, French interrogators also supplemented the US interrogators.

The corps intelligence sections found that simple and direct questioning, combined with kindness and courtesy, was the most effective method for eliciting information.  Many of the AEF’s interrogators had been lawyers in their civilian lives and could coax information out of the most recalcitrant prisoner.  Corps interrogators used a variety of other tactics to elicit information, as well.  One interrogator found that he could get prisoners to talk openly if he showed them aerial photographs with landmarks they recognized. The II Corps G-2, Col. “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, recruited a drafted German soldier, who had previously lived in the United States and yearned to return there, to “work the prisoner cages” and glean information from his fellow prisoners.  Additionally, US interpreters donned German uniforms and wandered the collection points to eavesdrop on prisoners bragging about intentionally misleading their interrogators.  This use of “stool pigeons” was common practice throughout the war.

The quality and veracity of the information varied with the rank of the prisoner.  Lt. Col. Walter Sweeney, who served in the AEF G-2 during the war, claimed that “noncommissioned officers were by far the best sources for gaining information” and “few of them resisted insistent interrogation.”  About 60 percent of officers “invoked military honor” and refused to cooperate.  A typical German soldier had little knowledge about the larger battlefield, but he provided details on his own unit, weapons, troop losses, and general morale.  Enemy soldiers from Poland, Denmark, the Alsace-Lorraine region and southern Germany were particularly cooperative.  Unquestionably, the most important information obtained from prisoners was enemy order of battle, but they also gave up their routes of movement; the position and condition of trenches, dugouts and wire entanglements; their capacity to attack; and how susceptible they were to being attacked.

Based on the preceding outline, it is clear that World War I was no different than any other war in US Army history: prisoners of war have always been proven and valued sources of intelligence.  However, formalizing and standardizing the process for handling and examining prisoners in the 1918 Intelligence Regulations and provisional manuals was one more step in modernizing US Army Intelligence.  While field manuals published in 1940 provided more details on accepted interrogation techniques, the system for prisoner-of-war handling Nolan developed for World War I continued, with minor changes, throughout the 20th century.

Scholarship Winner Naheed Vadsaria Publishes Book

Tajik Hope: Reflections on Engaging Women in Kapisa Province.
by Naheed Vadsaria

Naheed Vadsaria is currently an MBA Candidate at at Johns Hopkins University. She won the Lint Center’s ‘Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness’ Scholarship and wrote about how communication can be a difficult aspect of National Security for her essay submission. She was the Recipient of Non-Article 5 NATO Medal, Superior Civilian Service Award, and French Brigade Ministry of Defense and Veterans Commander Commendation Award. She also Co Authored an article on Brazil’s Silent Resolution: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/brazils-silent-revolution

She published an ebook titled: Tajik Hope: reflections on engaging women in Kapisa province. A short summary can be found below:

The ebook discusses her work and interactions with Tajik Women in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, while she worked as a Social Scientist with the Department of Army’s Human Terrain System in Afghanistan. As a Social Scientist, she was embedded with French Brigade Task Force Lafayette (TFLF). It was here where she conducted operationally relevant research and analysis on major socio-cultural issues affecting TFLF’s area of operations. She also worked with Provincial Reconstruction Team Kapisa’s ad hoc Female Engagement Teams and Kentucky Agricultural Development Team to identify and collaborate with local Women’s Shura (councils) and key female leaders residing in Nijrab District, Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.

The ebook Tajik Hope includes a series of case studies that can be used to broaden the lens of Coalition Forces’ (CF) perception and widen Western Audiences’ understanding of how women in Afghanistan might be understood and engaged. Although most interviews conducted throughout the case studies were conducted with ethnic Tajik women, this ebook is intended to serve as a sociocultural awareness tool to assist CF in understanding how they can respectfully interact with Afghan women, including key female leaders and Women Shura. The document provides key conclusions drawn from each case study. Throughout these case studies are Holy Qur’anic Surahs and Hadiths, which support Afghan women’s rights in accordance to Islam.

Here is a link to the ebook: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/2016/03/08/tajik-hope-reflections-on-engaging-women-in-kapisa-province-2/

New Operations Manager

It is with great pleasure that we can say that Amber Antony will become the new Operations Manager here at the Lint Center. Congratulations Amber!

Amber began at the Lint Center a little over two years ago as a volunteer/internship application screener and then moved on to screening scholarship applicants and eventually managing all of the scholarship screenings. She was then promoted to the Volunteer Coordinator position and then to HR Manager in 2016. While at the Lint Center she created the Lint Center Scholarship Screening Standard Operating Procedures, oversaw and assisted with the screening of over 100 volunteer applicants which assisted in increasing the size of the Lint Center’s volunteer base. In addition to this, During a contest to name a new scholarship given by a donor, her write up of great grandfather, Ira Dale Smith, Chief Petty Officer, US Navy (Ret.) was selected to have a scholarship named after him.

Thank you Amber for your service to the Lint Center and we appreciate all that you have done. We look forward to seeing you in this new position!

Thanks,
The Lint Center

A Memorial Day Message from The Lint Center

This Memorial Day, the Lint Center honors those American’s who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. Originally recognized at “Decoration Day,” this commemoration dates back to 1868 where people across the nation recognized the fallen from the Civil War. It’s original date of May 30th was chosen because it was not on the anniversary of any Civil War battle and was later moved to the last Monday of May to provide a three-day weekend for federal employees. Although many of us are fortunate enough to enjoy this long holiday weekend, let us not lose focus on what this day is about. Today is about taking the time to reflect and honor those heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our great nation. We must never forget them or their families.

United Airlines Incident Provides Management Case Studies for Business Schools

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R., “United Airlines Incident Provides Management Case Studies for Business Schools”, Online Career Tips, 14 Apr. 2017, Web, http://onlinecareertips.com/2017/04/united-airlines-management-case-studies/

By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for
 In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

Last Sunday, security officials dragged paying passenger Dr. David Dao off United Express Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky. As a result of his rough treatment, Dr. Dao was hospitalized. The incident, which passengers filmed on their smartphones, escalated into a public relations scandal for United Airlines.

By Tuesday, United’s stock fell 1.1%. This plunge wiped out $255 million of the airline’s market capitalization.

The market decline amounted to a major pay cut for United’s Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Munoz, based on his stock options and other future payments.

[Related: It’s Time to Improve Passenger Protection Laws for Overbooked Airlines]

United’s Handling of Situation Likely Caused Its Stock Decline

United’s handling of this incident is partially to blame for the stock decline. Munoz failed to promptly acknowledge the injuries Dao suffered and the stress to Dao and his wife caused by this incident.

Munoz also did not offer a sincere apology as a result of this incident at first. Instead, Munoz insisted that the security officers had followed proper United procedures. A few days later, Munoz finally issued a public apology.

In the meantime, Dr. Dao has hired two lawyers to proceed with lawsuits against United.

Solutions to the Practice of ‘Bumping’ on Aircraft

One solution for a company like United would be to offer better incentives. Perhaps the airline could increase the incentive to get off the plane from $1,000 to $2,000. MarketWatch reports “United’s revenues come to about $36 billion a year, or roughly $100 million a day.” Surely, United can afford to sweeten the pot when asking a passenger to take the next flight.

Another suggestion would be not to use law enforcement to remove passengers like Dr. Dao. What charges could officers have pressed? Trespassing would seem like one possibility. But airlines spend a lot of marketing money to fill seats. Telling a passenger that he is going to be removed because he is trespassing seems counterproductive to the goal of filling seats.

Management Lessons to Be Learned from United Airlines’ PR Disaster

While companies never publicly admit to mistakes for fear of lawsuits, Munoz’s initial statement violated a key element of leadership: Leaders take responsibility and fix the problem. Munoz’s numerous contradictory press statements is a case study of what management should not do in a crisis situation or how to make a complete mess of a public relations program. Public relations studies of United’s handling of the affair will go on for years.

Dao’s Treatment Could Also Impact United’s Future Markets in Asia

Dao’s claim that he was targeted for removal because he is Asian could adversely affect United’s business in Asia especially. Many future passengers have probably seen the video of this incident on social media, which could harm any plans United might have for expansion in Asia.

All in all, this was not a proud moment for the United States or for United Airlines.

United Airlines Has Provided an Excellent Management Case Study

As an instructor in the School of Business, I find this incident to be an excellent teaching event for students to discuss and learn from United’s mistakes. As sad as this case is, there are a plethora of lessons to be learned from Dr. Dao’s case, such as how good managers should act and how to properly manage a public relations crisis. These learning experiences are applicable for college freshmen as well as corporate chief executive officers.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 45th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book published in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017, Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”

Employees with Poor Grammar Affect Your Company Image

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R., “Employees with Poor Grammar Affect Your Company Image”, Online Career Tips, 31 Mar. 2017, Web, http://onlinecareertips.com/2017/03/employees-grammar-company-image/

By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for
 In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

I teach a Management 100 class at American Military University called Human Relations. In this class, we talk about some hiring actions and first impressions. In today’s computer-based world, that first impression of a person or company is often online.

Proper grammar shapes that first impression. We would never go to a job interview with our shoes untied. So why would people think poor grammar is not a faux pas, too?

Good Grammar Reveals Company Credibility and Employees’ Learning Capabilities

In my class, I share Kyle Wiens’ Harvard Business Review article, “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.”

Wiens is the CEO of iFixit, the world’s largest online repair manual publisher. He is also the founder of Dozuki, which helps companies write their own technical documentation such as paperless work instructions and step-by-step user manuals.

Wiens is a self-described grammar stickler who hires many writers and software code writers. Anyone applying for a job at one of his companies is required to take a grammar test.

“Good grammar is credibility, especially on the Internet. In blog posts, on Facebook, in emails, and on company websites, your words are all you have,” Wiens says. We represent our employers both on and off duty, he explains. When our social media is a grammatical disaster, it also reflects on the company owner who hired you.

Wiens makes an interesting point: If a 20-year-old person applies for a job and does not know how to use proper grammar, that person’s learning curve and capability make him or her a poor candidate for hiring.

Wiens believes everyone should have learned English grammar in 20 years. He will not hire even great programmers who cannot pass the grammar test. From experience, he has found that they will fail on other tasks, even simple tasks like stocking shelves and labeling parts.

A focus on grammar shows a focus on all tasks, he says.

Writing Well Also Makes A Difference in Hiring Success

I published a book this past January on getting a job in the federal government. Like Wiens, I too focused on the need to make a good first impression in an applicant’s resume. Writing well shows your capabilities and your dependability.

Writing is like learning a foreign language. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 45th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,and a new book in 2017 Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”

Ralph Van Deman and the Birth of Modern American Military Intelligence

Published with Permission by:
Lori S. Tagg, Command Historian,
US Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, AZ.

When the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, the US Army’s intelligence efforts were nearly non-existent.  Early attempts to gather information about foreign armies resulted in the creation of a Military Information Division in 1885.  In 1903, the division transferred from the Adjutant General’s Office to the Office of the Chief of Staff, where it became the Second Division of the General Staff.  However, by 1908, the Second Division had been absorbed by the Third (War College) Division, and the Army’s intelligence functions had been relegated to a committee.  Intelligence activities declined over the next several years due to insufficient personnel and appropriations as well as limited interest or understanding of its importance.  By early 1917, “personnel and appropriations were limited, the powers of the committee were narrow and its accomplishments, though valuable, were necessarily meager.  Such was the situation at the time war was declared.”  But change was coming.

In 1915, Major (later Major General) Ralph Van Deman arrived at the War College.  A native of Delaware, Ohio, he had attended both law and medical schools before accepting an infantry commission in 1891.  Over the next two decades, he gained valuable intelligence experience in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and China.  In Manila, Van Deman established an intelligence organization to conduct terrain analysis, mapping, and counterintelligence.  By the time he arrived at the War College, Van Deman was one of few career military intelligence officers in the Army.  He immediately grasped the implications of the United States’ lack of a military intelligence organization and resolved to reverse the situation.

Van Deman wrote numerous memoranda criticizing the ineffectual nature of the War College’s committee.  He stated, “To call a chair a table does not make it a table—it still remains a chair. And to call the personnel of the War College Division a Military Information Committee does not make it one” [emphasis in original].  His appeals for the creation of a competent organization were essentially ignored.  One week after the US declaration of war, Van Deman pled his case to Major General Hugh Scott, the Chief of Staff, who refused to consider the proposal on the grounds that it would only duplicate British and French efforts.

Persisting, Van Deman enlisted the aid of a female novelist and the Washington DC Chief of Police, both friends of Secretary of War Newton Baker.  Either because of or coincident to these outside interventions, Secretary Baker summoned Van Deman to his office on April 30, 1917, to explain the state of US military intelligence.  Just three days later, on May 3, the War College received an order to create an intelligence organization and detail an officer to “take up the work of military intelligence for the Army.”  Van Deman, of course, was the perfect choice to lead the newly established Military Intelligence Section (MIS).

The MIS experienced rapid growth throughout the war.  The Section was divided into a Positive Branch for intelligence collection, attachés, translations, maps and photographs, and training, and a Negative Branch for all counterintelligence functions.  A Code and Ciphers Section within the MIS became the Army’s first organized signals intelligence unit. Finally, Van Deman initiated the first personnel security investigation and identification card systems within the War Department.

By 1918, the renamed Military Intelligence Division had more than 1,400 military and civilian personnel.  At this time, it moved out from under the War College to a spot as one of four equal divisions on the War Department’s General Staff, a position it has maintained to this day.  In addition to equality on the General Staff, other long-standing consequences of the establishment of the MIS were the recognized need for professional intelligence personnel and the preservation of an intelligence effort even in times of peace.

That the World War I period was a watershed in US Army intelligence history cannot be overstated. No single individual did more to advance Army intelligence than Ralph Van Deman.  In 1988, the MI Corps recognized this when it chose him as one of the initial members of the Hall of Fame.  In 1992, it further memorialized him by naming the East Gate in his honor.  Maj. Gen. Ralph Van Deman is recognized as the Father of American Military Intelligence for his role in establishing the first effective, professional intelligence organization within the Army 100 years ago.

NOTE:  Join the US Army Intelligence Center when it rededicates the Van Deman Gate during the Hall of Fame activities, June 23, 2017, at 1430.

 

Ralph Van Deman

Ralph Van Deman

After the war, Ralph Van Deman, shown here as a Colonel, commanded at the regiment, brigade, and division level.  Promoted to Major General in 1929, he retired later that year but continued to consult in Army intelligence matters until his death in 1952.  (US Army photo)

The Ability to Write Well Is An Asset for Any Career

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R. & Blanton, Doris, “The Ability to Write Well Is An Asset for Any Career”, Online Learning Tips, 7 Mar. 2017, Web, http://onlinelearningtips.com/2017/03/07/write-well-asset-career/

Co-Authored By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for
 In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

Co-Authored By Doris Blanton
Faculty Director, School of Business, American Public University

Writing for various audiences is a skill that takes practice, practice, practice. But writing must also be adapted to the needs of an organization and its intended audience.

Intelligence and Law Enforcement Writing

Have you ever seen a James Bond movie in which he writes a report or summarizes any mission he’s completed? Of course not. Bond is not in the espionage business to convey information, but to execute actions.

Unlike Bond, intelligence agents and analysts must be able to write about an incident with clarity and conciseness. This type of writing must be quickly understood by national decision makers, who must then act on the information provided in the intelligence documents.

Similarly, law enforcement officials and counterintelligence agents must be able to write clearly about an incident because their documents are used in court. Clarity is especially important when incidents that take place in one country must be reported and translated into the language of another country.

Management Writing

Managers have to write assessments of business performance and personnel actions. As most managers learn, when it comes to employee discipline or termination, a strong written history of the employee’s problems provides a human resources department with written proof of wrongdoing. Without this proof, personnel actions are somewhat limited.

If a manager does not take the time to document each employee incident in writing, incidents of wrongdoing can be dismissed as unimportant or non-existent. For dutiful managers, it is critical that documenting all employee incidents become second nature at all times.

On the flip side of personnel management, managers and supervisors must also think about writing award justifications. They need to acknowledge when employees perform above and beyond the job description.

Managers must make time to make these rewards because they inspire other employees to pursue excellence. Managers who fail to acknowledge the positive performances of their employees might discover their high-performing employees looking elsewhere for employment.

Business Writing

In management and business, staffing actions from one level to another must be through the written word. The action must be conveyed in a manner that gets across a specific point.

Managers should develop good writing skills because communication is a key skillset good managers possess.

There is a school of thought that says the more information that is written down, the better the document. That is, the weight of the document reflects how hard you worked on it.

This philosophy of many words on many pages might be fine for middle-level analysts conducting assessments that need to be clearly conveyed. However, a gigantic document with many pages is not useful for an executive-level manager who has 20 other projects to read and respond to in the same day.

Senior leadership needs concise, well-written executive summaries. These summaries must be to the point, reflecting a well-designed synopsis that quickly transmits information. Well-written executive summaries save time, especially in situations with minimal turn-around time for action.

Writing for Internal Job Openings

Suppose there is an opening in your department and there are two equally qualified candidates. But one applicant has a history of writing for various publications within the industry or as a representative of his employer.

The applicant with the greater writing experience will often win the job because she already has displayed a capability to write clearly and concisely and can prove it with her published work.

Employers often seek candidates who are excellent communicators by asking them about their education. A university degree suggests that a candidate has already earned some proficiency as a good writer. In addition, college is a great place to improve your writing without company leaders seeing your mistakes.

Potential Employees Should Have a Writing Track Record

In addition to a degree, job candidates are often asked about any writing projects they have successfully completed or examples of their writing. In this era of the Internet, employers will often do a search to find any writing you have posted. Finding some of your work online can be a decisive factor when the employer chooses which candidate to hire. Although we all believe we can write and clearly express our intentions, we often get bogged down trying to assess and contribute to various daily reports. The biggest asset an employee can possess is the ability to accurately proofread while also respecting an audience or a reader.

Employers tend to subconsciously evaluate an employee’s worth by how the employee writes emails, report analyses or executive summaries. Sadly, many employees are not given the tools to improve their writing for a variety of reasons:

  1. An employer might expect employees to be proficient writers without actually contributing to their writing development.
  2. Some employees might never have received effective or appropriate critiques regarding their writing abilities. They are left to presume that their written documents are fine as submitted because their employers are too busy with other issues.
  3. Employees often are involved in job-related tasks, leaving little time to focus on writing, proofreading and editing skills. Many employers and employees are pressured by job-related deadlines, which further minimizes their time to perfect their writing abilities.

Why Is Writing So Important?

There are people who debunk the notion that writing well is important. They think writing comes naturally and that readers will automatically understand what’s on the printed page.

That is not true. If you cannot express yourself clearly, your reader will not understand you. Writing well is fundamentally important to every career.

Good writing could even get you a pay increase. Your employer will want to know the whys and what-fors in your request. Your case will be stronger if you provide clearly written documentation why you deserve a raise. Writing accurately and concisely – and including specific, logical examples of why you merit the increase – will support your request for a pay raise.

To improve your writing skills, consider contributing to your company’s magazine or newsletter. It’s an opportunity to practice your writing and demonstrate your commitment to your organization.

Finally, writing to communicate to outside stakeholders further highlights to your colleagues that you can clearly express your organization’s position in the marketplace. This practice also will gain external exposure for you and your career.

Places to Publish Your Writing

There are many opportunities for publishing your writing. If you regularly read specific publications, contact the editors of those publications. Send query emails or letters about the possibility of becoming a contributor.

University alumni organizations have publications and often turn to alumni for input. This might be an easy place to start your professional writing.

Similarly, veterans have many outlets for writing, such as RallyPoint, American Legion Magazine, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Association of the US Army Magazine. Each branch of military service has organizations that publish and share ideas. All of these publications provide upwardly moving people with an opportunity to publish their writing.

There are also venues for self-publishing, which have no editors to review and correct your work. Many self-publishing services have controversial content which is often used to gain attention for an author. Some services seek content that encourages search engine optimization (SEO) and clicks from readers to show how many readers visit the site. The biggest and most respectable sites are WordPress, Blogger and Medium.

Being Ready To Write

Writing well can make you a leader within your organization, a critical thinker, an employee worth further development and an overall asset to the company’s bottom line. Isn’t this the type of person you’re striving to be?

About the Authors

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in South Korea, supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 43rd scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017 Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.

Dr. Doris Blanton is a faculty director and full-time professor in the School of Business at American Public University. Her research focuses on the retention of adjunct faculty, examining their experience of the online and on-ground adjunct life. Doris mentors her peers, students and professionals through job transitioning and in personal development, highlighting writing, proofreading and editing strategies.

In addition to Dr. Blanton’s professional responsibilities, she has contributed to the creation of various intervention strategies focused on the retention and persistence of new college students, specifically those with zero to 24 credits. She is active with the Roots Church and volunteers with various local non-profits, Volunteers of America and the Snohomish Historical Society. Doris also participates in local back-to-school functions, providing free haircuts, backpacks and school supplies.

Don’t Protect Your Valuable Photos the Way Grandpa Did

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R., “Don’t Protect Your Valuable Photos the Way Grandpa Did”, In Cyber Defense, 7 Mar. 2017, Web, http://incyberdefense.com/news/dont-protect-valuable-photos-way-grandpa/

Commentary By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for
 In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

Today, most people take many more digital photos of family, friends and vacations than previous generations did with film cameras. In fact, the ease of use and the low cost of digital photography consigned Kodak, Fuji and Polaroid cameras and film to the museums of 20th century technology.

For example, Polaroid stopped manufacturing its instant film in 2008, leaving this Waltham, Massachusetts, manufacturer with just 150 employees. Thirty years earlier, Polaroid was an iconic company with a “peak” global employment of nearly 21,000 employees.

Today, lots of people have never heard of Polaroid. But their valuable digital pictures often receive the same poor level of protection that an album or scrapbook full of Polaroid or Kodak prints used to provide – not much.

Many people born in the 1960s and 1970s could never imagine storing pictures on a thumb drive, DVD or even a CD.

In a digital world, we need better protection for our valuable photos and other documents because technology is always changing. The 3.5 disk might have been a nice improvement over a 5.25 floppy disk, but today, many computers don’t even have a disk drive.

Technology Changes Rendered Some Familiar Devices Obsolete

Think of that rapidly deteriorating album of black and white photos your grandfather gave you. The negatives of those pictures disappeared long ago. It might be a good idea to convert those album photographs to JPG files for later use. And those old 35 mm slides you used to project onto a screen at home to bore your neighbors? It’s not easy to find a working projector today, much less a new one.

Some people paid to have their slides transferred to VHS tapes and then they threw away the slides. But it’s hard to play VHS tapes these days.

Just as you should “never put all your eggs in one basket,” you should never store valuable digital files in just one place.

Never Save Digital Files in One Place

If you had a one-of-a-kind item, you would want to protect it. The cost to reconstruct PowerPoint programs or Word documents from a damaged laptop is extremely intensive in terms of man-hours. The cost often exceeds the cost of the laptop.

Yet, it’s surprising how many people save their cherished photos and documents only on their laptops or desktop devices. That computer could become infected with a virus or, worse, ransomware could attack it. If someone steals your laptop, those cherished family photos are gone forever.

Many Security Programs Can Save Your Photos

There are multiple solutions to the issue of saving digital images. Which solution is best for you depends on your situation.

For example, there are many types of software backup programs. Some programs save their files to an off-site cloud server.

Some computer owners save their photos on a thumb drive or on an external hard drive. They can be unplugged and should be stored separately from your computer so a virus or ransomware attack on your device will not affect them. These devices enhance your protection.

Another form of security can be as simple as having a friend or business colleague hold an encrypted hard drive of your data, with you repeating the favor for that person. If one or both laptops are lost by theft or destroyed in a fire, neither of you will lose your data. This is inexpensive security that saves you the cost of a cloud backup.

Federal organizations are working hard to protect the public from cybercrimes, but we also must take some responsibility for our own protection. By taking some extra time to protect your images and other digital files, you’ll enjoy greater peace of mind knowing your files are protected.

The inspiration for this and several future articles came from a meeting at the US Secret Service (USSS), Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF) in Las Vegas. Future articles will discuss concepts and actions to counter ransomware and the experiences of individuals and businesses.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 43rd scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017 Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.