For the first time, the Army’s 10 senior geospatial intelligence technical advisors are all African Americans
Know the Earth and show the way’ is the mantra of the geospatial intelligence community, and for the first time, the U.S. Army’s 10 senior geo-intel technical advisors — collectively referred to as ‘The 10 Guides’ — are all African Americans. They gathered in February to share the insights they’ve gained through a combined 260-plus years of military service. They discussed what they each see as their greatest contributions and challenges over their careers and imparted some advice.
Retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Russell Gaines, geospatial technical advisor at Army Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, said he feels he’s been a trail-blazing figure in the geo-intel community.
“My greatest contribution has to be setting the foundation for minorities after (me) and ensuring they have a path,” he said.
Engineer Regimental Chief Warrant Officer 5 Dean Registe said the passing of knowledge to future leaders of the geo-intel field personally brings him a sense of pride.
“I took time to mentor lots of individuals that are doing great things now and are leading the geospatial field in innovation,” he said. “I was taught that when I was mentored to be a warrant officer and I just want to pay it forward.”
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Juanita Corea, a course chief at the U.S. Army Engineer School, also said that seeing her former subordinates succeed brings her satisfaction.
“(My greatest contribution has been) training and leading Soldiers who have then gone on to other accomplishments both in the military and in civilian life,” she said. “When I see my former Soldiers who have reached for the stars, it inspires me to keep going and to never give up.”
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Marlon Howard, deputy mission manager at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, feels that helping to create the Warrant Officer Round Table has paid dividends in ensuring technical professionals are able to collaborate on current and future capabilities while receiving mentorship.
“(Myself and other) senior warrants coming together to create a venue where tradecraft blended with my passion for mentoring warrant officers has led the team to institute a community of best practices,” he said.
Retired Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dr. Timothy Mack, Advanced Operations Course geo-intel advisor at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, said he’s enjoyed creating course content.
“I’ve built curriculum for two of the premier courses in the intelligence community, including one focused on advanced geo-intel,” Mack said.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jerome Bussey, the Engineer Senior Warrant Officer Advisor at the Pentagon, said his most influential contribution has been making assignment decisions.
“Assigning geospatial warrant officers to positions … that would have the greatest impact on the Engineer Regiment and on the Army (has been my greatest contribution to the geo-intel community),” he said.
As for challenges, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Mitchel Dascent, NGA Support Team senior geospatial technician at Fort Belvoir, said communication has been an issue within the community.
“We do a poor job of sharing our success and failures so that those after us can learn and avoid or spend more time perfecting their tradecraft instead of figuring out how to do so,” he said.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Augustus Wright, Army Geospatial Intelligence Battalion senior geospatial engineer, agreed that communication is an issue, but for a different reason.
“My greatest challenge is a communication barrier,” he said. “Current and future military problems require modern data-driven solutions and these solutions must be delivered at the pace of modern warfare. The communication barrier exists because of a ubiquitous data literacy problem that exists at all levels.”
Corea said that breaking the gender barrier has been a career challenge.
“Even in 2020 we still encounter too many people who feel that military women don’t deserve all that we have accomplished and should not serve in the myriad of roles that we do,” she said. “Obviously as an African-American woman in the military, I feel that I have to doubly prove that I am worthy.”
Registe offered the advice that knowledge is power but wisdom is sharing that knowledge.
“It makes no sense to be the only one in the room that “gets it,’” he said.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Terance Parker, Army Geospatial Intelligence Battalion senior advisor at Fort Belvoir, said helping others will never diminish one’s own career.
“Make sure there’s space for all of us to shine bright,” he said. “It won’t dull my light if your light shines bright.”
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Stephen Joseph, senior technician at the Army Geospatial Center in Alexandria, Virginia, offered the advice that finding the right mentor is very important.
“Persevere in hard times (and remember) there are others in worse situations,” he said. “Have a dialogue with a mentor who will tell you what you need to hear versus what you want to hear.”
Wright’s advice is to set priorities.
“If everything is important then nothing is,” he said.