Small Wars Journal

Battalion Level Intelligence - An S-2's Perspective (Update w/ Article)

Battalion Level Intelligence: An S-2's Perspective by Captain Robert C. Schotte, USMC, at MIL INT. BLUF: Capt Schotter is an instructor at the Navy Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center and an experienced combat veteran having served most recently as a battalion S-2 in Afghanistan. The blog post at the link are his insights into battlaion intelligence operations and how they might be improved.

Update: Apparently the original MIL INT post is blocked by elements of ISAF. By request, and by permission of MIL INT, here is a SWJ server copy of Intelligence at the Battalion Level -- An S2's Perspective by Captain Robert C. Schotter. MIL INT is a new blog covering a wide spectrum of military intelligence issues.


Matt Shown (not verified)

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 8:39am

I thought the article by CPT Schotter was spot on. I was a Battalion/Squadron S2 in Iraq for a year and followed the same line of thinking as he does in his article. I had a very good working relationship with the S3 and the BN Commander which allowed for good planning and direction for our daily missions. I especially appreciate CPT Schotter's observation that an S2 needs to get out on the ground and see the terrain that he/she is talking about during briefings. I know it gives you credibility with the commander as well as the other soldiers and staff if you have a firsthand account of what it is you are talking about in a slide presentation or mission rehearsal. I still come across fellow officers who believe the S2 just reports the weather, but they are the minority. Most commanders and senior leaders are very aware of the need for the entire staff to be involved in the daily operating and planning of intelligence gathering. The commander himself during his key leader engagements is even a 'collector' that needs to be tasked and debriefed. Like the rest of the military I believe the intelligence community will continue to grow and develop as their responsibilities will only continue to grow during full spectrum operations missions.

CPT Matthew Shown
Student, Command and General Staff School
U.S. Army Combined Arms Center
Fort Belvoir, Virginia

"The views in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government."

Just a guy dow… (not verified)

Sun, 05/22/2011 - 8:38pm

Thanks for posting the PDF.

JNCC-A hates anyone getin' info and learning.


Just a guy dow… (not verified)

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 5:32pm

Blocked by the powers that be to protect us from ourselves.

Could someone repost as a PDF or word document for those of us downrange?


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Brad Fultz (not verified)

Tue, 05/17/2011 - 1:10pm

Good discussion: Intelligence prioritizes its work based on the requirements set by the commander. If the commander wants to chase IED emplacers, Intel will support this, if the commander wants to figure out the Human Terrain, Intel will focus accordingly. Good contribution to the SWJ Blog from a seasoned Intel Officer.