Small Wars Journal

Border Security: A Realistic Approach

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Border Security: A Realistic Approach

Craig Sicola, Mark Garrigus, David Williams and Bill Mamourieh

Introduction

For over 400 years, immigration has been the foundation of America and the American dream.  The diversity, economy, and democracy that define America today are largely attributed to our belief in immigration.  Per the Migration Information Source, “the United States has been the top destination for international migrants since at least 1960, with one-fifth of the world's migrants living there as of 2017.”[i] Despite the country’s long history as a nation of immigrants, the U. S has wavered among perceiving immigration as a treasured means and as a major challenge.[ii]

Since the initial naturalization laws of 1790, the U.S. has updated, modified and amended legislation to conform to changes during periods of challenges and changing requirements. These revisions have recommended specific events in history to include those that result from war, displaced refugees, and support of the U.S. workforce and economy.  Currently the U.S. immigration system is based on a series of intertwined immigration laws, judicial rulings, and executive policies.  The system is further complicated by the millions who currently reside in the U.S. illegally.[iii] Therefore border security is best described as a systemic issue.  The lack of border security methodology, comprehensive immigration policy, and a sound approach have peaked as today’s crisis and stalemate.

Despite the U.S. being a country founded by immigrants, the topic of immigration remains at the center of the political debate in media coverage today.  Immigration from South America and Central America has fueled the national controversy.  Contentions reached crisis mode in recent months as a result of dissent between “Congress and the Executive Branch on defining the objectives of U.S. immigration policy and resolving the fundamental issues of national security.”[iv]  Today’s political debate revolves around whether we need a border barrier along the US southwestern border.

Understanding border security and immigration as a systemic problem necessitates approaching the issue from a wholistic, non-partisan point of view to determine how the U.S. government can resolve immigration crises.  Essential to considering a whole-of-government approach, the U.S. solution should include good and effective governance, socio-economic benefits, and security of the homeland. 

Enforcement of Law and Order

In order to enforce law and order, it is critical to understand how law and order is defined.   As it applies to border security and immigration, this research paper defines law and order as a set of laws in the criminal justice system that holds individuals accountable through penalties and consequences.  In most cases criminal trespassing is defined as entering or remaining on a premises or property in which one does not have the authorization, license, or privilege to do so.  Research of the opposing views dispute the relationship between a border barrier and law and order in the aspects of legitimacy, deterrence, and its channeling effects.

Proponents of a physical barrier contend it grants legitimacy to law and policies by providing a line of demarcation to would-be crossers that a crime is being committed.  Physical barriers and walls along the southwest U.S. border are intended to deter illegal entry as a result of their ability to impede transit.  Additionally, like traffic, no trespassing, and other signs of notice, they serve as a legal proclamation and due diligence delineating the standard or expectation as an enhanced basis to enforce laws or disciplinary measures.[v]  Proponents of the physical barrier suggest the concept of barriers is commonplace.  Owners and tenants build fences and barriers around military bases, businesses, government buildings, homes, and even schools to enforce security and deter crime.  One might suggest if an immigrant can freely cross a border with zero resistance or deterrence, has the United States done due diligence?

Fences, walls, and barriers are not exclusive to the United States. The world went from seven countries with physical barriers during World War II, to 15 with physical barriers when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.[vi]  Currently there are 77 countries around the world using physical barriers to establish and enforce border security, safeguard against large scale migration, and protect against terrorism.[vii] 

Walls alone will not stop all illegal immigration any more than a shut and locked door or window will stop burglary, but there is evidence that it will serve as a deterrence.   Many times, that deterrence alone incentivizes law abiding behavior.  According to Congressional Research Service (CRS) fencing or a wall has been determined to be a critical enforcement piece for detection and identification of illegal entry, especially in urban areas.[viii]  Retired Chief Ronald S. Colburn of the USBP l’s Yuma sector testified to the U.S Committee on Homeland Security that fencing played a significant role in reducing arrests in the Yuma, Arizona area of responsibility from 138,000 in 2005 to about 8,300 in 2008.[ix]  Acting Deputy Chief of the USBP testified before a congressional committee on July 25, 2017 that a physical barrier provides impedance and denial and is a part of a package with surveillance and road access.[x]  Supporters note that fencing is built to deflect illegal traffic to areas where agents have a higher probability of identifying crossers and responding within a short period. Ultimately, that impedance factor would lead to the denial of access to the United States through apprehension.

Opponents of a physical barrier suggest that border enforcement and the migrant’s reason for immigrating have led to significantly lower levels of illegal immigration.  According to Edward Alden, “unauthorized migration across the southern border has declined sharply, with successful illegal entries dropping from 1.8 million in 2000 to approximately 200,000 in 2015.”[xi]  Although border enforcement contributes to the decline of illegal border crossers, combining enforcement with stronger penalties have resulted in deterring repeated attempts to cross the border illegally.[xii] 

Largely as in most debatable topics, groups of proponents and opponents form to dispute and discuss the issue vice find solutions that address the issues.  This topic isn’t new and has been debated since the first barriers were erected along the US- Mexico border over 100 years ago.[xiii]  Both sides of the border wall issue have been debated and voted into law in 2006.  When Congress enacted the Secure Fence Act, it contained provisions disputed today, including 700 miles of double reinforced fence, lighting, vehicle barriers, and checkpoints which were not fully implemented.[xiv]  While the U.S. maintains political and legal intent to invoke laws, the insufficient numbers of law enforcement agents are still incommensurate in enforcing border law.

Socio-Economic Benefits

Many economists believe that immigration helps the U.S. economy.  It is unclear whether the costs of effective immigration enforcement policy, to include building more physical barriers, increase U.S. prosperity.  The socio-economic benefits of legal immigration have three primary components: fiscal impact of illegal immigrants, fiscal benefit of legal immigrants, and the social impact to the American society.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in 2017, “illegal border-crossers create an average net fiscal burden (taxes paid minus services used) of approximately $74,722 during their lifetimes.”[xv]  The CIS estimate does not include the costs of any descendants born in the U.S. which would subsequently increase the overall expenditure.   A recent update in 2019 from the CIS claims that a $5 billion-dollar wall would pay for itself if it deters 3-4% of illegal immigration within one decade, based on the estimated number of 170,000 illegal crossings in 2018.[xvi]  While this only address the initial funding of a physical barrier, the continued cost savings beyond the initial investment is advantageous to the U.S. economy.

The effects of immigration on the U.S. economy can be seen on the macro scale.  It is estimated that immigrants attribute 0.2 to 0.4 percent of the GDP which equates to $36 to $72 billion per year.[xvii] One competing argument is that wages of the host nation workers decrease due to the competition of immigrants who accept a lower wage; however, this is usually counter-balanced by the increase in complementary workers such as supervisors, translators, or lawyers.[xviii] In 2015, it was estimated that the number of foreign-born business owners in the U.S. is 16%.[xix] This number is significant since immigrants only account for approximately 13% of the U.S. population.[xx] Matter of fact “among Fortune 500 companies, 40 percent were founded by immigrants or their children.[xxi]

According to the Mercatus center, “Immigrants make up 17 percent of the US workforce, while filing one-third of the patents and accounting for more than one-third of US workers with a PhD in one of the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math.[xxii]”  While many Americans equate immigrants to filling low-income jobs, immigrants also benefit the high- and middle-class societies.  To put this in perspective, immigrants have founded more than half of the billion-dollar companies in the U.S. and create on average 760 new jobs.[xxiii]

To conclude, America is a country of immigrants whose benefits to the U.S economy throughout history are well proven.  Not only can a border wall be paid for through deterring a small number of illegal border crossings, an integrated whole of government approach can keep America prospering from immigration as it has since the beginning.

Security of the Homeland

Defense of the country, the citizens, and their property is mandated as an essential function of the federal government by the constitution.  More precisely, it is the only mandated action that must be performed by the federal government.  In other words, even if the federal government chose to exercise no other power, it must, under the Constitution, provide for the common defense.[xxiv]  The government fulfills this responsibility through vetting of immigrants and visitors, and monitoring visa overstays.  The physical barrier is a critical element of an integrated defense system.

According to the CATO Institute, large changes to immigration policy are not necessary and would impose greater costs than benefits.[xxv]  Their research determined since 1975 that the bulk of murders (93.7%) committed by non-US citizens were attributable to 34 tourists who would not have been impacted by changes to immigration policies.  It is commonly known among law enforcement and immigration officials that drug traffickers, human traffickers, terrorists, and criminals pass into this country both legally and illegally.  Although the current vetting process has proven effective, it needs further improvement.  The current process is still a measure to deny immigrants’ entry based upon known criminal backgrounds.  Only “2% of the 531 individuals convicted of terrorism offenses or killed while committing an offense since 9/11 — entered due to a vetting failure in the post-9/11 security system.”[xxvi]   154 foreign-born terrorists in the U.S. from 1975 to 2015 killed 3,024 people.  During the same time, only ten of them were illegal immigrants and the remaining entered the U.S. through legal means to include immigrants who overstayed their visa limits.[xxvii]

Between fiscal years 2011 and 2016, DHS failed to meet a minimum statutory requirement of 21,370 agents.[xxviii]  The agency has been challenged in meeting optimal employment requirements by nearly 1,970 vacant positions.  As the relative number of legal immigrants increases in areas with a border barrier, there is currently not enough manpower to sufficiently enforce or judicate immigration issues along the border.  Proper facilities, centralized computer systems, and immigration attorneys at certain border checkpoints will streamline the process and eliminate the backlog of waiting immigrants.[xxix]

This provides a clear conclusion: proper vetting is an effective means of protecting the homeland.  Immigration vetting coupled with enforcement of visa overstays provide tools that can help manage foreign visitors and asylum seekers, but only when they follow the established, legal process.  In order to deter uncontrolled entry and to channel immigrants toward facilities to support them, a physical barrier enhanced by technology is required.  The more effective the U.S. is at detecting terrorists or criminals through a vetting process, enforcing visa overstays, or deterring illegal entry via a physical barrier, the more secure and safe United States will be.

Recommendations

Congress and lawmakers have worked for decades dissecting the border security issue.  Although numerous actions have taken place regarding border security, the U.S. has not implemented a whole-of-government approach.  Regardless of the information and data collected and analyzed, border security remains a prominent issue within the U.S. government political and legislative circles.  With today’s age of digital transformation, data and information have exponentially increased at a rate quicker than Department of Homeland Security agents are able to respond, analyze, and make data driven decisions.[xxx]  The industrial base is the cornerstone of America maintaining its competitive advantage.  The security environment continues to evolve  as a result of technology’s development velocity,  as well as the changing nature of conflict.[xxxi]  Additionally, SBInet was designed and developed to improve DHS’s ability to: “detect an illegal entry across the U.S. border, identify and classify the threat level associated with that illegal entry, rapidly respond to the area of the illegal entry, and bring the situation to a law enforcement resolution.”[xxxii]  Unfortunately DHS cancelled the initiative in 2011 leaving an unfilled and much needed capability gap that we must redevelop.

Enforcement of rule of law, the socio-economic benefits, and security of the homeland provide a whole-of-government approach to contend with competing priorities, budgets, and leadership desires.

First, the U.S.G. must take seriously the enforcement of the rule of law with an eye towards immigration laws and policies.  Domestic diplomacy means interaction between the federal government and state, local, and tribal governments.  Additionally, regional partnerships will improve opportunity and quality of life in North and South America with a focus on educational cooperation, private business investment, and infrastructure improvements.  The diplomatic realm opens the door for building bridges between nations that facilitate collective solutions. With improved communication, the U.S. better understands the drivers behind illegal immigration, thus enabling mutually beneficial solutions.

The U.S.G. must develop strategy with a desired end state in mind to determine a path forward.  The current organizational construct does not provide the U.S. with an ability to communicate purpose, strategies, and goals that offer a higher probability of success while adding credibility.[xxxiii]  Policy makers must identify measures of effectiveness related to agility and pivot to emerging issues before measuring organizational success.  Current border security lacks this alignment and generates poor hiring practices, inefficient processes, and ineffective procedures with insufficient funding and training.

Attention is required to address job reorganization, personnel changes, and lines of authority which was a recommendation from the Inspector General and General Accounting Office.[xxxiv]  The agencies that are chartered with border security fall under two departments, Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, each with their own perspectives and priorities.[xxxv]  Recommendations have been ignored resulting in unnecessary challenges that include the inability to provide consistent reliable metrics related to border security operations.[xxxvi]  There is an opportunity to transform the current organizational construct which would facilitate coordination and synchronization across agencies and build trust while increasing the effectiveness of border security operations.[xxxvii] 

The U.S. must have a consistent internal message as well as international message.  Illegal immigration is a crime and will be addressed.  Enforcement of immigration laws should reinforce the message.  America welcomes the tired and the poor, but we must make it clear that there is a process to be followed in order to legally immigrate.

The U.S. needs a more efficient process to admit legal immigrants.  Given the fact that most criminal actions are perpetrated by people who enter the country legally, the U.S. requires better process to legally admit and track immigrants.[xxxviii]  Existing requirements create an unrealistic and cost prohibitive burden on employers, thus providing incentives for supporting illegal immigration.  A more enlightened approach should be developed for employers to procure labor and prevent taxpayers from funding ineffective and inefficient bureaucracies.  Excessive delays and cumbersome bureaucratic processes may create frustrations that some immigrants, as well as American business owners, seek to circumvent.

Countries who do not cooperate in curbing illegal immigration should not receive benefits from the U.S. government (partnerships, aid, trade allowances, etc.).  Foreign assistance can provide incentives to partnering countries who cooperate in deterring illegal immigration.  Conversely, economic penalties can be invoked on countries who do not help deter illegal immigration and in turn, that money can be used on other internal programs that benefit Americans.  If only a fraction of the funding was spent on illegal immigration to improve the quality of life in partnering countries, the U.S. could have a positive effect on the entire region, thus improving the collective situation and deterring illegal immigration. 

This is not a federal versus state issue.  Rather it should be a whole-of-government issue that includes considering the U.S. national interests.  States who choose to not enforce immigration laws do not deserve federal assistance.  U.S. taxpayers should not contribute to the support of illegal immigrants.  The enforcement of national and individual benefits will disincentivize illegal immigration, level the playing field with American citizens, and save taxpayers billions of dollars annually.  It is inherently immoral of the government to create a situation in which illegal immigrants are receiving the same benefits as law abiding American citizens.

The last recommendation and the most important is regarding the defense of the U.S. homeland.  In 2006, The Department of Homeland Security introduced SBInet, the Secure Border Initiative Network.  SBInet was designed as an overarching program for DHS with the intent of a connected network for operations from the four components of border security: U.S. CBP, U.S. ICE, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the USCG.  A whole-of-government approach to include technology is paramount.  Technological advances are essential to national security as it explores a solution that includes an integrated system of systems for personnel, infrastructure, technology, and rapid response to secure the northern and southern land borders of the United States.  This approach provides a more focused and timely response to illegal border crossings while potentially decreasing manpower requirements. 

DHS has invested $2.3 billion in physical structures along the south western border, including 654 miles of fencing to deal with illegal immigration between 2007 and 2015.[xxxix]  In order to fully realize the expected return on investment, DHS border operations must be adequately resourced with fiscal backing manpower, and technology to execute operations.  This coordinated approach is consistent with 2018 National Security Strategy objective of maintaining a technological advantage.[xl]

Conclusion

In conclusion, the U.S must look to strengthen alliances south of the border in our efforts to develop a comprehensive and coordinated whole-of government approach to border security.  The current U.S. approach is not sustainable and will take years to meet the desired outcomes.  The U.S. cannot achieve its strategic objectives without providing resources to invest in technology, reviewing current laws and policies, as well as securing the necessary number of border patrol agents.  As the U.S looks to incorporate national instruments of power to include its regional partnerships, it increases the likelihood of reducing illegal immigration and better position the country to incentivize legal immigration.  A physical barrier decreases illegal immigration, saving America’s tax dollars and subsequently increase the relative percentage of legal immigrants entering the United States. 

U.S. citizens should not be expected to provide for illegal immigrants at the expense of their own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.  Immigration is defined by laws, just like all criminal acts.   Furthermore, it needs to be transparent that the Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to U.S. citizens only; whereas U.S. law applies to anyone inside its territory (except in cases of diplomatic immunity).  September 11, 2001 was a wakeup call for the U.S.  Had a holistic approach to defending the homeland been in place, perhaps the ongoing debate would not be as contentious across the multiple parties.  Now is the time; implement a whole-of government approach and construct an effective and efficient integrated strategy.  The nation depends on it.

The views presented in this paper are the authors’ and not necessarily those of the Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Air Force.

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End Notes

[i] Camarota, Steven A., Center for Immigration Studies, Can a Wall Pay for Itself? An Update, January 8, 2019.

Retrieved January 26, 2019 from, https://cis.org/Camarota/Can-Wall-Pay-Itself-Update.

[ii] Camarota, Steven A., Center for Immigration Studies, Can a Wall Pay for Itself? An Update, January 8, 2019.

Retrieved January 26, 2019 from, https://cis.org/Camarota/Can-Wall-Pay-Itself-Update.

[iii] Orrenius, Pia, George W. Bush Institute, Benefits of Immigration Outweigh the Costs, Spring 2016.  Retrieved

January 26, 2019 from, https://www.bushcenter.org/catalyst/north-american-century/benefits-of-

immigration-outweigh-costs.html.

[iv] Master, Jonathan., Council of Foreign Relations, U.S. Foreign Policy Powers: Congress and the President, March 2,

2017. Retrieved January 26, 2019 from, https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/us-foreign-policy-powers-congress-and-president.

[v] US Law, Codes and Statutes., Retrieved March 2, 2019 from, https://law.justia.com/constitution/us/amendment-

14/04-due-process-of-law.html.

[vi] Hielmgaard, K. From 7 to 77: There's been an explosion in building border walls since World War III.

Retrieved February 22, 2019 from, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/05/24/border-walls-berlin-wall-donald-trump-wall/553250002.

[vii] Hielmgaard, K. From 7 to 77: There's been an explosion in building border walls since World War III.

Retrieved February 22, 2019 from, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/05/24/border-walls-berlin-wall-donald-trump-wall/553250002.

[viii] Blas Nuñez-Neto and Michael J. Garcia, Border Security: The San Diego Fence, CRS Report No. RS22026

Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2007.

[ix] Ron Colburn, Written Testimony on Fencing along the Southwest Border, Washington, DC: U.S. Senate

Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, 2017.

[x]  CBS News. Border Wall: DHS’ Kelly Says it Won’t Stretch “from Sea to Shining Sea,” April 5, 2017. Retrieved

February 23, 2019 from,

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/border-wall-dhs-kelly-says-it-wont-stretch-from-sea-to-shining-sea/.

[xi] Alden, Edward.  Is Border Enforcement Effective? What We Know and What It Means; Journal on Migration and

Human Security. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved February 23, 2019 from,

http://cmsny.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/JMHSspecialcoll-Immigration-System.pdf.

[xii] Alden, Edward.  Is Border Enforcement Effective? What We Know and What It Means; Journal on Migration and

Human Security. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved February 23, 2019 from,

http://cmsny.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/JMHSspecialcoll-Immigration-System.pdf.

[xiii] St. John, R., The Raging Controversy at the Border Began With This Incident 100 Years Ago. Retrieved February

22, 2019 from, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/raging-controversy-border-began-100-years-ago-180969343/.

[xiv] Kilberg, R., Major US Immigration Laws, 1790 – Present. Migrate Policy Institute. March 2013.

[xv] Camarota, Steven A., Center for Immigration Studies, Can a Wall Pay for Itself?: An Update, January 8, 2019.

Retrieved February 22, 2019 from, https://cis.org/Camarota/Can-Wall-Pay-Itself-Update.

[xvi] Camarota, Steven A., Center for Immigration Studies, Can a Wall Pay for Itself?: An Update, January 8, 2019.

Retrieved February 22, 2019 from, https://cis.org/Camarota/Can-Wall-Pay-Itself-Update.

[xvii] Orrenius, Pia, George W. Bush Institute, Benefits of Immigration Outweigh the Costs, Spring 2016.  Retrieved

January 28, 2019 from, https://www.bushcenter.org/catalyst/north-american-century/benefits-of-

immigration-outweigh-costs.html.

[xviii] Orrenius, Pia, George W. Bush Institute, Benefits of Immigration Outweigh the Costs, Spring 2016.  Retrieved

January 28, 2019 from, https://www.bushcenter.org/catalyst/north-american-century/benefits-of-

immigration-outweigh-costs.html.

[xix] Hathaway, Ian., Immigrant-owned businesses are fundamental to American cities, January 25, 2018. Retrieved

January 28, 2019 from, http://www.ianhathaway.org/blog/2018/1/24/immigrant-owned-businesses-are-fundamental-to-cities.

[xx] Zong, Zie, Jeanne Batalova, and Jeffrey Hallock., Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States, February 8, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from, https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states.

[xxi] Griswold, Daniel., The Benefits of Immigration: Addressing Key Myths, May 23, 2018. Retrieved February 22,

2019 from, https://www.mercatus.org/publications/benefits-of-immigration-key-myths.

[xxii] Griswold, Daniel., The Benefits of Immigration: Addressing Key Myths, May 23, 2018. Retrieved February 22,

2019 from, https://www.mercatus.org/publications/benefits-of-immigration-key-myths.

[xxiii] Mansur, Samier., How Immigration Benefits Americans And Is Key To US Leadership In The World, September 13, 2017. Retrieved February 22, 2019 from, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-immigration-benefits-americans-and-is-key-to-us_us_59b6db42e4b02bebae75f071.

[xxiv] Talent, Jim. A Constitutional Basis for Defense, June 1, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2019 from, 

https://www.heritage.org/defense/report/constitutional-basis-defense.

[xxv] Nowrasteh, Alex. Terrorism and Immigration: A Risk Analysis, September 13, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2019

from, https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/terrorism-immigration-risk-analysis#full.

[xxvi] Bier, David., Extreme Vetting of Immigrants: Estimating Terrorism Vetting Failures, April 17, 2018. Retrieved

February 22, 2019 from, https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/extreme-vetting-immigrants-estimating-terrorism-vetting-failures.

[xxvii] Nowrasteh, Alex. Terrorism and Immigration: A Risk Analysis, September 13, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2019

from, https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/terrorism-immigration-risk-analysis#full.

[xxviii] GAO Report. GAO-18-379T, Border Security: Progress and Challenges with the Use of Technology, Tactical      

Infrastructure, and Personnel to Secure the Southwest Border.” March 15, 2018.

[xxix] American Immigration Council, August 12, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2019 from,

https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/how-united-states-immigration-system-works.

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About the Author(s)

Lieutenant Colonel Bill Mamourieh, USAF, is currently the Acquisition Assistant to the Commander at Air Education and Training Command. He was commissioned through OTS in 2001. Lt Col Mamourieh earned a BA in Business Management from Mercyhurst College in 1997, an M.S from Air University in 2018, and an M.S in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2014.

Colonel David Williams, USAF, is currently the Mission Assurance Division Chief at US Strategic Command. He was commissioned through ROTC at the University of Memphis in 1995. Col Williams earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Memphis in 1995, an MA in Counseling from Liberty University in 2006, and an MA in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2009. Prior to his current assignment, Col Williams served as the 39th Mission Support Group Commander, Incirlik AB Turkey.

Captain Mark Garrigus, USN, is currently assigned as the Defense Logistics Agency’s Navy National Account Manager.  He was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy Supply Corps through the Officer Candidate School program in 1995.  He holds a MS in Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA with dual specialties in Financial and Shore Installation Management. Additionally, he holds a MA of Military Operational Art and Science degree from the Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Montgomery, AL.

Captain Craig Sicola, USN, is the Prospective Commanding Officer for the USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19).  He was commissioned through ROTC at Texas A&M University with a degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1994 and a MS in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University in 2018.  Prior to his current assignment, CAPT Sicola served as the Executive Officer of the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69).