By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2017 — “Keep telling truth to power” was the only advice the outgoing director of the Defense Intelligence Agency had for his successor and for the DIA workforce during a change of directorship ceremony here yesterday.
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart turned over the reins to Army Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley during the ceremony at the agency’s Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling headquarters.
Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan represented Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the ceremony and presided over it. He praised Stewart for his concentration on providing intelligence to the nation’s warfighters and said Stewart worked to ensure the American military’s ability to fight and win.
Praise for Agency’s Team
“If Secretary Mattis were here, I know he would recognize your alignment with his goals, he would thank you for your leadership, and, as the first Marine at DIA’s helm, your role in operationalizing the voice of the warfighter,” Shanahan told the outgoing director.
The deputy secretary praised Stewart for the team he has built and led at the agency.
“The team is comprised of true patriots who show unfaltering dedication to the difficult mission of the DIA,” he said. “You and the team have worked tirelessly to provide top-notch, actionable intel to the warfighter and key insights for the strategic leadership.”
He noted that Stewart had strengthened integrated intelligence centers at the combatant commands. He modernized operational capabilities to enhance lethality and he stood up the Defense Debriefing Service to help make the unknown knowable.
Outreach to Allies and Partners
Shanahan also praised Stewart for his outreach to allies and partners around the world. “These relationships help fill capacity gaps and build confidence in our shared missions,” he said. “DIA makes our military more lethal by providing decision advantage to leadership.”
Shanahan told the DIA community that leaders count on them to handle challenges as diverse as North Korea to the civil war in Syria and that the agency has to adjust and evolve to the new domains of cyber and space.
“Most of you will never know the extent of your efforts,” he said. “But your integrity gives weight to the intel you produce and earns you respect in the eyes of those who receive your sound judgments.”
Advice for DIA Workforce
Stewart made a last request of the workforce at DIA. “No matter what the challenges, the adversity or the objections, always speak truth to power, no matter the cost,” he said. “Speak truth through your actions. Speak truth through your analysis. Speak truth through your tradecraft and standards. Never lose sight of it, because unless we are forthright, honest and candid we cannot fulfilll our oath.”
Stewart is moving to be the deputy commander of U.S. Cyber Command. Ashley is coming to DIA after serving as the Army’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)