Established in January 2008, the Coast Guard rating of Intelligence Specialist (IS) is the source of candidates for the Chief Warrant Officer position of Intelligence Systems Specialist (ISS). Although the Coast Guard had contributed greatly to the fields of intelligence collection and analysis for decades—Coast Guard personnel and units helped contribute both German and Japanese codes during World War II, for instance—it was not until the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11 that the service was given an official seat at the Intelligence Community table.

The decision to make the Coast Guard a formal member of the Intelligence Community (IC) on 28 December 2001 actually was the culmination of a multi-year planning effort carried out by the Coast Guard and the members and staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. To facilitate the Coast Guard’s participation in the IC, Congress passed an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947 that created the National Intelligence Element of the Coast Guard, authorizing additional authority and providing access to much-needed funding for intelligence-gathering and data analysis.

Heading the Coast Guard’s various Intelligence divisions and units is the Assistant Commandant for Intelligence and Criminal Investigations Directorate, Coast Guard Headquarters. These include the Investigative Service, Counterintelligence Service, Cryptologic Group, Intelligence Coordination Center, Area Commander’s (Atlantic and Pacific) Intelligence Divisions, and Maritime Intelligence Fusion Centers. Intelligence staff serve at the District and Sector levels, while Command Intelligence Officers serving with individual units under the guidance and command of the unit’s Commanding Officer or Officer-in-Charge.

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