Strengthening Capabilities through U.S. Army Interagency Fellowships

In the early morning hours of Thursday, March 13, 2014, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force (Fort Lauderdale team) arrested James Robert Jones as he unsuspectedly began his day, just as he had for nearly 37 years as a fugitive from justice. Jones was wanted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and listed as one of the U.S. Army’s 15 Most Wanted for escape from the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Jones, a private in the U.S. Army, was convicted in August 1974 of premeditated murder and aggravated assault at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He was sentenced to 25 years hard labor. Private Jones escaped from the maximum security facility in March 1977 after serving only 20 months of his sentence. The eight-week effort in early 2014 by USMS Special Agents, U.S. Army Fellows, and civilian and military law enforcement and corrections professionals to recapture Private Jones represents the best in collaboration between the U.S. Army Military Police Regiment and the USMS. This successful case is a testament to the need for continued interagency cooperation and outreach. The creativity and resourcefulness brought to this effort by this unique team of interagency professionals represents an unprecedented paradigm shift in the apprehension of violent criminals.

The Military Police Corps has been aggressively pursuing and filling Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Interagency Fellowships with multiple partner law enforcement organizations to further enhance the professionalism of its officers and develop closer working relationships with other governmental agencies. The Army Fellowship program, in this increasingly resource-constrained environment, is one of the best avenues to strengthen bonds between agencies and the military, to gain knowledge and understanding, and to help contribute simultaneously to all missions. The CGSC Interagency Fellowship program is a U.S. Department of the Army approved broadening educational opportunity for field grade Army officers established to incorporate them into federal government agencies, which mutually enhances organizational understanding. There is no financial obligation to the partner agency in the fellowship program unless the agency approves any additional training, travel, or equipment to augment the performance of daily duties or facilitate the agency mission.

Of the 46 Interagency Fellows currently serving at 25 interagency partner organizations, several military police (MP) officers are working as fully integrated staff members in the USMS; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The number of MP officers serving as fellows with federal law enforcement partners has increased over the past few years by 50 percent, and the Office of the Provost Marshal General is seeking to expand the program even further. In coordination with the Army’s Human Resources Command and the ACGSC, the MP Corps continually pursues growth and enhancement of fellowships due to their significant positive impacts for both the Army and the federal agency partner.

Maj. Tia Terry (middle left) and members of ATF SRT #2 prior to serving two federal arrest warrants in Norfolk, VA.

The interagency fellowship program enables selected Army officers to gain personal knowledge about the capabilities, missions, procedures, and requirements of federal departments and agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through experiential learning assignments. The first goal of the program is to enhance the U.S. Army’s ability to support a comprehensive approach through partnering with governmental and non-governmental agencies in the conduct of stability operations, disaster response, or humanitarian assistance. The second goal is to improve the United States’ overall security-related capabilities through the synchronization of common missions, cohesiveness, and unity of effort with Army and interagency players. The last goal is to improve the U.S. Army’s ability to leverage the capabilities of various agencies through understanding their cultures and developing working relationships.1

The value of the CGSC Interagency Fellowship Program comes from its ability to increase communication effectiveness and improve agency interoperability. Differences in initial entry and professional education, standard operating procedures, and cultural norms can lead to communication challenges during multi-agency operations. Also, differences with in-service training and mission-essential equipment can challenge multi-agency operations. The Army Fellows seek an in-depth knowledge of the culture, language, organization, and processes of the partner agency. They also develop a detailed understanding of how the agency collaborates and integrates within itself; with the DOD, specifically with the Army; and other joint international interagency and multinational partners. Lastly, over the 10- or 12-month program, the fellows establish a lifelong network of contacts within the assigned agency and amongst the other Army Fellows in the program. Special Agent Al Phoenix, ATF Agent and National Director of Emergency Support Function (ESF) #13, summed all this up well when he said,

The fellowship program with ESF #13/ATF is an essential program that we look to continue well into the future. This program gives the added benefit of allowing a collaborative effort into problem solving within training scenarios and operations amongst our organizations. Additionally this program has provided the opportunity for ESF #13/ATF to engage in military events and better learn the Army/DOD perspective. It has also been my personal experience that ESF #13 has strengthened its organizational versatility as a direct result of the stronger connection with our DOD stakeholders. With lifelong friendships developed and a better understanding of both organizations? missions, this partnership is a great example of interagency cooperation and positive use of government resources.2

Maj. Brian Reynolds (far right) and members of the Kosovo Assessment Team with Lt. Col. Mentor Shabani (middle right), Northern Border Region Director.

Each Army Fellow is screened and nominated by his or her respective branch, possesses management and leadership experience, and is leveraged for a variety of uses by the partner agency. Fellows also complete an online academic program from the CGSC during the fellowship in order to maintain military professional development. The fellows are assigned within the District of Columbia and the National Capital Region and have exposure to many military and federal government events and activities to supplement their overall experience. Army Fellows are integrated as staff members into their partnering agencies and are able to manage senior-level programs and provide operational war-fighting experience; training and resourcing expertise; and operational Army, joint, and interagency planning knowledge.

For example, USMS Fellow, Maj. Scott Frederick, serves in the National Sex Offender Targeting Center (NSOTC). Here, he ensures the compliance of convicted sex offenders released from military corrections facilities and coordinates efforts between field offices, local agencies, and military agencies in locating, apprehending, and extraditing military deserters. Furthermore, due to his positioning within NSOTC and USMS, he is well positioned to aid the Army’s continuing efforts to apprehend deserters. He has aided in the apprehension of multiple military deserters and coordinated the extradition of current soldiers who have committed sexual crimes. Maj. Frederick has also planned and executed an interagency training seminar for DOD personnel, USMS personnel, and local agencies on the capabilities of the USMS and how to request assistance for military fugitives. These seminars aided in increasing awareness of how to improve effectiveness in addressing this particular aspect of law enforcement. Maj. Frederick also has given a presentation to the Army Sexual Assault Working Group focused on the pending release of updated DOD policy regarding the registration and tracking of sex offenders on military installations and facilities. He has also given a presentation to the National Capital Region Sex Offender Working Group in Gaithersburg, Maryland, attended by agencies from Annapolis, Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Fairfax County, Virginia; Ann Arundel County, Maryland; Baltimore County, Maryland; and Howard County, Maryland designed to inform how the NSOTC can aid with military registrations on federal and state sex offender registries.

Along with the training seminars and multiple presentations on sex offender tracking operations, Maj. Frederick also coordinated and conducted an outreach program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) on sex offender registration. The group was composed of JBLM military police; JBLM Criminal Investigation Command (CID); McChord security forces; Bangor Submarine Base law enforcement; Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia, Washington, police departments; the Washington Department of Corrections; Pierce, King, Snohomish, and several other surrounding counties in Washington state; and state registration officials. The working group highlighted some challenges and potential solutions for registration of sex offenders in JBLM, which is Washington’s seventh largest city. Not only will these seminars, presentations, and outreach programs improve understanding between law enforcement agencies, they will likely improve all partnering agencies’ abilities in targeting, tracking, and apprehending military fugitives, especially those who have committed such heinous crimes.

The ATF’s Fellow, Maj. Tia Terry, serves as the DOD liaison in the ESF #13 National Coordinating Center (NCC), where she advises and informs the National Coordinator of DOD emergency response capabilities and procedures, liaises with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) to incorporate ESF #13’s regional teams into DOD training exercises, plans and facilitates DOD and ESF #13 events and meetings, and serves on the response staff during NCC training events. She has also worked closely with the core staff to develop the DOD Support to Civilian Law Enforcement appendix to the ESF #13 National Concept of Operation Plan, which helps articulate DOD capabilities, limitations, and protocols useful for the NCC during federal emergency responses. Maj. Terry brought a deeper understanding of how ESF #13 could leverage DOD resources to assist federal law enforcement emergency response missions and reinforced the ESF #13 and DOD stakeholder relationship. Not only do these experiences increase Maj. Terry’s knowledge and abilities within the National Response Framework, it also exposes key personnel from civilian law enforcement, FEMA, and other response agencies to DOD?s capabilities and resources.

One unique aspect of the fellowship program is the ability to experience a multitude of the host agency’s capabilities and training outside of the daily scope of duties. For example, Maj. Terry gained exposure to the ATF’s Special Operations Division through participation in quarterly range qualifications and real-world federal arrest and search warrant mission observations. She assisted in medical lane training scenarios and provided opposing force support to room clearing exercises for Class 15-02 at the ATF’s National Training Academy. She also worked with the ATF’s Office of Diversity to enhance and manage the ATF’s Operation Warfighter Program, which provides temporary internships at the ATF to wounded warriors transitioning out of the military. Also, she toured FEMA’s continuity of operations site at Mount Weather (Virginia) and conducted an overview and assessment of ESF #13’s roles and responsibilities while at the facility. Furthermore, Maj. Terry participated as an observer controller in the NCC’s annual capstone exercise, which solidifies ESF #13’s response Standard Operating Procedures and digital systems and rigorously trains its headquarters and regional personnel in a week-long national emergency response scenario. The more exposure an Army Fellow receives to the agency’s different programs, resources, and capabilities, the better he or she understands the agency’s true capacity.

The CBP’s Fellow, Maj. Brian Reynolds, serves in the Mission Support Directorate (MSD) as the senior analyst within the Office of Field Operations (OFO). He is a project manager for the CBP’s Human Capital Strategic Plan which sets the direction for OFO’s workforce over the next five years and identifies the major workforce transformation projects that will need to be managed for plan success. He is also the project manager for the Human Capital Implementation Plan, which accompanies the Human Capital Strategic Plan and outlines how the strategic plan will be executed over a five-year period. Additionally, Maj. Reynolds serves as the project manager for the Leadership Development Governance Project, which is charged with developing a process to select the best candidates in OFO for future leadership opportunities to include DOD Service Schools. He made a direct impact in the development and refinement of CBP’s human resource programs and gained a lasting understanding of the challenges, the capabilities, and the way forward for the organization.

Along with providing technical assistance to CBP’s Workforce Optimization, Leadership Development, and Workforce Engagement projects, Maj. Reynolds also serves in the Office of International Affairs. Specifically in this line of effort, he is part of a team conducting capacity building and partnering operations with the Kosovo Border Police in their ever-growing struggle to secure the Republic of Kosovo’s borders. Maj. Reynolds brought valuable experience from his Army deployments, especially in building foreign partnerships and conducting and supporting stability operations, to develop a three-week training schedule for Kosovo Border Police and other regional partners to combat the influx of foreign fighters in the region. One of the key principles in stability operations is building partner capacity. Army Doctrine Reference Publication (ADRP) 3-07, state’s, Building partner capacity is the outcome of comprehensive inter-organizational activities, programs, and military-to-military engagements that enhance the ability of partners to establish security, governance, economic development, essential services, rule of law, and other critical government functions.?3 The Army has learned from stability operations that outcomes must be clearly defined and must gain acceptance from the local agency; otherwise, all efforts are futile. This combined CBP team, working with its Kosovo police partners, incorporated, and ensured these principles and the outcome will eventually lead to increased capability and improved border security.

As seen above, the Army Fellows make a lasting impact to help further each agency’s mission. While contributing to the organization through oversight and participation in projects, programs, initiatives and engagements, they also get a chance to learn the internal workings of each partner agency and gain an understanding of the broader federal law enforcement enterprise. Fellows are exposed to specialized agency training, able to visit multiple agency facilities, observe live operations, and engage in unusual and rewarding ways. The fellows learn the value of interagency coordination to streamline processes, eliminate redundancies, and gain an appreciation of the true scope of the partner agency mission. This experience augments their ability to work outside military channels and provides a lasting network of contacts and resources to assist in future operations. The partner agency benefits from the fellowship program because it annually receives a new, enthusiastic Army senior leader who carries at least a decade of experience, and is eager to positively impact the organization and form lasting relationships during his or her tenure.

The Chief of Staff of the Army, General Raymond Ordierno, states in the forward to Army Doctrine Publication 3-0 that,

Unified Land Operations provides a common operational concept for a future in which Army forces must be prepared to operate across the range of military operations, integrating their actions with joint, interagency, and multinational partners as part of a larger effort.
The central idea, adapted to the unique conditions of each conflict, represents the Army’s unique contribution to unified action. It must permeate our doctrine, our training, and our leader professional development programs.

The interagency fellowship program is an integral component of this increasingly essential operating concept that will not only positively affect the U.S. Army, but will also ultimately enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of the federal government. ♦

For more information on U.S. Army Fellowships contact
Lt. Col. Will McKannay at 703-695-7045;
or Mr. Tim O’Hagan at 913-684-2443;

1U.S. Army, Army Regulation (AR) 621-7, Army Fellowships and Scholarships (included in pending revision).
2Alfredo Phoenix, (Special Agent at ESF #13 National Coordinating Center), email to Tia Terry, June 10, 2015.
3U.S. Army, Army Doctrine Reference Publication (ADRP) 3-07, Stability (August 2012), 1-8, (accessed July 21, 2014).
4Raymond Ordierno, foreword to Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 3-0, Unified Land Operations (October 2011), (accessed July 21, 2014).
Please cite as

Tia Terry, “Strengthening Capabilities through U.S. Army Interagency Fellowships,” The Police Chief 82 (August 2015): web-only,