On this week’s episode of the Forward Observer Podcast (tune in below), I talked about the concept that “every patriot is a sensor.” That maxim comes from the Army, where every soldier is a sensor. Whether you’re on patrol, on guard duty, talking to detainees, or just being on base, every soldier has a responsibility to remain situationally-aware and observe his environment.
The military has Intelligence collectors that are involved in active collection. But if that’s the only information the Army relied on, they’d only be seeing several pieces of the Intelligence pie. The irony of Intelligence collection is that line units out on patrol are generally the first to collect threat intelligence information and are also the first ones to use it. So in addition to combat skills, soldiers also need to be aware of changes in their operating environment — that’s passive intelligence collection and it’s extremely vital to the security of organizations under threat.
We want to build the same culture in our security groups by encouraging our members to passively collect intelligence information. We’re not tasking them to go out of their way; all we’re asking is, in the course of their normal duties, if they come into contact with something that sounds like it could be important, to report it back to the Analysis & Control Element (ACE).