Michael T. Flynn

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Michael T. Flynn
Michael T Flynn.jpg
Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, Director of DIA
Born c. 1959
Middletown, Rhode Island
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1981–2014
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General (Ret.)
Unit Defense Intelligence Agency, Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
Battles/wars Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Urgent Fury, Operation Uphold Democracy
Awards Defense Superior Service Medal (two oak leaf clusters)
Legion of Merit (oak leaf cluster)
Bronze Star Medal (three oak leaf clusters)
Meritorious Service Medal (five oak leaf clusters)
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal (five oak leaf clusters)

Michael T. Flynn is a retired United States Army lieutenant general[1][2] who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and chair of the Military Intelligence Board from July 24, 2012, to August 2, 2014.[3] Prior to this he served as assistant director of national intelligence. He consistently pushed for greater information and intelligence sharing and was a leading figure in coalition and special operations intelligence operations. Flynn co-authored a report in January 2010 through the Center for a New American Security entitled Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan,[4] that criticized the intelligence community for lacking an understanding of the human-socio context of the battlefield in Afghanistan.

Flynn's military career was primarily operational, with numerous combat arms, conventional and special operations senior intelligence assignments. He also served as the senior intelligence officer for the Joint Special Operations Command, where he was credited with creating innovative techniques for interrogation operations and operations-intelligence fusion, leading to major breakthroughs in counterterrorism operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere against Al-Qaeda and its associated movements. Flynn is a published author, with articles appearing in, Small Wars Journal, Military Review, Joint Forces Quarterly, the Center for a New American Security, and other military and intelligence publications.


Flynn graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science degree in management science in 1981 and was commissioned a distinguished military graduate through Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He also holds three master's degrees and an honorary doctorate. He is also the recipient of the Congressionally approved Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the 2012 Association of Special Operations Professionals Man of the Year award.


Flynn's assignments included multiple tours at Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, and Joint Special Operations Command, where he deployed for Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada and Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti. He also has served with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.[2]

Flynn commanded the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade from June 2002 to June 2004. He served as the assistant chief of staff, G2, XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from June 2001 and the director of intelligence, Joint Task Force 180 in Afghanistan until July 2002.[2]

Flynn served as the director of intelligence, Joint Staff from July, 2008 to June, 2009, then the director of intelligence, International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan from June 2009 to October 2010. He also served as the director of intelligence, United States Central Command from June 2007 to July 2008, and the director of intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command from July 2004 to June 2007, with service in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) and Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom).[2]

Flynn is a graduate of the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course, Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course, Army Command and General Staff College, the School of Advanced Military Studies, and Naval War College. He earned a Master of Business Administration in Telecommunications from Golden Gate University, a Master of Military Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College, a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College and an honorary doctorate from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC.[2]

Office of the Director of National Intelligence[edit]

In September 2011 numerous media outlets reported on Flynn's promotion to lieutenant general and assignment to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. His duties include public, private, and international outreach and engagement. Flynn's influence throughout the intelligence community is primarily with operational units across all the services, especially in the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance arenas as well as information technology and organizational design.

Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency[edit]

On April 17, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Flynn to be the 18th director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.[5] Flynn took command of DIA, July, 2012.[6] In October 2012 Flynn announced plans to release his paper "VISION2020: Accelerating Change Through Integration", a broad look at how the Defense Intelligence Agency must transform to meet the national security challenges for the 21st Century.[7]

On April 30, 2014, LTG Flynn announced his retirement effective Fall 2014.[8] He retired August 7, 2014.


Flynn was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters), Legion of Merit (with oak leaf cluster), Bronze Star Medal (with three oak leaf clusters), Meritorious Service Medal (with five oak leaf clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with five oak leaf clusters), and several service and campaign medals. Flynn also earned the Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, and Joint Staff Identification Badge.[2]


  1. ^ Mark Mardell A damning view of US intelligence in Afghanistan January 5, 2010 BBC News
  2. ^ a b c d e f Michael T. Flynn Biography Retrieved January 2, 2014
  3. ^ "Rogers Lauds Retiring Defense Intelligence Agency Chief" August 7, 2014 Defense.gov
  4. ^ Michael T. Flynn, Captain Matt Pottinger, Paul D. Batchelor (January 2010). "Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan" (PDF). Center for a New American Security. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Flynn to head DIA; more general moves announced". Army Times. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Panetta: Under Burgess, DIA Evolved Into Global Agency". Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "DIA maps out new structure to address 'persistent conflict". Defense Systems. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Top 2 Pentagon intelligence officials abruptly quit". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 30 April 2014.