Intelligence knows no bounds

Intelligence knows no bounds

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Corey Mackenzie, assigned to the Command Element, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), reenlists on the weather deck of the USS Kearsarge. Photo by Cpl Kyle N. Runnels.

USS KEARSARGE (Aug. 16, 2013) - Sgt Corey Mackenzie from Warwick, R.I. has been in the business of intelligence for nearly five years and is currently the senior intelligence analyst for the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit during their 2013 deployment, his second deployment with the MEU. 

"In intelligence, our job is all about reducing the uncertainty of the battle space environment for our commanding officer," said Mackenzie. "We take things that are not easily comprehended and make it an easy product to push out to everybody. Dissemination is a huge part of it as well as timeliness. We have to get ahead of the intelligence picture by predicting and estimating what is going to happen next."

The work completed by Mackenzie and his Marines could take anywhere from hours to days depending on their familiarity on the situation and location. Regardless of how long it is worked on, he said, he likes seeing his work used in real-world situations.

"My favorite part about this job is seeing my products actually being briefed to some of the flag officers or the higher headquarters: To know something you worked on gets sent up to Headquarters Marine Corps or [Combatant Command], or even seeing your product being supplemented into something they create."

He also said he loves the mystery behind his job. He jokingly commented and said when Marines say they are intelligence people often think of them as the next Jason Bourne or a spy making the job seem a lot cooler and mysterious than it really is. His enthusiasm for the job and his leadership styles have made a high-tempo work environment into a more relaxed atmosphere.

"Sgt Mackenzie is definitely a strong influence on our shop," said Cpl Barry Weddle Jr., a Niles, Mich., native, and intelligence analyst for the 26th MEU. "He is one of the strongest analysts I have ever met. Having Sgt. Mackenzie guide me is shaping me to become a better analyst. With him, he brings a relaxed atmosphere and helps keep the stress down."

Recently reenlisting in the Marine Corps on Aug. 9, 2013, Mackenzie received orders to United States Special Operations Command, more commonly known as SOCOM.

"I realized in my job, essentially what I need is the experience," said Mackenzie. "To go from two deployments with the MEU, to going to a joint command at a theater level [Joint Intelligence Center] is going to definitely augment the stuff I have done. It is going to show me a different type of intelligence than what I have been dealing with, and working in a joint community is already exciting enough. You will have to know the full gamut of every services mission."

Keeping his future in mind he is currently working on his bachelor's degree in intelligence studies.

"I am definitely going to finish my degree within the next four years," he said. "I will most likely pick up staff sergeant and after that I will be networking and making a lot of connections so I can transfer and become a contractor or a government employee in the same occupational field. I look forward to the next step and can't wait to see what happens after my time with the 26th MEU."

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