By Ms. Kari Hawkins (AMCOM)October 25, 2016
With previous Intelligence assignments in some of the most demanding operational areas in the world, Dennis Young brings an extensive background of international Intelligence and Security experience to the Aviation and Missile Command.
As a 30-year Military Intelligence officer, his experience includes leading Intelligence operations in both Japan and Afghanistan as well as in Korea, Germany, Austria and Hawaii. As a civilian serving nearly eight years as AMCOM's Intelligence Division chief, he has led a team that provides analysis to AMCOM leadership and acquisition programs as well as to the Program Executive Offices for Aviation, and Missiles and Space.
So, taking on the role as AMCOM's new director for Intelligence and Security (G-2), Young hopes to make an operational difference.
"I've always had great assignments and I really liked being a Soldier. I love the Army and I love helping Soldiers. Even after 30 years in the Army, I wanted to continue to serve. I wanted to use my experience and talent to help others," said Young, a retired Army colonel.
"I've been in this career for 38 years. This new role is an opportunity for me to share and give back, to teach and mentor, and, hopefully, to lead employees to make the AMCOM G-2 even better in providing the best possible intelligence and security support to the command and in contributing to the success of AMCOM's overall mission and the missions of the program executive offices as well as to Redstone Arsenal, the Army and the Department of Defense security communities."
The 110 employees working in AMCOM's Intelligence and Security Directorate -- the largest such organization at Redstone -- are focused on the research and analysis of the world security situation and on threat systems, along with the execution of multidiscipline security programs to protect systems, assets and personnel.
"Our mission touches on multiple areas," Young said.
"We provide intelligence and security updates to AMCOM's senior leaders on the world situation and the classified current threat. We perform the intelligence research to help our senior leaders and the PEOs."
Although the security community is relatively small at Redstone Arsenal, it is far-reaching and multi-service as AMCOM works with other organizations such as the Space and Missile Defense Command, the Missile Defense Agency, the Missile and Space Intelligence Center, and the PEOs for Aviation, and Missiles and Space to ensure U.S. weapon technology and development is protected.
That protection takes on even more relevance with the cyber threat that U.S. adversaries present.
"The enemy is always trying to get information on our systems. They want to know and understand our capabilities," Young said. "We must do a good job of understanding the cyber threat and counter that cyber threat as quickly."
The success of the Intelligence and Security Directorate, Young said, is dependent on the threat research and analyses of employees who are analytical, detail-oriented and experts in their field.
"We face the same challenges that other AMCOM and Army-wide organizations face. Getting the right people for the right job is important to our success as we work across numerous project offices and joint organizations," Young said.
Leading those employees is a job that Young enjoys, finding much reward in mentoring and guiding those who are committed to working in the Intelligence and Security domain.
"My philosophy has been the same since I was a lieutenant and my commander pulled me aside and told me, 'Decide what your message is going to be and then commit to that message.' Whether it be a message or a requirement or a mission, it needs to be straightforward and repeated over and over again. If it's not, then it's harder for Soldiers and the workforce to understand."
Three principals have guided Young's management philosophy -- performance, professionalism and positivity.
"You can only judge employees by their performance. You should treat your employees by following the Golden Rule -- treat others as you would want to be treated -- and treat them fairly and professionally in interactions," Young said. "I believe all employees want to take pride in their work and in being part of this team.
Young enlisted in Military Intelligence in 1978, and later graduated from college and was commissioned as an officer. Among his career highlights, he served as a battalion commander and as chief of the Interrogation Center, Korea; and as the chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation in Austria where he coordinated the first sale of Black Hawk helicopters to a non-NATO country. In 2003, he served as the Intelligence and Security officer for the 9th Theater Support Command at Camp Zama, Japan, where he worked with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force.
"The Army gave me an education, a sense of purpose and structure. It was a rewarding career and I especially enjoyed all the people I met and worked with," Young said. "From my enlistment years, I always felt the Army was where I belonged."
In 2005-06, he served as the director of Counterintelligence, Human Intelligence and Interrogation Operations at the combined joint headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.
"We supported coalition forces and worked closely with the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and their border patrol," Young said.
"It was a challenging time to be in Afghanistan because that's when we started seeing the insider threat with attacks by Afghan personnel on Soldiers. Improvised explosive devices and rocket attacks were greatly picking up from the year before as the enemy started turning their efforts away from Iraq to Afghanistan."
His last assignment in Intelligence and Security at the Space and Missile Defense Command brought Young and his wife Wendy to Huntsville. The couple, with four grown children already out on their own, loved the area so much that they settled in Owens Cross Roads.
"We'd traveled for 30 years and my wife loved it here. I promised to build a home here after I retired," Young said.
That home includes the AMCOM intelligence and security community.
"We've got a tremendous leadership team at AMCOM and the program executive offices are supportive and understand the intelligence security mission," Young said. "In this office, we are all appreciative of that."