By Sgt. Jeff Storrier, Public Affairs NCOJanuary 4, 2017
FORT BELVOIR, Virginia -- Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James R. Clapper paid a visit to the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) headquarters at the Nolan Building, Jan. 4.
Clapper met with Maj. Gen. Christopher S. Ballard, INSCOM commanding general, and several senior staff members followed by a town hall style forum where he engaged in discussion with more than 500 personnel from INSCOM's headquarters and 14 outstations around the globe.
Clapper's visit will likely be his last to INSCOM in his role as DNI as he is scheduled to retire Jan. 20, after 50-plus years of military and government service.
"I so much appreciate days like today - getting out and seeing people and what they are doing in the Army," Clapper said of his visit to INSCOM HQ.
Clapper went on to speak about the experience he'd gained throughout his career in intelligence, which began as a second lieutenant in the Air Force in 1963, including a tour in South Korea in the mid-1980's in which he spent the majority of his time with Army personnel.
"I call it my 2-year enlistment in the Army," Clapper said. "I learned a lot about a business I was already in, especially at a tactical level."
It was in Korea that Clapper began to realize that the Army has an institutional commitment to military intelligence that is unmatched.
"This command, and the Army, is very special to me." he said.
Clapper's father was in the Army and was assigned to the Army Security Agency which in 1977 became INSCOM.
When asked to reflect on the changes he'd seen throughout a lifetime of intelligence work, Clapper chose to focus on something that hasn't changed as opposed to everything that has.
"Despite the changes there has been one constant," he said after a thoughtful pause, "and that is the people in this room, the people haven't changed."
At the conclusion of the event Clapper was presented with several mementos by Ballard on behalf of the INSCOM team.
"You have been an inspiration and mentor to all of us and we thank you so much for your service to our Nation," Ballard said to Clapper.