How a Marine Grunt Broke into the Intelligence Community

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EPISODE DESCRIPTION

This week, host Mike Abrams welcomes U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, national intelligence professional and FourBlock Career Readiness Instructor Ellis Craig, who shares how he overcame some of the challenges and uncertainty he faced during his military transition and in his civilian career, how he made his way into the professional intelligence community, and how he worked his way up to his dream career. Ellis also shares expert insights and actionable advice for veterans in transition based on his two-plus decades of federal government experience in military operations, domestic defense, and national security intelligence.

Ellis Craig is a seasoned operations intelligence specialist with the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis. In this capacity, he functions as the executive officer for the Policy branch and delivers expertise in policy analysis, strategic planning, outreach engagement, and decision-making support to translate the Under Secretary’s strategic priorities into policy and planning products that drive operational effectiveness through integration, prioritization, and resource allocation.

Ellis has over two decades of federal government experience in military operations, domestic defense, and national security intelligence spanning across organizational boundaries. He consults on national security threats and provides policy coordination expertise to five threat-focused mission centers that function as the Department’s center of gravity for intelligence-driven integration of analysis to counter threats facing the Homeland.

He consults on national security threats and provides policy coordination expertise to five threat-focused mission centers that function as the Department’s center of gravity for intelligence-driven integration of analysis to counter threats facing the Homeland.

Ellis served in the United States Marine Corps from 1988-1992. With the 2nd Marine Division, he participated in Operation Desert Storm’s ground offensive and the was the recipient of multiple combat decorations. His most crowning achievement included the Navy Achievement Medal with a Valor device for combat heroism and exceptional leadership while in the “heel" of Kuwait.

Ellis has volunteered with FourBlock for a number of years as a coach and lecturer, and now serves as a Career Readiness Instructor for our Washington, D.C. program.

In other activities, Ellis is active in many civic and charitable organizations throughout the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. He is recognized as a man of goodwill and a member of Prince Hall Masonic Fraternity in the District of Columbia. Presently, he serves on the Board of Advisors for Global Inspirational Speakers, LLC. He is an active member of the prestigious Army Navy Club, a private haven for military officers and America’s warrior class.

ABOUT US

Welcome to the FourBlock Podcast, a show that examines veteran career transition and the military-civilian divide in the workplace. General Charles Krulak coined the term “Three Block War” to describe the nature of 21st-century military service defined by peace-keeping, humanitarian aid, and full combat. But what happens next? Veterans are often unprepared to return home and begin new careers. We call this the Fourth Block.

FourBlock is a national non-profit that has supported thousands of transitioning service members across the nation in beginning new and meaningful careers.

Mike Abrams (@fourblock) is an Afghanistan veteran, FourBlock founder, director of the Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration, and author of two military transition books. He’ll be representing the military transition perspective. Lindsey Pollak (@lindsaypollak) is a career and workplace expert and New York Times bestselling author of three career advice books. Lindsey will be representing the civilian perspective of this issue.

Veterans, explore new industries and make the right connections. Find a career that fits your calling. Join us at fourblock.org. Sponsor our program or host a class to equip more of our veterans at fourblock.org/donate.

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