OSI commander reflects on the ‘State of OSI’

  • Published
  • By Thomas Brading
  • OSI Public Affairs

Office of Special Investigations Commander, Brig. Gen. Terry Bullard, revealed the agency's progress and its future in a recent podcast interview, focusing on changes the command has undergone since 2019 as part of the “OSI We Need” commander’s intent and OSI’s 2021 Command Strategy.

The discussion moved from major mission evolution changes in OSI’s support to the competition sphere including future war fighting concept to technology protection to other issues like OSI workforce resiliency, evolved practices in response to violent crime and fraud, pathway to violence and insider threat detection and response, the latest on equipping agents with new firearms and a modern case management system and much more.

"With the initiatives we've put in place, and the talented personnel we have on our team, I'm confident that OSI will continue to lead the way in national security and law enforcement for years to come," Bullard said.

On the OSI Today podcast, first aired Feb. 24, Bullard touched on several command-wide accomplishments over the past four years. The day prior to the podcast, personnel throughout the command streamed two separate "State of OSI" all-calls covering the same topics.

For example, OSI agents will be able to use compact and subcompact versions of the Glock 19 and 26. Those weapons are being received by the Department of the Air Force by the end of March and will be issued to agents throughout 2023 and 2024.

The transition process for the firearms will be complex, Bullard said, but the command is committed to getting it right along with evolving the required qualification and proficiency firing training requirements.

Bullard believes the new weapons will provide significant benefits to the agency's agents.

"The rollout of the Glock 19 and 26 marks an important step forward for OSI, as it continues to modernize its capabilities and ensure its agents are equipped with the best tools for the job," he said.

During the discussion, Bullard highlighted OSI's integrated resiliency measures for its personnel. Among them were increasing the number of mental health providers and the establishment of the OSI Command Chaplaincy Program.

By implementing these measures, the agency can now offer, in a holistic manner, comprehensive care that addresses the mental health and spiritual needs of its personnel who encounter stressful experiences.

“This takes us to a whole new level of how we’re going to take care of our folks in a mental health sense, and in a spiritual sense in a more proactive; versus reactive way.”, Bullard said.

OSI also has prioritized the well-being of its personnel through initiatives like DO300, or Develop Our 300, which encourages unit leadership team and peer-to-peer engagement and building relationships based on trust and communication.

“Chief Gow and I are proud of how this program has evolved and been embraced by the command since its inception in 2019,” Bullard said.

The program provides space and time for personnel to develop themselves and their teams, crucial to mission success. DO300 represents a step forward in how OSI takes care of its personnel, he said.

OSI is also taking a proactive approach to combating those found to be on the pathway to violence and insider threats through the identification of concerning behaviors. Effective counter-insider threat programs rely on timely reporting of potential risks and behaviors that may indicate a threat.

By proactively reacting to reports of insider threats and those exhibiting potential self-harm or violent tendencies, OSI can prevent potential threats before investigating their aftermaths, Bullard explained.

“Between the technology we have on hand, and what disciplined behavioral science has taught us, our actions can now help stop tragic events before they happen - and no one in the DAF is currently postured to do that better than we are,” Bullard said, adding behavioral threat assessment teams are a top priority, with measures being taken to become more proactive in addressing emerging threats.

Bullard also discussed OSI’s comprehensive, command-wide approach to technology protection; a concept and approach named Spartan Citadel.

This is OSI’s critical operational and investigative approach to protecting vital programs, rapid acquisition and technologies through proactive counterintelligence and procurement fraud support and broadened technology protection efforts.

OSI reorganized and refocused its efforts to provide comprehensive counterintelligence and investigative services at new National Security Detachments located across the nation outside of traditional DAF installations and in the centers of gravity for the national security innovation base, rapid acquisition, and emerging technologies.

Bullard also spent time discussing OSI’s evolving approach to supporting national, DoD and DAF efforts on the competition to conflict spectrum globally. Those efforts, and the doctrine supporting those actions, are known as Spartan Ace and have been underway across the command since the 2019-time frame.

“OSI started developing its approach to the new competition and warfighting landscape after changes to national security and defense strategic approaches in 2018 and continue to evolve that approach through today. Continuous evolution and innovation in this area, along with and in parallel to the DAF and Joint Force, will be vital to the command remaining relevant and successful in the future.” Bullard said.

At the end of the podcast, Bullard expressed his pride in how far the agency has come, adding, "We're lightyears ahead of where we were a few years ago, and it's a testament to the great work being done by our personnel worldwide. We will continue to evolve and stay at the forefront of innovation in the face of evolving threats, and I have no doubt that OSI's future is bright."

Collectively, these topics, among others, provide a glimpse into the current state and future of OSI. Bullard’s full interview covers many more topics of interest to those in the national security and law enforcement fields and gives external audiences a broad-brush overview of the command.

To hear more about OSI's initiatives and accomplishments over the past four years, as well as its plans, check out the OSI Today podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts.