NSA officials are expected to be selected for Marine intelligence jobs as the Corps works through a backlog of leadership changes.

NSA officials are expected to be selected for Marine intelligence jobs as the Corps works through a backlog of leadership changes.


President Joe Biden plans to nominate a recently appointed National Security Agency official to be the next deputy commandant for intelligence of the U.S. Marine Corps, according to two people familiar with the decision.

Maj. Gen. Melvin “Jerry” Carter will be responsible for developing and overseeing all Army policy and strategy for how the Army uses intelligence to execute Army doctrine.

Carter currently serves as deputy director for combat support at the NSA’s Cybersecurity Directorate, in which he is responsible for protecting classified information on U.S. national security systems and eliminating threats from foreign hackers.

It is unclear when the White House will formally announce Carter’s nomination, but two sources, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the decision, believe it could come soon as the Marines try to overcome the fallout from senators blocking nominations to senior military positions for much of last year.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) held up his nomination for nearly 10 months in protest of a Pentagon policy that pays for service members to travel to get an abortion. Though Tuberville finally relented in December after facing bipartisan pressure, the delays rippled throughout the military, most notably the Marine Corps’ intelligence and digital missions.

For example, Maj. Gen. Joseph Matos took over command of Marine Corps Cyberspace Command in March. His predecessor, Lt. Gen. Ryan Heritage, was initially nominated to be the Marine Corps’ next chief information officer. But in April, it was announced that Heritage would instead become director of operations for U.S. Cyber ​​Command.

Carter was set to take up his post at the NSA early last year but won’t begin until the end of 2023. He is the second military officer to serve at the agency and was awarded his second star in January.

Her predecessor at the NSA, Lt. Gen. Lorna Marlock, who took over command of Cyber ​​Command’s elite unit, the Cyber ​​National Mission Force, that same month, was similarly delayed by the Tubberville blockade.

Lt. Gen. Matthew Graby, who currently serves as the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for intelligence, will retire rather than be promoted to the No. 2 job in the entire Marine Corps, according to sources.

A relatively new position in the Marine Corps

If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Carter would be the third DCI since the position was created in 2017 and the first to lead the military’s digital warfare branch, which is based at Fort Meade, Maryland, along with Cyber ​​Command and the NSA.

Carter, who joined the Marines in 1985, has a long history of intelligence service, including in Afghanistan.

Prior to joining the Cybersecurity Agency, he served as Deputy Director for NSA’s Computer Network Operations Division.

The Pentagon, Marine Corps and NSA declined to comment on the matter.

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