In the summer of 1964, I had about a year left in my military enlistment. Sheri, my girlfriend, had asked me to help her uncle George finish building a boat dock and pier at his cottage on the Chesapeake Bay. He was providing food and nails. How could I refuse? Anything was better than staying on base for the weekend. On that Saturday morning, I had been nailing down planks on the new dock for less than an hour, but the day was already feeling long. The sun was hot, and there was not much of a breeze coming off the bay. Uncle George had been resupplying me with boards and, on the next supply run, handed me a frosty bottle of beer. I sat back with a smile and a “thank you” and took a long, cold swig. “Paul, what do you plan to do when you get out of the Marine Corps?” he asked. “I have no idea, sir,” I replied. “I do know I’m not going back to Niagara Falls and work in a factory like my father and uncles.” “Ever thought about working for the CIA?” was his next question. That one hit me like a bolt of lightening out of the blue. “The CIA?” I asked incredulously, as I tried to look up at him while shielding the sun from my eyes with my hand. “I think you would like working for the Agency,” he continued. “Why don't you go down to their employment office and fill out an application? Put my name down as a reference.” Uncle George handed me a business card printed with his name and walked back to shore for another load of boards. The card displayed nothing more than his name; no American eagle, no 007, no CIA. I tucked the card into my hip pocket and started thinking about what I could do for the Central Intelligence Agency. Our dinner conversation covered a myriad of topics that evening. Never once was the CIA mentioned. I later found out that even Sheri did not know uncle George was going to suggest the Agency to me, nor could she shed any light on what he did for them. The following week, with a day pass from my first sergeant and a friend’s car, I drove the 35 miles from Quantico to 1016 16th Street, NW, in Washington, DC. The building looked no different from other office buildings on that street. I double-checked the address before entering the lobby where a young lady at the reception desk asked me for my driver’s license and handed me a short “Visitor” form to fill out. Name, address, and social security number were all I had to write. At the bottom of the form were places for a personal reference and my signature. I filled out the form, copied down uncle George’s name, scribbled my signature, and handed the form back to the receptionist. She asked me to take a seat in the waiting area. About 20 minutes later, a gentlemen in a nicely tailored suit approached and invited me back to his office. I was trying to anticipate how to react to my first interview by a CIA recruiter but was unprepared for what happened next. He asked me only two questions, “How are you this morning, Mr. G.?” and “Can you get to 1st and M streets by 10:30?” “I think we have a position you will find interesting,” he continued, as he pointed out a building on a map of the Washington Navy Yard in southeast DC. The number of the building was 213. He gave me directions, tracing a route on the map with his finger. We then stood up, shook hands, and he wished me luck with my next interview. As I walked out of his office, bewildered by the brevity of the interview, I could not help but wonder who uncle George was.  I made it to the corner of 1st and M with time to spare. Building 213 was a white, six-story concrete building with all of its windows bricked in except for a row of dark-tinted windows on the top floor. There was a parking lot in front. A 10-foot high chain-link fence topped with three strands of barbed wire surrounded the lot. There were no signs or logos on the property except for the number 213. The building drew no more attention than that of a warehouse. At the 1st-street entrance a uniformed officer, standing next to a guard booth, asked me for my driver’s license. He went into the booth, made a phone call and within two minutes handed back my license, gave me a visitor’s parking permit for my windshield, and pointed out the parking space I was to use. He instructed me to see the receptionist at the front desk in the lobby. The lobby in Building 213 was nothing to write home about. White and sterile would be a fair description. There was a long desk to the left of the lobby where two uniformed guards were checking the identification badges of people entering and leaving the building. Everyone was wearing a badge except me. Another long desk was to the right of the lobby. This one had two women sitting behind it. The sign on the desk read, “Reception.” I handed one of the women my driver’s license. She asked me to fill out a short form identical with the one I had filled out at the recruitment office. On handing the form back, she presented me with my first government badge. I did not think it would have allowed me access to anything more than the men’s room. A large, red “V” was emblazoned on the plain, white badge. I soon learned that I was now an official “uncleared visitor.” With my new badge clipped to my pocket, I waited in the lobby while the receptionist made a phone call. In less than five minutes, Another man in a well-tailored suit escorted me to a small interview room next to the lobby. For the next 45 minutes, I was “filled in” on the job I was being offered and on the process I would go through to get my clearances. The process could take up to a year, and after seeing the pile of forms I was given to fill out, I calculated that six months of that time would be dedicated to writing. The gentleman quipped that when the weight of the paperwork equaled my body weight, I would have my clearances. The longest form was the Personal History Statement. I, my neighbors, and friends would soon discover the CIA wanted to know everything about me. As for the job, I knew little more than when I first entered building 213. I was to be a records control clerk with a GS-4 pay grade. For those not familiar with the GS government pay scale, a GS-4’s salary hovers just above the poverty line in Washington, DC. That was about it. Information about what records I would control and for whom was never offered. Fourteen months later I received my letter of acceptance. One month after my discharge from the Marine Corps, I was gainfully employed by the CIA. The beginning of my career in the federal government was the beginning of a series of adventures few people in any profession could ever imagine. As an artist, the experiences were unique and exciting. It took a stranger’s name and about 90 minutes for an artist and Marine from Niagara Falls to get a job with the CIA. I have never been hired faster, nor have I ever had to wait longer to start my first day of work. I have never had a better time nor received a better salary. Interestingly, this would be the first of three times I would work for the CIA. Three was charm for me.
Washington Navy Yard, circa 1960.
NPIC Imagery analysis won a place as its own discipline in World War II. Aerial photography long predated that conflict, of course, but what made it "intelligence" was the new and tightly guarded sophistication of the analysis that interpreted the pictures because of other sources to maximize the strategic impact of air power. Allied theater commanders in Europe and the Pacific needed such intelligence, both to identify significant targets and to understand the effects that their efforts were having on the enemy. With British tutelage, the U. S. Army Air Force built a formidable capability to provide it. Ironically, by 1946 much of that capability had been demobilized in the United States. In the years when strategic air-power was recognized and built up as a key part of national security, intelligence to guide strategic bombing campaigns faced institutional jeopardy and professional stagnation. It was not until 1961 before the United States had a "national" imagery analysis capability. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on almost his last day in office, created the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) as a joint project of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense. His act ended years of drift for imagery intelligence. Headed by Arthur C. Lundahl, NPIC  combined Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Army, Navy, and Air Force assets to solve national intelligence problems. NPIC was part of the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology (DDS&T) and its primary function was imagery analysis. NPIC first identified the Soviet Union's basing of missiles in Cuba in 1962. By exploiting images from U-2 overflights and film from canisters ejected by orbit-ing Corona satellite, NPIC analysts developed the information necessary to tell US policy- makers and affect operations during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Their analysis garnered worldwide attention when the Kennedy Administration de-classified and made public a portion of the images depicting the Soviet missiles on Cuban soil; Adlai  Stevenson presented the images to the United nations Security Counsel on October 25,1962. NIMA In 1987, NPIC’s duties were expanded to include mapping, and it name was changed to the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). Creating NIMA followed more than a year of study, debate and planning by the defense, intelligence and policy-making communities (as well as the Congress) and continuing consultations with customer organizations. NIMA combined the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA), the Central Imagery Office (CIO), and the Defense Dissemination Program Office (DDPO) in their entirety, and NPIC. Also merged into NIMA were the imagery exploitation, dissemination and processing elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office (DARO). NIMA's creation was clouded by the natural reluctance of cultures to merge and the fear that their respective mis-sions – mapping in sup-port of defense activities versus intelligence production, principally in support of national policymakers – would be subordinated, each to the other. The combined groups managed to set cultural barriers aside, listened, shared, and proceeded to issue intelligence products that had their customers immediately clamoring for more. NGA  With the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 in 2003, NIMA was renamed National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), to better reflect its primary mission in the area of  geospatial intelli- gence (GEOINT). As a part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, all major Washington, DC-area NGA facilities have been consolidated at a new facility at Fort Belvoir, VA. This new facility is massive, housing several thousand people and situated on the former Engineer Proving Ground site near Fort Belvoir. Edited from the CIA historical file, A Look Back ... The Founding of NPIC, 1961;, Our History, and NGA’s Sept./Oct. 2011 magazine, Pathfinder 
Overhead Reconnaissance During the Civil War, the Union and Confederacy both utilized spotters in tethered balloons to observe their opponents troop movements, gun emplacements, and fortifications. The danger to these “aerial” observers was compounded by the excellent skills of sharp- shooters on both sides of the conflict.
NGA Campus East 
Building 213, located at First & M Streets SE, in the Washington Navy Yard. Not much has changed over the past 40 years except for a fresh coat of paint and a new iron fence.
First Aerial Reconnaissance In World War I, the first use of aircraft was for observation of the enemy. Originally, intelligence officers made personal observations and notes of enemy activities from the front cockpit. Soon, specially design aerial cameras were being used to bring back images for analysis. It wasn’t until some of these airmen began carrying side arms and shotguns for protection that aerial combat begin.
NPIC National Photographic Interpretation Center Ever thought about working for the CIA?
CIA recruitment office, 1016 16th Street NW, was located one block from the Soviet embassy.
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