Home Cyber security Intelligence Work Protects Our Borders and the Country
Intelligence Work Protects Our Borders and the Country

Intelligence Work Protects Our Borders and the Country


This article is part of a series focusing on individuals who dedicate their careers to serving the public in honor of Public Service Recognition Week.

Frank HootonFrank Hooton is a Lieutenant with the Joint Operations Intelligence Center for the Texas Military Department (attached to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Ranger Division). He has been with the Texas State Guard for more than 5 years.

For the past 4 years, he has been on full-time active duty, providing intelligence analysis and intelligence coordination for a large unified command. Prior to his military service, he worked in the private sector around the southwest U.S., providing support to the military. Frank is currently pursuing his master’s degree in intelligence studies from American Military University.

We asked Frank why he chose a career in public service and how his work helps others.

What inspired you to pursue a career in this field?

I wanted to make a difference and create a better world for my children and our country. I was working in the civilian world as a military project manager for a MARCOA, a company that publishes military base installation guides.

A fellow Guardsman asked me to “make a small sacrifice.” I left my private sector position and volunteered for full-time active duty to join a border security operation. It took a little convincing for my family to get onboard, especially since there were safety concerns.

I spent the first two years of my deployment along the Texas border, while my family remained in San Antonio. Now my family is here with me, and all the pieces have come together. My decision to leave the high-paying civilian world and serve my country in command of a JOIC has been an extremely fulfilling decision.

What do you wish you knew before going into this field?

I wish I’d known how much of a positive return and honor it would be to serve in this capacity. My agency’s role impacts many other agencies. Our work really extends far beyond the Texas border.

What is the most satisfying and/or enjoyable part of your career?

The most satisfying part of my job is helping make Texas—and the country as a whole—safer by providing good intelligence and enhancing awareness of threats.

Is there a moment or incident that you reflect upon fondly as being highly representative of why you pursued this career in the first place?

Our work is restricted, so I can’t provide details, but recently my team of analysts picked up on some key details from one of our partners which could have easily been overlooked as “insignificant.”

Fortunately, my team is extremely thorough. Their tenaciousness resulted in identifying some specific details that resulted in bringing attention to some bad people and not giving them the opportunity to present a threat to the state.

What impact does your work have on American citizens?

Our work keeps our country safer by identifying threats and those people who wish harm to our country. Our agency works daily with multiple agencies—local, state and federal—to coordinate efforts to keep bad folks at bay.

What advice would you give others pursuing a similar career?

Take the leap and do it! It is extremely rewarding to know each day that what you do makes a difference. The intelligence field has many career areas and many levels of opportunity.

All of those careers are necessary to develop the pieces that define the overall picture of U.S. security. When you develop a key piece, it is extremely satisfying.

To learn more about Frank’s work and his recent collaboration with the United States Coast Guard, read this article:


Online Degrees & Certificates In Cybersecurity

American Military University's online cybersecurity programs integrate multiple disciplines to ensure you gain the critical skills and management practices needed to effectively lead cybersecurity missions – from government or private industry. Learn from the leader. American Military University is part of American Public University System, which has been designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

Request Information

Please complete this form and we’ll contact you with more information about AMU. All fields except phone are required.

Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Ready to apply? Start your application today.

We value your privacy.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails, texts, and phone calls and messages from American Public University System, Inc. which includes American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU), its affiliates, and representatives. I understand that this consent is not a condition of enrollment or purchase.

You may withdraw your consent at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy, terms, or contact us for more details.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *