Marine Corps War College
Kevin Heaton

Mr. Kevin Heaton is the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Chair at Marine Corps University, resident at Marine Corps War College. He arrived at the University in July 2022 and teaches in the National Security curriculum.  

Mr. Heaton’s career began with DIA in 2005 as a human intelligence (HUMINT) collector, spending the vast majority of his career in the Directorate for Operations (DO). He has deployed for DIA and embedded with U.S. military special mission units (SMU) in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a fluent Japanese linguist, he also served  in Tokyo for six years working closely with partners in Japan’s Ministry of Defense.  

During a period of particular international tensions with North Korea, Mr. Heaton managed all Defense Clandestine Service (DCS) operations in Northeast Asia, and briefed the Vice President of the United States upon request. He represented DO and DCS to Congress for two years, personally providing detailed classified and unclassified briefings to Representatives and Senators on HUMINT, counterintelligence, and associated complex support functions including use of cover and other proprietary arrangements. 

Mr. Heaton has managed or supported Defense Attaché activities across the globe, and has written and closely coordinated legislative proposals and executive memos with interagency partners including CIA, NSA, NGA, DNI, Department of State, the National Security Council, and multiple Combatant Commands.  

Mr. Heaton’s awards include the DIA Director’s Award for Excellence, the Director for National Intelligence’s Legislative Support Officer of the Year, Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award, and Secretary of Defense Medals for The Global War on Terrorism.  


Associates of Applied Science, Intelligence Operations (High Honors) from Cochise College (2006)  
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Japanese Minor) from Brigham Young University (2005) 
Masters of Strategic Studies from Marine Corps War College (2020) 

Areas of Emphasis

Intelligence Operations 
Japanese language and East Asian affairs 
Legislative relations 
Defense Attaché operations 
Strategic communications

Marine Corps University