About this event


Speaker: Nick Reynolds
What: Lunchtime Talk on his new book Need to Know: World War II and the Rise of American Intelligence
When: Thursday 23 February 2023 from 1100 until 1300 EST
Where: In person in the JSOU Eagle Claw Auditorium, this talk will not be broadcast virtually but will be recorded and posted to the ThinkJSOU YouTube channel.
Audience: Limited to SOCOM, JSOU, and CENTCOM personnel with base access
Registration: Register by 17 February

Event Overview:

William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan was on a mission. He had a mandate from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to lead an office that would coordinate American intelligence. But Donovan’s vision was even greater. He wanted to create a one-stop shop to conduct the full range of intelligence activities and functions. Donovan recruited a larger-than-life cast of characters to join his new organization. That organization became the Office of Strategic Services or OSS, and it spearheaded the birth of American special operations.

Join former CIA operations officer, historian, and best-selling author Nicholas Reynolds as he discusses his new book, Need to Know: World War II and the Rise of American Intelligence. Reynolds will address some myths surrounding Donovan and the OSS also explaining their role in the Second World War. Count on a few entertaining stories, like when Donovan hopped on a 1920s-era wooden biplane to tour a secret OSS camp deep behind enemy lines!

He will also offer insights on other topics, including:
What the U.S. government knew ahead of the attack on Pearl Harbor
The origins of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance and “special relationship” between American and British intelligence
The development of signals intelligence and its centrality to the war effort
Personal and organizational rivalries that had lasting impacts on the U.S. Intelligence Community

Remember to register ahead of time for this JSOU event. We look forward to seeing you Thursday, 23 February from 11:30AM-1:00 PM EST in the JSOU Eagle Claw Auditorium!

Unable to attend?  This Lunchtime Talk will be recorded and posted to the ThinkJSOU YouTube channel at a later date: https://www.youtube.com/@ThinkJSOU

Unable to attend and have a question for Dr. Perlman?  Please submit all questions to ThinkJSOU@jsou.edu

All other questions, including account resets, can also be directed to ThinkJSOU@JSOU.edu

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Jeffrey Rogg
Jeffrey Rogg

Jeff Rogg is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Intelligence and JIIM at Joint Special Operations University. His research interests include U.S. intelligence history, civil-intelligence relations, comparative intelligence, and national security policy. Jeff is currently revising his book manuscript, The Spy and the State: The Story of American Intelligence, which is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Jeff has published articles in the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence and Intelligence and National Security. He has authored and co-authored book chapters on comparative intelligence and U.S. intelligence oversight. Jeff’s work has also appeared in Just Security, The Washington Post, The National Interest, and the Los Angeles Times.

Jeff sits on the editorial board of the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. He also currently serves as the Communications Director/Newsletter Editor for the Intelligence Studies Section of the International Studies Association and the Virtual Brown Bag Coordinator for the North American Society for Intelligence History.

Prior to his position at JSOU, Jeff was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies at The Citadel. He completed a postdoctoral teaching and research fellowship in the National Security Affairs Department at the U.S. Naval War College. Jeff served for six years in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. He is a graduate of US Army Airborne School and Air Assault School.


Ph.D. History (The Ohio State University)
M.A. Security Studies (Georgetown University School of Foreign Service)
J.D. (Villanova University)
B.A. Latin, Ancient History (Swarthmore College)

Nicholas  Reynolds
Nicholas Reynolds

Nicholas Reynolds has worked in the fields of modern military history and intelligence off and on for forty years, with some unusual detours. With a freshly minted PhD from Oxford University in hand, he joined the United States Marine Corps in the 1970s, serving as an infantry officer and then as a historian. As a colonel in the reserves, he eventually became Officer in Charge of Field History, deploying historians around the world to capture history as it was being made. When not on duty with the USMC, he served as a CIA officer at home and abroad, immersing himself in the very human business of espionage. He was later the historian for the CIA Museum, responsible for developing its strategic plan and helping to turn remarkable artifacts into compelling stories. He is the author of several books, including The New York Times bestseller, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961. His most recent book, Need to Know: World War II and the Rise of American Intelligence was listed in The New Yorker’s “Best Books of 2022.”