Mission Essential Conversations : The Future of IO in the Military


Mission Essential Releases Interview between General Tony Thomas, USSOCOM (R) and Major General Clay Hutmacher, USSOCOM (R) on the Future of IO in the Military

Tampa, FL, May 19, 2020 – On May 8, 2020, Mission Essential hosted a virtual interview between General Tony Thomas, USSOCOM, (R) and Major General Clay Hutmacher, USSOCOM, (R) to capture General Thomas’ thoughts on the current and future function of IO in our nation’s military actions. A recording of the interview is available today Monday, May 18.

General Thomas’ reflections come at a critical time in history when those who provide intelligence support to the U.S. military must remain nimble in response to an ever-evolving battlefield. “The integration of technology and human expertise has long been the focus of Mission Essential,” shared Bryan Hurley, Vice President at Mission Essential. “IO is a key component of global security today. The type and diversity of threats demand ongoing development and training.”

General Thomas, former Commanding General for U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), was one of the military’s earliest and staunchest advocates for applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the battlefield and was the first senior officer to appoint a Chief Data Officer to bring private sector solutions to the command.


General Tony Thomas (R) recently retired after three years as the Commanding General for U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). As the commander of SOCOM, he oversaw 85,000 troops and civilians deployed in over 100 countries. In his last two roles leading globally deployed forces, Gen. Thomas increased the focus on cyber and information operations. He is currently a venture partner at LUX Capital.

Major General Clay Hutmacher (R) retired in 2018 after a 40 year career as a United States Army Officer. Most recent assignments include Director of Operations in the U.S. Special Operation Command, Tampa, FL and MH-60 Direct Action Penetrator Platoon Leader for Delta Company. Upon retirement, MG Hutmacher assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.


Mission Essential, founded by U.S. Army SOF veteran and current Chairman Gregory K. Miller, is a trusted partner to the Defense and Intelligence Communities, and a leading provider of language and cultural advisory services, intelligence analysis and operations support, ISR solutions and technology, and cyberspace superiority. Mission Essential executes prime contracts with numerous Intelligence Community members, as well as with the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force; U.S. Central, European, and Africa Commands; and the State Department.