CIA? THINK YOU KNOW?
A young man grows up in Washington D.C. seeking adventure and burning with desire to achieve great things. He finds the keys to making his dreams come true are with the Central Intelligence Agency. With his wife and life partner Rose he strikes out on his journey that is remarkable, dangerous as well as fulfilling.
This is his story. He tells it in his own words; through the prism of his unique life experiences, the Black Man in the CIA.
He worked for the CIA, one of the 17 Departments and Agencies of the National Intelligence Communities in particular, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the Cold War years. Leutrell M. Osborne Sr. (Mike) tells his story to document the former Spy Manager’s history in the CIA while providing insights for others to understand his rise to become a spy manager supervising CIA agents and assets in over 30 countries, and in addition to that also becoming the only spy manager who also has gained six years of experience in Information Assurance (IA).
ENERGY, INSPIRATION, FOCUS
BIO: Leutrell “Mike” Osborne joined the CIA in 1957, and became one of the first African American Case Officers (C/O). He directed CIA agents and assets in over 24 countries on three continents. Mr. Osborne is the only C/O to also serve as a Communications Security Officer (COMSEC Officer) for over six years. Mr. Osborne resigned his post at CIA in 1984 to pursue private sector opportunities. He returned to government service in 1989, where he oversaw Small Business Administration contracting programs for the Office of Personnel Management.
In 1994, Mr. Osborne retired from Federal Government after 31 years of service. He then returned to private sector advising small businesses on the acquisition of government contracts. In addition, he began an active schedule of personal appearances, radio interviews and television commentary. He and his wife, Rose, have been married for more than 50 years and have five children. Mr. Osborne lives in Annapolis, Maryland and spends his time with family, working on his memoirs, writing fiction and providing inspirational and transformational leadership speeches to audiences throughout the country.
As CHIEF VISIONARY OFFICER of THE OSBORNE GROUP (TOG) and the Founder and Managing Director of the Dark Operative Series, LLC, Mr. Osborne is available for speaking engagements and consulting opportunities. He overcame many economic, educational and discriminatory challenges to become one of the first African American Case Officers in the Central Intelligence Agency. As a Case Officer, Mr. Osborne had the opportunity to recruit and manage spies, travel the world and helped fight the Cold War. After transferring to COMSEC in 1976, Mr. Osborne became involved with the higher echelons of the science and technology of counter intelligence. Throughout his career, Mr. Osborne displayed a passion to continually analyze and improve processes to achieve more optimal results. In 1984, Mr. Osborne took these transformation skills into the private sector as an independent business owner and private consultant. After coming to understand the challenges facing small businesses, Mr. Osborne was hired by the Office of Personnel Management to oversee its small business contracting programs.
As an inspirational speaker and expert in national security, Mr. Osborne speaks and consults with leaders of industry and government, young people aspiring to careers in the agencies and departments of the intelligence community. Audiences find Mr. Osborne’s presentations engaging, motivating, informative and humorous. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs speaking on problems related to security and countering national and foreign threats.
Mr. Osborne applies his expertise in government contracting with the 16 intelligence agencies and departments that are now led by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) www.odni.gov. He couples his five years experience of government small business contracting leadership with his extensive private sector business experience to assist companies of all sizes to market and improve government contracts. As a expert in sales, security and counter intelligence, Mr. Osborne enables business owners leaders increase production and revenues in the commercial, government and transnational markets.
Mr. Osborne believes that his mission here on planet Earth to to make the world a better place by pursuing justice, righteousness and equality. He characterizes himself as a Spirit in human form, and that Spirit is infectious.
Black Man in the CIA: An Autobiography, by Leutrell M. Osborne, Sr.
([Temple, TX?]: Jongleur Music Book Publishing, 2012), 148 pp., no
Leutrell Osborne began his CIA career as a still photographer, paygrade G-3, in October 1957. (19, 23) He left the Agency in 1984 as a GS-12 operations officer. (140) Black Man in the CIA tells the story of his upbringing and his adventures in the Agency.
Osborne describes himself as “a light-skinned black man” (31) and the illegitimate son of a mother who worked for the CIA at the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC). He writes that he had wanted to be a “spy manager” since he was 12. (1) Osborne got married and joined the Agency right out of high school. By 1963 he was working in the European Branch mail room and had decided he wanted to become a case officer. With the support of several supervisors, he completed operations training in 1969, (72) before he graduated from college.
After refusing a tour in Vietnam (91) and declining to have anything to do with covert action (85-8), Osborne was assigned overseas, where he describes recruiting agents. He also had various assignments at Headquarters, including counterintelligence, counterterrorism, the Office of Equal Opportunity, and Communications Security (COMSEC). He returned to the Directorate of Operations for his final tour working on Libyan matters.
In Black Man in the CIA, Osborne views the Agency through an African-American’s eyes and is candid in describing what his race meant to his career. For example, during his first assignment as a case officer, he “encountered some serious discrimination from…the Chief of Station…[who] had a profound impact on [his] career… making [him] stay in grade for eleven years.” (99-102) But in spite of this atmosphere, he says he “achieved significant accomplishments as a Case Officer in Latin America.” (110) Yet these problems persisted, as he notes, when he was assigned to COMSEC duties and his “superior, Red Neck, was determined to cast aspersions on [his] work.” With regard to his final assignment, he writes that “there were some serious mistakes made by the Division. It seemed clear I was being set up to take the fall….” (134) Despite all of these difficulties, Osborne concludes that in 26 years with the CIA, “I achieved my dream as a CIA spy manager.” (142)
During the 25 years since he left the Agency, Osborne writes, “I have increased my core competency talents, knowing I can lead both the Central Intelligence and the National Security Agencies…toward better solutions.” (144) Black Man in the CIA might serve as an inspiration to others with childhood dreams of intelligence service.” Extracted directly from the CIA web site: