Mr. Raymond Colston – DIA

DIA Chair, National War College

Mr. Raymond Colston assumed his current position in July 2021 where he is an instructor teaching National Security Strategy.  He began his professional career as an Armor Officer at Ft. Hood, Texas and following graduation from the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and Ranger School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, he served in Schweinfurt Germany in the 2nd Battalion 64th Armor, 3rd Infantry Division as a tank Company Commander.  The remainder of Ray’s army career was spent in the Intelligence Community as a Northeast Asian Foreign Area Officer with assignments in Korea attending the South Korean Army Staff College, in Honolulu as the Senior Korean Analyst for US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center Pacific, and in Washington DC as a Deputy Defense Intelligence Officer for Northeast Asia at DIA.  Beginning in 2000 he worked on the Community Management staff at the Central Intelligence Agency supporting the China and Korea hard target boards, and from 2002-2004 he was the Special Assistant to the National Intelligence Officer for Military Issues at the National Intelligence Council.

Ray returned to DIA in 2004 as the Agency’s Senior Analyst for Northeast Asia.  In 2008 Ray deployed to Baghdad for one year as the Chief, Defense Forward Element Iraq, and Senior DIA Representative to Multi-National Forces--Iraq (MNF-I) where he was responsible for the efforts and integration of more than 300 DIA service members, civilians, and contractors operating in Iraq.

From May 2011 to April 2014, Ray was the National Intelligence Manager for Korea in the Office of the Director for National Intelligence.  In this position he was the senior advisor to the Director for National Intelligence for all Korea-related issues and responsible for integrating the collection and analysis of North Korea across the U.S. Intelligence Community. He also directly supported senior U.S. government policy makers and assisted their efforts with developing U.S. policy toward Korea. Following this ODNI assignment, Ray was assigned to Seoul, South Korea, as the Deputy J2 for United States Forces-Korea from June 2014 to June 2016.  Upon return to the States Ray held leadership positions at DIA’s Middle East Africa Regional Center (MARC), Asia Pacific Regional Center (APRC), and the Academy for Defense Intelligence.

Ray has B.A. and M.A. degrees in Asian Studies from Brigham Young University and the University of Hawaii.  Prior to attending college, he spent two years in Japan as a Mormon missionary – an experience that sparked his professional interest in East Asia.  He and his wife Stephanie make their home in Alexandria, Virginia.