SpyCast 6.11.24
Ep 637 | 6.11.24

“U.S. Army Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)” – with Dennis Eger & Shawn Nilius

Show Notes


Dennis Eger (LinkedIn) and Shawn Nilius (LinkedIn) join Andrew (XLinkedIn) to discuss open-source intelligence. Combined, the two have over six decades of service to the U.S. Army. 

What You’ll Learn


  • What is Open-Source Intelligence 
  • How the US Army utilizes and collects OSINT 
  • OSINT across the Intelligence Community
  • How OSINT has impacted the War in Ukraine


  • The power of information and how you use it
  • Cyber ethics

And much, much more …

Episode Notes

This week, Andrew was joined in the studio by Dennis Eger and Shawn Nilius. Combined, Dennis and Shawn have over six decades of service in the United States Army under their belt. The two join us from the Army OSINT Office where Shawn serves as the Director, and Dennis serves as the Senior Open-Source Intelligence Advisor. 

In our modern age of technology and internet information overload, open-source intelligence has emerged as one of the fastest-growing and most notable –INTs in the intelligence field. Tune in to learn more about this fascinating form of information collection and how it’s been successfully utilized by the US Army.  


This week, the United States Army turns 249 years old. The Army is the oldest service in the U.S. military, but not quite the oldest unit in the world. That title is held by the Swiss Guard, an armed force that has protected the Pope in Vatican City since 1506. 

Quotes of the Week

“If [civilians are] taking a video and posting it, they become in the cycle … The amount of things that people do on the internet that leaves their data or their information out there – Their data becomes big part of the intelligence cycle and they probably don't even know that they're doing it.” – Dennis Eger.




*Beginner Resources*



  • OSINT Techniques: Resources for Uncovering Online Information, M. Bazzell (2023) 
  • Deep Dive: Exploring the Real-world Value of Open Source Intelligence, R. L. Baker (Wiley, 2023)
  • Open Source Intelligence Methods and Tools: A Practical Guide to Online Intelligence, N. A. Hassan & R. Hijazi (Apress, 2018) 



Primary Sources 

*Wildcard Resource*

  • While OSINT may seem like the new kid on the intelligence block, its foundations have actually been around perhaps longer than any other -INT.
  • During the Civil War, the Bureau of Military Information collected open-source information from Southern newspapers to track the Confederate army. Check out this letter from Abraham Lincoln citing intelligence gathered on the location of Southern troops.