Lieutenant General (Retired) Zahner is a career Military Intelligence Officer with extensive leadership experience in intelligence operations at, tactical, Combatant Command, Operational Theater and National Intelligence Agency levels. He directed critical institutional modernization initiatives of both intelligence and cyber forces for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Department of the Army. His regional experience includes extended service in Korea, the Balkans, but more recently South Asia, the Arabian Gulf region including Iraq, the Levant, the Maghreb, Trans-Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa.
During a thirty-six year career, LTG(R) Zahner’s assignments included service in Airborne, Special Operations, Special Mission and heavy ground forces, notably the Joint Special Operations Command, 82d Airborne and 2d Infantry Divisions and the V and XVIII Airborne Corps. He commanded an MI battalion in Korea and an Airborne MI brigade at Fort Bragg. Senior assignments included the G2, XVIII Airborne Corps, Associate J2 for US Central Command during Operations ENDURING FREEDOM (Afghanistan 2001 – 2003) and IRAQI FREEDOM (2003) and the J2 for the US European Command.
LTG(R) Zahner served as the J2, Multi-National Force-Iraq during 2005-2006, with focus on defining the Operational Environment, including the issues of Al-Qaida and the growth of Iranian-sponsored militias. He also served as the Director of Signals Intelligence, National Security Agency and as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Intelligence/War-fighting Support.) Key tasks included direction of Secretary Gates’ ISR Task Force; OSD lead in the initial concept design for US CYBERCOM; restructuring the intelligence elements of ten Combatant Commands; and redrafting the policy charters of each DoD Intelligence Agency. Finally, as the Army’s G2, he sought to rebalance intelligence structure and capabilities to forces “at the edge” in light of emergent conventional and asymmetric threats.