Former drill instructor brings ‘human terrain’ experience to DISA

By Renee Hatcher
Digital Communication Branch
Office of Strategic Communication and Public Affairs
July 14, 2022 

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Official photo for Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Daniel L. Krause.


Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Daniel L. Krause assumed his current role as the command senior enlisted advisor for the Defense Information Systems Agency and Joint Force Headquarters -Department of Defense Information Network during a change of responsibility ceremony June 30 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

“If you look at my resume, there’s not a great reason for me to be here at DISA except that I’ve been taking care of people my whole career,” Krause said.

The job description says the DISA senior enlisted advisor serves as the principal military advisor to the director and staff, providing a senior enlisted perspective in a global organization and combat support agency of more than 19,000 joint military, civilian and contractor personnel around the world. This position directly supports the president, secretary of defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, combatant commanders, Department of Defense, and service components agencies, along with multiple mission partners and coalitions across the full spectrum of operations in joint strategic and operational support of more than 200,000 warfighters in 150 countries.

“Even though technically I’m here to support the director, I’m here for everyone - every service member, officer and enlisted, and every civilian, no matter their pay grade,” Krause said. “I want everyone to think of me as their supporting arm.”

A native of Windsor, Colorado, Krause knew he wanted to serve in the military but he wasn’t exactly sure how or where.

“At the time, I knew I was smart enough to get into college but not mature enough to graduate,” he half-joked.

Krause grew up with little military exposure; his grandparents served in the Army during the World War II era but didn’t talk much about it.

“There was a really good Marine recruiter who came to my high school,” Krause said. “After talking with him, I knew the Marine Corps was for me.”

Krause said his original plan was to serve four years, and return to his small hometown, where his whole family still lives. After high school, Krause attended recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, in June 1994. Growing up on a farm, Krause was no stranger to hard work and naturally excelled at boot camp. His drill instructor made quite an impression on him.

“After seeing him, all I wanted to be was a drill instructor,” Krause said. “Seeing how boot camp helped change young men and women made me want to be a contributing part of that transformation for others.”

Krause, who served four years as a drill instructor, got his first platoon in 2000. Most of his first recruits were part of the initial invasion into Iraq and are retiring now.

“I trained them to go to combat and survive,” he said. “Hopefully, I made a difference for them.”

Krause spent a lot of his career in the ground combat element of the Marine Corps, deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In addition to drill instructor, he has served in numerous roles including vehicle body repairman, motor transport mechanic, officer in charge, gunnery sergeant, and first sergeant. He most recently was assigned as the command sergeant major of the 2nd Marine Division.

“At one point, I was on the receiving end of DISA products and services,” Krause said. “Now, I’m in a position where I can help the agency deliver the best product for the best value. My number one priority is to gain efficiencies and momentum within the organization. I’m not going to be reckless, but I am going to be aggressive.”

Krause said the workforce should expect to see more action and less debating from him. He is spending most of his first days with DISA on the road visiting the agency’s field locations worldwide talking with as many people as he can.

“I can’t effect change in the agency from the sixth floor of the headquarters building,” he said. “I’m taking a quick assessment, finding out what needs to change, and moving out in an informed manner.”

Krause recognized that DISA is a high-tech organization but it’s the people who make that technology work.

“It’s about the humans, not the hardware, and I’m very comfortable with the human terrain,” he said. “Managing human factors is the hardest, most complicated, and unpredictable part. I generally know what a piece of equipment is going to do; I don’t necessarily know what the human running it is going to do every time. But, it’s exciting.”

Krause credits his people skills to his parents who raised him to always work hard, and be grateful and humble.

DISA’s new senior enlisted advisor is married, with two teenage boys.

“My number one hobby is my family,” said Krause, who also enjoys hunting, fishing, motorcycles and old muscle cars.

With 28 years in the Marine Corps and 36-month orders to DISA, Krause is not sure what his next move is after this job.

“We’ll see how it goes and assess then,” he said. “For now, I’m 100 percent dedicated to the men and women of DISA.”

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