Rich Caldwell

“When a paradigm shifts, if you don’t shift with it, you’re going to be history,” says Rich Caldwell, Sector Manager of Strategic Landscape Assessments at Northrop Grumman. Rich has experienced his fair share of paradigm shifts throughout his extensive career, which has included working as a Communications Squad Commander in the US Air Force, as a Space Crew Commander at Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, as a J33 CSOD Action Officer on the Joint Staff of the Pentagon, and in his current role at Northrop Grumman.

Now, Rich’s greatest passion is using his wealth of knowledge and experience in the world of CI to cultivate the young people at his company into future leaders. He explains that he calls his young employees his “kids” and gives them a two-year deadline to work on his team before kicking them out, since by then he hopes they will have learned and grown enough to move onto bigger and better things!

Join the Jo Bros on this week’s episode of Running Into the Fog for a conversation with Rich about his background in CI and his predictions for the future of the industry. Learn why Rich believes we should introduce students into the intelligence culture at a younger age, how the digital revolution is changing the way we do business and why 2021 is the year of accountability and action.


  • “As you start getting a little bit older into this career, you start thinking, ‘People took care of me. There were people who took me under their wing. I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for them.’ So I turned my focus on that….Our job is to make sure that we cultivate these people and move them on so they can be our leaders someday.” (9:36-11:18) 
  • “If we look at the intelligence world, I think more and more we need to transition how we do education. We need to start getting younger people’s hands dirty into a skillset early on.” (18:19-18:32)
  • “You have to keep changing with the environment. Commercial tech is changing the way we’re doing business. We’re all now into this digital revolution. We no longer build multi-billion dollar airplanes and do fly offs. We build digital twins. It’s all done in modeling and sim….You’re flying an aircraft that hasn’t been built yet.” (35:23-35:54)
  • “I explain it to leaders like this. You’re going to go golfing, and you get your bags together, you clean your golf balls, you clean your clubs, you go out there, you get on the first tee. We line you up. We put the ball on the tee. You come back, and you’re taking that back swing, you’re getting ready to go, and you drop your club and say, ‘Ok, thank you.’… Hit the ball! Take the risk!” (43:12-43:43)


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