An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

CIWT Welcomes New XO

04 June 2021

From Glenn Sircy, Center for Information Warfare Training

The Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) welcomed onboard Cmdr. Michael Tiefel, CIWT’s newest executive officer (XO), June 3.
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) welcomed onboard Cmdr. Michael Tiefel, CIWT’s newest executive officer (XO), June 3.

Tiefel assumes the CIWT XO responsibility from Cmdr. Lisa Brennen, whom made a tremendous positive impact on the entire domain during her time onboard. Brennen was selected for the rank of Navy Capt. and will be the N2 in her new role at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet.

“CIWT’s executive officer position is definitely challenging, and it’s a huge responsibility to help guide the daily operations of the information warfare training domain,” shared Capt. Marc Ratkus, commanding officer of CIWT. “This herculean job encompasses a workforce of approximately 1,350 information warfare professionals, dispersed across 18 locations, responsible for developing nearly 26,000 future information warriors–all within a resource-constrained environment. Lisa is an exceptional leader and we wish her ‘Fair Winds and Following Seas’ as she takes the intel helm for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet in Bahrain. We also welcome Mike to the CIWT team and know that he is the right leader to help advance the myriad of initiatives Lisa started. We are very fortunate to have him and his wife, Tamara, join the CIWT family.”

A native of South Lyon, Michigan, Tiefel graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He earned graduate degrees in political science from Michigan State University in 1995; diplomatic history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1997; and Asian studies from the University of Michigan in 2000. He is also an Asia-Pacific Hands certificate holder from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Prior to joining the Navy, Tiefel worked in the financial securities industry, and received his commission as an intelligence officer in 2001.

At sea, Tiefel served as air intelligence officer for Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 134 “Garudas” during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; air intelligence officer for Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn; and assistant chief of staff for intelligence (N2) and deputy information warfare commander at Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

Ashore, Tiefel served as a China watch officer and analyst at Joint Intelligence Center Pacific; international engagements officer for the Pacific and Middle East at the Office of Naval Intelligence; intelligence plans department head at Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet; duty director for intelligence and collections management branch chief at North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command; and operational intelligence department head at U.S. Pacific Fleet.

“I am extremely proud and excited to join this extraordinary team,” said Tiefel. “The CIWT domain has a stellar reputation for training and preparing information warfare professionals, and the Navy has given me this extraordinary opportunity to help mold our IW leaders of tomorrow. I sincerely thank all my shipmates and leadership within the information warfare community for their trust and confidence who made this assignment possible.”

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains approximately 26,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

For more news from Center for Information Warfare Training domain, visit,, or
Guidance-Card-Icon Dept-Exclusive-Card-Icon