279: J Robert Chadwick – FBI Transformation, Strategic Execution Team, SET

In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Retired agent Rob Chadwick reviews Director Mueller’s Strategic Execution Team (SET) training initiative.

SET spearheaded the transformation of the FBI from a law enforcement agency into an intelligence driven and threat focused national security service and was the largest training program in the history of the FBI. The generation of agents and analysts in the Bureau, on or shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, took part in the training from about 2008-2010. See below an unclassified copy of the SET training manual found in the National Security Archives.

Rob Chadwick served in the FBI for nearly 21 years.

He was first assigned to the Miami Division, working on a counter Drug Trafficking squad. Rob was later promoted to Supervisory Special Agent and assigned to FBI Headquarters, where he worked in both the Counterintelligence and Inspection Divisions. In 2009, Rob stepped down from the supervisory ranks to accept a specialty transfer to the Columbia Division, where he served for 10 years as the Principal Firearms Instructor and Training Program Coordinator.

In 2019, Rob transferred to the Protection Detail for Attorney General William P. Barr. Rob’s final and dream assignment was as Unit Chief of the Tactical Training Unit at Quantico.

Rob is the founder of The Holdfast Security Group, a security consulting and training company made up exclusively of retired FBI Agents from the Tactical Training Unit at Quantico, the U.S. Attorney General’s Protection Detail and the elite Hostage Rescue Team.

Special Agent (Retired)

J. Robert Chadwick

1/2001 – 11/2021







“In response to the OIG reports that we weren’t moving fast enough, and didn’t have a defined plan to change the FBI, the Director assembled, mandated a team to work on nothing but that mission.”—Retired Agent Rob Chadwick

The following are links to OIG reports and articles about how the FBI transformed using the Strategic Execution Team (SET) training initiative:

OIG Report – September 2003: Federal Bureau of Investigation Casework and Human Resource Allocation

OIG Report – September 2004: The Internal Effects of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Reprioritization

Strategic Execution Team, FBI, The New Field Intelligence, March 2008-March 2009, 2009. Unclassified.

Forbes – 4/27/2016: How The FBI Reinvented Itself After September 11

FBI TURK System 2000-2002

Prior to 9/11, non-terrorism programs dominated agent utilization. Time working terrorism doubled in 2002.

Listen to Episode 112: Ray Holcomb – Inside FBI Counterterrorism Post 9/11 (Part 2) to learn how the FBI dramatically increased terrorism operations immediately after the attacks on September 11, 2001.


Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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