Naval Criminal Investigative Service

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NCIS Official seal since 2012

The United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is the primary law enforcement agency of the United States Department of the Navy (DON). It investigates activities concerning crimes against or by United States Navy and U.S. Marine Corps personnel. It also is tasked with national security, counter-intelligence, and counter-terrorism cases. NCIS is the successor organization to the former Naval Investigative Service (NIS).

Organization[change | change source]

About half of the 2,500 NCIS employees are civilian special agents. They are trained to carry out a wide variety of assignments at locations around the world. NCIS special agents are armed federal law enforcement investigators. They frequently coordinate with other U.S. government agencies. NCIS special agents are supported by other employees. These include analysts and experts in forensics, surveillance, surveillance countermeasures, computer investigations, physical security, and polygraph examinations. At times NCIS will use outside agencies. For example, they have used the Smithsonian Institution to help identify skeletal remains.[1]

History[change | change source]

NCIS traces its roots to Navy Department General Order 292 of 1882, signed by William H. Hunt, Secretary of the Navy. This established the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). At first the ONI was tasked with collecting information on the characteristics and weaponry of foreign vessels, charting foreign passages, rivers, or other bodies of water, and touring overseas fortifications, industrial plants, and shipyards.

When the US entered World War I, the ONI's responsibilities expanded to include espionage, sabotage, and intelligence gathering on the Navy's potential enemies. In World War II the ONI became responsible for the investigation of sabotage, espionage and subversive activities that posed any kind of threat to the Navy.

In 1966, NIS was established as a part of ONI.[2] The new service answered to the director of Naval Intelligence. In the early 1970s a special agent was assigned to the USS Intrepid for six months. This was the beginning of the Special Agent Afloat program.[3] Special agents are assigned to an aircraft carrier for a one-year deployment.[3] They were later assigned to Amphibious warfare groups. In 1977 US Marine criminal investigators began training with NCIS.

In 1992, now called the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the agency came under direct control of the Secretary of the Navy.[4] Now an independent agency their director was a civilian.[4] In 1995 a cold case homicide unit was set up.[4]

Mission[change | change source]

NCIS is the investigative and counterintelligence arm of the Department of the Navy.[5] NCIS works with local, state, federal and foreign law enforcement agencies.[6] They investigate and counter crimes including terrorism, homicide, espionage, arson, child abuse and rape.[6] Within the Navy they investigate felonies and crimes punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.[6] NCIS provides protective services for key Navy leaders. They also provide services to protect all members of the US Navy wherever they are serving.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Leah Binkovitz (20 March 2013). "What Is It Really Like to Work at the NCIS?". Smithsonian.com. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  2. "1966: Naval Investigative Service Established". Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "NCIS Naval Criminal Investigative Service". NCISA. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Early 1990s: Naval Criminal Investigative Service". Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  5. Mark Clookie, Director, NCIS (May 2010). "The Naval Criminal Investigative Service: Flexible, Adaptable, Expeditionary Support for the Naval Commander" (PDF). AUSN Association of the US Navy. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 John Fay, Encyclopedia of Security Management (Burlington: Elsevier, 2007), p. 618

Other websites[change | change source]