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Chapter 9

The United States Army Criminal Investigation Command

The history of the USACIDC goes back to World War I, when General John J. Pershing organized the CID in France. Today, the USACIDC is the Army's sole agent responsible for investigating felony crimes on and off the battlefield. The USACIDC provides investigative support to commanders at all echelons.
The USACIDC investigates offenses committed against US forces or property, or those committed by military personnel or civilians serving with US forces or where there is a military interest. The USACIDC agents investigate violations of international agreements on land warfare. They conduct special investigations at the direction of the USACIDC's commanding general (CG) or a higher authority. In general, the USACIDC's missions include—

  • Investigating and deterring serious crimes.
  • Conducting sensitive/serious investigations.
  • Collecting, analyzing, processing, and disseminating criminal intelligence (CRIMINTEL).
  • Conducting protective-service operations for designated personnel.
  • Providing forensic-laboratory support.
  • Maintaining Army criminal records.
  • Enhancing the commander's crime-prevention and force-protection programs.
  • Performing LOGSEC operations.


9-1. The USACIDC's operations help the commander maintain discipline and order by preventing or investigating crimes that reduce a unit's ability to fight. During the investigation of serious crimes, the USACIDC concentrates its efforts on investigating serious crimes such as wrongful deaths, controlled-substance offenses, theft, fraud, sex crimes, and assaults. The USACIDC also conducts sensitive and special investigations involving matters pertaining to senior Army officials and those associated with classified programs.

9-2. The USACIDC agents collect, analyze, process, and disseminate criminal intelligence/information relating to crime within or directed toward the Army. Specific information relating to modus operandi, crime techniques, investigative leads, gang violence, and terrorism is shared with the appropriate intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. Conversely, USACIDC agents solicit and receive crime-related information from the MP and from local, national, and foreign law-enforcement and intelligence agencies. Special agents identify and evaluate crime-conducive conditions and indicators of potential attacks against Army property, facilities, or personnel. They then provide reports to the appropriate commander.


9-3. The USACIDC is a centralized (stovepipe) MACOM whose special agents in the field report through the USACIDC's chain of command (detachment to battalion to group) to the CG, who in turn reports directly to the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army (see Figure 9-1).

Figure 9-1. USACIDC Chain of Command

9-4. As an independent MACOM, the USACIDC's tactical units are not under the C 2 of supported organizations. The USACIDC's elements may be temporarily attached to a supported commander when required to accomplish a nonstandard mission. Reassignment, promotion, accreditation, and disciplinary actions are retained by the USACIDC. Attachments will be coordinated with the appropriate USACIDC headquarters planning the specific mission and approved by the CG, USACIDC. Additionally, although there is no formal staff relationship, USACIDC commanders advise their supported commanders on criminal-investigation matters. This enhances the quality, reliability of information, support, and trust between USACIDC elements and their supported commanders.


9-5. The USACIDC supports each echelon of command from the division to the ASCC. The theater USACIDC structure is comprised of a C 2 headquarters and mobile, modular, and tailorable investigative detachments. The USACIDC supports combatant commanders with the following functions:

  • LOGSEC. Tracking and protecting materials and equipment from the manufacturer to the soldier on the battlefield.
  • CRIMINTEL. Collecting, consolidating, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence associated with criminal and terrorists activities targeted at Army interests.
  • Criminal investigations. Investigating war crimes and, in some cases, crimes against coalition forces and HN personnel.
  • Protective-service operations. As in peacetime, protecting key personnel anywhere on the battlefield.

9-6. The USACIDC's LOGSEC function protects the Army's supply pipeline against criminal activities from the manufacturer, through logistics channels, all the way to the frontline soldier. It involves preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal and terrorist activities such as supply diversion, destruction, and sabotage or product substitution. The USACIDC's LOGSEC operations assess LOGSEC, identify weaknesses, and provide a prioritization of threats so that commanders can implement preventive measures to reduce the vulnerability of the logistics pipeline. Whenever possible, the USACIDC will initiate actions to recover logistical losses and return them to Army control.

9-7. The USACIDC's CRIMINTEL collection efforts focus on the identification and prevention of terrorist and nonterrorist crimes against US and allied military personnel, facilities, and other interests. Upon collecting this information, agents recommend countermeasures to combat subversive activities through coordination with MI, the PM, rear-area operations officers, and HN military and civil intelligence agencies. Additionally, when directed, the USACIDC becomes the lead US military investigative agency at theater level. When this happens, it is tasked with leading the prevention-of-terrorism effort from all services, not just the Army component.

9-8. During war and MOOTW, the criminal-investigation effort includes—

  • War crimes and, when directed, crimes against coalition forces and HN personnel.
  • Major felony crimes committed by US personnel or EPWs/CIs and, when directed, crimes committed by foreign nationals in which there is an Army interest.
  • Criminal acts by indigenous personnel, factions, and ad hoc groups.
  • Special/sensitive investigations, hostage negotiations, polygraph operations, and force-protection operations.
  • CRIMINTEL operations.

9-9. The USACIDC detachments provide enhanced coverage and protection for designated key and essential leaders during war and MOOTW. The protection requirement for senior JTFs and Army commanders may be significantly greater during MOOTW than during peacetime or war as the propensity of asymmetrical threats (such as criminal and terrorist groups) operating in the AO also increases.


9-10. The USACIDC is organized with an array of multifunctional units. As with many other Army organizations, its force is in a transition process. During peacetime, the USACIDC groups provide brigade-level area support for worldwide Army operations. The group provides C 2 , staff planning, and administrative support for USACIDC elements assigned to an AOR or deployed to a contingency operation. During war, a group provides the same capabilities in support of an ASCC and provides C 2 for all USACIDC units in the theater. Regardless of the operational environment, the group ensures the connectivity between all USACIDC units. It establishes and maintains links with supported units and interagency, joint, multinational, allied, and HN authorities on matters pertaining to Army and USACIDC operations. The group headquarters has a command section, a detachment headquarters, an S1, an S2, an S3, an S4, an SJA, and a communications section. It provides C 2 for up to six subordinate battalions. Major differences in the AOE and Force XXI groups are in an increase of support and mission personnel and the movement of all polygraph support down to battalion level.

9-11. During peacetime, the USACIDC battalions provide area support for worldwide Army operations. They provide C 2 , staff planning, forensic-science support, CRIMINTEL, polygraph support, technical guidance and supervision of USACIDC operations, and administrative support for USACIDC elements assigned to an AOR or deployed to a contingency operation. During war, the USACIDC battalion provides the same capabilities in support of each corps and TSC. Under AOE designs, one battalion supports each corps and TSC. Under the Force XXI design, up to two battalions support each TSC. Like the groups, each USACIDC battalion ensures connectivity and establishes and maintains links with other units/agencies within its AOR. The battalion headquarters consists of a command section, a detachment headquarters, an S1, an S2, an S3, an S4, and a communications section. It provides C 2 to five USACIDC detachments on a sustained basis. Its span of control can accommodate up to seven detachments for a short period of time. Major differences in the new battalion are the addition of a CSM, an S6 officer, a detachment commander and support personnel, and CRIMINTEL and forensic personnel.

9-12. The USACIDC investigative team is the smallest operational investigative element. Each team consists of two special agents (a warrant officer and a noncommissioned officer [NCO]). METT-TC requirements dictate that these teams have the capability to operate independently from the detachment headquarters. The investigative teams are the building block for both AOE and Force XXI USACIDC detachments. Both designs provide levels of flexibility to task-organize without splitting units apart. The detachment (with its complement of teams) performs the full range of criminal-investigative functions in all operational environments, but it has limited CRIMINTEL and LOGSEC management capabilities and no forensic or polygraph capability. Each detachment includes a headquarters section and up to eight investigative teams. METT-TC requirements dictate that these teams have the capability to operate independently from the detachment headquarters. The major differences between the AOE and Force XXI detachments' design begin with replacing the heavy and light division support elements (DSEs), the corps-area support element (CASE), the TSC-area support element, (TASE), and the port-area support element (PASE) designs with a modular design consisting of a standardized headquarters element and two special-agent sections. Each section consists of four investigative teams. Personnel administration, supply, and the bulk of administrative support found in the AOE organizations have been consolidated at battalion. Additionally, the Force XXI detachment is commanded by a special-agent warrant officer.

9-13. Both the AOE and the Force XXI units retain the Army's standard dependencies upon other units for support requirements (religious, health services, finance, photographic processing, and so forth). The new USACIDC TOEs have enhanced A/L support capabilities. However, the new units still retain the AOE support requirement for food services and emergency Class III/V resupply from CS MP brigades, battalions, and companies.


9-14. Sensitive investigations are normally conducted by the field investigative unit (FIU). The FIU is a one-of-a-kind organization within the DOD that enables the Secretary of the Army to conduct sensitive investigations requiring access to special information or programs that are highly classified. The FIU works closely with the Army IG, the Judge Advocate General of the Army, and the Army General Counsel to support commanders in the special-operations and intelligence communities and in the area of classified acquisition programs. The FIU may also be assigned investigations involving senior Army personnel or those of special interest to the Army leadership.


9-15. The computer-crime investigative unit (CCIU) deals with intrusions involving classified networks or multijurisdictional offenses. The CCIU works closely with MI and federal law-enforcement agencies to coordinate military actions, nonmilitary-affiliated offenders, and foreign-intelligence services. In addition, it provides technical assistance to CID elements that are conducting computer-related investigations.


9-16. The protective-service unit (PSU) provides worldwide protective services to designated personnel to protect them from assassination, kidnapping, injury, or embarrassment. The PSU plans, coordinates, and executes executive protection for—

  • The Secretary of Defense.
  • The Deputy Secretary of Defense.
  • The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • The Secretary of the Army.
  • The Army Chief of Staff.
  • The Army Vice Chief of Staff.
  • Others (as directed).

9-17. During war and MOOTW, the USACIDC routinely provides protective-service support to senior Army ground commanders and, in some cases, to JTF commanders. The USACIDC agents also provide training to the MP details providing protective services to senior field commanders.


9-18. Forensic-laboratory support is provided by the US Army Criminal-Investigations Laboratory (USACIL) that is currently located at Fort Gillem, Georgia. The USACIL is a nationally accredited forensic laboratory that provides all three services with dedicated, highly responsive, deployable, state-of-the-art scientific and forensic investigative support. The six forensic divisions of the USACIL include the following:

  • Chemistry (serology, drugs, trace, and deoxyribonucleic-acid [DNA] testing).
  • Questioned documents (alterations and comparisons of handwriting, typing, and printing).
  • Firearms and tool marks (weapons and obliterated numbers).
  • Photography (evidence, charts and photos for court).
  • Latent prints.
  • Computer forensics.

9-19. The USACIL collects, receives, and examines evidence and prepares reports of findings. It also provides expert-witness testimony at court-martials.


9-20. The US Crime Records Center (CRC) maintains the Army's criminal records. It maintains more than two million MP reports and USACIDC reports of investigations. These records are retained for at least 40 years before being destroyed. During their retention, the records are actively maintained and frequently researched.

9-21. The CRC conducts more than 10,000 criminal-history name checks each month to identify victims and perpetrators of criminal offenses. The checks are requested not only by USACIDC agents, but also by other military and civilian law-enforcement officials. The CRC is also the Army's agent for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act requests relating to criminal investigations and MP reports. The CRC also manages the Army's polygraph programs and their support to Army installations around the world.


9-22. Whenever possible, USACIDC units are colocated with the MP. This provides unified MP support across the battlefield, and it facilitates logistical support (primarily mess) provided by MP units. However, the USACIDC maintains its vertical C 2 . Based on METT-TC, the MP group (CID) will colocate with the supported ASCC and the MP battalions (CID) supporting the corps and EAC will colocate with the MP brigade (CS). When feasible, MP detachments (CID) will colocate with MP battalions/companies and division MP companies. Figure 9-2 illustrates a typical battlefield array for AOE organizations, and Figure 9-3 illustrates a Force XXI array.

Figure 9-2. AOE Battlefield Array


Figure 9-3. Force XXI Battlefield Array

9-23. Since USACIDC detachments are austere organizations with little organic A/L capability, they rely on the battalion for unit-level maintenance, supply, and personnel support. However, detachments must often operate independently when performing criminal investigative functions throughout the AOR. During these times of long-distance separation, detachments must seek A/L support from the supported unit.

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