Defending Those Who Defend Us®
  • Criminal Investigators

    Each military service branch has its own law enforcement agency to investigate criminal allegations involving service members. Regardless of the service branch or the name of the investigative body, the purpose of these agencies is the same: to examine criminal allegations fully using all the investigative tools and resources of the federal government, and produce a written report for the Commanding Officer/General’s review.

    Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)

    For example, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS),  within the Department of the Navy, is a civilian federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating felony crime, preventing terrorism and protecting secrets for the Navy and Marine Corps. NCIS agents may be civilian law enforcement officers or active-duty military service members who work in plain clothes and are assigned to NCIS. NCIS has more than 1,000 Special Agents and operates in more than 41 countries.

    United States Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division

    The United States Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is another Department of the Navy law enforcement organization. The USMC CID is assigned within the Provost Marshal’s Office/Marine Corps Police Department and works directly for the Provost Marshal/Police Chief. While NCIS focuses on felony level offense, Marine Corps CID is generally responsible for misdemeanor level crimes and military specific offenses. 

    Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID)

    The Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division is the Army’s premier law enforcement agency. Consisting of nearly 3,000 personnel assigned to 124 world-wide locations, CID is responsible for felony criminal investigations and operations; war crimes and terrorism investigations, criminal intelligence collection and analysis; cybercrime investigations and operations; multi-dimensional forensic support; and protective service operations for the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other high risk personnel. CID only investigates the most serious criminal conduct. Allegations of lesser crimes or military specific offenses are often investigated by military investigating officers appointed to conduct administrative investigations.

    Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI)

    The Office of Special Investigations has been the Department of the Air Force’s major investigative service since August 1948. The agency reports to the Inspector General, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. OSI provides professional investigative service to commanders of all Department of the Air Force activities. Its primary responsibilities are criminal investigations and counterintelligence services.

    OSI has more than 2,000 military and civilian federally credentialed special agents operating at more than 290 field units worldwide. The vast majority of OSI’s investigative activities pertain to felony crimes including murder, robbery, rape, assault, major burglaries, drug use and trafficking, sex offenses, arson, compromise of Department of the Air Force test materials, black market activities, and other criminal activities.


    When your career, freedom, and future are on the line, you need an experienced law firm in your corner.  The skilled and assertive attorneys at MJA defended service members facing investigation, court-martial, and discipline for some of the most serious offenses under the UCMJ. If you are under investigation for alleged criminal conduct, contact our military lawyers today to get help.