Defense Criminal Investigative Service

The Defense Criminal Investigative Service is the criminal investigative arm of the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense. DCIS protects military personnel by investigating cases of fraud, bribery, and corruption; preventing the illegal transfer of sensitive defense technologies to proscribed nations and criminal elements; investigating companies that use defective, substandard, or counterfeit parts in weapons systems and equipment utilized by the military; and stopping cyber crimes and computer intrusions.

Defense Criminal Investigative Service
Seal of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.
Agency overview
EmployeesApproximately 414 (2013)
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyUnited States
Operations jurisdictionUnited States
General nature
HeadquartersAlexandria, Virginia

Agency executives
  • James B. Burch, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations / DCIS Director
  • Vacant, DCIS Deputy Director, Investigative Operations
  • Vacant, DCIS Deputy Director, Internal Operations
  • Dermot F. O'Reilly, DCIS Deputy Director, International Operations
Parent agencyOffice of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense


DCIS serves as the criminal investigative arm of the Department of Defense Inspector General. DoD IG was created in 1981 by an amendment to the Inspector General Act of 1978.


It is the obligation of the DoD Inspector General to "initiate, conduct, and supervise such...investigations in the Department of Defense (including the military departments) as the Inspector General considers appropriate" (IG Act Sec. 8(c)(2)) and to "provide leadership and coordination and recommend policies for prevent and detect fraud and abuse in...[DoD] programs and operations (IG Act Sec. 2(2))."


Dcis agent1
DCIS special agents investigate cyber crime within DoD.
Dcis agent2
DCIS special agents protect critical military technologies.

DCIS' current investigative priorities include:

Significant fraud and corruption impacting crucial DoD operations, with particular emphasis upon schemes impacting the health, safety, welfare, or mission‐readiness of U.S. troops.

Significant procurement and acquisition fraud, corruption, and other financial crimes which result in multi‐million dollars losses, thus depriving DoD of critically‐needed funds that would otherwise be utilized to finance vital national defense initiatives.

Defective, substituted, counterfeit, or substandard products introduced into the DoD acquisition system, with particular emphasis upon allegations involving troop safety[1] and/or mission‐readiness.

Illegal theft, export, diversion, transfer, or proliferation of sensitive DoD technology, systems, weapons, and equipment, with particular emphasis upon allegations involving targeted foreign nations, organized international criminal organizations, or potentially hostile entities apt to utilize said items in furtherance of assaults against U.S. military forces.

Health care fraud committed by providers that involves (a) quality of care, unnecessary care, or failure to provide care to Tricare‐eligible service members, retirees, dependents, or survivors; or (b) significant direct loss to DoD's Tricare Management Activity.

Computer intrusions and other cyber crimes that result in (a) serious compromises of the Global Information Grid; (b) exfiltration of sensitive DoD data or large volumes of personally identifiable information pertaining to civilian DoD employees or service members; or (c) potential contractual violations on the part of a DoD contractor.


DCIS is led by the Deputy Inspector General for Investigations. The Deputy Inspector General for Investigations is cross-designated as the Director of DCIS.

DCIS Headquarters is organized into three functional branches. Each branch is managed by an Assistant Inspector General who is cross-designated as a Deputy Director of DCIS.

  • Investigative Operations
  • International Operations
  • Internal Operations


DCIS is headquartered in Alexandria, Va, and maintains a presence in over 50 separate domestic and international locales. Field offices are situated in the following locations:

  • Mid Atlantic Field Office, Virginia
  • Northeast Field Office, Massachusetts
  • Southeast Field Office, Georgia
  • Southwest Field Office, Texas
  • Western Field Office, California
  • Cyber Field Office, Virginia
  • Transnational Field Office, Virginia

Each field office is responsible for overseeing multiple subordinate resident agencies and posts of duties located throughout the United States.

At present, DCIS maintains a presence in the following international locations:

Special Agents

Pursuant to Title 10 of the United States Code §1585, DCIS Special Agents conducting, supervising, or coordinating investigations of criminal activity in programs and operations of the Department of Defense have the authority to execute and serve any warrant or other process issued under the authority of the United States; to make arrests without a warrant for any offense against the United States committed in the presence of that agent; and to make arrests without a warrant for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if the agent has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing the felony.

Authorization for Special Agents of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service to carry firearms while assigned investigative duties or other duties as the Secretary may prescribe can be found in 10 U.S. Code §1585(a).

Selection and training

Dcis agent3
DCIS special agents participate in firearms training at FLETC.

To be considered for a DCIS special agent position, an individual must: Be a U.S. citizen, age between 21 and 37 years, pass screening, background investigation and have exceptional communication skills.

DCIS special agent candidates initially receive training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center located in Glynco, Georgia. They attend FLETC's basic training course for special agents, the Criminal Investigator Training Program, which lasts about 13 weeks and represents the beginning or basic training received by DCIS special agents. Later, agents may return to FLETC to attend specialized training in contractor fraud, money laundering, computer crimes, advanced interview techniques, etc.

See also


  1. ^ In the event an investigation reveals potentially life‐threatening circumstances, the case immediately becomes a top priority.

External links

Computer fraud

Computer fraud is the act of using a computer to take or alter electronic data, or to gain unlawful use of a computer or system. In the United States, computer fraud is specifically proscribed by the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which criminalizes computer-related acts under federal jurisdiction. Types of computer fraud include:

Distributing hoax emails

Accessing unauthorized computers

Engaging in data mining via spyware and malware

Hacking into computer systems to illegally access personal information, such as credit cards or Social Security numbers

Sending computer viruses or worms with the intent to destroy or ruin another party's computer or system.Phishing, social engineering, viruses, and DDoS attacks are fairly well-known tactics used to disrupt service or gain access to another's network, but this list is not inclusive.


DCIS may refer to:

Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the criminal investigative arm of the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense

Ductal carcinoma in situ, a precancerous type of mammary ductal carcinoma

Defense Security Service

The Defense Security Service (DSS) is a federal security agency of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). Within areas of DoD responsibility, DSS is tasked with facilitating personnel security investigations, supervising industrial security, and performing security education and awareness training. DSS is an authorized Federal Security Agency. Industrial Security Representatives and Information System Security Professionals are credentialed government agents. Originally known as the Defense Investigative Service (DIS), DIS was established in 1972. DSS changed its name from DIS in 1999.

For fiscal year 2016 DSS was authorized 800 civilian employees. Of those, about 400 were field personnel directly responsible for security oversight of approximately 13,000 cleared defense contractor facilities. ISS Industrial Security Representatives and Information System Security Professionals are credentialed Special Agents. Stanley Sims, the Director of DSS, retired in 2016. He is now the Director of Security of the foreign-owned (Canadian) defense contractor CGI.

In November 2004, investigators from DSS were transferred to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). This move consolidated the vast majority of federal government personnel background investigations within OPM. DSS still processes industrial clearance requests for the DoD, and acts as the liaison to the OPM for the DoD.

FBI Police

The FBI Police is the Federal Bureau of Investigation's uniformed security police force tasked with protecting FBI facilities, properties, personnel, users, visitors and operations from harm and may enforce certain laws and administrative regulations.Authority for the FBI Police is set out in the U.S. Code, Title 28, Section 940C, "FBI police".

Federal law enforcement in the United States

The federal government of the United States empowers a wide range of law enforcement agencies to maintain law and public order related to matters affecting the country as a whole.

Law Enforcement Availability Pay

Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) is, per the United States Office of Personnel Management, a type of premium pay that is paid to Federal law enforcement officers who are classified as GS-1811, criminal investigator or special agent. Due to the nature of their work, criminal investigators are required to work, or be available to work, substantial amounts of "unscheduled duty." Availability pay is generally an entitlement that an agency must provide if the required conditions are met, but is optional in any agency's Office of the Inspector General that may employ fewer than five criminal investigators.

The following agencies are covered under LEAP:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS)

Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG)

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Diplomatic Security Service (DSS)

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS)

Homeland Security Investigations, part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE-HSI)

Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)

United States Marshals Service (USMS)

United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS)

United States Secret Service (USSS)

Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI)

General Services Administration, Office of Inspector General (GSA-OIG)

Marshal of the United States Supreme Court

The Marshal of the United States Supreme Court heads the United States Supreme Court Police, a security police service answerable to the court itself rather than to the president or attorney general. It handles security for the Supreme Court building and for the justices personally.

National Institutes of Health Police

National Institutes of Health Police are responsible for security and law-enforcement functions at NIH facilities, including the National Institutes of Health main campus in Bethesda, Maryland and at the NIH Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Montana. According to Fox News, the General Accounting Office reported, in January 2012, that officers in the National Institutes of Health Police had lower salaries than comparable Police Departments. A new officer in the United States Capitol Police earned $61,000 a year, while a new officer in the National Institutes of Health Police started at just $39,000.

National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (NIPRCC) is a U.S. government center overseen by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The NIPRCC coordinates the U.S. government's enforcement of intellectual property laws.The NIPRCC was created in 2000, under the then-U.S. Customs Service as part of the implementation of the Clinton Administration's 1998 International Crime Control Strategy. The International Crime Control Strategy was developed to address the national security threat of international crime as determined by Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 42 in 1995.

The NIPRCC hosts representatives from multiple government agencies that run in the center's activities. In alphabetical order, these entities include:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Defense Criminal Investigative Service

United States Department of Commerce (DOC)

U.S. International Trade Administration

Federal Bureau of Investigation

U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations

U.S. General Services Administration's Office of Inspector General

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement


Naval Criminal Investigative Service

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

U.S. Department of State's Office of International Intellectual Property EnforcementPilot programs are in place where representatives of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Government of Mexico Tax Administration Service serve in the center in order to coordinate U.S. enforcement efforts with that of Canada and Mexico.

Office of Export Enforcement

The Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security.

BIS is the principal agency involved in the development, implementation, and enforcement of export controls for commercial technologies and for many military technologies as a result of the President's Export Control Reform Initiative. OEE is focused on export enforcement and workwith intelligence analysts and licensing officersto enforce export control laws and regulations.OEE maintains field offices across the United States, including its headquarters in Washington, DC, eight field offices located in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Northern Virginia and San Jose, and resident offices in Atlanta, Houston, and Portland. Also, OEE Special Agents have been deployed to Federal Bureau of Investigation field offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Diego, and Salt Lake City, as well as to Defense Criminal Investigative Service offices in Denver and San Antonio.

OEE investigates violations of the Export Control Reform Act, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Export Administration Regulations, the Fastener Quality Act, and other export control and public safety statutes. OEE Special Agents apprehend violators, and work with U.S. Attorneys, BIS's Office of Chief Counsel and other officials in criminal prosecutions and administrative cases based on OEE investigations. OEE Special Agents are sworn federal law enforcement officers with authority to bear firearms, make arrests, execute search warrants, serve subpoenas, detain and seize items about to be illegally exported, and order the redelivery to the United States of goods exported in violation of U.S. law.OEE Special Agents initiate investigations based on information obtained in a variety of ways: from routine review of export documentation to overseas end-use verifications, as well as industry and supply chain sources. OEE investigates violations by U.S. persons and the unauthorized re-export or transfer by foreign persons of items subject to the EAR to prohibited end-uses, end-users, or destinations, regardless of location.

Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense

The Department of Defense Inspector General is an independent, objective agency that provides oversight related to the programs and operations of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). DoD IG was created in 1982 as an amendment to the Inspector General Act of 1978. It is the largest office of the Inspector-General in the United States.

Operation Tovar

Operation Tovar is an international collaborative operation carried out by law enforcement agencies from multiple countries against the Gameover ZeuS botnet, which is believed by the investigators to have been used in bank fraud and the distribution of the CryptoLocker ransomware.Participants include the U.S. Department of Justice, Europol, the FBI and the U.K. National Crime Agency, South African Police Service, together with a number of security companies and academic researchers, including Dell SecureWorks, Deloitte Cyber Risk Services, Microsoft Corporation,, Afilias, F-Secure, Level 3 Communications, McAfee, Neustar, Shadowserver, Anubisnetworks, Symantec, Heimdal Security, Sophos and Trend Micro, and academic researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, VU University Amsterdam and Saarland University.Other law enforcement organizations involved include the Australian Federal Police; the National Police of the Netherlands' National High Tech Crime Unit; the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3); Germany’s Bundeskriminalamt; France’s Police Judiciaire; Italy’s Polizia Postale e delle Comunicazioni; Japan’s National Police Agency; Luxembourg’s Police Grand Ducale; New Zealand Police; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs' Division for Combating Cyber Crime. The Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the U.S. Department of Defense also participated in the investigation.In early June 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Operation Tovar had temporarily succeeded in cutting communication between Gameover ZeuS and its command-and-control servers.The criminals attempted to send a copy of their database to a safe location, but it was intercepted by agencies already in control of part of the network. Russian Evgeniy Bogachev, aka "lucky12345" and "slavik", was charged by the US FBI of being the ringleader of the gang behind Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker. The database indicates the scale of the attack, and it makes decryption of CryptoLocked files possible.

In August 2014 security firms involved in the shutdown, Fox-IT and FireEye, created a portal, called Decrypt Cryptolocker, which allows any of the 500,000 victims to find the key to unlock their files. Victims need to submit an encrypted file without sensitive information, which allows the unlockers to deduce which encryption key was used. It is possible that not all CryptoLocked files can be decrypted, nor files encrypted by different ransomware.Analysis of data which became available after the network was taken down indicated that about 1.3% of those infected had paid the ransom; many had been able to recover files which had been backed up, and others are believed to have lost huge amounts of data. Nonetheless, the gang was believed to have extorted about US$3m.

Qui tam

In common law, a writ of qui tam is a writ whereby a private individual who assists a prosecution can receive all or part of any penalty imposed. Its name is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, meaning "[he] who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself."

The writ fell into disuse in England and Wales following the Common Informers Act 1951 but remains current in the United States under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq., which allows a private individual, or "whistleblower," with knowledge of past or present fraud committed against the federal government to bring suit on its behalf. There are also qui tam provisions in 18 U.S.C. § 962 regarding arming vessels against friendly nations; 25 U.S.C. § 201 regarding violating Indian protection laws; 46 U.S.C. § 80103 regarding the removal of undersea treasure from the Florida coast to foreign nations; and 35 U.S.C. § 292 regarding false marking. In February 2011, the qui tam provision regarding false marking was held to be unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court, and in September of that year, the enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act effectively removed qui tam remedies from § 292.

United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations

The U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI or OSI) is a U.S. federal law enforcement agency that reports directly to the Secretary of the Air Force. AFOSI is also a U.S. Air Force field operating agency under the administrative guidance and oversight of the Inspector General of the Air Force. By federal statute, AFOSI provides independent criminal investigative, counterintelligence and protective service operations worldwide and outside of the traditional military chain of command. AFOSI proactively identifies, investigates, and neutralizes serious criminal, terrorist, and espionage threats to personnel and resources of the Air Force and the U.S. Department of Defense, thereby protecting the national security of the United States.

United States Army Corrections Command

The United States Army Corrections Command (ACC) exercises command and control and operational oversight for policy, programming, resourcing, and support of Army Corrections System (ACS) facilities and TDA elements worldwide.

On order, ACC coordinates the execution of condemned military prisoners.

United States Army Criminal Investigation Command

The United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC) investigates felony crimes and serious violations of military law & the United States Code within the United States Army. The command is a separate military investigative force with investigative autonomy; CID special agents report through the CID chain of command to the USACIDC Commanding General, who reports directly to the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Secretary of the Army. By position, the USACIDC commanding general is also the Army's Provost Marshal General.

United States Capitol Police

The United States Capitol Police (USCP) is a federal law enforcement agency charged with protecting the United States Congress within the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories. The USCP is the only full service federal law enforcement agency responsible to the legislative branch of the U.S. government.

United States Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division

United States Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division (USMC CID) is a federal law enforcement agency that investigates crimes against persons and property within the United States Marine Corps.

United States Mint Police

The United States Mint Police (USMP) is a U.S. federal law enforcement agency responsible for the protection of the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Mint. In 2004 the Police employed 376 police officers.

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