“Firearms are rarely drawn outside of training, and the work requires fastidiousness, perseverance and patience”
– Andrew L. Traver, (5th civilian) NCIS Director
The popular TV show aside, including its Los Angeles cousin, the real Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is a civilian-run, federal law enforcement agency for the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Their mission includes:
- Criminal Investigations
- Behavioral Science Group
- Major Case Response Team
- Multiple Threat Alert Center
- Technical Surveillance Countermeasures
- Technical Services
- Crime Reduction Program
- Joint Terrorism Task Force
- Security Training Assistance Assessment Team
In an effort to organize intelligence gathering, NCIS can trace its history back to March 23, 1882, when the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) was established. ONI was part of the then Bureau of Navigation, authorized by Secretary of the Navy William H. Hunt through General Order No. 202.
Today they have over 1,000 federal Special Agents among their estimated 2,000 personnel, operating in more than 41 countries and approximately 191 locations. Answering directly to the Secretary of the Navy, NCIS is run by a civilian law enforcement professional and their worldwide forward presence means they are often the first on scene when US interests are affected overseas.
NCIS serves at all major naval command posts worldwide, deploying with amphibious task forces and aboard all Navy aircraft carriers. They work with foreign and domestic counterparts to conduct advance intelligence to identify and mitigate threats before Navy ships visit non-Navy ports and conduct protective service operations. They also work jointly with local, state and foreign law enforcement (who have primary jurisdiction) to address criminal incidents and to allay threats to naval assets and forces. In an effort to expand its ties with other agencies, NCIS personnel provide security and law enforcement training, including seminars such as Cold Case resolution, as well as pioneering interagency information sharing.
Through their continued innovation, hard work and dedication, NCIS stands always ready to support, protect and preserve the men and women of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.