On November 13, 2013 HQUSACIDC Permanent Order 317-1 redesignated the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory, known as the USACIL, to the Defense Forensic Science Center. The Defense Forensic Science Center's mission is to provide full-service forensic support (traditional, expeditionary and reachback) to Army and DOD entities worldwide; to provide specialized forensic training and research capabilities; serve as executive agent for DOD Convicted Offender DNA Databasing Program; and to provide forensic support to other federal departments and agencies when appropriate.
The Defense Forensic Science Center, known as the DFSC, is the DOD’s premier forensic center. Located on the Gillem Enclave in Forest Park, Georgia, its subordinate units are the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL), the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), the Forensic Exploitation Directorate (FXD) and the Office of Quality Initiatives and Training (OQIT).
Dr. Jeff Salyards, PhD, MFS, is the Executive Director of the Defense Forensic Science Center, Forest Park, Georgia. Prior to his current position, he served as the Chief Scientist for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory. Before coming to USACIL, he was a Principal Analyst with Analytical Services and authored a study about the best methods to train military operators in material collection during the conduct of operations.
He holds a PhD in Chemistry from Montana State University, a Masters of Forensic Sciences from The George Washington University and has completed a Fellowship in Forensic Medicine from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.
A former Director of the Defense Computer Forensic Laboratory and AFOSI Special Agent, he has 26 years of combined experience in investigations, forensic consulting and teaching. He served as the Deputy for Operations and Assistant Professor at the Air Force Academy Chemistry Department and was honored with the Outstanding Academy Educator Award. Dr. Salyards has served on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board, the Department of Justice National Steering Committee for Regional Computer Forensic Laboratories, the Council of Federal Forensic Laboratory Directors, the ASCLD Board of Directors, and as a Commissioner for the Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission; he is a current member of the National Commission on Forensic Science. Dr. Salyards is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He is also a retired commissioned officer in the United States Air Force.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory is located within the Defense Forensic Science Center at the Gillem Enclave in Forest Park, Georgia. The USACIL provides forensic laboratory services to DOD investigative agencies and other Federal law enforcement agencies. USACIL is the only full service forensic laboratory in the DOD and trains special agents and investigators from the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines in the Special Agent Laboratory Training Course, and manages the CID criminalistics and visual information programs. The examiners and analysts testify in federal, military, and state courts as well as multi-national courts.
Historically, the USACIL system included a laboratory in North Africa, Europe (1943-1996), Japan (1948-1993), and in the United States (1945-present). With one consolidated laboratory, the USACIL now provides worldwide forensics support from its current location since 1983 at the Gillem Enclave, formerly known as Fort Gillem, Georgia.
The USACIL has continuously been an accredited forensic laboratory since 1985, previously under the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB-Legacy Program). In January 2016, the USACIL was ISO/IEC 17025 accredited by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board. The laboratory provides state of the art forensic examinations in the following disciplines: Drug Chemistry, Trace Evidence, Serology/DNA, Latent Prints, Forensic Documents, Digital Evidence and Firearms & Toolmarks.
The USACIL Director is Lauren Reed. The Deputy Director is Michael Hill.
In accordance with the Defense Forensic Science Center mission to provide specialized forensic research capabilities and to provide forensic support to other Federal departments and agencies when appropriate, the DFSC Office of the Chief Scientist manages and conducts research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E) efforts related to forensics in order to meet current and future warfighter and law enforcement requirements. It collaborates closely with dozens of interagency, academic, private industry, and international partners in a way that brings transparency to related research minimizing redundancy and leveraging similarity while allowing its scientists to stay abreast of forensic technology advancements. DFSC OCS also provides support for DOD acquisition organizations and subject matter expertise to other DOD and USG agencies with a vested interest in forensics and biometrics.
Objectives: The OCS strategy provides direction and justification for a robust DOD forensics and biometrics S&T program and to achieve the following forensics and biometrics S&T objectives:
Approach: OCS will pursue a multi-pronged approach to S&T research and development which involves:
By the Numbers
A majority of the RDT&E projects in which OCS staff are involved are those that involve external research being managed through OCS. Typical OCS project management is proactive and can have a significant impact on the outcome of research as far as its utility in an operational setting. OCS staff also perform research internally with assistance from Educational Outreach Program research associates, and function in a subject matter expert role to support external research projects managed by other DOD agencies. Subject matter expert support activities can range from expert technical input to collaborative laboratory evaluation of project deliverables by OCS staff.
Current OCS Projects by Forensic Discipline
OCS RDT&E projects span the various forensic and biometric disciplines, including pattern evidence, drug chemistry, digital evidence, and DNA/serology. Currently, the largest investment is seen in DNA/serology projects. The figure shown above does not include projects for which OCS participates through SME support activities.
The Chief Scientist is Henry P. Maynard. The Chief of Operations is Jerry R. Clausen.
The Forensic Exploitation Directorate (FXD) is located within the Defense Forensic Science Center at the Gillem Enclave in Forest Park, Georgia. The FXD deploys a scalable and modular forensic exploitation team to provide the joint force commander or combatant command with a deployable forensic capability. The forensic exploitation team is sourced by the FXD with highly qualified Army Civilian scientists. The forensic exploitation team supports forensic analysis in remote locations and also utilizes reach back to CONUS forensic capability in the DFSC.
Forensic exploitation teams can work out of in-place hard stand buildings or can deploy with exploitation laboratories. The capability is scalable, modular, and adaptable to support a commander’s needs, and can adjust to infrastructure availability. They can deploy as one or two-person teams to augment a commander’s staff as the forensic science officer, and support training exercises and partner nation engagements. When a deployable forensic laboratory capability is required, a forensic exploitation team deploys in a laboratory that can be scaled to meet any size operational requirement.
The Office of Quality Initiatives & Training’s (OQIT) mission is multi-dimensional with the primary areas of focus being those of quality management, DFSC-wide initiatives, and training.
Q (Quality) – Maintenance of accreditation requires continued compliance with a variety of standards, including international documents, amplification documents from the accrediting body, and discipline-specific documents. Growth of the Center and expansion of its mission require evolution of the quality management system to meet the changing mission requirements. To further this purpose, the quality management team and the technical leaders in the Center meet on a monthly basis to discuss quality-related topics, to include examiner training programs and quality document revisions.
I (Initiatives) – This forward-thinking mission involves continual work to improve the Center and its capabilities. Previous projects have included efficiency studies which helped smooth common Center processes and investigations of interactive technologies for use in training programs. Other areas of focus include improvement of the judicial support process and customer feedback.
T (Training) – The education mission at the DFSC includes training for Center personnel and its customers (agents, lawyers, liaisons, etc.). This encompasses mandated DoD and Army trainings on topics such as safety and security as well as all of the technical, discipline-specific training required for examiner authorizations and certifications. DFSC-hosted courses include training sessions on laboratory capabilities for special agents and trial/defense counsels. Furthermore, external training missions are organized for multiple assets across the Department of Defense in forensic collection and reporting in all scopes of analysis. DFSC examiners also conduct forensic outreach programs for universities and host nations to assist in the education of non-practitioners.
In addition to these primary mission sets, OQIT also serves as the hub for other Center-wide programs such as the transition to the new Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the Center’s scientific library.
The Director of the OQIT is Debbie Glidewell.