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Frequently Asked Questions

>General Questions About CID

What is CID's mission?
How many people are in CID?
What are the types of crimes CID investigates?
Does CID have a wartime mission?
What is the CID chain of command?
Who provides oversite to CID investigations?
How long does it take to complete an investigation?
When was CID formed?
How is CID organized?
Where are the CID major subordinate organizations located?
Why can't CID provide information about open cases?
What are the time limits for death investigations?
Does CID charge individuals with crimes?
Does CID investigate all deaths of Soldiers?
Do CID agents have the authority to make an arrest?
What is the difference between homicide and murder?
What is the "posse comitatus" act?
What are the categories for manner of death?
How does CID determine the manner of death during investigations?
What is an administrative investigation?
Where do I go to get approval to write a book or produce a movie about CID or the Army?
How do I get a copy of a closed investigation?
Does CID investigate deserters?
What do the CID shoulder patch and crest designs represent?
What is CID's position on the issue of credentials in reference to the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act?

>Questions About Joining CID

How do I get the ball rolling, how do I get started, what is my first step?
Can I apply if I am below the rank of E-5/ Sergeant?
Can I be in the CID program and be in the Reserves or National Guard?
How do I re-enlist for the CID MOS?
Can color blindness be waived?
I have some college but not a degree can I still apply?
If my ST score is lower than the minimum requirement, can it be waived?
My college transcript shows my college credit in quarter hours, how do I convert that to semester hours?
If I previously had some credit issues, is this going to automatically disqualify me?
I do not have a top secret clearance yet can I still apply?
Once I have been accepted into the CID program is there much room for growth?
What is the most important thing to remember when applying?
How do I know if this is a field or job for me?
How long does the application process take?

>Applications and Related Forms

CID application checklist
Application cover memo sample letter
Unit commander endorsement sample letter
Authorization for release of information
Applicant background questionnaire
Applicant financial questionnaire
CID Form 86(c)4 Disclosure Form
Contingency statement

 

Q. What is CID’s mission?
A. The mission of CID is to investigate and deter serious crimes in which the Army has an interest. CID collects, analyzes, processes and disseminates criminal intelligence; conducts protective service operations; provides forensic laboratory support to all DoD investigative agencies, and maintains Army criminal records. CID also provides criminal investigative support to all U.S. Army elements and deploys on short notice in support of contingency operations worldwide.

Q. How many people are in CID?
A. CID is a worldwide command with fewer than 2000 Soldiers and civilians and approximately 900 special agents.

Q. What are the types of crimes CID investigates?
A. CID Special Agents primarily investigate felony-level crime across the Army and provide investigative support to field commanders. They conduct a wide variety of investigations to include deaths, sexual assault, armed robbery, procurement fraud, computer crimes, counter-drug operations and war crimes. CID agents also provide counter-terrorism support, criminal intelligence support, force protection, forensic laboratory investigative support, and protective services for key Department of Defense and senior Army leadership.

Q. Does CID have a wartime mission?
A. CID supports the Army in peacetime and in war. CID maintains its primary investigative responsibilities while also conducting contingency operations and battlefield missions. CID's mission is the same in both the installation and battlefield environments; however, CID’s traditional roles are expanded once deployed to the battlefield or to a contingency operation.  CID’s advanced theater operations often include mentoring local national investigators and police in developing the rule of law, conducting site exploitation and recovery of forensic and biometric evidence and developing criminal intelligence.  CID also provides logistics security and conducts protective service and force protection operations.  During battlefield operations, CID’s criminal investigations can include war crimes, anti-terrorism and crimes against coalition forces and host nation personnel.  Investigating these complex criminal scenarios allows combatant commanders to take the fight to the enemy and most importantly, save lives. During war, investigations can also focus on sabotage, diversion of supplies and equipment and profiteering to ensure that all equipment and supplies intended for Soldiers actually reach them.

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Q. What is the CID chain of command?
A. CID is a centralized, separate military investigative force with investigative autonomy, designed to prevent command influence or even the appearance of command influence. CID agents in the field report through the CID chain of command to the Commanding General, who in turn reports directly to the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army.

Q. Who provides oversight to CID investigations?
A. CID investigations receive multiple layers of internal reviews during the course of an investigation.  The CID Inspector General also conducts reviews of individual CID unit casework. Furthermore, the office of the Criminal Investigative Policy and Oversight of the Department of Defense Inspector General conducts inspections of investigations as required, as well as inspections of certain classes or types of crimes for all U.S. military criminal investigative organizations.

Q. How long does it take to complete an investigation?
A. Criminal investigations take as long as required to get to the truth and determine exactly what transpired in a particular circumstance. Although time is very important, criminal investigations are conducted to a standard not necessarily to a timetable. CID is dedicated to conducting thorough and professional criminal investigations no matter how long it takes.

Q. When was CID formed?
A. The history of criminal investigation in the Army can be traced back before the Civil War when private detectives like Alan Pinkerton were hired to investigate Army crimes. However, during World War I, General John Pershing ordered the creation of a separate Criminal Investigation Division (CID) within the MP Corps to prevent and detect crime among the American Expeditionary Forces in France. The acronym CID, as the Criminal Investigation Command is commonly referred to, retains the “D” today as a historical reminder of the first Criminal Investigation Division formed in 1918 during World War I. Criminal investigation activities were not centralized until 1971, when Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird directed the formation of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. CID officially became a command on September 17, 1971.

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Q. How is CID organized?
A. CID is organized into five major subordinate organizations: 3rd MP Group (CID), 6th MP Group (CID), 701st MP Group (CID), U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory and the U.S. Army Crime Records Center.

Q. Where are the CID major subordinate organizations located?
A. CID Headquarters is located at Quantico, Virginia, and is co-located with the U.S. Army Crime Records Center and 701st MP Group (CID). The 3rd MP Group (CID) Headquarters is at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia; 6th MP Group (CID) is at Fort Lewis, Wash.; and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory is located at the Forest Park, Georgia.

Q. Why can’t CID provide information about open cases?
A. As a matter of policy, CID does not confirm when someone is the subject or suspect of an ongoing criminal investigation due to the person’s Constitutional due process and Privacy Act rights. To prevent premature speculation about a case, when CID conducts an investigation, special agents are obligated to protect the integrity of those investigations by not discussing the details of ongoing investigations. Additionally, some of the reasons why CID does not release this information is to prevent “suspects” from destroying possible evidence, fleeing the area and to prevent witness tampering. CID investigates allegations of wrongdoing and once an investigation is completed, turns those findings over to the appropriate command and legal authority for disposition and adjudication. Once a person is charged with a crime, that information is beyond the purview or control of CID. It's also important to note that an allegation of wrongdoing or the fact that an investigation has been opened does not necessarily in and of itself imply guilt or innocence.

Q. What are the time limits for death investigations?
A. There are no set time parameters for a death investigation in the Army or civilian law enforcement. CID will attempt to determine the manner of death as quickly as possible. CID special agents will treat and process all death investigations with great care to ensure the preservation of evidence and ensure there is an accurate account of what took place.

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Q. Does CID charge individuals with crimes?
A. CID does not charge subjects of investigations with crimes. CID investigates allegations of wrongdoing and once an investigation is completed, turns the findings over to the appropriate command and legal authority for disposition and adjudication. Once a person is charged with a crime, that information may become public record through an Article 32 Hearing, Courts Martial etc.

Q. Does CID investigate all deaths of Soldiers?
A. CID has the responsibility for investigating all deaths of Soldiers except those occurring under the following circumstances:
a. Combat deaths do not normally fall under the scope of CID investigations. They are typically recorded and investigated by the chain of command.
b. Deaths resulting from aircraft crashes. They are normally investigated by the U.S. Army Safety Center. However, if a crash is determined to be the result of sabotage or criminal negligence, CID may initiate an investigation.
c. Deaths occurring to patients under the care of a physician. These are called “attended deaths” and typically result from illness or disease. However, if a Soldier is injured during an accident and later dies while receiving hospital care, CID may investigate.
d. Outside Agency Investigations.Deaths for which another law-enforcement agency is the lead-investigating agency. CID will routinely assist in the investigation. For example, a Soldier is found dead in the front yard of his off-post housing. The local police department is the lead-investigating agency. CID normally does not have primary investigating responsibility, but may open what is called a “collateral” or joint investigation.

Q: Do CID agents have the authority to make an arrest?
A: Yes. Military law uses the term "apprehension" for what is called "arrest" in civilian terminology. Under military law and Army regulations, CID accredited supervisors and special agents (whether military or civilian) may apprehend any member of the military based on probable cause to believe that person has committed an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In addition, all CID accredited supervisors and special agents are authorized to apprehend civilian personnel on military installations or facilities when there is probable cause to believe the person has committed an offense under the criminal laws of the United States. CID's civilian special agents are authorized  to arrest civilians with and without warrant, on or off a military installation, for violations of federal law.  When in the US, military Special Agents have no statutory arrest authority over civilians.  Civilian special agents are authorized to arrest civilians with and without warrant, on or off a military installation, for violations of federal law.  Finally, in situations outside of an agent's arrest authority, both military and civilian special agents may arrest civilians under citizen's arrest authority if allowed by local law, only when the offense occurred by chance and not as a consequence of the special agent's official duties, and only when the special agents do not present themselves as acting in their official capacity and clearly identify themselves as agents to other law enforcement officers who also respond. Persons apprehended under this authority are held only until they can be released to an appropriate law enforcement agency or to civilian authorities.

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Q. What is the difference between a homicide and murder?
A. Homicide is defined as “Death resulting from the intentional (explicit or implied) or grossly reckless behavior of another person or persons.” Murder is a legal term, defined in different degrees by the individual States and Federal Government. For example, under Title 18, U.S. Code, “Murder” is defined as “the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.” It is the “malice aforethought” that separates murder from homicide and a judge or jury determines the malice aforethought.

Q. What is the ‘posse comitatus’ act?
A. The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the use of Army personnel including CID, its agents and sources, by civilian law-enforcement authorities in the enforcement of civilian laws. However, this prohibition does not prevent CID investigative activity, even when there is a civilian law enforcement interest or involvement in the investigation, as long as the reason for the CID investigation is to satisfy Army investigative needs in a criminal matter of Army interest. The probable disposition of the offender, civilian or military, is not a determining factor. The Army interest must be a direct interest, must exist at the time of the CID action, and must be reasonably connected with the CID action taken. The fact that there previously was, or in the future may be, an Army interest is not sufficient. A determination that there is an Army interest must be based upon all the information available at the time and may change upon receipt of further information.

Q. What are the categories for manner of death?
A. A forensic pathologist, based on known facts and circumstances of the case, will determine how the person died. This information is compiled with the findings of the autopsy and lab tests, allowing the pathologist to make an informed determination. The manner of death will fall into one of five categories:

  1. Natural – deaths resulting solely from natural causes or disease.

  2. Accidental – deaths resulting from inadvertent or unexpected mishap, which results in fatal injury.

  3. Suicide – intentionally self-inflicted fatal injury.

  4. Homicide – the killing of one person by another, involving the lack of justification or excuse for the act.

  5. Undetermined – death resulting from injury where the exact circumstances cannot be determined with reasonable certainty. This is a finding of exclusion; meaning that all other manners of death listed above have been ruled out or the circumstances are too unclear to make the manner of death certain.

During an investigation, CID investigators will list a death as undetermined until subsequent investigation turns up additional evidence. CID Agents investigate deaths by processing evidence with the determination of a finding.

Q. How does CID determine the manner of death during investigations?
A. CID does not determine the manner of death. A forensic pathologist, based on known facts and circumstances of a case, will make the determination on how a person died. This information is compiled with the findings of the autopsy and lab tests, allowing the pathologist to make an informed determination.

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Q. What is an administrative investigation?
A. An administrative investigation, or commander’s inquiry, sometimes termed as a 15-6 investigation is a data-gathering tool for the commander and is directed by an officer or a board of officers to ascertain facts and make findings and recommendations. These investigations are administrative and can be performed for a number of situations or incidents, including those involving property and personnel. These are separate from CID criminal investigations, however CID may use information collected in these for criminal investigative purposes.

Q. Where do I go to get approval to write a book or produce a movie about CID or the Army?
A. For movie approvals, send requests to: Director, U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Public Affairs-LA, Los Angeles Branch, 10880 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1250, Los Angeles, CA 90024-4113, or call: 310-235-7621. For book approvals, send requests to: Director, U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Public Affairs-New York Branch, 805 Third Ave., 9th Floor, New York City, NY 10022-7513, or call: 212-784-0111.

Q. How do I get a copy of a closed investigation?
A. To obtain copies of Army criminal records or a completed Army CID investigation under the Freedom of Information Act, submit requests in writing to the Freedom of Information Act Office at: U.S. Army Crime Records Center, 27130 Telegraph Road, Quantico, VA 22134.

Q. Does CID investigate deserters?
A. Under most circumstances, no. However, if the individual deserts because of a criminal act, CID will work with local law enforcement authorities to apprehend the suspect for investigation. For general information on deserters or to report a deserter, contact the Chief, U.S. Army Deserter Information Point at 502-626-3717.

Q. What do the shoulder patch and crest designs on CID military uniforms represent?
A. The design of the shoulder sleeve insignia has the central star and the lines of latitude and longitude suggesting a globe. Together with the arrowheads, they mark the points of a compass, symbolizing the basic worldwide mission of the command: To perform and exercise centralized command authority, direction and control of Army criminal investigation activities worldwide. Red, white, and blue are the national colors. The CID Crest has a central star symbolizing centralized command. The grid lines allude to the latitude lines of the globe, thus referring to the worldwide activities of the organization. The grid lines also suggest a stylized web, with eight sides representing the original eight geographical regions of the command. The web, a symbol of criminal apprehension, is the result of methodical construction alluding to the scientific methods of criminal investigations. The outer points of the star further symbolize far-reaching authority. Red, white, and blue, are the national colors and gold is symbolic of achievement.

Q. What is CID's position on the issue of credentials in reference to the Law Enforcement Offiers Safety Act?
A.Updated March 14, 2014:Effective 13 Feb 14, DoD published its LEOSA policy in DODI 5525.12.  At this time, all three Services are drafting their own implementation policies and procedures.  CID will have to await the approval of the Army's policy before initiating its own implementing guidance.  A projected publication date for the Army policy is not available at this time; thus, the implementation of any CID policy is also not available.

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Q. How do I get the ball rolling, how do I get started, what is my first step?
A.The very first step for you to take is to get in contact with your local CID office. They will perform a brief interview and determine if you meet the minimum requirements.  From that point they will provide great assistance and guidance to the applicant throughout the complete application process.

Q. Can I apply if I am below the rank of E-5/ Sergeant?
A. Yes, you can as long as you meet the minimum requirements.

Q. Can I be in the CID program and be in the Reserves or National Guard?
A. Yes, you can. The CID program is available to Reservist and National Guardsmen and women. For more information please contact the Reserve liaison at 571-305-4344.

Q. How do I re-enlist for the CID MOS?
A. The 31D MOS is not an enlistment/re-enlistment option.

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Q. Can color blindness be waived?
A. Yes, IF the applicant can “differentiate between the colors red, green, and amber.”  There also must be a physicians statement supporting this enclosed with the Medical Records review provided with the application.

Q. I have some college but not a degree can I still apply?
A. Yes you can. The minimum requirement is to have 60 semester hours of college.  A waiver of up to half of this prerequisite may be requested provided you meet or exceed the remaining prerequisites and the local CID office favorably endorses your request. Please be advised the waiver for education is NOT automatic.

Q. If my ST score is lower than the minimum requirement can it be waived?
A. No, this cannot be waived. However your initial ST score can be raised by retesting. Inquire at your local Education Center on this issue.

Q. My college transcript shows my college credit in quarter hours, how do I convert that to semester hours?
A. To convert quarter hours (QH) to semester hours (SH) you take the total number of QH and divide by 1.5 to get your total number of SH. Example: If your transcript shows a total of 135 QH and you need to convert to SH. (135 / 1.5 = 90 SH)

Q. If I previously had some credit issues is this going to automatically disqualify me?
A. This is not an automatic "yes" or "no" answer. If you had a bankruptcy action within last two years, this is an automatic “disqualifier”.  Any bankruptcy action must have been discharged at least two years before applying.  Any other credit issues would have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.  Always remember to be upfront and honest.

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Q. I do not have a top secret clearance yet can I still apply?
A. Yes you can. During the application process you will have to complete an SF86 questionnaire for the TS clearance to your S-2 or security officer. This will initiate your background investigation to determine if you are eligible for the TS clearance. This investigation does not have to be complete prior to the application being submitted. The applicant must understand that acceptance is contingent upon the completion of a favorable background investigation.

Q. Once I have been accepted into the CID program is there much room for growth?
A. Yes there is. Once you are accepted into the program there are many options for professional growth. There are additional training courses provided to Special Agents, various fields or specialties where Special Agents investigate and both an enlisted and warrant officer career track.

Q. What is the most important thing to remember when applying?
A. The most important thing to remember while you are applying is to be upfront and honest. Integrity is one of the most important traits of a CID agent;and it starts from the application process.

Q. How do I know if this is a field or job for me?
A. If you are interested in law enforcement, providing security, performing investigations, and solving crimes, just some of the areas of interest within the Criminal Investigation Command; then this could be it for you.

Q. How long does the application process take?
A. The average turnaround time is 120 days, once the application is RECEIVED at the Criminal Investigation Command Headquarters.

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