General Questions

CID's mission is to identify and defeat criminal threats to Army affiliated personnel, installations, procurement efforts, and other assets by providing unparalleled criminal investigative support to the total force in order to enhance the U.S. Army’s operational readiness, and its ability to fight and win the nation’s wars; and to operate across all domains and throughout the spectrum of conflict.

CID is a worldwide command with fewer than 2000 Soldiers and civilians.

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.

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.

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 Director, who in turn reports directly to the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army.

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.
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.
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. The agency was redesignated as the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division in 2022.
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.
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.
No, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Natural – deaths resulting solely from natural causes or disease.
Accidental – deaths resulting from inadvertent or unexpected mishap, which results in fatal injury.
Suicide – intentionally self-inflicted fatal injury.
Homicide – the killing of one person by another, involving the lack of justification or excuse for the act.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 502-626-3711/3712/3713/3717.
CID shoulder patch
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.
On 8 Jan 15, Army Directive 2015-03 (Procedures for the Issuance of Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Credentials to Army Law Enforcement Officers) was published. The Office of the Provost Marshal General is the issuing agency and the office of record for the issuance of all LEOSA credentials will be the U.S. Army Military Police School. A copy of the directive can be located at:

Questions about joining CID

Regular Army/Active duty Soldiers who meet the basic eligibility criteria should access the CID Application Processing Portal (CID-APP) to initiate their registration request. The CID-APP is DoD Network/Common Access Card enabled and only qualified applicants will be granted access to begin their application. Reserve Soldiers must inquire through the nearest Reserve CID unit. A list of Reserve units can be found at

If you have an interest in law enforcement, willingness to perform potentially dangerous work, ability to make quick decisions, and remain calm under duress; then this could be the career for you. Basic character traits of honesty, courtesy, tact, cooperation, personal appearance, and bearing are also important factors required of CID special agents.

The average turnaround time is 120 days from start to acceptance into the program. A majority of this time is determined on the applicant’s motivation to complete the application process.
The Commissioned Officer to Warrant Officer Program has ended and there are no plans to institute the program in the future. If the program is instituted in the future, it will be announced via a MILPER message.
Reserve and National Guard members who are interested in joining CID must apply through a CID Reserve unit.
Once you have completed at least two-thirds of the tour length. If your application is approved, you will be scheduled to attend the first available training that coincides with your DEROS.
You can apply once you have returned from deployment and your Stabilization Code has been removed.
No, this requirement cannot be waived.
A degree, Associates or higher, from an accredited institution is required.
No, this requirement cannot be waived. Contact your local Education Center to see if you are eligible to retest.
This is not an automatic yes or no answer. If you had a bankruptcy action within last three years, this is an automatic “disqualifier.” Any bankruptcy action must have been discharged at least three years before applying. Any other credit issues would have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Please be advised that credit waivers are NOT automatic.
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.
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.

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Who we are

As the U.S. Army's primary criminal investigative organization and DoD's premier investigative organization, CID is responsible for conducting criminal investigations in which the Army is, or may be, a party of interest.

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