|United States Army Counterintelligence|
|Motto||Courage, Integrity, Perseverance|
|Operations jurisdiction||United States|
|Legal jurisdiction||National Security Crimes and Foreign Intelligence Collection|
|Governing body||Department of the Army|
|Headquarters||Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, VA|
|Parent agency||G-2, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ODCSINT)|
United States Army Counterintelligence (ACI) is the component of United States Army Military Intelligence which conducts counterintelligence activities to detect, identify, assess, counter, exploit and/or neutralize adversarial, foreign intelligence services, international terrorist organizations, and insider threats to the United States Army and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
ACI is one of only three DoD Counterintelligence (CI) entities designated by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, as a "Military Department CI Organization" or "MDCO." The other two DoD MDCO's are the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). As an MDCO, Special Agents of ACI are recognized federal law enforcement officers tasked with conducting criminal CI investigations in conjunction with other CI activities. Other CI entities within the DoD not recognized as MDCOs, such as Marine Corps Counterintelligence and the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) have no direct criminal investigative mission and therefore are designated only as "intelligence" or "security" organizations; although they may assist in such investigations in a non-law enforcement capacity as authorized by Executive Order 12333 and applicable regulations.
ACI Special Agents are U.S. Army personnel, either military or civilian, who are trained and appointed to conduct CI investigations and operations for the U.S. Army and DoD. As federal law enforcement officers who are issued badge and credentials, they have apprehension authority and jurisdiction in the investigation of national security crimes committed by Army personnel including treason, spying, espionage, sedition, subversion, sabotage or assassination directed by foreign governments/actors, and support to international terrorism. They do not have jurisdiction over general criminal matters, which are investigated by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID). In other branches of the U.S. military, both general criminal and counterintelligence investigations are performed by the same entity, as seen with AFOSI and NCIS who are also identified as "Defense Criminal Investigative Organizations." The Army continues to keep these investigative activities separate via ACI and CID, although parallel and joint investigations happen periodically between these two U.S. Army agencies.
Most operational ACI Special Agents today work under the auspices of the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), with the 902d Military Intelligence Group responsible for CI activities and operating field offices within the continental United States. Outside the continental U.S., the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade provides the same type of support in Hawaii and Japan, the 501st Military Intelligence Brigade supports South Korea, and the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade does so in Europe. The 470th Military Intelligence Brigade covers South America, the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade covers the greater Middle East, and the 650th Military Intelligence Group covers NATO countries. Other U.S. Army elements also have CI agents assigned to provide direct support such as those found within the various elements of Special Operations.
Prior to World War I, the U.S. military had no standing counterintelligence services, requiring the use of other elements to conduct counterintelligence activities, such as the Culper Spy Ring during the American Revolution, and by Allan Pinkerton and his private detectives during the U.S. Civil War.
ACI was formed as a standing CI service in 1917 during World War I, as the Corps of Intelligence Police under the newly created Military Intelligence Division commanded by Colonel Ralph Van Deman. Later, it was renamed and reformed as the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) during World War II and the Cold War. In the early 1970's, following the disbanding of the CIC, ACI was completely restructured as a result of intelligence reform. ACI agents where placed under the control of different military intelligence organizations that followed into present day under INSCOM.
ACI Special Agent duties include the investigation of national security crimes using special investigative procedures, conducting counterintelligence operations, processing intelligence evidence, conducting both surveillance and counter-surveillance activities, protecting sensitive technologies, preparing and distributing reports, conducting source/informant operations, debriefing personnel for counterintelligence collections, and supporting counter-terrorism operations.
Senior ACI Special Agents provide guidance to junior Special Agents and supervise their training; conduct liaison and operational coordination with foreign and U.S. law enforcement, security, and intelligence agencies; plan and conduct counterintelligence operations/activities related to national security; conduct high-profile counterintelligence collection activities and source operations ranging from overt to clandestine collection; supervise/manage surveillance operations; provide support for counterintelligence analytical products, to include preparing counterintelligence reports, estimates, and vulnerability assessments; and with additional training, may conduct technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM), credibility assessment examinations, or exploit cyber threats. Some ACI Special Agents are also cross-sworn and assigned to various federal task forces, such as the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in regions of the U.S. where the U.S. Army or DoD has significant assets to protect against terrorist threats.
Senior ACI Special Agents are also often assigned to U.S. Army Special Forces groups to assist with liaison, source operations, and intelligence investigations (typically in support of force protection); while also working closely with other intelligence collectors. These "Special Operations Forces (SOF)" CI Agents are granted the Enlisted Special Qualification Identifier (SQI) "S" or Officer Skill Code "K9" after successfully graduating from Airborne School, and after they have spent 12–24 months with a SOF unit; which may also require Agents complete additional unit level training and/or: Ranger School, SERE School, or applicable JSOU courses.
Like their CID counterparts, ACI special agents are covered by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), and may apply for LEOSA credentials to carry a personal concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States or United States Territories, regardless of state or local laws, with certain exceptions.
Counterintelligence Special Agent Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) codes include:
|MOS Code||Personnel Type||Duty Title|
|35L||Enlisted (E1 – E7)||Counterintelligence Special Agent|
|35Y||Senior Enlisted (E8 – E9)||Chief Counterintelligence Sergeant|
|351L||Warrant Officer (W1 – W5)||Counterintelligence Supervisory Special Agent|
|35E||Commissioned Officer (O1 – O6)||Counterintelligence Officer|
|0132||Civilian||Intelligence Specialist (Special Agent & Supervisory Positions)|
The Army is planning to re-designate civilian agents from 0132 to a new 1800 series federal job code. The date for this change has not yet been determined. Additionally, after September 30, 2020, CI Officers will be re-designated from 35E to 35A along with a new officer skill identifier indicating they are CI Special Agent qualified.
Department of the Army Pamphlet 611-21 requires applicants for Counterintelligence be able to:
This occupation is not an entry level Army position, and applicants are usually drawn from the existing ranks. Becoming a credentialed Counterintelligence Special Agent requires successful completion of the Counterintelligence Special Agent Course (CISAC) at either Fort Huachuca, Arizona, or Camp Williams, Utah. Newly trained special agents are placed on a probationary status for the first year after graduation for active duty agents, and for the first two years after graduation for reserve/national guard agents. This allows for the removal of the Counterintelligence Special Agent MOS if the probationary Agent is deemed unfit for duty as a Special Agent.
ACI Special Agents within the United States usually dress in professional civilian business attire. In tactical environments, they usually dress in tactical civilian attire or attire that supports the operational security of their mission. Given the broad range of CI activities, specific assignments will dictate what clothing is appropriate, which may be civilian attire local to the area of operation. When forward deployed to combat environments and attached to military units on specific missions, agents may wear the Army Combat Uniform but with rank insignia replaced with Department of the Army Civilian "U.S." insignia for investigative purposes. Although agents may be issued other weapons on special assignments, they are commonly issued a standard Sig Sauer M11 or M18 compact pistol as their primary weapon. For combat environments, special agents are also typically issued the M4 carbine.