What Do NCIS Agents Do?
The history of the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) stretches as far back as World War I. It started off as a component of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), which still exists to this day. However, in 1966 the Office of Naval Intelligence would give rise to an agency called the Naval Investigative Service (NIS), but it was only in 1992 that it officially became known as the NCIS. Today, the NCIS employs over 1200 special agents and operates in 40 countries abroad.
Ask the average person what an NCIS agent does and they’ll probably be at a loss for words. That’s understandable since the agency does not receive much media attention. Despite the fact that little is known about the day to day running of the NCIS, the situation could have been a lot worse. The NCIS may well have been an obscure agency that no one even knew about. But thanks to the TV show ‘NCIS’ with its straightforward title, the agency has been made known to the public. So what do NCIS agents do?
Well, their primary goal is to investigate any felony level crime that’s related to the Navy and Marine Corps. The NCIS, however, has no power to investigate military offenses like cases of desertion or kinky officers. The work of an NCIS agent takes him across the globe to places like Iraq and Somalia. There is one on every aircraft carrier and amphibious vessel that’s deployed to safeguard the oceans. Wherever they are deployed, they usually get into the thick of things. They participate in combat and counterterrorism operations and investigate perceived or actual cases of espionage, extremism, sabotage, assassination, or defection by naval employees. They’re not like your average law enforcement official. NCIS agents are expected to be able to competently handle any and all cases that come their way. Most of the investigations conducted by the NCIS occur abroad. There, foreign law enforcement agencies will have lead investigative jurisdiction and the NCIS will have to work alongside them. On the local front, it’s not unheard of the NCIS working alongside federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to solve crimes that fall within its jurisdiction. NCIS agents also have a power that is unique to them: The power to arrest both civilians and military officers whereas other law enforcement officials only have the power to arrest civilians.
The vast majority of NCIS agents are civilians. They have a wide salary range consisting of pay bands, which dictate what salary an NCIS agent is entitled to. The average annual salary of a new hire is $26,858, which will increase as they gain experience and promotions. NCIS agents are also able to access Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP). LEAP is 25% of an agent’s salary is paid to compensate an agent when he works overtime.