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From the Commanding General: Today’s Army Law Enforcement

Major General David E. Quantock, Provost Marshal General, U.S. Army; Commanding General, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and the Army Corrections Command

erving a population of more than 1 million soldiers, civilians, contractors, and family members worldwide, I am directly responsible for all policing functions within the U.S. Army and for leading and directing the Military Police Corps, the uniformed law enforcement branch of the U.S. Army.

This job requires me to wear three hats with oversight of

  • the Criminal Investigation Command (CID);
  • the Corrections Command, which includes all of the army jails or detention facilities; and
  • the Army Provost Marshal.

I command one of the largest professional law enforcement organizations in the United States that is currently deployed worldwide and is conducting the full spectrum of policing functions in every operational environment imaginable. Across the United States and around the world, wherever the army operates, so, too, does army law enforcement.

Army law enforcement is truly a force to be reckoned with: More than 50,000 enlisted, warrant, and commissioned officers compose the Military Police Corps, along with thousands of army civilian police officers, special agents, and security and criminal intelligence professionals.

As the Provost Marshal General, my command areas include but are not limited to

  • law enforcement,
  • criminal investigations,
  • criminal intelligence fusion,
  • corrections,
  • forensics,
  • physical security,
  • high-risk personnel security,
  • antiterrorism, and
  • detention operations.

This command develops the policies and procedures that impact all law enforcement activities executed by the Military Police Corps, ensuring that those entrusted with enforcing the law continue to assist, protect, and defend members of the army, their families, and their communities.

Few organizations are as diversified as the army’s Military Police Corps. Within its ranks, men and women serve in every law enforcement specialty from K-9 handlers and criminal investigators to patrol officers and Special Reaction Team members. However, these missions are not confined to posts, camps, and stations, they also are carried out during combat operations; humanitarian and disaster relief efforts; and in support of the United States, its citizens, and its allies.

On the front lines of combating crime, often impacting the national landscape, is the U.S. Army CID. High-profile cases such as the questionable practices and the improper former management at Arlington, Virginia, National Cemetery and the 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, are two examples of the investigations conducted by CID special agents.

Deterred by neither fear nor prejudice, the CID’s mission is clear: To diligently seek the truth to help bring those few who commit crimes within or against the army to justice.

One of the great things about the army is the organization’s dedication to figure out what went wrong, charge those who commit crimes, and then hold them accountable by the rule of law.

Photographs by the U.S. Army
Criminal Investigation Command
Major General David E. Quantock
speaks with a military police soldier
prior to his deployment to Afghanistan.
Major General David E. Quantock
motivates Military Police Corps
Soldiers during an organizational
run at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri,
home to the U.S. Army Military
Police School.
Headquartered at Quantico, Virginia, the CID is a global network of highly trained special agents responsible for investigating felony-level crimes. These law enforcement professionals not only investigate crimes but also conduct logistics security operations and assessments, criminal intelligence, and economic crime and extremist criminal activity threat assessments. On the battlefield, CID investigations are expanded to include war crimes as well as antiterrorism and force-protection missions.

On average, the CID investigates approximately 10,000 felony cases annually. CID special agents are actively engaged with their fellow law enforcement professionals at the federal, state, city, and county levels, often conducting joint or collateral investigations that are routinely—and successfully—prosecuted in military, federal, state, and foreign judicial venues around the world.

One unique aspect of CID special agents is their level of involvement throughout an investigation, specifically in the process by which crimes are investigated. Some federal law enforcement agencies and major police departments use crime scene crews or evidence collection teams to process a crime scene. CID special agents process the scene themselves. By collecting evidence and photographing and recreating events, the special agents are afforded an intimate knowledge of what took place.

In addition to conventional investigative units, the CID possesses highly specialized organizations that perform crucial missions for both the army and the U.S. Department of Defense.

The U.S. Army Protective Services Battalion is tasked with providing personal protection for key U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of the Army officials worldwide. This high-profile mission is mandated by Congress and includes protecting the secretary of defense; the secretary of the army; the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and, when requested, foreign military dignitaries, general officers, and VIPs visiting army installations anywhere around the world.

The command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit (MPFU) is another specialized unit that brings to the fight a wealth of experience in forensic accounting, law, and logistics, and is well versed in the investigation of fraud and corruption cases. The MPFU has the distinct honor of being one of a handful of organizations within the U.S. Department of Defense that creates revenue for the U.S. government. Throughout the past decade, the MPFU has been instrumental in returning more than $2.1 billion dollars to the U.S. Treasury and the army.

As the army’s cyberdetectives, the Computer Crimes Investigative Unit’s (CCIU’s) primary mission is to conduct criminal investigations of intrusions and related malicious activities involving army computers and networks. Since the CCIU is a highly respected player within the cybersecurity community, several special agents and alumni have been recognized by leading law enforcement organizations including the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Office of the U.S. Attorney General.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory, located just outside Atlanta, Georgia, provides forensic laboratory services to all U.S. Department of Defense investigative agencies as well as to other federal law enforcement agencies on occasion. The laboratory conducts state-of-the-art forensic examinations in drug chemistry, trace evidence, serology, DNA, latent prints, forensic documents, digital evidence, and firearms and tool marks.

Looking to the future, the army’s focus is on three top priorities.

The first priority is to support the current fight. This is the first and last thought on my mind every day. What can we do to support our fellow soldiers, our sailors, our marines, and our airmen and airwomen in harm’s way?

The second priority is to assist and protect. In context, I reference the regimental insignia: Assist, Protect, Defend. What have we done to take care of our soldiers, our civilians, and our families both at home and abroad?

The third priority is to forge the future. What can we do best to defeat the enemy and do what’s best for the army and the United States?

The U.S. Army CID stands ready to assist other police agencies worldwide. For more information, visit (accessed April 9, 2012). ♦

Please cite as:

David E. Quantock, "Today’s Army Law Enforcement," From the Commanding General, The Police Chief 79 (June 2012): 16–17.

Click to view the digital edition.



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. 6, June 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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