Army Criminal Investigations (CID) Special Agent Career

Army Criminal Investigations (CID) Special Agent (31D) careers are some of the most challenging. An equivalent to a Criminal Investigator, Army CID Special Agents are responsible for conducting investigations of incidents and offenses that threaten the safety of Army personnel, property, resources, or facilities.

CID agents work in close cooperation with other Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to prevent criminal activity, solve crimes that have occurred, as well as fight terrorism. Specialties may include narcotics, economic crimes, cyber-crimes, war crimes, armed robbery, and death, among others. CID has more than 200 offices worldwide with an airborne unit based out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

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.

Specific duties of the Army CID personnel include:

  • Conducting and supervising investigations of all incidents and offenses involving espionage, terrorism, or treason.
  • Reviewing case reports and conducting forensic analyses of evidence.
  • Interviewing witnesses, victims and interrogating suspects.
  • Administering polygraph tests.
  • May serve as a witness during court proceedings and provide expert testimony.
  • Maintain criminal records of all open cases.

Army (CID) Special Agent Job Requirements

Candidates must meet the following requirements to be considered for Army CID Special Agent jobs:

  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Vision of 20/20 or correctable to 20/20 and normal color vision.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to write clearly, facilitate interviews, and present information during court proceedings.
  • Must have a minimum of 6 months experience as a Military or civilian police officer.
  • Must have served in the army a minimum of two years but not more than 12 years at the time of application with maximum grade of E-5 (Sergeant).
  • No record of psychological or emotional disorders.
  • No civil court or military court-martial convictions.
  • Minimum age of 21 but not older than 37 at time of application.
  • Minimum score of 110 on the technical skill test (ST) portion of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The ST is comprised of Word Knowledge, Math Knowledge, General Knowledge, and Mechanical Comprehension.
  • Pass the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) with a total grade level of 12.1 (applicants with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree may be exempted from submitting these scores).
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and Firearms certification.
  • Ability to obtain Top Security Clearance.
  • Ability to accept an assignment anywhere in the world.
  • 36 months of service obligation once you have completed the CID Special Agent course.
  • Ability to use sound judgment under sometimes stressful conditions.
  • Candidates must be in excellent physical condition.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – being able to interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.

Army Criminal Investigations (CID) Special Agent Education and Training

Candidates for CIS jobs in the Army must have a minimum of 60 college credits from an institution accredited by the U.S. Department of Education as evidenced by either an official transcript or diploma. A waiver of up to half this requirement (30 credits) may be requested for those candidates with applicable experience.

CID Special Agents receive basic training at the U.S. Military Police School located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Training consists of a 15-week residency program which provides both physical and mental challenges to participants. The goal of training is to prepare enlisted personnel to conduct criminal investigations in the US Army Criminal Investigation Command. Skills taught during training include:

  • Civilian and military laws
  • Special investigations techniques
  • Criminal photography
  • How to prepare investigative reports
  • Nature of economic crimes
  • Narcotics investigations
  • Investigation and interrogation techniques
  • Crime scene processing
  • Preserving physical evidence
  • Providing testimonial evidence

Some Army CID agents have the opportunity to participate in additional training at the FBI National Academy, the Canadian Police College and George Washington University where they may earn a Master’s degree in Forensic Science.

Army CID Agent Salary

The following chart shows the basic pay for enlisted personnel direct form the Army’s Web site.


Chart reflects Basic Pay only and does not include bonusesallowances and other benefits. Learn about total Army compensation.


<2 Years Experience

4 Years Experience

6 Years Experience

Private (E1) $17,611**
Private (E2) $19,739 $19,739 $19,739
Private First Class(E3) $20,758 $23,400 $23,400
Specialist or Corporal (E4) $22,993 $26,770 $27,911
Sergeant (E5) $25,081 $29,380 $31,442
Staff Sergeant (E6) $27,374 $32,742 $34,088

* Based on 2011 pay tables.
** Pay for Private (E1) will be slightly lower for the first four months of service

In addition to base pay, enlisted personnel are also provided a comprehensive benefits package including health care at little or no cost, life insurance, retirement packages, and tuition assistance.

Army Criminal Investigations (CID) Special Agent Career Opportunities

As with all Army enlisted personnel, CID Special Agents are promoted up the ranks based on job performance and advanced education. CID Special Agents may advance all the way to Warrant Officer, the highest ranking member of enlisted personnel. Requirements to become a Warrant Officer include:

  • Rank of E-5 or above.
  • Two years of CID Special Agent experience.
  • Demonstrated potential to serve as a leader in the capacity of Special Agent-in-Charge as evidenced by performance evaluations and supervisor recommendations.
  • Bachelor’s degree (120 semester hours) of which 60 semester hours may be waived if the candidate is qualified in all other ways.
  • Current Top Security clearance.

Exceptional enlisted personnel may also be given the opportunity to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) and become officers in the Army with responsibility for leading a command. Those not eligible for OCS may also attend an accredited undergraduate school outside of the Army and apply for Officer Status upon graduation.

Take a look at other great Criminal Justice careers.

Article written by Radek Gadek

Radek holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. He is currently doing consulting work and runs this blog to provide relevant information on criminal justice degrees, colleges and related careers.

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