The NCIS is a worldwide Federal Law Enforcement Agency staffed almost entirely by civilian Special Agents. The primary mission of the NCIS is to prevent terrorism, protect secrets and reduce crime for the Navy and Marine Corps communities throughout the world.
The Combating Terrorism Directorate directs NCIS support for efforts aimed at detecting, deterring and disrupting terrorism against Department of Navy personnel and assets worldwide, bringing a wide array of offensive and defensive capabilities to the mission of combating terrorism. Offensively, from the counterterrorism side, NCIS conducts investigations and operations aimed at interdicting terrorist activities. Defensively, from the antiterrorism side, NCIS supports key DoN leaders with protective services and performs vulnerability assessments of military installations and related facilities—including ports, airfields and exercise areas to which naval expeditionary forces deploy.
Presidential Executive Order 12333 defines counterintelligence as "information gathered and activities conducted to protect against espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage or assassinations conducted for or on behalf of foreign powers, organizations or persons, or international terrorist activities."
Within the DoN, NCIS has exclusive investigative jurisdiction in non-combat matters involving actual, potential or suspected terrorism, sabotage, espionage and subversive activities. Presidential Executive Orders 12958, 12968 and 12829 define national security information and establish the NCIS mission in safeguarding classified information and vetting personnel for trustworthiness. NCIS is the DoN’s primary law enforcement arm and investigates all major criminal offenses (felonies)—those crimes punishable under the Code of Military Justice by confinement of more than one year—within the DoN.
Crime poses a threat to every segment of today’s society, including the Navy and Marine Corps. These criminal threats can include homicide, arson, domestic violence, drug trafficking, as well as white-collar offenses such as procurement fraud or embezzlement.
The NCIS Resident Agency Memphis is located on the second floor and has an area of operational responsibility over all or part of eight states surrounding Tennessee. NCISRA Memphis also has satellite offices in St. Louis, Mo. at the National Personnel Records Center and in Crane, Ind. at the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
In addition to the above-described mission, NCIS also acts as the primary liaison between the Navy and Marine Corps with federal, state and local law enforcement authorities. Criminal or security violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, United States Code or state statutes should be reported to NCISRA Memphis at (901) 874-5387.