History of Army Counterintelligence

Corps of Intelligence Police Badge carried by Agents CONUS
Corps of Intelligence Police Badge carried by Agents CONUS
Discontinued in late 1941. Modern counterintelligence has its beginnings in World War I when a permanent corps of trained counterintelligence specialists was established within the Army for the first time in response to fears of sabotage on the home front and for the security of American forces overseas.

During World War I, the Army formed the Corps of Intelligence Police (CIP) to combat espionage, sabotage, and subversion against personnel, units, and installations. CIP agents saw service both overseas and in the United States. In 1942, the CIP became the famed Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) of World War II. American troops were once against fighting on foreign soil and operating in an environment exploited by saboteurs and collaborators. CI units deployed worldwide to protect US and Allied Forces.

One of the CIC units was the 902d CIC Detachment. Activated on 23 November 1944, the 902d CIC Detachment was formed in Hollandia, New Guinea; General Douglas MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific Area. It provided security to combat forces on New Guinea, and later, on Luzon in the Philippines. For its service in the Philippines from October 1944 to July 1945, the detachment received the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.

Following the war, the 902d CIC Detachment was initially assigned to the Organized Reserve Corps. By the early 1950s, however, Cold War tensions had increased and the Army needed a greater counterintelligence and security capability. Consequently, the 902d CIC Detachment was reactivated in January 1952 with the mission of handling sensitive personnel assignments from the CIC School at Fort Holabird, Maryland. Moreover, the unit was responsible for counterintelligence operations being handled directly by the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI), G2 at the Pentagon. For the first time, all CI functions in direct support of Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) were consolidated into a single organization. In December 1957, the unit was redesignated as the 902d Counter Intelligence Corps Group. Throughout the rest of that decade, the 902d provided technical, linguist, and security support to Army elements worldwide. The 902d represented the apex of Army counterintelligence.

Throughout the 1960s, the 902d remained focused on security threats to the US Army. On 15 October, 1966, the unit received the designation it retains today – the 902d Military Intelligence (MI) Group. On 31 December 1969, the 902d MI Group was assigned to the US Army Intelligence Command, but remained under the operational control of the Army’s ACSI.

In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the 902d underwent a series of changes. On 30 June 1974, it was reassigned to the US Army Intelligence Agency and given a new mission: providing counterintelligence coverage to the eastern part of the United States. In 1977, the group was part of the largest restructuring of Army Intelligence since the end of World War II. Assigned to the newly established US Army Intelligence and Security Command, the 902d was charged with bring CI and communications security functions together in a unified mission. In June 1983, the 902d received the designation “The Deuce” from the Secretary of the Army. It was also recognized with an Army Superior Unit Award for its service from June 1988 to June 1989.

By 1996, the 902d had evolved into the Army’s principal shield against the threat posed by foreign intelligence services. The 902d protected forces in the United States before they deployed through multidiscipline CI activities such as operation security surveys prior to movement from home stations, communications security analysis, polygraph of linguists, and route vulnerability assessments from home station to point of embarkation.

The Global War on Terrorism brought about a shift in focus. The 902d began to emphasize tactical support to the Warfighter. Applying its force protection mission to support deployed forces, the 902d tailored a tactical counterintelligence deployment package that gave both theater commanders and their supporting Military Intelligence brigades a dedicated CI capability.

As time and technology have progressed, the nature of counterintelligence has broadened in scope and sophistication. Today the 902d MI Group conducts CI and HUMINT operational activities to support Army commanders and to protect Army units, classified information, and technologies by detecting, identifying, neutralizing, and exploiting foreign intelligence services and international terrorist threats.

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Contact Information

National Capital Region Field Office
902d Military Intelligence Group
9955 Middleton Road, Building 235
Fort Belvoir, Virginia 22060

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