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Posted: 12/4/2007 6:44:35 AM EDT
I'm considering joining the Coast Guard reserve and looking at the investigator field. I'm a sworn LEO with about 7 years experience. I'm wondering what this position entails and any opinions.

Link Posted: 12/4/2007 8:13:58 PM EDT
No USCG investigator here but I have worked with several USCG officers during maritime investigations. I may be wrong and there is more to their role, but from what I have seen expect more maritime (commercial vessels and recreational boaters) work rather than the usual criminal investigations. Unless maybe this is a branch off of their MP's???
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 8:26:21 PM EDT
Not an IV myself, but I've worked with them.

In addition to doing internal investigations, the also do a lot of behind the scenes work in LE. Many people don't realize the Coast Guard has a very big LE program.

An IV may be investigating stolen gov't property one day, and the next looking into an incursion into a shipping terminal or other waterfront facility.

They may be gathering intel on drug/migrant smuggling groups. Whenever we boarded tugboats at my last duty station, we gave the names of crewmembers to the IV's. They were tracking what companies were hiring criminals, aliens, and people tied to criminal acts somehow. Whenever there is a big Use of Force incident (especially deadly force), they come investigate. On big drug cases, they come investigate. Same with migrant cases.

I'll try to talk to someone at one of the FIST's in the area to get some more info.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 3:01:18 AM EDT
Thanks for the info so far freerider04 I appreciate any info you can pass on. Feel free to PM or e-mail if you want.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 5:39:25 AM EDT
Normally, investigative positions are not available to reservists. Kind of hard to run an investigation one weekend a month. In DoD services (CID, NCIS, OSI) most 1811-type agents are civilians. have you considered transferring to CG full time as a civilian?
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 5:55:15 AM EDT
CG Investigator appears to be a reserve only position from what I can tell.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 8:59:14 AM EDT
Coast Guard Investigative Service

I stand corrected on Reserve possibilities for this service. WOs and Petty Officers can serve as criminal investigators in the CG Reserve. However, it seems to be an alternate type of asssignment, rather than a career path or unique MOS. See info below on GS-1811 Criminal Investigators (civilian).


The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) is a federal investigative and protective program established to carry out the Coast Guard's internal and external criminal investigations; to assist in providing personal security services; to protect the welfare of Coast Guard people; to aid in preserving the internal integrity of the Coast Guard; and to support Coast Guard missions worldwide.


The Coast Guard Investigative Service is a centralized directorship managed by a professional criminal investigator who reports to the Assistant Commandant for Intelligence. The Coast Guard Investigative Service is located outside the Coast Guard's operational chain of command. This allows consistency in investigative policy, procedure, training and education, in full compliance with the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency report titled: Quality Standards for Investigations.

CGIS is primarily made up of three groups of individuals:

1. USCG Active Duty Chief Warrant Officers (CWO) and Petty Officers. These individuals are of different specialties and ratings and rotate into CGIS for a tour of duty or consecutive tours of duty. These individuals have served in the Coast Guard and are selected for CGIS on a "best qualified" basis. CWO positions are normally filled by enlisted Special Agents appointed to CWO. Enlisted personnel must be E-6 and above to apply. Each summer, CGIS solicits for applicants to fill enlisted active duty positions. Application package and eligibility requirements are summarized in annual ALCGENL messages issued by CG Personnel Command (CGPC-epm-1).

2. USCG Reserve Personnel. These personnel are Chief Warrant Officers (Investigators) and Petty Officers serving in the Reserve Investigator Rating (IV). Personnel interested in joining the Coast Guard Reserve should visit the CG Reserve Web Page for more information.

3. Full-time civilian - GS-1811 Series Criminal Investigators / Special Agents. These personnel are hired from qualified civilian applicants. Generally, law enforcement experience is required to be hired by CGIS. Once hired, they will receive additional law enforcement training as necessary and be eligible for assignment throughout the U.S. and its territories. Job openings are based on the needs of the service and follow regular government hiring practices. The job openings are announced under the title, "Criminal Investigator" on the Coast Guard Personnel Command website http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cgpc/cpm/jobs/vacancy.htm and the U. S. Government's Office of Personnel Management Web Site.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 5:43:10 PM EDT
CGIS differs a lot from the other services IS's because the Coast Guard is the only service with domestic law enforcement authority and responsibility.

Often, CGIS agents investigate incidents at maritime facilities such as oil terminals, shipping terminals, ferries, everything like that.

They also do internal investigations.
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