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Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency

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Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency
Seal of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency
Special agent's badge of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency
Agency overview
Formed30 September 2019; 4 years ago (2019-09-30)
Preceding agencies
  • Defense Investigative Service (DIS) (1972–1999)
  • Defense Security Service (DSS) (1999–2019)
TypeSecurity Agency
JurisdictionUnited States
HeadquartersMarine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, U.S.
Agency executive
Parent departmentUnited States Department of Defense

The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) is a federal security and defense agency of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) that reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.[1] DCSA is the largest counterintelligence and security agency in the federal government and is responsible for providing personnel vetting, critical technology protection, counterintelligence, training, education and certification. DCSA services over 100 federal entities, oversees 10,000 cleared companies, and conducts approximately 2 million background investigations each year.


The agency was originally established as the Defense Investigative Service and was created on January 1, 1972.[2] In 1999, the agency changed its name to the Defense Security Service.[3] In July 2019, DSS was reorganized as DCSA, in conjunction with the transfer of responsibility for conducting background investigations from OPM's National Background Investigations Bureau.[4][5]


DCSA conducts personnel security investigations for 95% of the federal government, supervises industrial security, provides counterintelligence support to the cleared defense industrial base, and performs security education and training. DCSA also provides the uniformed US military services, Department of Defense agencies, 35 federal agencies, and approximately 10,000 cleared government contractor facilities with security support services. The Director of DCSA reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

National Industrial Security Program (NISP)[edit]

DCSA administers the NISP on behalf of the Department of Defense and 35 other federal agencies. DCSA provides oversight to approximately 10,000 cleared contract companies to ensure they are adequately protecting facilities, personnel, and associated Information Technology systems from attacks and vulnerabilities.


DCSA is organized into five directorates, each of which are led by an Assistant Director and contain various subcomponents.

  • Personnel Security
    • Consolidated Adjudication Services (CAS)
  • Industrial Security
    • National Access Elsewhere Security Oversight Center (NAESOC)
    • NISP Authorization Office (NAO)
  • Security Training
    • Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE)
    • The National Center for Credibility Assessment (NCCA)
  • Counterintelligence & Insider Threat
    • DoD Insider Threat Management and Analysis Center (DITMAC)
  • Field Operations
    • Western Region
    • Central Region
    • Eastern Region
    • Mid-Atlantic Region


DCSA Industrial Security Representatives, Counterintelligence Special Agents, Background Investigators, and Information System Security Professionals are credentialed Special Agents. DCSA also uses a number of contract investigators and staff to help support DCSA's various missions.


The DCSA headquarters is located on Marine Corps Base Quantico. DCSA also has 167 field offices across the United States.

See also[edit]

US military investigative organizations


  1. ^ "Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency: About Us". Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  2. ^ "About DSS – History". Archived from the original on June 25, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  3. ^ "History". www.dss.mil. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  4. ^ "New agency name, acting director". Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  5. ^ "Transferring Responsibility for Background Investigations to the Department of Defense". Federal Register. April 29, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Defense Security Service at Wikimedia Commons