Office of Special Investigations

The Office of Special Investigations has been the Department of the Air Force's major investigative service since Aug.1, 1948. The agency reports to the Inspector General, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. OSI provides professional investigative service to commanders of all Department of the Air Force activities. Its primary responsibilities are criminal investigations and counterintelligence services.

OSI exists to: Defend the Nation, Pursue Justice, Protect the Department of the Air Force and Find the Truth. 

Eyes of the Eagle

OSI has more than 2,000 military and civilian federally credentialed special agents. The command has more than 1,000 professional and military staff personnel providing operational support command-wide. The military and civilian professionals are supported by nearly 400 Air Force Reservists, both officer and enlisted. OSI Reservists are Individual Mobilization Augmentees who serve as both credentialed special agents and professional staff members.

In addition to the command's headquarters at Quantico, Va., OSI has seven field investigations regions aligned with Air Force major commands: Region 1 with Air Force Materiel Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Force Reserve Command; Region 2 with Air Combat Command, U.S. Air Forces Central Command; Region 3 with Air Mobility Command; Region 4 with Air Education and Training Command; Region 5 with U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, Region 6 with Pacific Air Forces, and Region 8 with United States Space Force, Air Force Global Strike Command. 

Located around the world are subordinate field units of these regions comprised of squadrons, detachments and operating locations. In sum, OSI operates more than 290 field units worldwide.

While the regions serve the investigative needs of those aligned major commands, all OSI units and personnel remain independent of those commands, and their chains of command flow directly to OSI headquarters. Such organizational independence ensures unbiased investigations.

The OSI Investigations Collections Operations Nexus (ICON) Center is a direct reporting unit to headquarters and is an established "Center of Excellence." The ICON Center's mission is to maintain global command and control capabilities for OSI by facilitating rapid transfer of critical information among OSI units, individual OSI special agents, other agencies and the U. S. Air Force regarding criminal investigations, economic crimes, specialized services, as well as collections and sourcing operations management. The ICON Center monitors current events worldwide to identify immediate events of value to OSI leadership. The OSI ICON Center functions as a centralized organization facilitating decentralized execution throughout OSI.

Threat Detection. OSI manages activities to detect and counter the effectiveness of hostile intelligence services and terrorist groups that target the Department of the Air Force. These efforts include investigating the crimes of espionage, terrorism, technology transfer and computer infiltration, as well as anti-terrorism and other force protection activity.

Criminal Investigations. The vast majority of OSI's investigative activities pertain to felony crimes including murder, robbery, rape, assault, major burglaries, drug use and trafficking, sex offenses, arson, compromise of Department of the Air Force test materials, black market activities, and other criminal activities.

Economic Crime Investigations. A significant amount of OSI investigative resources are assigned to fraud (or economic crime) investigations. These include violations of the public trust involving Department of the Air Force contracting matters, appropriated and non-appropriated funds activities, computer systems, pay and allowance matters, environmental matters, acquiring and disposing of Department of the Air Force property, and major administrative irregularities. OSI uses fraud surveys to determine the existence, location and extent of fraud in Department of the Air Force operations or programs. It also provides briefings to base and command-level resource managers to help identify and prevent fraud involving Air Force, Space Force or Department of Defense resources.

Specialized Services. OSI has numerous specialists who are invaluable in the successful resolution of investigations. They include technical specialists, polygraph personnel, behavioral scientists, computer experts and forensic advisers.

Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3). Established as an entity within the Department of the Air Force in 1998, DC3 provides digital and multimedia (D/MM) forensics, specialized cyber training, technical solutions development and cyber analytics for the following DoD mission areas: cybersecurity (CS) and critical infrastructure protection (CIP), law enforcement and counterintelligence (LE/CI), document and media exploitation (DOMEX) and counterterrorism (CT). DC3 delivers capability via six functional organizations which create synergies and enable considerable capability for its size. DC3 is designated as a federal cyber center by National Security Presidential Directive 54 / Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23, as a DoD center of excellence for D/MM forensics by DoD Directive 5505.13E, and serves as the operational focal point for the Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Program DIB CS Program; 32 CFR Part 236). DC3 delivers capability with a team comprised of Department of the Air Force civilians, Air Force and Navy personnel and contractors for specialized support.  

Training. All new OSI special agent recruits -- whether officer, enlisted or civilian -- receive their entry-level training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. The training requires that each recruit meet physical requirements that are located on the FLETC Web site at The candidates attend a mandatory, 11-week Criminal Investigator Training Program with other federal law enforcement trainees. That course is followed by eight weeks of OSI agency-specific coursework. Both courses offer new agents training in firearms and other weapons, defensive tactics, forensics, antiterrorism techniques, crime scene processing, interrogations and interviews, court testimony, and military and federal law. Upon graduation, new OSI special agents spend a one-year probationary period in the field. Upon successful completion, some agents receive specialized training in economic crime, antiterrorism service, counterintelligence, computer crimes and other sophisticated criminal investigative capabilities. Others attend 12 weeks of technical training to acquire electronic, photographic and other skills required to perform technical surveillance countermeasures. Experienced agents selected for polygraph duties attend a 14-week DoD course.

OSI was founded Aug. 1, 1948, at the suggestion of Congress to consolidate investigative activities in the U.S. Air Force. Secretary of the Air Force W. Stuart Symington created OSI and patterned it after the FBI. He appointed Special Agent Joseph Carroll, an assistant to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, as the first OSI commander and charged him with providing independent, unbiased and centrally directed investigations of criminal activity in the Air Force.

· It was an OSI agent who first alerted Gen. Douglas MacArthur's headquarters of the attack from North Korea that began the Korean War in June of 1950.
· Sen. Arlen Specter is a former OSI member, as was Rep. Herbert H. Bateman, who passed away Sept. 11, 2000.
· OSI welcomes more than 230 new special agents into the organization each year.
· OSI is the second-most requested career-field choice in the Department of the Air Force.

OSI investigates a wide variety of serious offenses - espionage, terrorism, crimes against property, violence against people, larceny, computer hacking, acquisition fraud, drug use and distribution, financial misdeeds, military desertion, corruption of the contracting process and any other illegal activity that undermines the mission of the Department of the Air Force or the Department of Defense. OSI units are located at most Air Force bases word-wide. If you need to contact OSI, either to provide a tip or share a concern, consult your base phone book or call your base operator for the telephone number of your base's OSI unit. If you do not have a base telephone book and don't know the number to the base operator, call toll free 1-877-246-1453 for the phone number of the OSI unit nearest you. Or if you prefer, send us an e-mail at: