The Army has appointed an experienced federal investigator as the first-ever civilian head of its Criminal Investigation Command, more commonly known as CID, the service announced Wednesday afternoon.

Gregory D. Ford has more than 20 years of experience in local and federal law enforcement, with 16 at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the release said. In his new role, he will oversee all of the Army’s criminal investigative efforts.

Ford most recently served as deputy director of operations for NCIS.

According to his LinkedIn profile and an official Navy bio, Ford previously ran the NCIS Criminal Investigations and Operations Directorate. He also served as the special agent-in-charge of the organization’s Southeast Asia office in the wake of the Fat Leonard scandal that saw one of Ford’s predecessors sent to federal prison for bribery.

“I’m honored to be chosen for this important position,” said Ford in an Army media release. “I’m looking forward to getting to work and helping lead Army CID into the future. The Army deserves no less than superior criminal investigative support and I, along with the CID workforce, will ensure that need is met.”

“I’m excited to welcome Greg Ford to the Army and look forward to seeing him lead the hard-working Army CID team as they restructure and enhance their capacity and capabilities,” said Christopher Lowman, acting Army undersecretary, in the release. “He brings a long history of federal criminal investigative experience with him as well as a keen understanding of organizational management and the dynamics of leading an organization through a period of transformation.”

Ford will have his work cut out for him as he endeavors to implement sweeping CID reforms announced in May after the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee’s report found glaring inefficiencies in CID’s existing model.

Special agents were inexperienced and overworked, the FHIRC found, preventing them from adequately investigating the installation’s backlog of complex criminal cases.

In response, the Army announced its intent to hire a civilian — Ford — as CID director and restructure the role to report directly to the Army undersecretary, another civilian, rather than the provost marshal general, a uniformed general officer responsible for overseeing the military police corps.

In order to develop a deeper pool of experienced investigators, CID plans to increase its ratio of civilian special agents, in addition to creating a criminal investigation career field for officers.

The latter initiative also will ensure over time that unit-level CID commanders have investigative experience — currently, CID command roles are open to all officers in the military police branch, who do not have criminal investigative experience.

“The officer corps that we’re going to introduce into CID over the long term, they will attend the same courses, they will attain the same skill-set as our current credentialed agents,” then-provost marshal general Lt. Gen. Donna Martin told Army Times in May.

“This is much like what the Air Force does with their commissioned officers,” Martin said. “They will grow inside of the CID organization, learning the exact same things the agents do, and then they will attain those leadership positions.”

Martin was selected for promotion to lieutenant general last month and appointed as the Army’s inspector general, despite her turbulent tenure leading the military police corps and CID.

Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army, specializing in accountability reporting, personnel issues and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master's thesis about how the Cold War-era Defense Department influenced Hollywood's WWII movies.

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