WASHINGTON (NNS) -- After leading the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) through an eight-year period of expansion and change, Director David Brant announced his retirement from federal service effective Dec. 2.
Under Secretary of the Navy Dionel Aviles has appointed Robert Thompson, the current NCIS Deputy Director for Management and Administration, as the acting Director of NCIS until a permanent NCIS director is appointed.
Brant's position as director of NCIS caps a law enforcement career beginning in 1975 when he became a police officer with the Dade County Metropolitan Public Safety Department in Miami, Fla. He joined NCIS as a special agent in 1977. With NCIS, he has held various positions in Florida, the Philippines, Washington D.C., and aboard USS Independence (CV 62).
"NCIS gave me the invaluable opportunity to see interesting places and work on critical missions. I have certainly enjoyed being a part of NCIS for 28 years," said Brant.
Then-Secretary of the Navy John Dalton appointed Brant as NCIS Director in 1997 as a result of his outstanding leadership skills.
During his tenure, Brant has guided NCIS through a period of ambitious reorganization and modernization.
As director, one of his first tasks was establishing the Director's Advisory Board (DAB) in an effort to strengthen the flow of communication with NCIS employees. The diverse group of NCIS employees serving on the DAB have raised several important issues, resulting in many improvements throughout the agency.
After the USS Cole (DDG 67) bombing and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Brant made some changes that advanced NCIS' support of the global war on terrorism. He established the Counterterrorism Directorate and enhanced the mission of the Multiple Threat Alert Center (MTAC), formerly the Navy Antiterrorist Alert Center (ATAC). While the ATAC was the first 24-hour terrorism watch center in the U.S. intelligence community, it was transformed into the worldwide MTAC in 2002 to address all possible threats against the Navy and Marine Corps.
Since 2001, Brant has made the deployment of special agents to Iraq and Afghanistan one of NCIS' major missions. Thus far, more than 250 agents have voluntarily deployed, providing significant support to military operations in the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The changes that Director Brant implemented during his tenure with NCIS have been crucial to the Navy's current operations," said Aviles. "Beyond fighting crime and leading counterintelligence efforts, the Navy and Marine Corps have greatly benefited from NCIS' increased focus on counterterrorism."
Brant is widely recognized within the federal law enforcement community for his innovative efforts to improve law enforcement cooperation. Under Brant, NCIS spearheaded the Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX), a program that encourages information sharing among local, state and federal agencies. LInX has already helped solve many crimes.
Brant further encouraged cooperation by partnering NCIS with the FBI on various operations such as Joint Terrorism Task Forces and Project BLUEPRINT, a joint initiative that seeks to protect Navy research, development and acquisition equities that are at risk from foreign collection in areas where sensitive Navy programs are present.
"NCIS' ability to investigate cases and fight crime has improved considerably under Director Brant's guidance, and cooperation with other agencies has been a key factor in providing greater resources, skills, and teamwork," said Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora. "I'm convinced that NCIS is the most prepared it has ever been in upholding the law, prosecuting criminals, and protecting the men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps."
Because of Brant's leadership and efforts in significantly improving NCIS' capabilities, many organizations, including the Women in Federal Law Enforcement, the Department of the Navy and the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, have recognized him with prestigious awards throughout his career.
"I leave NCIS with countless one-of-a-kind experiences," said Brant. "I'm extremely proud of the agency, and I'm confident in its future in successfully upholding the safety and mission of the Navy and Marine Corps. I'm just glad to have been a part of it all."
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