Because several of the Coast Guard’s missions (Port & Waterway Security, Drug Interdiction, Law Enforcement) involve enforcement of local, state, federal, and international laws, regulations and treaties, Warrant Officers in the Investigator specialty often serve in highly public billets and interact with officials from the law enforcement, military, and intelligence communities. They conduct criminal investigations, carry out protective service tasks, and collect intelligence, frequently using sophisticated tools for gathering and assessing data and often testifying as to their findings in both military and civilian courts.

Drawn from Coast Guard Reservists serving in the Investigator (IV) rating, Criminal Investigator (INV) specialists are required to become intimately familiar with both the federal criminal justice and military justice systems, as well gain a thorough understanding of the military protocols that are followed when serving at public events or ceremonial affairs in a protective service role. In addition to leadership training, Chief Warrant Officers in the INV specialty will undergo training on evasive driving techniques (employed as part of the protective services mission), child abuse detection and prevention, and small-arms qualification.

In addition to this collar device, CWO Criminal Investigators wear a shoulder sleeve insignia comprised of an outline of a law-enforcement badge superimposed on a scale of justice.

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