A U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command Special Agent was recognized by the Department of Justice recently, for his significant contributions in the fight against terrorism during the annual meeting of Department of Defense Task Force Officers at the Bolger Center in Potomac, Md.
Special Agent Eric Wood, a CID agent currently assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Dallas Joint Terrorism Task Force in Dallas, Texas, was selected as the DoD Task Force Officer of the Year. The national award is presented by the DOJ to the Task Force officer whose efforts "epitomize interagency cooperation" and the "one team one fight" concept.
The event, hosted by the FBI's National Joint Terrorism Task Force, brings together personnel from federal law enforcement agencies, military criminal investigative organizations, counterintelligence communities, and from across the country's 103 Joint Terrorism Task Forces.
"I am very honored and humbled as there are so many deserving agents that could be standing where I'm at right now," Wood said. "But I wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for my partner, FBI Special Agent Lara Burns, and the outstanding support I've received from CID command."
"I'm just very fortunate in that the cases we've had came to fruition and we were able to bring some really bad folks to justice," he added.
The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces around the country are where local, state, and federal agencies work together to combat terrorism on a regional scale. Coordinating the efforts of all those regional task forces is the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and consists of a mix of local, state, and federal agencies acting as an integrated force to combat terrorism on the national and international scale.
"The work that we do as DoD Task Force Officers is extremely important," Wood explained. "Because the cases we work can impact, not just folks here at home but service members serving around the world."
"The crucial work performed by everyone assigned to JTTF's benefits not just the FBI, but the entire DoD community," he added.
Specifically, Wood and his partner uncovered several U.S. born translators who were assigned to senior commanders in Afghanistan, but were in fact working as double-agents for the Taliban.
"The commanders on the ground believed they could trust these individuals, but in reality they were spies," he said. "They used their position to gain access and passed whatever information they could find to the enemy."
"Their aim was to disrupt military operations as much as possible in theater, but we stopped them," he added.
The investigation, which began in 2009, resulted in the trial and conviction of two translators and federal charges being brought against a third in August of 2014.
Wood is no stranger to high profile cases, having previously been recognized for his significant contributions to the Holy Land Foundation investigation. The HLF case became widely known as one of the largest terrorism financing prosecutions in American history, where five of the organizations officers were tried and convicted of funneling more than $12 million to Hamas.
For his work in the HLF investigation, Special Agent Wood was awarded the U.S. Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service, the Department of Justices' second highest award for employee performance.
Wood joined the Army in 1990 as a military police officer and then CID in 1996. After leaving active duty in 1999, he became a civilian CID special agent with the Arlington, Texas, Major Procurement Fraud Unit at the start of 2000.
Following the fateful events of Sept. 11, Wood was assigned to the Dallas Joint Terrorism Task Force to help work leads related to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Although daunting at times, Wood remains steadfast and dedicated to the mission at hand; bringing to justice those who would do harm to America.
"I wake up excited every day to go to work, because what we do is vital to the Army, its Soldiers, civilians and family members," he said. "I am truly blessed."
For more information on Army CID visit www.cid.army.mil.