FORT MEADE, Md. — The U.S. Army recently celebrated the activation of the new Army Counterintelligence Command with a ceremony at the command's headquarters on July 28, 2022.
The command's activation, directed by Army senior leadership to ensure Army counterintelligence is aligned with protecting Army and Department of Defense modernization efforts, resulted in the inactivation of the 902nd Military Intelligence Group in a ceremony held earlier that day.
Officiated by Maj. Gen. Michele H. Bredenkamp, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, the Army Counterintelligence Command, or ACIC, replaced the 902nd MI Group as an INSCOM major subordinate command.
The ceremonies highlighted an important moment in Army and INSCOM history, honoring the lineage of the 902nd MI Group and the massive undertaking to transform Army Counterintelligence, and celebrating the significance of the new command.
During the assumption of command ceremony, Bredenkamp passed the colors to Brig. Gen. Rhett R. Cox, charging him with the responsibility as the ACIC's first commanding general.
Cox began his 29-year career at the Virginia Military Institute where he commissioned in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps. Cox led blended teams of service members and civilians at the tactical, operational and strategic levels during assignments to South Korea, 10th Mountain Division, the 513th MI Brigade, the 704th MI Brigade, Fort Huachuca, the Pentagon, the Defense Intelligence Agency and NATO Allied Land Command in Izmir, Turkey.
During his remarks, Cox spoke of the Army special agents who carry the ACIC shield every day.
“To the members of the former 902nd MI Group, your legacy will not be forgotten. We will continue to build this command on the foundation you have built," Cox said. "Today’s military environment is defined by rapid technological change and intense strategic competition from our adversaries. We must do our part to ensure we are competing, imposing costs and shake our enemy’s belief that they can operate uncontested.”
Since the Army’s decision to initiate counterintelligence reform and stand up the ACIC, the command has established critical partnerships, increased operational capacity, and postured the organization to further protect the Army’s strategic advantage. The ACIC's core mission is to conduct worldwide counterintelligence activities to detect, identify, neutralize and exploit foreign intelligence, international terrorists, insider threats and other foreign adversaries in order to protect the U.S. Army and DoD strategic advantage.
The ACIC is a trusted Army asset capable of defeating current and emerging threats across all domains, supporting U.S. Army overmatch in any operating environment. The ACIC's motto is: "Protect the Force, Exploit the Enemy, Vigilant Always, Army Strong!"
Last commanded by Col. Maria C. Borbon, who participated in its inactivation ceremony, the 902nd MI Group, then known as the Counterintelligence Corps, was first activated on Nov. 23, 1944.
On June 30, 1974, the unit was reassigned to the U.S. Army Intelligence Agency and given a new mission of providing counterintelligence coverage to the eastern part of the United States. In 1977, the unit was part of the largest restructuring of Army Intelligence since the end of World War II. Assigned to the newly established U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, the 902nd was charged with bringing counterintelligence and communications security functions together in a unified mission, becoming the Army’s principal shield against the threat posed by foreign intelligence services and simultaneously protecting forces in the U.S. before deployments.
The 902nd MI Group responded to the Global War on Terrorism by further providing tactical support to the warfighter. In support of deployed forces, the unit tailored a tactical counterintelligence deployment package that gave both theater commanders and their supporting military intelligence brigades a dedicated counterintelligence capability.
The ACIC will continue the long and distinguished history of dedicated service by the thousands of counterintelligence Soldiers and civilians who have protected our Army for the past 48 years. The command is dispersed across over 73 locations in the United States and overseas and ACIC will continue to adapt and posture itself to contest our nation’s adversaries.