By the time one finishes reading this article, someone will have been titled.
As simple as that sounds, the impact can last a lifetime. It’s not meant to be punitive, but when someone has been denied a conceal carry permit, a job, or promotion that’s the effect it has. People can be titled even if they were never charged with a crime or charged and then later acquitted.
It’s not meant to show guilt or innocence, but for most, being investigated creates the presumption that someone did something wrong.
In the criminal court process, the public has become accustomed to hearing two standards of proof. One is “beyond a reasonable doubt” and the other is “probable cause”. Both are time-honored standards outlined within the U.S. Constitution.
The standard to title someone falls well below both of those standards. An agent needs only “credible information that the subject committed a criminal offense.”
Officially, titling is placing the name(s) of a person(s), corporation(s), other legal entity, organization(s), or occurrence(s) in the title block of a Report of Investigation. After a subject is titled, then they are indexed.
Indexing is the procedure whereby an organization responsible for conducting criminal investigations submits identifying information concerning subjects, victims, or incidentals of investigations for addition to the Defense Central Index of Investigations. The records in DCII are maintained for 40 years.
An individual can have the ROI amended. The ROI can be amended to show that the investigation was not substantiated. This will not remove the name from DCII.
The only way to remove a name from being indexed in DCII is to have the name removed from the ROI.
People can have their names removed from a ROI if it was a mistaken identity or it is later determined that no credible information indicating that the subject committed a crime existed. In the case of mistaken identity, it doesn’t mean that it was later determined that someone else committed the crime. It means that the name was entered on the ROI in error. For example, if the agent titled “Anthony L. Johnson” but the subject was actually “Anthony M. Johnson.”
The process to have a name deleted and the ROI amended are the same. To do so, the ROI must be obtained from the chain of command or the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, known as CID. A request from CID can be completed online through their website.
New, relevant, and material facts must be submitted that would support the change. The new, relevant, and material facts can be submitted via additional statements or other evidence that is not found in the ROI. The Criminal Records Center forwards copies of the amendment request to the CID staff judge advocate and the CID Investigative Operations Section.
If all three are in agreement, the director of the CRC approves the decision and notifies the Soldier. If all three are not in agreement, each provides a memorandum in support of its position to the CID deputy commander, who makes the final decision on behalf of the CID commander. The CID also notifies any agencies that received the original ROI.
The CID deputy commander’s decision is final. After this decision, a person has exhausted all administrative routes to have the ROI amended or the name deleted. The last resort is to appeal the Army Board for Corrections of Military Records.
The ABCMR is often the last hope but best chance. They are not bound by the same procedures as CID. They can delete a name from the ROI for equity (injustice) or procedural (error) issues.
A Soldier who challenges a titling decision must exhaust all other administrative remedies prior to filing an application with the ABCMR. The Soldier has three years “after discovery of the alleged error or injustice” to seek correction of his records through the ABCMR.
The service member has the responsibility to submit all documents in support of having the ROI amended or their name deleted.
Those with specific questions about titling should contact the XVIII Airborne Corps Legal Assistance Office at 396-0396 or the 82nd Airborne Division Legal Assistance Office at 432-0195.