What is “titling”?
Simply put, a person becomes “titled” when they are listed as the subject of a military investigation. Because “titling” is an administrative procedure that occurs automatically, it does not mean that the person (or subject) ever has to be charged with a crime.
Titling is an administrative procedure that occurs when a “covered person” is listed as the subject of a military investigation report. The process to title an individual is not very rigorous An investigating agent must believe that a criminal offense occurred and there is information that the subject committed the offense. A mere statement from someone about you can suffice. And titling can haunt you.
Why should you care?
Commissioned Corps officers of the Public Health Service may be subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice when detailed to those services. However, the titling process applies to any “…person, corporation, or other legal entity about which credible information exists that would cause trained DoD LEA personnel to believe they committed a criminal offense.” (DoDI 5505.07, August 8, 2023)
So, what happens?
Once someone has been titled, their information is indexed in the Defense Central Index of Investigations (DCII). This information is not only accessible to the Department of Defense but to other federal agencies. Not only can it affect the ability to maintain or obtain a security clearance, but it can also affect opportunities to obtain federal employment.
Can anything be done?
Yes, but it is a difficult hurdle. A titled individual can appeal to amend the titling decision with the investigative branch, and if unsuccessful, appeal to the specific services Board for Correction of Records.
As articles about this issue make clear, it is exceedingly difficult to get a name removed from the DCII unless it is a clear case of mistaken identity ( i.e., same name, different person) or probable
cause did not exist. The system itself is flawed when an individual can suffer lifelong adverse effects regardless of the outcome of an investigation. Congress can correct this through legislation. Write to your Congressional representatives to correct this injustice.