Agency Spotlight–The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

by | Aug 1, 2017


This month we will take a closer look at the FBI. Posts this month will include history, news stories, and information on injuries of FBI personnel.


The FBI operates under the authority of the U.S. Department of Justice. They are also a member of the U.S. Intelligence community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. They have jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes. Unlike the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the FBI is primarily a domestic agency.

They are an intelligence driven and threat-focused national intelligence organization that has both intelligence and law enforcement responsibilities. With more than 30,000 agents and analysts, they protect the nation from terrorism, espionage, cyber-attacks, and criminal threats.


Their vision is to stay ahead of threats through leadership, agility, and integration.


Their mission is to protect the American people and uphold the U.S. Constitution.


These include protecting the U.S. from terrorism, foreign intelligence and espionage, cyber-based attacks, public corruption at all levels, significant violent crimes, and to protect civil rights.

Core Values

Their core values include obedience to the U.S. Constitution, respect for the dignity of all those they protect, compassion, fairness, uncompromising personal and institutional integrity, diversity, leadership, and accountability by accepting responsibility and consequences of their actions and decisions.


“Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity”

The origins of the motto date to a comment by, then, Inspector W.H. Drane Lester in 1935:

“At last we have a name that lends itself to dignified abbreviation the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which quite naturally becomes ‘FBI’. In the past, our nicknames, which the public are so prone to give us, have been many and varied. ‘Justice Agents’, ‘D.J. Men’, ‘Government Men’ are but a few of them, with the Bureau itself, incorrectly referred to as ‘Crime Bureau’, ‘Identification Bureau’, and ‘Crime Prevention Bureau’. The latest appellation, and perhaps the one which has become most widespread is ‘G-Men’, an abbreviation itself for ‘Government Men’.

But ‘FBI’ is the best and one from which we might well choose our motto, for those initials also represent the three things for which the Bureau and its representatives always stand: ‘Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity’”.

fbiThe Seal

The seal has undergone many changes over the years. In the early years, the FBI used the Department of Justice seal. However, in 1935, the first official FBI seal was adopted.  The Department of Justice logo changed by adding “Federal Bureau of Investigation” and “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity”. In 1940, the design of the new seal was presented and been the seal ever since.

The Symbolism in the Seal

  • The dominant blue field and scales on the shield represent justice.
  • The endless circle of 13 stars denotes unity of purpose exemplified by the original 13 states.
  • There are exactly 46 leaves in the 2 branches of the laurel leaf to represent the 46 states in the union when the FBI came into existence in 1908.
  • The laurel leaf represents academic honors, distinction, and fame.
  • Red stripes stand for courage, valor, and strength.
  • White stripes represent cleanliness, light, truth, and peace. As in the American flag, the red stripes exceed the white by one.
  • The motto describes the motivating force behind the men/women of the FBI.
  • Gold conveys its overall value.
  • The peaked beveled edge around the seal represents the severe challenges facing the FBI and the ruggedness of the organization.

Stay tuned for more information on the FBI this month!

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