What Does NCIS Stand For?


NCIS is a behemoth among network crime dramas. Since its first episode aired in 2003, it’s run for 18 seasons and has a total of 414 episodes to date. While some of the cast has rotated over its 18 years of production, the show has stayed true to its style and consistently produced engaging suspenseful crime-based stories. And it’s still going today

For those who aren’t die-hard fans of the show, its title NCIS might seem like a made-up acronym, however, while the characters are fictional, the show has its base in reality.

What does NCIS stand for?

NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service, a very real subdivision of the Navy whose responsibility is to investigate felony crime, prevent terrorism, and protect secrets from the Navy and Marine Corps.


When the show was original launched it was titled Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service but was shortened to NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service soon after. Then, finally, it was shortened to just NCIS which is how most people know it today.

The show is popular enough that it’s spawned a couple spinoff series that follow the same Navy division posted in different locations, such as NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans.