The NCIS Major Case Response Team, or MCRT for short, is a team based out of the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. which is led by NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
For a short time and during NCIS Season 4, the team was led by the second-in-command, NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo until Gibbs's return in the last few seconds of the Season 4 episode Singled Out (episode).
Since then, Gibbs has continued to led the team to this day.
The NCIS team is tasked with investigating crimes of drug trafficking, smuggling, homicide or terrorism concerning or involving members of the United States Marine Corps, United States Navy or their families.
In addition to the main NCIS Major Case Response Team, there are other teams associated with NCIS and even teams from the United States Army Criminal Investigative Command- Army CID have appeared in several episodes of the NCIS series itself.
The official founding of the Major Case Response Team is unknown but its first Agent in charge, Michael "Mike" Franks became the head of the new team in the 1990s.
A year or so later, former Gunny Sergeant Leroy Jethro Gibbs joined the MCRT, becoming Franks's Probie and the two continued to work together with Franks displaying methods that Gibbs would later apply to his own team.
Eventually, in 1996, Franks finally retired from NCIS for good, giving Gibbs official control of the MCRT. Over the years Gibbs had various Agents working under him including deceased FBI Agent Brett Langer and Agent Afloat Stanley Burley.
In 2001, former Detective Anthony DiNozzo who had worked at Baltimore joined Gibbs's team, becoming the Probie before eventually moving up to the rank of Senior Special Agent, a position he continues to hold to this day.
In 2002 or early 2003, Vivian Blackadder of the FBI was transferred to the team, becoming DiNozzo's partner in the field and also the third member of the MCRT.
Unfortunately, Viv's grief over her brother's death in the USS Cole bombing and her obsessive need for revenge jeopardized an important anti-terrorist operation in Rota, Spain. As a result, Blackadder either returned to the FBI or was fired from NCIS for good.
In September 2003, Secret Service Agent Caitlin Todd, originally assigned to the Presidential Protection Detail resigned from her position after it was revealed that she'd had a relationship with a colleague who was later murdered by a terrorist who in turn was attempting to kill the President.
Kate joined NCIS almost immediately, taking up the position of being DiNozzo's partner in the field and she also became the Junior agent of the team.
In late 2004, Special Agent Timothy McGee who had been previously assigned to the Norfolk Naval Base was reassigned to join the MCRT team on a permanent basis, becoming the Probie and also the fourth and final member of Gibbs's team.
In May 2005, the MCRT team suffered a devastating loss and found the structure of their team changed forever when Special Agent Kate Todd died after being shot in the head with a bullet from a sniper rifle that was being manned by rogue Mossad spy/terrorist Ari Haswari.
Haswari's rampage and vendetta against the team, especially Gibbs finally came to an end when he later died at the hands of his control officer and half-sister, Ziva David who in turn permanently replaced the deceased Kate on the team and also became the Mossad Liaison Officer to NCIS.
Things continued on at a normal pace up until May 2006 when Gibbs got caught in an explosion while on a suspicious foreign ship, talking to an undercover Agent. The impact of the blast killed the Agent and left Gibbs with injuries as well as placing him in a coma where he had flashbacks of the deaths of his first wife, Shannon and young daughter, Kelly.
With Gibbs out due to his injuries, Tony became the temporary leader of the team and led the investigation into the explosion as the group sought out PinPin Pula who was suspected of being a member of the illegal terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf.
Gibbs eventually awoke from his coma but unfortunately, it was later revealed that he had no memory of who Ducky was.
As Gibbs struggled, Jenny Shepard contacted his former mentor and partner, Michael Franks in hopes of having him aid Gibbs's recovery. She also told Ducky of how a drug dealer named Pedro Hernandez had been responsible for killing both Shannon and Kelly by shooting the NIS Agent assigned to protect them which had triggered a car crash, resulting in their deaths.
Ziva later secretly visited Gibbs at the hospital and helped break Gibbs's memory loss by head-slapping him which caused him to remember him head-slapping the members of his team as well as the moment Kate had been shot dead and Ziva herself had shot Ari in Gibbs's basement.
Having recovered, Gibbs returned to NCIS where the team had discovered that PinPin Pula intended to blow up the ship Cape Fear. His efforts failed as his superiors ignored his warnings, seemingly believing there was no such threat and as such, the team helplessly watched as the second a team got on board Cape Fear, the ship blew up, killing everyone on board including PinPin Pula himself.
Angered, Gibbs resigned from NCIS for good and headed to Mexico to stay with Franks.
Three or four months passed since Gibbs had abruptly quit NCIS in the wake of the terrorist bombing that had destroyed the Cape Fear and things had changed for the Major Case Response Team with Tony DiNozzo, the former Senior Agent of the team becoming team leader following Gibbs's resignation. As a result, Tim McGee had become the Senior Field Agent, Ziva's position remained unchanged and Michelle Lee was the new recruit or Probie of the team.
One day, while heading into work, Ziva witnessed an assassination attempt by two Mossad agents, only to discover that Mossad had not given the go-ahead for such an operation and that the person she had seen carry it out was thought to have been dead. As such, she went on the run with the FBI looking to arrest her as they believed she was a double agent.
With nowhere left to turn, she contacted Gibbs who almost immediately returned to the U.S to help her.
It was eventually revealed that the man had faked his death and that his female companion was an Iranian spy who had framed Ziva for the killing.
Ziva was eventually cleared of the alleged charges and returned to NCIS, bruised, beaten yet still alive.
A few days later, after investigating the case of a Petty Officer who had been convicted of murder but was later found to be completely innocent, Gibbs returned to NCIS for good, resulting in the team returning to its original dynamics while also resulting in Michelle Lee being removed from the team although she was later reassigned to the NCIS Legal Department.
It was soon discovered that Tony and Jenny were both working together on an undercover mission: to find and track down the current whereabouts of the international French arms dealer, La Grenouille.
At the end of the episode Angel of Death, Tony met his girlfriend Jeanne's father who was revealed to be Rene Benoit aka La Grenouille himself.
As a result of DiNozzo not reporting in, Jenny was eventually forced to reveal the full details of the undercover operation to Gibbs, McGee and Ziva. She did so along with the revelation that Jeanne Benoit, the woman that Tony had been dating the last few months was in fact La Grenouille's daughter which left Gibbs and the team stunned.
The team were also witnesses to an explosion that had seemingly DiNozzo but they later found that he was still alive and that someone else had been killed in the blast. But the undercover operation had ended in disaster when he had been forced to tell Jeanne his true identity and she had left him.
The NCIS team suspected that La Grenouille had disappeared but he later turned up dead in a pier, having suffered a single gunshot wound to his forehead.
A few months later, the FBI arrived at NCIS Headquarters with the news of La Grenouille's death and as such, put NCIS and its agents including Director Shepard under investigation. It was later confirmed that Trent Kort had killed La Grenouille and taken over his business with the blessing of the CIA although Gibbs found evidence suggesting that Jenny had been the one responsible for La Grenouille's death but simply buried it, choosing not to go any further for the time being.
In Judgment Day Part 1, Special Agent William Decker died from a heart attack but Jenny began to believe that it was murder and as such, embarked on a personal mission to find out the truth. She ditched Tony and Ziva who were her protection detail and then secretly brought Franks in from Mexico to help her. Together, the two discovered that Decker's death was connected to a covert mission that Jenny, Decker and Gibbs had worked on together in Paris nine years ago.
The search for information eventually brought them to an abandoned diner in the Californian desert and four hit-men soon tracked them down, resulting in a gunfight that ended with all four hit-men dying and Jenny eventually died from injuries sustained in the battle. Franks dispatched the four hit-men with a single bullet from his gun before fleeing the scene.
Hours later, Tony and Ziva who had been assigned to guard her arrived at the diner and discovered Jenny's body as well as the carnage that had taken place inside the diner.
In the second part of the finale, the team were all left devastated by Jenny's death. Gibbs learnt from Franks that Jenny had died protecting him and soon discovered that her death pointed to an assassin named Svetlana Chernitskaya whom Jenny herself had failed to kill in the mission in Paris with Gibbs himself being responsible for killing Svetlana's lover during the mission. He eventually lured Svetlana into a trap and just as she was about to kill him in revenge for her lover's death, Franks emerged and shot her dead.
Following Jenny's funeral, Assistant Director Leon Vance became the new NCIS Director and his first order of business was to dismantle Gibbs's team which he did by terminating Ziva's Liaison position with NCIS, sending her back to Israel, reassigning McGee to the Cyber Crimes Unit and sent Tony to the USS Ronald Regan as an Agent Afloat before giving Gibbs three files containing information on his new team members.
Months passed and it was eventually revealed that Gibbs's new team was Michelle Lee, former FBI Agent Brent Langer and Daniel Keating. Even though they tried their best, they failed to live up to Ziva, DiNozzo and McGee's reputations.
In a talk in his office, Vance told Gibbs that the reason he'd split up his team and given him a new one was so that he could discover which of Gibbs's new people was betraying their country by selling state secrets to an unknown figure. Gibbs and Vance soon learnt and agreed that Langer had been the mole all along and that Lee and Keating were innocent.
McGee and Ziva returned, rejoining Gibbs's team which meant that Lee and Keating were being reassigned elsewhere. But it was soon revealed that Lee was the real mole and that she had framed Langer, killing him in cold-blood while later claiming self-defense for her actions.
A few days later, DiNozzo officially returned to Washington D.C, resulting in Gibbs's original team being reformed once again.
After a while, Gibbs began to suspect that Langer wasn't the mole and also believed that it was Lee instead so with Vance's approval and Abby's help, arranged a trap for Lee to unknowingly expose herself while keeping it a secret from his team although it later provoked DiNozzo's anger and also Ducky's wrath when he discovered one of his corpses had been used in the plan.
Eventually, Lee's role was exposed. In interrogation, she told Gibbs that she had been forced to kill Langer and steal secrets because her daughter, Amanda was being held hostage. It was later discovered that Amanda was actually Michelle's adopted sister.
Things came to a head when the team learnt that Ted Bankston was the one responsible for arranging the kidnapping of Amanda Lee all along. He took Michelle hostage and intended to escape on a bus but with Michelle giving a signal to shoot, essentially sacrificing herself, Gibbs shot and killed both of them, ending the saga once and for all.
A year or so later, Gibbs's team in Washington along with the Office of Special Projects in Los Angeles formed a temporary partnership to find out who had been responsible for the death of a Marine.
However, things went from bad to worse for both teams when they learnt that Michael Rivkin, a spy for Mossad and Ziva's old boyfriend, had also arrived in Los Angeles and was after the same terrorist cell that they were hunting down.
Unfortunately, Rivkin seemed to be a step ahead of them as everywhere they went, NCIS found the body of a terrorist member which meant that Rivkin was killing them before they could arrest one. Luckily, they later caught a break and were able to capture the owner of an auto shop just before Rivkin got to the location. Macy wanted him to leave the country as he was illegally operating on foreign soil while both Gibbs and DiNozzo simply wanted Rivkin out of the picture to protect Ziva and to stop her from getting hurt.
Things between Rivkin and DiNozzo soon came to a head in Ziva's apartment when Tony attempted to arrest the Mossad spy for killing the handler of the terrorist cell and also an ICE agent but the two got into a massive brawl that left Ziva's apartment in ruins, Tony suffering a broken arm and Rivkin bleeding, having been shot by DiNozzo in self-defense.
A few seconds later, Ziva entered the apartment and began trying to stop the injuries but it was too late as Rivkin later died in hospital, Ziva stating that Tony had killed him.
Mere hours later, Eli David, Ziva's father and the head of Mossad contacted Vance, ordering that he, Gibbs, DiNozzo and Ziva come to Israel to explain Rivkin's death.
Vance later granted the request and also made arrangements to bring Rivkin's body back to Israel so that he could be given a proper burial.
Hours later, the four arrived in Tel Aviv, Israel and handed Rivkin's remains over to the authorities while Ziva and the others went to Mossad Headquarters.
During a talk with Vance, Eli revealed that Mossad had uncovered evidence of a terrorist camp located in Northern Africa and that he had given Rivkin orders to kill the terrorists and handler because he couldn't risk them targeting his own people. He stated that he wanted to find the leader because the person had killed one of Eli's people.
Eventually, having obtained information that Ziva and Michael Rivkin were working together, Gibbs opted to leave her behind in Israel while he, Vance and DiNozzo returned to the U.S.
As such, Ziva resigned from NCIS and rejoined Mossad, taking Rivkin's place on the Kidon Unit and went on a mission to get to the terrorist camp. She and the team were caught up in a gunfight on board a ship.
With her people either dead or injured, Ziva opted to go it alone but was captured by Saleem Ulman, imprisoned and tortured for months.
Due to no contact, NCIS believed that she had been killed as they learnt that the ship she had been on had completely disappeared without a trace, having seemingly sunk during a storm. This prompted Gibbs, DiNozzo and McGee to go on a mission to avenge her death.
As such, they traveled to North Africa where DiNozzo and McGee were captured by Ulman's troops, Saleem interrogating Tony personally for information into NCIS.
However, they later realized that Ziva was alive and thanks to Gibbs's efforts, Saleem died after being shot and the camp was stormed by various Marines, giving Tony, McGee and Ziva the chance to get to safety.
After meeting up with Gibbs, they all headed back to America where after going through psychological examinations, Ziva was allowed to rejoin the team and eventually resigned from Mossad as she wanted to become an NCIS Special Agent although Gibbs voiced his concerns that something like that probably wouldn't be possible given Ziva's recent actions.
Despite being rejected the first time, Ziva's application later went through, resulting in her becoming an official Agent and also the Probie of the team. In mid 2011, she was promoted to a full-time Field Agent, having officially served her Probie status.
A year later, in May 2012, the MCRT team fell under attack from terrorist Harper Dearing who was seeking revenge against the Navy for the death of his son.
Due to the news of the bombing, Ducky suffered a heart attack; while Gibbs, Abby, Tony, Ziva, McGee and Vance were in the building when an explosion occurred, and all their fates were unknown for a while.
In September 2012, it was revealed that everyone had managed to survive the explosion. Abby was treated for a minor injury, Tony and Ziva were finally freed from the elevator after spending several hours trapped inside, McGee was admitted to the hospital after Gibbs discovered that the younger man had a shard of glass in his side and Ducky was eventually treated for his heart attack. Gibbs got his revenge against Dearing by stabbing the man when Dearing attempted to shoot him while the two had a confrontation with one another.
In January 2013, the team suffered another double blow when both Ziva's estranged father, Eli and Leon Vance's wife, Jackie died after being hit by machine gunfire with the deaths leaving both Ziva and Vance himself devastated.
In April 2013, Ziva finally succeeded in avenging her father and Jackie Vance by killing the person who had arranged their deaths: Ziva's former friend, Ilan Bodnar.
In May 2013, Department of Defense agent Richard Parsons began a vendetta against NCIS, all of the purpose of bringing Gibbs to justice due to the fact that Gibbs had managed to evade being prosecuted for the last twenty years but Parsons's plan hit a snag due to Tony, McGee and Ziva choosing to resign to protect Gibbs much to Vance's shock.
In September 2013, a bomb blast resulted in Tom Morrow being left badly injured while leaving SECNAV Clayton Jarvis dead and in the aftermath of the bombing, Vance was left devastated while Gibbs later went to Iran, saving Parsons in the process.
A few hours later, McGee and Tony got their badges back and eventually rejoined the team although Ziva was not so fortunate as she went into hiding in Israel after learning that she and her friends were the targets of a terrorist group called the Brotherhood of Doubt.
Tony later went to Israel to find Ziva before it was too late and eventually found her with the two having their first kiss with things ending on a bittersweet note due to Ziva choosing to stay behind in Israel rather than return to the U.S. with Tony.
With Ziva now gone, NCIS and the team struggled to cope with her departure and for a time, Gibbs, Tony and McGee handled and solved various cases without the assistance and aid of a fourth member for a short time.
In the aftermath of the case, Bishop later became a Probie and an official NCIS Special Agent as well as the new and permanent replacement for Ziva David.
In May 2016, the team were devastated to learn of the death of former NCIS Special Agent Ziva David with DiNozzo discovering that he and Ziva had a daughter named Tali which later prompted DiNozzo to resign from both NCIS and the Major Case Response Team for good so that he could care for Tali.
Following DiNozzo's resignation, McGee was promoted to the rank of Senior Field Agent.
In September 2016, deep undercover agent Nicholas Torres appeared along with FLETC instructor Alexandra Quinn.
After a case concerning Torres's sister who worked for JAG, both Torres and Quinn joined the team on a permanent basis, the two becoming the newest members of the team and also full-time, active NCIS Special Agents.