The Bourne Directory
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The NRAG headquarters located in Washington D.C.

The National Research Assay Group[]

Agency Executives

  • Director and Retired US Air Force Colonel Eric Byer
  • Associate Director Connie Dowd [FAN-THEORY]
  • Associate Deputy Director Dita Mandy [FAN-THEORY]

Parent Agency: Department of Defense

Headquarters located in Washington D.C.


The National Research Assay Group, abbreviated to NRAG, is a research and development sub-agency within the Department of Defense led by Director Retired Colonel Eric Byer formerly apart of the United States Air Force. NRAG made it's official debut and feature in The Bourne Legacy, but had existed and was working before the events of The Bourne Identity. The purpose of NRAG really lies in it's name, the National Research Assay Group, meaning that their sole purpose is to conduct the research of assayed information directly involving and relating to national security, as a group. But based on what we saw in The Bourne Legacy, have been delegated to do liaison work with different intelligence agencies in the IC. During The Bourne Legacy, Director Byer and his directorial team work closely with Terrence Ward, executive of the pharmaceutical company Sterisyn-Morlanta which provides the genetic enhancements for the soldiers and soldier-turned operatives working in and with the DoD and the CIA


NRAG is the organization in charge of the so-called Beta Programs, development of advanced black operatives and later genetically enhanced soldiers. It is spear-headed by Eric Byer, a retired Air Force colonel who built the programs from the ground-up and has maintained them all the way. NRAG was likely created in the very late 90s or early 2000s [before 2002] as a beneficent or a product of all the US intelligence and military situations happening during that time. Operatives from the programs are delegated to various agencies, such as the CIA as well as various DoD sub-agencies and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)

Although operating in the background since before the events of The Bourne Identity, it is only when Pamela Landy and Jason Bourne expose Treadstone and Blackbriar at the end of The Bourne Supremacy that NRAG begins to enter the spotlight. During a review after the CIA leaks, NRAG determines that some of its other programs also have the potential to be compromised due to the ill-advised sharing of assets between the various black projects by over-zealous CIA officials. The other programs reviewed by the investigative team are the historic Emerald Lake as well as the currently active Outcome, and LARX affiliated with the Department of Defense

NRAG's Purposes/Operations and Fan-theories[]

NRAG's Purpose[]

NRAG's main purpose is to research assayed intelligence and information directly relating to national security. They also probably aid other agencies within the US Intelligence Community as well as conducting their own operations with and "apart" from the DoD

Fan-theories of NRAG's Operations[]

NRAG likely works with military intelligence and paramilitary operations abroad. Given [from the flashback in The Bourne Legacy] that Director Eric Byer orchestrated some kind of operation with Aaron Cross in Somalia, it may be possible that they were involved in a slightly larger operation involving the DoD, DoD or DIA/CIA military intelligence, JSOC, and paramilitaries. Maybe Aaron Cross had a frazzling experience happen to him during Operation Iraq Freedom, when his previous identity of Kenneth Kitsom was declared dead, and needed rehabilitation. We know that Cross was sent to some kind of rehab facility in Reno, Nevada; but maybe due to Cross's nature of being persistent and determined, he had left the facility in Reno wanting another job within the IC and somehow found NRAG, where he was given the assignment with Byer in Somalia possibly as a form of rehabilitation integrated into something still thrilling. Maybe this was when the Beta Programs, specifically the ones at the DoD side of whatever joint CIA-DoD operations took place, started becoming more accommodated and recognized. Maybe Aaron Cross was the vanguard and leader of these Beta Programs and at it's peak. Aaron Cross's operation in Somalia was probably a more paramilitary and military intelligence based operation while Jason Bourne's assignment in Geneva was more of an intelligence based assignment. If the theory of the DoD, JSOC, and CIA did indeed work together in Somalia is or is somewhat correct, maybe the DoD and the CIA had agreed to borrowing and delegating its operatives and soldiers but never stuck to that promise; leading to the basis of The Bourne Legacy, where we kind-of see Aaron Cross as caught in the middle of a fallout promise and too deep in the CIA's Operation Outcome and tracked down too much by DoD more specifically NRAG.

In real life, the CIA and the DoD have a close working relationship — and due to the fact that [in The Bourne Legacy] Eric Byer was following the allegations of CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy very closely, we can strongly infer that operatives from the DoD like Aaron Cross had somewhat of an easy time being delegated/transferred into the hands of the CIA. Though there may be potholes within the Bourne movies that may prove this information to be wrong or slightly different. In the beginning of the film, a title showing Aaron Cross's current location is displayed, reading "Special Operations Group Training Site, Alaska" which can infer that the SOG is a part of the DoD and has less of a relation to the CIA's [then] Special Activities Division but maybe having affiliation through JSOC. Also the Defense Intelligence Agency (a sub-agency of the DoD which is more recognized on it's own) and the DIA's sub-agency, the Defense Clandestine Service which works in conjunction with the CIA, could've had something to do with the joint DoD and CIA operations in The Bourne Legacy, though this is pure speculation. Again, these are just fan-theories and are not proven by real information from the Jason Bourne series.


Here are Theories of Possible Positions of the Executives of NRAG, Not Stated in the Film[]

Eric Byer is of course the Director of NRAG, but it is possible that Connie Dowd, who lead the D-Track Team in charge of finding Dr. Marta Shearing at her home in Bethsda, is the Deputy or Associate Director of NRAG. Since Director Byer works closely with Sterisyn Morlanta's executive Terrence Ward, it could be possible that Connie Dowd, who in addition to being Head of the D-Track Teams sent to kill Shearing, she is actually the *Deputy Director of NRAG* and turned against Byer, thus why she was never present in any of Byer's meetings with Terry and the others. We don't know the specific job of Dita Mandy, but given her role in NRAG's missions to assay the information at senate hearings, she could be an acting NRAG advisor to National Security or someone working with the National Security Agency or, even more high up but through lower means, someone representing the National Security Council. Lt. Gen. Don Paulson serves NRAG's Liaison to the JSOC in the film, but could possibly have a connection to the Defense Intelligence Agency given his job. Zev Vendel could possibly be a director at NRAG specializing in science and medicine though with a strong background in intelligence. Arthur Ingram could be a sort of Chief of Staff or Security Chief. Again, these are just possible theories made from the little information provided in the films.


  • Given their name, it is likely that NRAG is tasked with the assessing and assaying of scientific research in regards to US national security. Often times in real life, high ranking government officials will work closely with corporate executives whose work is vital to the national interest, such as railroad and shipping companies, among others. In the case of NRAG, this involves military/military intelligence/intelligence operations and extends to pharmaceutical companies. The Director of NRAG is Eric Byer, a retired USAF colonel and who seems like the man or one of the people in charge of Aaron Cross's assignment in Somalia/Operation Iraqi Freedom and in the film, is working with people on the chromosome alteration stuff that Operation Outcome is doing/did. Operation Iraqi Freedom was a real DoD operation in which, like Robert Ludlum did with the Vietnam War's Operation Medusa, the creators of the Aaron Cross's story and The Bourne Legacy used as a start up and an origin for Aaron Cross, adding extra realism to the realistic fiction. And its also a cool blending of US foreign intel and DoD operations with science and the science they're using for the operations.
  • The NRAG's focus on national security and experimental operations, coupled with its extremely high security clearance, draws parallels with the real life Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).