The role of military police officers in the Army is crucial to maintaining order and keeping the peace. Army Military police officers have to switch back and forth between roles in both peacetime and in Wartime. They are there to keep the peace and maintain order, and to use minimal force on one mission, and tasked to investigate crime on another. They provide zone and area security when called upon, and are the personnel called upon frequently to help prevent acts of terror by security patrolling and checkpoint utilization.
The Army maintains a Military police academy at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and the military trains both active duty and reserve military police personnel there. Most of the candidates are 18 or 19 years old, which is an advantage regarding age. In most cases to enter law enforcement you have to be a minimum of 21 years of age, but for the candidates who are entering the military you can be 18 or 19 years old. This allows young people to receive targeted training and get a leg up on most civilians in law enforcement training.
Part of the mission is law and order, but there are additional elements in the five-part Military police officer training. Trainees can choose from two different courses of study. They can choose corrections specialist training, and learn how to deal with corrections issues and prisoners, in a nine-week training program. The other alternative is basic military police combat support, which is also a nine-week training program. Both programs are conducted in the Fort Leonard Stem Village, which is an Army mock city complete with a theater, a bank, residential homes and structures, and confinement facilities.
For those Military police officers that are specializing in Corrections, they work on skills that they will need for facilities such as the Mannheim Germany’s U.S. Army Confinement Facility. They study custody and confinement procedures, and learn about the Army correctional system. For those military police officers who are assigned to a police facility, training begins on military law, and Miranda rights, and then to search and apprehension, reports and police forms, and even evidence collection procedures. The response for different types of incidents such as private property damage, domestic abuse, assault and rape, and suicide attempts are some of the topics that are covered.