Guide Note: This article was contributed by Pain99, a member of our Message Forum.
Whats it like to be an MP? I think I have been asked that question about 15 times via e-mail to date. Since all those requests are coming from this forum I respectfully submit my version of this life for your review.
Military Police, OK what are you thinking now? Flashing red and blue lights on the road? Tickets and jerks with power trips? Hill Street Blues? Pig, Mud Puppy, Cant Spell WHIMP without MP? Maybe you are picturing guns drawn and villains on the ground. Possible Cops comes to mind and the theme music rolls in your subconscious.
Maybe when I say Military Police you think of savors. Maybe you start remembering a time when the cops busted a party up. Or its even possible that a few of you think of some of the field missions we handle.
What ever you may think when the words Military and Police are said I am going to try to build on that. Maybe I will even erase that view of the MP Corps from your mind. Either way . When this is over I hope that you will at least be able say that we are more than you thought.
I wanted to do an A day in the life of type story but to be honest I couldn't really give you a solid picture of what we are all about if I only wrote about one day. Instead I will try to hit on the basics.
First of all you need to get a good idea what you are working with. The newest MP entering into his first Permanent Party unit will have just graduated from OSUT. OSUT is basic training and AIT all slapped into one 16-17 week cycle. Day one meet Drill SGT. Meanbody. When basic ends Drill Meanbody lines everyone up and says You are now soldiers get ready for chow. Welcome to AIT and a brand new day. No parades or graduation with the family. To the MP Corps you are not really worth anything yet because you are just a basic soldier. No wearing of your Class As. No going home for a week or so. No new rooms or Drill SGTs. Just go wash you hands and then get in formation for chow. MPs are not given freedom when they get to AIT. Oh you get more time after the training day. But you are now expected to spit shine (I mean really spit shine) your boots and press (I mean really press) your uniforms everyday. Inspections are held at random and a bad uniform day can mean the loss of one of your few passes. Welcome to Military Police School.
MP schooling is about 10 weeks if I remember correctly. It seems to change a lot so I may be off there by a week. While in training a recruit will learn law, UCMJ, hand to hand (MP style) fighting, weapons and all sorts of fun stuff. MPs are taught that they are alone in the Army and that they must be the most professional soldiers at all times. They are taught to Set the standards. After graduation the new MP heads off to a unit.
MP units are multipurpose tools used daily all over the world. MPs are expected to be able to do just about anything a commander needs at a moments notice. I could list a 1000 different units but I will just stick to the more average types of unit.