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Military Police

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Most units rotate trough a cycle on a base. Here at Ft. Leonard Wood we have a pretty average cycle. One month Law Enforcement, one month Access Control, One month training. During the “Access control” month we work the gates checking ID’s. We issue passes and ensure that only authorized personnel and their vehicles enter the post. During the Law Enforcement month we patrol the base in vehicles and on foot. We respond to 911 calls and general complaints. We use RADAR to enforce speed laws and of course watch stop signs for violations. The training month is used to prepare for field missions. These can consist of basic soldier skills or advanced unit specific missions. Some units train to escort POW’s during war, others train to support forward units in finding their way. A unit may be tasked with setting up a holding compound (think Camp X-Ray) for prisoners or detainees.

A big question I get asked is, “Are you treated differently as an MP?” The answer is yes and no. Some people are afraid to approach police officers. They picture us all a mean, power hungry people. Others love to taunt cops. Most people are indifferent to us though. They know we are around… they just don’t think about us much. We are by the nature of our duties different though. While many people sleep or take holidays, we work the roads and gates. 24 hours a day you can find a crew of MP’s standing guard or working a beat. 365 days a year you can call the MP station and get a dispatcher on the phone. That’s the nature of MP work.

Military Police are just soldiers doing a different job. We carry weapons with live ammo everyday. We write tickets for people well above our own pay grades. We face “combat situations” in the front lawns of soldiers’ homes weekly. And when we see a cop behind us we think, “What does this jerk want.”

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