Military police have become an essential part of logistical battlefield support in modern warfare. The Marine Corps is known to have some of the best training available and this is the case with military police as well. Trained in Fort Leonard Wood at the U.S. Army Military Police School, Marine Corps military police then move on to their duty assignment. That's where they conduct criminal investigations, protect and direct logistical operations, guard prisoners of war and perform police intelligence operations.
As modern warfare has developed, there has been an increasing need for soldiers to be tasked with securing outposts, checkpoints, prisoners of war and investigating the criminal acts of their own soldiers. Marine Corps military police forces were first established in 1945 to handle order and discipline during peace and prisoner of war internment during wartime. But the role of Marine military police expanded during the Vietnam War. From that point, Marine Corps MPs provided dog scout teams, investigated black market activity, vehicle accidents and war crimes, while also taking control of overall rear echelon security.
As military police operations became more complex, a need developed for soldiers to direct forces through rear areas and protect logistical support units in case of a counterattack. This gave Marine Corps military police, a support branch that doesn't have official combat responsibilities, the job of backup defense force in case of an attack in the rear. This is significant because females are not allowed into combat branches, but they are allowed into the military police branch. That branch now performs regular combat operations in which female soldiers participate.
Marine Corps military police are responsible for the order and discipline of all Marines through the Uniform Code of Military Justice. They investigate crimes, patrol, make arrests and incarcerate criminals just like a civilian police force. During combat operations, Marine Corps military police continue to conduct police force operations, but they also handle prisoners of war, conduct police intelligence operations and maintain battlefield circulation control throughout the rear areas.
There is one level of Marine Corps military police training for enlisted personnel and another level of training for officers entering the military police branch. Enlisted military police are trained to use breathalyzer and radar equipment, conduct traffic accident investigations, handle working dogs and work on special reaction teams that are similar to civilian SWAT teams. Officers in the military police are trained to command divisional military police companies that are responsible for all criminal justice within that division. These officers are required to take much more classroom time on the Uniform Code of Military Justice than enlisted military police.
Marine Corps military police are trained at the U.S. Army Military Police School in Fort Leonard Wood, where they receive the benefit of training from the Army's military police branch. The U.S. Army military police trace their origins back to the Marechaussee Corps of the American Revolutionary War and they have developed over the centuries to be one of the best military police forces in the world.
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