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Military Police Officer


Description

Everyday life for soldiers is not like everyday life for civilians. Often, they live in secluded communities, on bases within the US, as well as outside of the country. Usually, their families live with them on the bases, and remain on the bases if the military leaves the US on peacekeeping missions, or to fight. The military has its own police force, which monitors life on the bases, and sometimes travels with the military to different postings.

The military police serve all members of the military, including regular force members, their families, reservists, and cadets. Military police perform the same work that regular officers do. They enforce American as well as military laws, they investigate military or criminal offences, supervise prisoners of war, monitor traffic, and perform first aid or CPR in emergency situations. As well, this police force may work alongside foreign police if the military is stationed abroad. The military police also develop and implement crime prevention programs within the military communities, work as security at some American embassies, and provide conflict mediation and negotiation to the American communities at large. The American military police also have a policy of staying in close contact with victims of crime for a time after the incident.

Military police are also trained soldiers, so they are knowledgeable in military tactics, weapons use, and military protocol.
 
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  Interests and Skills  
When choosing candidates for their police program the American military looks for people who are loyal, comfortable following rules and order, courageous, and proud of their nation. A military police officer must have integrity and be fair, honest, and diligent workers, who don't shy away from hard, messy work. They should have respect for other cultures and belief systems, and able to adjust to change in environment easily and without complaint. A professional attitude, good observation skills, and a good memory are also assets to the military police officer, as is the ability to speak two or more languages. Above all, they must have a genuine interest in helping all members of the international community.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Patrol base communities in the US and other nations
  • Investigate accidents and crimes against both American and military law
  • Secure evidence, interview witnesses, compile notes and reports
  • Provide testimony in court
  • Arrest suspects
  • Provide emergency assistance to victims of accidents, crimes and natural disasters
  • Initiate and oversee programming in crime prevention, safety programs
  • Continue with general military training
  • A typical day for a military police officer will involve quite a lot of investigating, including meeting with other soldiers and military families. There will be reports to be written, traffic to control, and community outreach programs to be outlined and implemented. Military police may also be in contact with outside police forces in order to solve crimes or provide information about suspects or crime prevention programs. There will be opportunities for travel.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Members of the American military police force are at work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and in active service anywhere and everywhere in the world. Depending on the military operations at the time, military police officers may find themselves working within humanitarian operations, war, peacemaking or peace keeping missions. They could be living and working in a base community in southern Tennessee, or may be living and working away from their families, in traumatic, ravaged areas. They will work outdoors, in all kinds of weather and climate conditions. They will be indoors, working in offices conducting meetings with witnesses, taking statements from victims, or planning outreach programs and strategies. The work environment for military police can be stressful, and requires physical as well as mental fitness.

  Long Term Career Potential  
As a member of the military police force, officers are already soldiers. They can always leave the police and work within the military ranks, or they can stay within the police unit and specialize in areas like criminal investigation, surveillance operations, sexual assault investigation, or polygraph (lie detector) testing. They can also leave the military altogether, and join the police.
 

  Educational Paths  
In order to become a military police officer, individuals are first required to undergo an initial screening process with the military. Then, they must attend a military police assessment center, where they will decide whether or not the individual is a suitable applicant. The minimum requirement for joining the military police is a community college diploma in law and security administration, police foundations, or a similar program.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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