What is a Military Police Officer?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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A military police officer is type of police officer who performs his duties on behalf of a military organization. An individual who has this job may have a range of tasks to perform. He may do everything from patrolling a military base and responding to emergency police calls to checking IDs before allowing individuals to enter secure areas and escorting prisoners of war during wartime. The exact duties a military police offer has will depend on the armed services organization for which he works and its particular needs at the time.

Part of a military police officer's job may be making sure that only authorized personnel or visitors are allowed to enter a military property. For example, a person with this job may be stationed at a gate and ask those approaching for identification. He may allow those who are authorized to enter to pass and turn others away. In many cases, he may be responsible for performing this type of duty at a post that allows not only people in, but also their vehicles along with them.


A military police officer may also have the job of patrolling a military base; in this regard, he may do many of the same things a civilian police officer does. He typically watches for suspicious activity, responds to any illegal activity he notes, and collects evidence. He may also be responsible for ensuring that people obey traffic laws and stay within the speed limit. For example, a person with this job may use RADAR to catch people who are breaking speed limit laws. Additionally, a military police officer may respond to emergency calls and reports of illegal activity. He may respond to general complaints that do not involve emergencies as well.

Military police officers may also perform field missions. For example, a military police officer may be called on during times of war to escort prisoners. He may also help military units to negotiate travel and reach their destinations in a timely manner. An individual with this title may sometimes have the job of setting up compounds for detaining prisoners or participating in intelligence operations.

The requirements a person must meet to become a military police officer may depend on the organization he hopes to serve. Typically, however, he'll have to join a military organization, complete basic training, and attend military police school. He may have to pass a range of physical and written tests as well.


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Post 4

@bigjim - It can be a hard job too. I have a lot of respect for the military, but any organization that big is going to have problems. Some bases have a lot of alcohol-related issues, mainly drunk driving and bar fights. Also, it is a stressful life with the service members being gone a lot and sometimes in danger, which can lead to domestic violence and all kinds of other issues.

Add to that the need to always be on the alert for terrorism, trespassing, and theft (which is very common on military bases, especially overseas) and you have a very busy police force that has to very dedicated to get everything done.

Post 3

@BigManCar - We used to have a name for the MPs when I was in the service, which I am not going to repeat here, but most of them were okay.

I suppose when you have a huge base full of 18 and 19-year-old kids running around on million-dollar equipment with guns, somebody has to keep things in line. Nobody likes being told what to do, but it's a necessary job.

Post 2

Those guys used to drive me crazy when I was in the Air Force! It seemed like no matter where you were, or what your mission, there was an MP there to make life difficult. I understand why the military needs police, but some of the ones I ran into sure seemed to like their job a little too much.

I recently heard from a friend who is still in that they got a speeding ticket in Iraq while they were on combat patrol on the perimeter of the base. Who would do that?

Post 1

This can be a good job for someone who wants to be a police officer in civilian life. The jobs are not identical, but the training can be very similar.

You can learn a lot of cool things as an MP. They have K-9 units, boat units, SWAT teams, anti-drug units, detectives, all of the things that civilian law enforcement has, plus better toys. Not too many regular cops have a jeep with a machine gun on top (which is probably a good thing).

I did this job for 6 years, and I loved it. The training and experience made it a lot easier to get my current job as a big-city police officer, and the military pay scale made it easy for me to be able to live on my current low police officer salary!

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