Gendarmerie Navale

Military police

Military police (MPs) are normally the police of a military organization.

Military police may refer to:

The status of military police is usually prominently displayed on the helmet and/or on an armband, brassard, or arm or shoulder flash. In the Second World War, the military police of the German Army still used a metal gorget as an emblem.

Naval police are sometimes called masters-at-arms.

Military police in different countries


In the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police also performs the role of a secondary communications network in the front battle zone. In the Royal Australian Navy, the Naval Police Coxswain Branch performs dual roles of performing general police duties, investigation of criminal offences and a secondary role of ships' coxswain staff responsible for administration of ships' personnel.


The Kommando Militärstreife & Militärpolizei (" Military Patrol & Military Police Command") of the Austrian Bundesheer was founded in 2007. The Command is also responsible for military police training. The duties are personal security of high ranking officers, policing of military personnel and traffic control of military transports. The military police is called within the Austrian borders Militärstreife ("Military Patrol"), when it is deployed abroad the Militärstreife is renamed in Militärpolizei ("Military Police").


The Belgian Army's Military Police Group (Groupe Police Militaire in French, Groep Militaire Politie in Dutch) performs military police duties on behalf of all four components of the Belgian military. The group is headed by a lieutenant colonel and has 188 members in five MP detachments.

The Military Police Group staff is located in the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in the Brussels suburb of Evere. Alpha Detachment located at Evere covers the province of Flemish Brabant and the capital, Brussels. Bravo Detachment covers the Walloon Brabant, Hainaut and Namur areas and is located at Nivelles. Charlie Detachment located at Marche-en-Famenne covers the Liege and Luxembourg areas. Delta Detachment covers the Limbourg and Antwerp areas and is located at Leopoldsburg. Echo Detachment located at Lombardsijde covers Western and Eastern Flanders.

The Military Police force carries out the following missions:

  • Maintenance of order and discipline: Consists of monitoring, maintaining and, if necessary, re-establishing discipline and military order. This also involves controlling stragglers and refugees in times of war and guarding and escorting prisoners of war.
  • Traffic regulation: Includes traffic monitoring and regulation to ensure the flow of military movements in accordance with plans. This includes route reconnaissance and marking, convoy and oversize vehicle escort and river crossing control. Traffic accident investigations is also a part of the job.
  • Security missions: Prevents and deters any threat to or attack against the personnel and property of the armed forces. The Military Police force protects, for example, the Palace of the Nation and the Parliaments and Councils of the Regions and the Communities, headquarters and classified conferences. MPs also provide VIP motorcycle escorts and honour guards, perform close protection missions, and escort classified documents and money transports.

The Belgian Military Police has also taken part in multinational peacekeeping missions such as Afghanistan, Kosovo and Congo. The Federal Police’s Military Crime Division (DJMM) performs all investigations involving the armed forces.

In 2003, duties relating to refugees and deserters in wartime were transferred from the then disbanded Gendarmerie Nationale to the MPs. Members of the former 4 and 6 MP Companies were merged into the new MP Group, along with some Gendarmes previously assigned MP-related duties.

Belgian MPs are identified by black armbands with the letters MP in white block letters, worn on the left arm.


'Military police' in Brazil has two meanings - there are provost corps for each of the Brazilian Armed Forces: Army Police (Polícia do Exército, PE) for the Army, Navy Police (Polícia da Marinha) for the Navy, and (Polícia da Aeronaútica, PA) Air Force Police for the Air Force.

The second type are the preventative civilian police, with military organization comparable to gendarmerie, called the Military Police (Polícia Militar). Each State has their own Military Police.

There is also a joint National Public Security Force (Força Nacional de Segurança Pública), created under the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. This force is composed of the most qualified State Military Police personnel from all the states, only to be used when the governor of a state asks for help to control a significant security crisis.


The Gendarmerie, or "Military Police", known as the Royal Gendarmerie of Cambodia is a paramilitary unit with about 7,000 soldiers deployed in all provinces. It is headquartered in Phnom Penh. The unit's chain of command is through the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces High Command.

The Royal Gendarmerie of Cambodia is deployed in every province and cities to keep the law in orders. Military police in Cambodia play an important role in Cambodia society which keep law and orders in cities like the National Police.


Canadian Forces military police functions are currently carried out by the Canadian Forces Military Police. The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service handles investigations.

The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal is the head of the military police in Canada.

Prior to the amalgamation of Canada's Army, Navy and Air Force into the unified Canadian Forces in 1968, separate service branches had performed military police functions independently: the Canadian Provost Corps and the Royal Canadian Air Force Police.

The roles of the military police in Canada are separated into two main groups. The first group is Garrison Operations, which includes activities such as investigations and patrols. The second group is operational support in combat operations, such as POW convoy escorts, VIP's close protection, and route reconnaissances. The main tasks for the reserve companies are the Operational tasks, while the regular force concentrates their training on the "Garrison" tasks.

The Canadian Military police all wear a red beret regardless of their attachment to the maritime, land or air command. They also wear a shoulder patch on the left arms with bilingual writing: MILITARY POLICE MILITAIRE.

Republic Of China (Taiwan)

Unlike military police in many other countries, the Republic of China Military Police are a separate branch of the ROC Armed Forces. The ROCMP are responsible for enforcing military law, maintaining military discipline, providing backup for the civilian police force or serving as combat troops during times of emergency, providing security for certain government buildings, including the Presidential Building in Taipei City, as well as performing counter-terrorism and VIP protection operations. The ROCMP are also charged with the defense of the capital Taipei.


Croatian Military Police (on Croatian: Vojna Policija) is part of Croatian Armed Forces (on Croatian: Oružane Snage Republike Hrvatske). Croatian Military Police is formed in 27 August 1991.,soon after Croatian Armyin that time called National Guard Corps (Croatian: Zbor Narodne Garde).Parts of Croatian Military Police are:

NSVP - Military Police Education center "Bojnik Alfred Hill"

66th Military Police Battalion

67th Military Police Battalion

68th Military Police Battalion

69th Military Police Company

70th Military Police Company

71st Military Police Battalion

72nd Military Police Battalion

73rd Military Police Battalion (HRM (Croatian Navy))

74th Military Police Company (HRZ (Croatian Air Force))

75th Military Police Battalion


In Denmark the military police (Danish: militærpoliti) services are carried out by branches under each service. The navy and army each have their own military police branch, whereas the air force does not have a military police branch as such but has an installation guard branch (Danish: stationselementet), and a combat support wing which handles military police duties in either national or international tasks. They fulfill exactly the same duties as MP's in the two other branches.

MP-personnel typically wears either branch-specific display dress uniforms with white shoulder-markings with the text MP or the branch-common daily battle dress uniforms, with a red beret. In the air force the MP-shoulder markings is typically replaced with markings saing either VAGT or GUARD, but for international missions they also uses the MP-markings.

MP-personnel generally doesn't have elevated legal authority towards civilians in non-military places, but only towards military personnel and on military installations (also public accessible places like Holmen naval base in Copenhagen). On some occasions MP-personnel can support the civilian police in certain tasks, but will only have slightly more legal authority than civilians - similar to the police home guard.

In the army military police are almost without exception NCO's or officers, whereas the navy and air force relies mainly of danish ranks OR-1 to OR-3.

Furthermore the home guard has a police branch, which supports both the civilian danish police and the military police.

Typical MP-jobs are:

  • Installation/perimeter guard
  • Personnel protection
  • Traffic control
  • Courier services
  • Prisoner transport


The Sotilaspoliisi (literally, "Soldier Police") are the military police of the Finnish Defence Forces. The Finnish MPs wear a black armband on the left shoulder with the letters 'SP' in white. A military policeman is usually armed with a 9 mm pistol, a baton, pepper spray and handcuffs on his belt. The military police includes both career and conscript personnel, and is primarily used to guard military installations and supervise military traffic. All military police personnel are trained with basic police techniques and usually receive training for fighting in urban areas. The military police have power over civilians only inside military areas and installations. However, a military police patrol may stop a crime that it witnesses in process in a civilian area. Additionally if a military police unit is near to a serious crime taking place, such as a robbery or an assault, and the civilian police are delayed, a military police unit that is near to the scene can offer to handle the situation until the civilian police arrive.

As with some other Finnish Defence Forces units, the military police can be used to provide assistance to the civilian police when they are undermanned or lack special resources. In such case, the military police may take measures which the civilian police deems necessary. For example, during the 2005 Helsinki World Athletic Championship Games, military police conscripts and career personnel were placed along the marathon route to prevent the large numbers of spectators from obstructing the runners.

The crimes committed by military personnel are, as a rule, investigated by the military. Minor infractions are usually investigated by the career personnel of the unit, while more serious crimes are investigated by the investigative section of the General Staff of the Finnish Defence Forces. In minor matters, the company commander or his superiors may use disciplinary powers, but more serious cases are deferred to the civilian prosecutor who will take the case to the district court. In military cases, the district court and superior courts include military members in addition to the professional judge. Officers with at least major's rank have privilegium fori to have their cases tried by the Court of Appeals as a court of first instance.


The Gendarmerie Nationale acts as both the military police and one of the two national police forces of France. The Gendarmerie Navale (also called the Gendarmerie Maritime) polices the Navy (and also acts as a coast guard and water police force) and the Gendarmerie de l'Air polices the Air Force; both are branches of the Gendarmerie Nationale.


During World War II, Germany had numerous military police units. The primary units were the Feldgendarmerie, which comprised members of the Gendarmerie. Other units included the Army Patrol Service (Heerestreifendienst), the Train Station Guards (Bahnhofwache), and the Feldjägerkorps.

The Feldjäger are the current military police of the German Bundeswehr. The term Feldjäger ("field rifleman" or "field hunter") has a long tradition and dates back to the mid-17th century. Their motto is Suum Cuique ("To each his own", derived from Cicero, De Finibus, Bonorum et Malorum, liber V, 67: "(...) ut fortitudo in laboribus periculisque cernatur, (...), iustitia in suo cuique tribuendo.").


The Corps of Military Police (CMP) is the military police of the Indian Army. In addition, the CMP is trained to handle prisoners of war and to regulate traffic, as well as to handle basic telecommunication equipment such as telephone exchanges. They can be identified by their red berets, white lanyards and belts, and they also wear a black brassard with the letters "MP" imprinted in red.

Internal policing duties in a regiment (or a station) are handled by the Regimental Police, who are soldiers of the unit who are assigned to policing tasks for a short period of time. They are essentially used to regulate traffic, and can be identified by a black brassard with the letters "RP" embossed in gold or white.

The Indian Air Force is policed by the Indian Air Force Police. They can be identified by their white peaked caps, white lanyards and belts (with a pistol holster). They also wear a black brassard with the letters "IAFP" imprinted in red.

The Indian Navy has the Navy Police, and they can be identified by a black brassard with the letters "NP" in gold, with the state emblem placed in between the N and the P.


The Irish Military Police (colloquially “PA”s, deriving from the official title, Póilíní Airm) are responsible for the prevention and detection of crime in the Irish Defence Forces. Entry to the PA is restricted to serving members of the Defence Forces. All members of the Corps are NCOs, with Officers being transferred in for temporary assignments. Unlike many Military Police Services, they retain responsibility for the controlling access to many, but not all, military posts. In addition they provide a military detachment to the Oireachtas (Houses of Parliament) and have a large ceremonial role. In the past they had a role in training armed elements of the Garda Siochana but in recent times this has decreased. Historically, they were responsible for detaining political prisoners in Military Prisons (until the handing over of Military Prisons at Cork, Spike Island, Arbour Hill and the Curragh to the Civil Authorities) and in the past occasionally provided firing squads for executions (the last time being the “Emergency” period of 1939-1946).


The Heil HaMishtara HaTzva'it ("Military Police Corps") is the military police/provost of the Israel Defense Forces. It also helps monitor prisons, both those containing Israeli soldiers and Palestinian detainees.

The corps does not have any civilian jurisdiction and works in conjunction with the Israel Police when civilians are involved for that reason. The Israel Border Police is Israel's Gendarmerie-equivalent.


The Arma dei Carabinieri is a gendarmerie force which acts as both the military police and one of the three national police forces in Italy. Formed on July 13, 1814, it has been for almost two centuries the senior branch of the Italian Army, until on October 5, 2000 it had become a fully independent Service of the Italian military.

With a strength of about 120000, the Arma dei Carabinieri is a very large organization, including its own Air and Naval Services, but most of its personnel is used for civilian police duties.

The properly Military Police components of the Arma dei Carabinieri are grouped into the "Divisione Unità Mobili Carabinieri" (Carabinieri Mobile Units Division), organized as follows:

2nd Brigade: 1st Carabinieri Parachutist Regiment "Tuscania". 7th Carabinieri Battalion "Trentino - Alto Adige". 13th Carabinieri Battalion "Friuli - Venezia Giulia". Gruppo Intervento Speciale.

From this units are drawn most of the elements that form the Carabinieri MP coys, platoons and detachments assigned to all the major Italian Army, Navy and Air Force units, as well as many of the personnel forming the MSU Regiments (Multinational Specialist Units) and the IPUs (Integrated Police Units) serving abroad in support of European Union, NATO and United Nation missions. The Arma dei Carabinieri have gained a very good reputation for the professionalism and organization of their MP units in support of international missions, so much that during the 2004 G8 Sea Island Conference the Carabinieri have been tasked to organize and run the CoESPU (Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units), to centralize the training of multinational MP units for international missions.

The 1st Brigade of the same "Divisione Unità Mobili Carabinieri", organized on 11 Mobile battalions and 1 Cavalry Regiment, does contribute to form the same Military Police components as the 1st Brigade, but is mostly tasked to riot control civilian police duties. It is worth to note that inside each of its battalions there is usually a small Mechanized company, so in case of war they are likely to be mobilized for combat duties (as it happened during both World Wars).

The Guardia di Finanza while a military corps part of the Italian Army, does not have any Military Police duties, being a force acting in borders control, customs duties and police investigations about financial crimes and illegal drug trafficking.


During World War II, the Kempeitai were the military police of the Imperial Japanese Army and the Tokeitai were the military police of the Imperial Japanese Navy. They also performed intelligence and secret police functions and were active in Japan and its occupied territories. They also maintained Special Research Units which conducted research and development into biological warfare.

Today's Japan Self-Defense Forces maintain military police units.


The Kor Polis Tentera DiRaja (Royal Military Police Corps) performs military police duties in the Malaysian Army. Apart from enforcing discipline and conduct of members of the Army, the Corps oversees security of designated Army installations, performs escort and ceremonial duties, and assists civil law enforcement authorities. The Kor Polis Tentera is also tasked with crime prevention and investigating criminal activities on Army property or by military personnel.

With its roots in the British Royal Military Police, members of the Kor Polis Tentera DiRaja also wear the distinctive red peaked cap, white lanyard and belt, as well as a black brassard with the letters "PT" imprinted. PT stands for "Polis Tentera" with "Polis" being the Malay translation for "Police" while "Tentera" being the Malay translation for "Mlitary".


Evolution of Military Policing

During the Cold War the approach of NATO to military policing was to provide Military Police support to National Forces in terms of:

Traffic Control,
Military Security, and
Law & Order.

Post cold war, this has now evolved into:

Mobility Support,
Policing, and


In the Netherlands, the function of military police is performed by the Koninklijke Marechaussee ("Royal Constabulary"), a separate branch of the military independent of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Besides performing military duties, the Marechaussee is also a gendarmerie force.

The word Marechaussee seems to derive from the old French name Marecheaux given to an ancient court of justice in Paris called the "Tribunal of Constables and Marshals of France". These constables and marshals were to become members of the Gendarmerie which served as a model for the police forces of both Belgium and the Netherlands. The term Marechaussee was also used for the Continental Army's military police during the American Revolution.

New Zealand

In the New Zealand Army, the Corps of Royal New Zealand Military Police only recruits internally, with applications only being accepted from personnel who have served for at least two years. MPs may be either career soldiers or from the Territorial Army (part-time soldiers).

The Royal New Zealand Air Force recruits directly for Air Security Guards, who carry out military police functions and are responsible for providing security as well as ground defence training and drill/ceremonial training for other RNZAF Staff.

The Royal New Zealand Navy, like the Army, does not recruit directly into their "police" branch. Instead, personnel of a certain rank and time-in-service may apply for the Master-At-Arms trade. Security of shore bases is the responsibility of New Zealand Defence Force civilian security personnel.

At all NZDF facilities, civilian staff are used to augment military police manpower, particularly for relatively simple tasks like ID checking and security patrols. This allows the MPs to concentrate on the more complex and specialised tasks within their areas of responsibility, such as criminal investigation. Many former servicemen and women find employment as Civil Security Guards at NZDF establishments and this helps keep their expertise in-house.


In Norway, military police are service members of the Norwegian Army, Royal Norwegian Navy or Royal Norwegian Air Force. Since about 2002, all are trained at Sessvollmoen Camp. MPs in the Army are assigned to the Military Police Battalion, located at Bardufoss, Troms county. The first battalion commander and Provost Marshal of 6. division Norwegian Army was Maj M Langvik, the current battalion commander is Lieutenant Colonel Jan Henry Norvalls. The battalion consists of approximately 50 officers and NCOs, and 150 privates and corporals. Norwegian MPs first go through a six-month selection/educational period, before being assigned to the battalion or to regimental duties with other units for the remainder of their twelve-month service. Norwegian MPs do not have authority over civilians, except on or in the vicinity of military installations, vehicles or other property or under martial law. They do have authority over military personnel, including in certain circumstances reservists, anywhere, including when such personnel are off duty.

The Heimevernet ("Home Guard") also has MPs in its ranks. Usually each District (regiment) has one or two platoons, consisting exclusively of former regular or conscript military police personnel.

Norwegian MPs wear a red beret and a red lanyard around the left shoulder extending to the left front pocket. Only personnel currently serving as MPs are allowed to wear this. When on official duty, they also wear the MP armband, which is black with "MP" in red letters. It was previously worn on the right shoulder, but is now worn on the left shoulder, following NATO practice. They can also wear white webbing, or a number of items for special duties, like high visibility vests for traffic duty, or as mounted personnel while performing Motorcycle escort for the Royal Family or their official guests, etc.

Army canine units are also assigned to the MP battalion, but the personnel in such units are not necessarily MPs. Such personnel do not hold military police authority, and do not wear the MP insignia.

MPs have no other powers over civilians than ordinary members of the public, except inside, or in the immediate vicinity of military installations. More serious cases, like narcotics, are handed over to civilian police for investigation.


The Philippine Armed Forces each maintain their own military police.

The former Philippine Constabulary was also known as the Military Police Command The Republic Act 6975 also known as The DILG Reorganization Act of 1991, the PC formed the basis of the PNP now under the Department of Interior and Local Government.


The Military Gendarmerie (Żandarmeria Wojskowa, ŻW) are the MP's for the entire Polish military.


In Portugal, each branch of the armed forces has its own military police force. The Portuguese Navy has the Polícia Naval (Naval Police), the Portuguese Army has the Polícia do Exército (Army Police), and the Portuguese Air Force has the Polícia Aérea (Air Police). The Air Police is an Arm of its own inside the Air Force, but the Army Police is only a speciality of the Cavalry Arm and the Naval Police is a speciality of the Marines Arm. The Navy also has a civil police force, composed by Portuguese Navy troops, the Polícia dos Estabelecimentos da Marinha (Navy Facilities Police), with the responsibility of guarding the Lisbon Naval Base and some other naval facilities, and to serve as a coast guard and criminal police in the area of responsabilty of the of the Maritime Authority.

Portugal, also, has a gendarmerie type force, the GNR - Guarda Nacional Republicana National Republican Guard ), that is a special corps of troops that executes both civil public security missions and military missions. In time of peace, the GNR is under operacional command of the Minister of Internal Affairs, but in time of war it can be put under the command of the Armed Forces.


In Romania, the Romanian Military Police (Poliţia Militară) carries out police duties for the Romanian Armed Forces. It usually handles military security and military crimes and it has national jurisdiction. The Romanian military police is organized in four battalions (two of them are headquartered in Bucharest, one in Iaşi and one in Târgu Mureş). The Romanian Gendarmerie, although a military force with national jurisdiction, is not tasked with enforcing the law within the armed forces (in contrast to the French Gendarmerie, which acts as both military and national police force).


Vojna policija (Cyrillic: Војна полиција) is the official military police force of Serbia. Military Police are one of the best qualified and most combat-prepared organizations within the Serbian Armed Forces. Military Police responsibilities include combating special forces of the enemy and counter-rebellion and counter terrorist actions, stamping out organized crime and corruption, securing people and facilities, search actions, anti-terrorist tasks, and others.

Specific training is provided for members of special units of the Military Police, as well as for members of "general" and traffic Military Police. Drills for Military Police units, from squad to battalion, are based on their anticipated tactical employment, including the training in putting down civil disorder. The Security Directorate of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces is responsible for overseeing the units of the Military Police.

See also:

Sri Lanka

Each of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces has its own military police/Provost branch. The Sri Lanka Army is policed by the Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police and by Regimental Police, who belong to each individual regiments or corps.

The Military Police force carries out the following missions:

  • Maintenance of order and discipline: Consists of monitoring, maintaining and, if necessary, re-establishing discipline and military order. This also involves controlling stragglers and refugees in times of war and guarding and escorting prisoners of war.
  • Security missions: Prevents and deters any threat to or attack against the personnel and property of the armed forces. MPs also provide VIP motorcycle escorts and honour guards, perform close protection missions, and escort classified documents and money transports.

The Sri Lanka Navy is policed by the Provost Branch. The Sri Lanka Air Force is policed by the Air Force Police (AFP).


In Singapore, the Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command serves as the law enforcement agency of the Singapore Armed Forces. The Command is headed by a Colonel, otherwise also known as the Provost Marshal. Its sub-units included the Military Police Enforcement Unit (including Special Investigations Branch and the ceremonial and drill components), the Detention Barracks (DB), The 1st Provost Bn, MP Training School and the Security Support Forces (including Military working Dog Wing, Close Protection and Security Ops Unit). The Command also collaborates closely with the Singapore Police Force in terms of policing work duties, investigations, etc.

South Korea


In the Swedish Army, dragoons are the Military Police and Military Police Rangers. They form the Dragoons Battalion of the Life Guards. The Dragoons Battalion have roots that go back as far as 1523 making it one of the worlds oldest military units still in service. "Livdragon" is the rank of a private cavalryman. The Swedish Army Dragoons are one of few units that still use horses. Horses are being used for ceremonial purposes only, most often when the dragoons take part at the change of the guards at The Royal Castle.


In Thailand, each branch of the armed forces has its own military police force. The Royal Thai Navy has the สารวัตรทหารเรือ (Naval Military Police) , the Royal Thai Army has the สารวัตรทหาร (Army Military Police), and the Royal Thai Air force has the สารวัตรทหารอากาศ (Air Force Military Police).

Air Military Police Department กรมทหารสารวัตรทหารอากาศ

The duties of the military police are peacekeeping, securing, regulating the traffic discipline within the Air Force installations and housing area, tackling illegal objects including deserted officers and runaway accusers, escorting VIPs and investigating crimes which are under the authority of the Military Court. These investigations include prisoners of war, enemy aliens, refugees and displaced officers within the Air Force and designated areas. It is under supervision of the Commander of the Air Military Police Department.

There is one active Air MP Battalion called the Battalion of Military Air Police (กองพันทหารสารวัตรทหารอากาศ). The Air Military Police Department is one unit under the supervision of the Office of Don Muang RTAF Base Commander (สำนักงานผู้บังคับทหารอากาศดอนเมือง).

- Office of Don Muang RTAF Base Commander : สำนักงานผู้บังคับทหารอากาศดอนเมือง
- Air Military Police Department : กรมทหารสารวัตรทหารอากาศ
- Battalion of Military Air Police กองพันทหารสารวัตรทหารอากาศ
: :


The Military Police (Askeri İnzibat) or (As.Iz.) are part of the Turkish Gendarmerie, one of the five branches of the Turkish Armed Forces, and constitute a very small dedicated force which handles military security and military crimes.


The VSP is the Military Police for the entire Ukrainian Armed Forces

United Kingdom

Each of the British Armed Forces has its own military police branch. The British Army is policed by the Royal Military Police (RMP) (often known as "Redcaps") and by Regimental Police, who belong to each individual regiments or corps, and also by the Military Provost Guard Service who protect Army installations. The Royal Air Force is policed by the Royal Air Force Police (RAFP). They are nicknamed "Snowdrops" on account of their white caps as opposed to the normal Royal Air Force blue. The Royal Navy is policed by the Regulating Branch, the members of which are known as Regulators (or Master-at-Arms if a Chief Petty Officer or Warrant Officer). The Royal Marines also have a platoon-sized Police Troop, the Royal Marines Police.

Each of the four agencies has its own Special Investigation Branch (SIB) to undertake investigation of more serious crime and plain-clothes investigations. All British military police are classed as Service Police and conform to the Service Police Codes of Practice. The British military prison at Colchester is operated by the Military Provost Staff Corps, an all-senior NCO corps which only recruits from serving personnel.

The Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS) is a service responsible for maintaining security at British Armed Forces sites in the United Kingdom.

Ministry of Defence Police Forces

United States

Each branch of the United States military maintains its own military police force. The Military Police Corps maintains discipline and enforces the law in the United States Army. The Marine Corps version is referred to as the Provost Marshal's Office, while personnel assigned to the Master-at-Arms branch fill the same role in the United States Navy (aided by temporary members of the Shore Patrol). The United States Air Force is policed by the Air Force Security Forces, formerly called the Security Police (and before that, the Air Police).

Each service also maintains uniformed civilian police departments. They are referred to as Department of Defense Police, or DoD Police. These police fall under each directorate they work for within the United States Department of Defense, for example: DoD Army or DoD Navy Police. There is in fact one United States Department of Defense police agency, the United States Pentagon Police, of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, are the police force of the Secretary of Defense and the federal police force for the U.S. Department of Defense in its entirety including The Pentagon and various other DoD locations within the National Capital Region (NCR). The Department of Defense Guard, Department of the Army (DA) Police, or Department of the Army Guard are examples of other DoD Army police. The police officers' duties are similar to those of local civilian police officers. They enforce the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Federal, State Laws and the regulations of their particular installation.

Criminal investigations in the United States Armed Forces is carried out by separate agencies: The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) (for both the Navy and Marine Corps); the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI); the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), with unit-level investigations conducted by Army Military Police Investigators (MPI); and the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS). The Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) is a civilian agency that answers directly to the DOD as well as the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA).

The United States Constabulary was a gendarmerie force used to secure and patrol the American Zone of West Germany immediately after World War II.

Military Police are trained to provide area security, usually by vehicle patrol, which is the mission of most Military Police stationed in Iraq. They are also trained in dealing with prisoners of war and other detainees, with special training in restraining, searching, and transporting prisoners to detainee camps. MPs can also be used as prison guards in said detainee camps, although that responsibility usually falls on Internment/Resettlement Specialists, MOS 31E (Formerly Corrections Specialists).

Limitation of Authority and Jurisdiction

United States Military Police are prohibited from enacting state police powers and domestic peace officer powers under the Posse Comitatus Act, a federal law passed in 1878. MPs may enforce certain limited powers, such as traffic stops, on access roads and other federal property not necessarily within the boundaries of their military base or installation. The only way MPs are allowed to enforce law and order outside of the military realm as stated above is when Martial Law is in effect. When combined, the Posse Comitatus Act and Insurrection Act both severely limit and delay Presidential power in using the military in a law enforcement capacity. This allows the state more time to use their resources and authorities to the fullest extent, allowing for the possibility of military involvement only when their resources have been completely used up.

The only military branch exempt from the act is the United States Coast Guard, as they are both military personnel and federal law enforcement officers with full federal jurisdiction.

Although the 109th Congress attempted to extend the authority of the military in "major public emergencies" (Section 1068 of 2006 Amendment to Insurrection Act of 1806), the amendment was repealed, in its entirety, in 2008. Section 1076 of the amendment would have allowed the President, upon his declaration of a public emergency, to not only station the military anywhere in the United States, but to also take control of United States National Guard units without the consent of the state's governor or any local authorities.

United States Senator Patrick Leahy, who enacted the legislation to revert the act to its previous state (as it was created and intended to be in 1807), stated, "We certainly do not need to make it easier for Presidents to declare martial law. Invoking the Insurrection Act and using the military for law enforcement activities goes against some of the central tenets of our democracy. It creates needless tension among the various levels of government – one can easily envision governors and mayors in charge of an emergency having to constantly look over their shoulders while someone who has never visited their communities gives the orders."

See also


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