MP stands for Military Police. Each branch of the military has its own Military Police force. The army calls its police force the Military Police Corps. They enforce the law within the scope of the military, but have limited powers outside the scope of the military, unless there is martial law in the area. Police officers that serve the civilians are different from the Military Police Corps. Army MPs are basically soldiers with the additional responsibility of a police officer. They provide basic police services such as providing protection of vehicle routes, controlling traffic, law enforcement and keeping the peace. They also arrest erring soldiers and handle the guidance or detention of arrested soldiers.
In preparing to become an army MP, you need to follow these useful tips:
- Ask for the specific requirements from an army office or recruiter. They will give you a list that you should prepare for and complete before you are able to train with an army unit.
- Study for the entrance exams and aim to get a high score. This will not guarantee a sure position in the MP, but you will have better chances of being considered. Ask the recruiter on what topics are important to review, and which ones will most likely come up in the exams.
- Since you will basically become a police officer in an army unit, you need to prepare yourself by studying criminal justice. You need not finish a course before entering the army, but it is good to read on state laws and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. These topics will be taken up when you train for an army MP post, and it will make it easier for you once you have familiarized yourself with the general topics.
- Make sure you are physically fit. Focus on cardiovascular exercises, running long distances within a time limit to enhance your speed, and weight lifting. You may pass the written exams, but unless you also pass the physical fitness test, you will not be able to enter the army. Also take care of your health, make sure you eat properly and your body is nourished. Do not skip meals, drink plenty of water and take vitamin supplements, if needed. You have to be in good shape and you have to make sure you do not get sick easily since you will be exposed to sunlight and rain for long hours when you are training, and when you go on duty.
- Also prepare your emotional health. Being in the army is touch both physically and emotionally. You will have to spend time away from home and the family, and you may not see them for months. You also need to be very patient and keep your temper under control even during extremely stressful and emotional circumstances. If you lose control of your temper, then it will be difficult to entrust you with arms and troops.
- You should have a clean record, and no past grave criminal offense. Minor offenses like parking tickets may be worked out with the recruiter, especially if these happened years prior to your application for the army.