Military police officers serve many purposes. Not only are the military police responsible for keeping lawful order by performing duties like traffic checks and patrolling, but they also collect evidence and provide manoeuvre and mobility protection. Becoming a military police officer means that beyond serving and protecting, you will also have the responsibilities of a soldier as well.
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Choose the sure thing. There are four major branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. All of these branches have military police, although they do not all guarantee you will get that job. Before you join a branch of the U.S. armed forces you will need to stress to your recruiter your intentions of being a military police officer. This is more pertinent in the Navy and Marines, which do not guarantee your job. The Army guarantees your job as long as you qualify, and the Air Force allows for a choice between your top picks for jobs.
Pass your entry testing with a high score. Although you do not need to score within the highest percentile to become a military police officer in any of the armed forces, it will help guarantee more of a choice in your destiny. Ensuring your test scores for the military are high enough will guarantee that you will at least have the opportunity to be a military police officer. Take the time to study for your test before you take it. Your recruiter will be able to give you specific insight on areas of focus that will be helpful during testing.
Prepare yourself physically. Being in the military already means that you will have to be in good physical condition to perform your duties to standard. When you are a military police officer, this standard of physical fitness is elevated because of the nature of your job. Many job duties of a military police officer require hands-on involvement. Detaining suspects, performing roving guard, and patrolling areas on foot will call for you to be in top physical shape. Exercise regularly, focusing on weight training and cardiovascular activity, so you can pass the physical fitness portions of becoming a military police officer.
Study criminal justice. Preparing your mind before you enter the police academy is also something you should take into account. Familiarise yourself with state laws and more importantly the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to get a jump start on codes you will be working with on a daily basis. Having knowledge in this area will give you an advantage over candidates who are not familiar with this area, and make classes easier to understand when you attend.
Examine your criminal record. Unfortunately, in most cases, in order to uphold the law, you have to be a law-abiding citizen. Your record doesn't have to be "squeaky clean" but should be rather uneventful to avoid problems entering the program. If the need for military police officers is great, and you only have minor offences on your record, your recruiter may be able to clear some of the offences off of your record through working with state and federal agencies.
Tips and warnings
- Even if you join a branch of the military and do not get your choice of jobs, you may be allowed to choose another job, or reclassify, after you have learnt the one assigned to you and performed it successfully.
- Do not be afraid to ask your recruiter for specific information and guarantees as this will help you on your quest to becoming a military police officer.