FORT LEONARD WOOD, Missouri --
The Marine Corps is always striving to stay one step ahead of the enemy, always ready with the latest training and thinking about innovative ideas for improvement.
The military police community recognized a need to transform training for officers and created the first Marine Military Police Officer Basic Course.
“We’ve created this course, so we can provide our warfighters with the best possible law enforcement and policing support we can,” said Maj. Mark Bailey, director of Marine Corps Military Police School.
In the past, Marine Corps officers training to become military police officers trained in a joint course led by the Army. However, due to the evolution of demands in the fleet for Marine MP officers, the Marine Corps concluded a Marine-centric training program would better meet the needs of their newest MP officers.
“There was nothing wrong with the Army’s course,” said Col. Dan Longwell, commanding officer of the Marine Corps Training Detachment Command, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. “We found our Marines had already received a lot of the same training in Officer Candidate School and The Basic School.”
Marine leadership in the military police occupational field pursued better ways to prepare entry-level officers for their duties in the fleet. They determined the best way to do so would be to stand up a service-specific course. Marine MP leadership used the Marine Corps order on law enforcement and the training and readiness manual to assist in constructing the new course.
“This course was created by MPs for MPs,” said Bailey. “The course addresses both current and emerging requirements.”
The Marine Corps requires different skills in their military police officers than other services.
“Our course is fully Marine-centric,” said Capt. Daniel Burton, Military Police Officer Basic Course officer in-charge. “The Marines are learning not only how to be a watch commander at the installation PMO levels, but also how to be that platoon commander at a law enforcement battalion, which they can soon see themselves in when they leave this school.”
Making the course Marine-centric allows for more flexibility in curriculum and even lets officers train cohesively with enlisted Marines.
“Integration has been one of the best parts of making a Marine-specific course,” said Longwell. “Our officers now get the chance of leading enlisted Marines before they actually reach our operating forces. The enlisted Marines get a chance to be led and become more comfortable around the officers who may one day be appointed over them.”
A Marine-focused course, led by Marines, is more conducive for training purposes and allows for innovation in how MPs operate.
“What’s great about this course is as we go through changes in the Marine Corps, or even our own MP community, those changes come directly to us at the school,” said Burton. “Then we [can] implement those changes into our curriculum.”
Burton said, leaders from the Marine Corps fleet have noticed officers coming from the new Marine Military Police Basic Officers Course are better prepared to do their job and have more tools in their toolbox to execute their mission.