Military Police


Military Police contains information about military police functions in maneuver and mobility support, area security, law and order, internment/resettlement, and police intelligence operations.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 75

31 Spring 2016 By Major Scott R. Blanchard M ilitary police leaders who are interested in leader development, joint assignments, or joint matters—take note! If these topics don't gener- ate immediate interest, then pause and consider the role that joint assignments play in developing adaptive military police leaders or ponder the former Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff's remarks on the importance of jointness in the advancement and preservation of our Profession of Arms. 1 Military police leaders must understand that joint experi- ence and education affect the force of the future and that joint matters maintain relevancy in leader development pro- grams. 2 For the beneft of our profession and the U.S. Army Military Police Corps, this article presents information on joint matters and affrms that military police leaders must rigorously compete for joint duty assignments. In addition to the reasons already mentioned, statutory law (supported by a brief analysis of American military his- tory) illuminates the need for joint Services to cultivate joint- ness. Jointness is derived from "the integration of Service cultures and competencies and requires teamwork amongst all Services and military departments to accomplish objec- tives in the best interest of national security." 3 Jointness, which is perishable, requires the military to place special emphasis on sustaining this capability. Therefore, it is rea- sonable to conclude that military police leaders should com- pete for joint duty assignments and for joint assignments at a combatant command (CCMD), such as Africa Command (AFRICOM). Joint assignments— • Develop adaptable military police leaders by exposing them to the joint planning and execution community. • Provide military police leaders with opportunities to in- joint planning matters that impact the Army op- erating concept and the Military Police Force 2020 Stra- tegic Plan (STRATPLAN). 4 • Offer military police leaders the opportunity to become joint-qualifed offcers, which can lead to increased as- signment opportunities. As mentioned, joint assignments to geographic CCMDs expose military police leaders to the joint planning and execution community. This complex series of interac- tions between people, processes, and programs the progress of the national military strategy and develops adaptive military police leaders who are prepared to effec- tively operate at the strategic and operational levels of war. 5 Through the crucible of staff planning, military police lead- ers learn to integrate, synchronize, and translate "national strategy into strategic and operational concepts of military force employment." 6 CCMD military police leaders generate unifed action in unison with other instruments of national power and represent a "vital link between those who deter- mine national security policy and strategy and the military forces that conduct operations." 7 To thrive in joint assign- ments, joint offcers must learn to operate within a "system of systems" and a "process of processes," which may include joint strategic planning, programming, budgeting and ex- ecution, the adaptive planning and execution community, and the joint operation planning process. Assignments to joint staff positions provide an experience-based context for the jumble of acronyms learned during Intermediate-Level Education, solidifying the interrelationships between these complex processes and systems. In addition to gaining exposure to the joint planning and execution community, joint assignments motivate leaders to apply critical thought and analysis to the main planning doc- uments that drive strategic direction. Internal documents become essential planning documents that, when translated into plans and operations, lead to the assignment and em- ployment of military capabilities to achieve U.S. strategy. As eloquently stated, "The joint offcer who understands the in- tricacies of this system of systems will be better equipped to develop the most effcient and effective ways and acquire the most appropriate means for meeting ends that are in concert with the national strategy of the United States." 8 Without question, joint assignments develop military police leaders to align the operational and tactical employment of military police capabilities to the U.S. strategic direction. Joint assignments also develop military police leaders by providing unique insight into current and future theaters of operation, such as the AFRICOM area of responsibility. 9 The U.S. Africa Command 2015 posture statement outlines the combatant commander's thoughts and priorities about Africa's emergent geopolitical signifcance. This statement to Congress provides an overview of the current operational environment and captures several of the strategic and op- erational risks that Africa presents to U.S. security interests which, according to the posture statement, "[continue] to present a broad spectrum of opportunities and challenges to the United States and our allies and partners." 10 Continen- tal Africa, roughly four times the size of the United States, consists of many unstable countries that possess ineffec- tive leadership and exercise weak governance. Corrupt in- stitutions and violent extremist organizations (al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Islamic State in North Africa, al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram) often have

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Military Police - SPRING 2016