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.

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59 Spring 2016 This event, which drew crowds of more than 1,000 people, was secured by a combination of local forces, federal police, private security personnel, and Romanian and U.S. military police soldiers. Such large crowds increased the probability of pro-Russian intelligence collection and petty theft. A mix of static overwatch positions and walking patrols helped deter this threat and also served as a visible depiction of the partnership and interoperability that the event was de- signed to promote. As the last large engagement of Operation Cavalry Ride, the event in Brasov culminated a military police partnership that had begun 2 weeks earlier. Working groups, confer- ences, and rehearsal-of-concept drills may have formalized the relationship, but the true bonding occurred over shared meals and long hours spent on the road. Two combined re- connaissance missions helped the Romanian military police escorts and their U.S. counterparts become familiar with the convoy routes and taught them to appreciate the other's capabilities. The U.S. Soldiers learned that the Romanian military operates with a much-reduced notion of command authority, recruits locally for units (much like the U.S. Army National Guard), and has only recently begun integrating women into its ranks. Funding and training time are shared struggles. The experience also taught the U.S. platoon how to better leverage the military police skill set to become bet- ter, more effcient team players. The lessons learned for leaders include— • Encourage face-to-face contact. Interpersonal skills are often the frst and best tool when working the road, and the same is true when building relationships with Romanian partners. The time spent driving and drink- ing coffee together created a level of honesty, trust, and comfort that Soldiers later relied on during the mission. These relationships were built as much on conversations about music and pets as they were on discussions about vehicle clearances and access control. • Build interoperability within U.S. units. Teamwork between the military police platoon and its 2d Cavalry Regiment operational control unit did not constitute MFI, but it was certainly a prerequisite. Nearly all military police teams worked with a different convoy commander and frst sergeant. These teams were often required to represent their respective commanders when communi- cating with Romanian escort patrols, so understanding leadership styles and intent was imperative. Likewise, information gained from partnering with the Romanians would have been useless if the 709th Military Police Bat- talion staff representatives had not invested an equal amount of time building relationships among 2d Cavalry Regiment staff who could use the information. • Become an information asset. Having small units dis- persed throughout the formation and integrated at many points across a complex timeline means that an offcer in charge can either settle on being a fgurehead or be- come a valuable resource for decisionmakers. With a ro- bust and redundant communication plan, isolated teams transform into the eyes, ears, and voices across the opera- tional area. Combined with an open link to a similar net- work of host nation law enforcement, the offcer in charge will have the most current and complete picture, be able to anticipate decision points before they arise, and be able to articulate them to U.S. battle captains and host nation commanders. • Empower team leaders. As frst responders, military police Soldiers are accustomed to operating alone or in small teams, interacting with high-ranking personnel, and acting decisively—even when all of the details have not yet developed. This should be encouraged by involv- ing junior leaders in as many battle rhythm events as possible and informing them about more mission details than might otherwise be shared. • Learn the strengths and weaknesses of subordi- nates. An offcer must know the strengths and weak- nesses of subordinates when organizing teams. Infantry leaders would undoubtedly appreciate an unassuming and dependable military police team that knows what needs to be done without being told. However, when a language barrier exists, consideration should be given to using team leaders with outgoing personalities as a way to overcome the barrier. Kindness reads well in any lan- guage. One U.S. military police Soldier on the mission brought cold drinks for a pair of Romanian security per- sonnel when he was sent to join their rooftop observation post in Ploiesti. That simple gesture solidifed a relation- ship that might have otherwise never been made. The success of military police support to Operation Cav- alry March suggests that the military police skill set makes U.S. military police Soldiers uniquely interoperable; adapt- able to modular confgurations; and able to build coherence, effectiveness, and effciency in combined environments. One Soldier said that the mission reversed her recent decision not to reenlist. She joined the Military Police Corps because of a strong desire to help people, but she had begun to question whether she was making a difference. During this mission, she met Romanian citizens and service members who were happy not only to see U.S. Soldiers, but to see U.S. Soldiers so willing and able to work with Romanian partners. She did not need to use the buzzword interoperability to learn frsthand about the importance of the concept it describes. Endnotes: 1 Army Regulation 34-1, Multinational Force Interoperability, 10 July 2015. 2 NATO Allied Administration Publication-06, NATO Glossa- , 1 April 2008. 3 Ibid. First Lieutenant Miller is a platoon leader in the 615th Military Police Battalion, Grafenwoehr, She holds a bachelor's degree in English Princ- eton University, Princeton, New Jersey.

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