The military police are similar to civilian police officers. In garrison, the military police keep law and order. Garrison is defined as a military post or installation for those not familiar with the term. While deployed or in the field, military police assist with patrols, security, discipline and enforcing laws on military property, as well as battlefield circulation. During combat operations, the military police operate under a different mandate. They are then under combat operations rather than law enforcement directives. Each branch of service has its own law enforcement division. The United States (US) Army and US Marines use the term military police (MP) to designate their law enforcement personnel. The Air Force and Space Force refer to their law enforcement as Security Force (SF). From 1942 to 1948, the Air Force used the same terminology as the US Army, referring to them as military police. In 1948, the name was changed to Air Police. This stayed until 1966 when the Air Force started calling their law enforcement Security Police. In 1997, the name was changed to Security Forces. After the American Revolutionary War, the US Navy designated their law enforcement as Master-At-Arms, and it has remained that way ever since. It is in fact one of the oldest ratings in today’s modern US Navy. The Coast Guard law enforcement is the Maritime Law Enforcement Specialist.
This week we salute someone near and dear to me, my husband of 31 years, Stephen Dickerson. Steve enlisted from his home state of West Virginia in 1983. He went to Ft McClellan for his Advanced Individual Training (AIT) to become a MP. During his ten years of service, he was stationed in Germany, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, Panama, Fort Hood (now known as Fort Cavazos), and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He then became a San Antonio, Texas police officer where he worked protecting the citizens of San Antonio for 23 years before retiring from law enforcement. If you ask him, he will probably tell you he couldn’t get to Montana quick enough. He enjoys shooting the Quigley every year. What he doesn’t enjoy is building.
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Dr. Irene Dickerson is a retired Army Colonel living her best life in Big Sky Country.