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The word can have different meanings in different countries, and may refer to:
- A section of the military responsible for policing the areas of responsibility of the armed forces (referred to as provosts) against all criminal activity by military or civilian personnel
- A section of the military responsible for policing in both the armed forces and in the civilian population (most gendarmeries, such as the French Gendarmerie)
- A section of the military solely responsible for policing the civilian population (such as the Romanian Gendarmerie or the Chilean Carabineros)
- The preventive police forces of each Brazilian state (Polícia Militar), responsible for policing the civilian population, which become auxiliary forces of the Brazilian Army in time of war
The status of military police is usually prominently displayed on the helmet and/or on an armband, brassard, or arm or shoulder flash. In the Second World War, the military police of the German Army still used a metal gorget as an emblem.
"Military police" is a law enforcement agency, which follow the Brazilian military rules.
The Canadian Forces Military Police (CF MP) contribute to the effectiveness and readiness of the Canadian Forces (CF) and the Department of National Defence (DND) through the provision of professional police, security and operational support services worldwide.
CFMP are classified as Peace Officers in the Criminal Code, which gives them the same powers as civilian law enforcement personnel to enforce Acts of Parliament on or in relation to DND property or assets anywhere in the world. They have the power to arrest anyone who is subject to the Code of Service Discipline (CSD), regardless of position or rank under the National Defence Act (NDA). MP have the power to arrest and charge non-CSD bound civilians only in cases where a crime is committed on or in relation to DND property or assets, or at the request of the Minister of Public Safety, Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada or Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Although MP jurisdiction is only on DND property across Canada and throughout the world, any civilian accessing these areas falls under MP jurisdiction and are dealt with in the same manner as any civilian policing agency. If a crime is committed on or in relation to DND property or assets, MP have the power to arrest and charge the offender, military or civilian, under the Criminal Code. It is important to note though that the purpose of the CFMP is not to replace the job of a civilian police officer, but rather to support the Canadian Forces through security and policing services. MP also have the power to enforce the Provincial Highway Traffic Acts on all military bases in Canada pursuant to the Government Property Traffic Regulations (GPTR).
In Colombia, MPs (Policia Militar in Spanish) are very common. They can be seen guarding closed roads, museums, embassies, government buildings and airports. In the National Army of Colombia they are assigned to the 37 Military Police Battalions, wearing green uniforms with the military police helmet. A Naval Police battalion is in service in the Colombian Marine Infantry. MP units also provide military bands and drum and bugle corps for ceremonial events.
Each branch of the Armed Forces of the United States maintains its own police force. The U.S. Coast Guard, which in itself is a law enforcement agency, uses a mixture of enlisted rates and ranks qualified as law enforcement officers to patrol, investigate crimes, and enforce laws and regulations on large bases and training centers through the United States Coast Guard Police. The Coast Guard also uses the Coast Guard Investigative Service, a mixture of civilian, enlisted, reservists, and officers who are qualified and duly sworn federal law enforcement officers separate from the normal Coast Guard chain of command. CGIS primarily investigates and charges those in its own population with serious crimes, such as rape, assault or forgery, that fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The following is a list of military police forces:
- Military Police Corps/Office of the Provost Marshal General—United States Army
- Provost Marshal's Office (base law enforcement) and Law Enforcement Battalions (combat support or "field MPs") —United States Marine Corps
- Masters-at-Arms or MAs are enlisted Sailors of the U.S. Navy, designated as Naval Security Force (NSF), primarily responsible for law enforcement and force protection. NSF personnel are led by Naval commissioned officers from the Limited Duty Officer (LDO) and Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) communities, who are also designated as NSF. Additionally, a host installation's Security Force (both overseas and in the Continental United States) are augmented by Sailors on Temporary Assignment of Duty (TEMADD) from their parent units, as part of the Auxiliary Security Force (ASF). Shore Patrol personnel are Sailors from U.S. naval vessels visiting foreign ports (and some domestic ports) assigned to the Shore Patrol Party or Beach Guard, responsible for the good order and discipline of Sailors from the visiting ship(s) on liberty. Sailors assigned to the Shore Patrol Party or Beach Guard Detachment do not include Sailors assigned to the ship's Security Force, both performing different duties while visiting that country, because of the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) and/or Rules of Engagement (ROE). Prior to the 1970s, Master-at-Arms and Shore Patrol were used synonymously to refer to Sailors assigned to perform law enforcement and Shore Patrol duties.
- Air Force Security Forces (formerly known as Military Police, Air Police and Security Police)—United States Air Force
Each service also maintains uniformed civilian police departments. They are referred to as Department of Defense Police (DoD Police). These police fall under each directorate they work for within the United States Department of Defense, for example: DoD Army or DoD Navy Police. The Department of the Air Force Police operate under the Air Provost Marshal. The police officers' duties are similar to those of local civilian police officers. They enforce the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), federal and state laws, and the regulations of their particular installation.
Felony level criminal investigations in the United States Armed Forces are carried out by separate agencies:
- Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID)—Army (general felony crimes)
- Army Counterintelligence (CI)—Army (national security crimes)
- Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division (CID)—Marine Corps
- Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)—Navy and Marine Corps
- Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI)—Air Force
- Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS)—Coast Guard
MP's in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, in addition to their roles as enforcers of law and order on military installations, fulfill a number of combat roles as well. Military Police in Afghanistan and Iraq have been widely employed for such duties as convoy security, mounted and dismounted patrols, maritime expeditionary warfare, Military Working Dog operations, security details for senior officers, and detainee handling. Army MPs, Navy MAs, Navy Sailors who possess the Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) Code 2008 and 9575, Navy Sailors who have completed the Individual Augmentee (IA) training for Detention Operations, and Air Force Security Forces have been widely utilized as prison guards in detainee facilities, whereas Marine Corps MPs focus on securing and processing detainees before passing them on to Army holding facilities.
Since U.S. military police soldiers are members of the armed forces, they are prohibited from exercising domestic law enforcement powers under the Posse Comitatus Act, a federal law passed in 1878. MPs may enforce certain limited powers, such as traffic stops, on access roads and other federal property not necessarily within the boundaries of their military base or installation. When combined, the Posse Comitatus Act and Insurrection Act place significant limits on presidential power to use the military in a law enforcement capacity.
The only military forces exempt from the act are the United States Coast Guard, as its mission includes maritime law enforcement duties; and Army and Air National Guard units while under state authority. Army and Air National Guard troops are not exempt from Posse Comitatus while they are serving under federal Title 10 orders.
The Gendarmerie, or "Military Police", known as the Royal Gendarmerie of Cambodia is a paramilitary unit with about 7,000 soldiers deployed in all provinces. It is headquartered in Phnom Penh. The unit's chain of command is through the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces High Command.
The Royal Gendarmerie of Cambodia is deployed in every province and cities to keep the law and order. Military police in Cambodia play an important role in Cambodia society, keeping law and order in cities along with the National Police.
The Corps of Military Police (CMP) is the military police of the Indian Army. In addition, the CMP is trained to handle prisoners of war and to regulate traffic, as well as to handle basic telecommunication equipment such as telephone exchanges. They can be identified by their red berets, white lanyards and belts, and they also wear a black brassard with the letters "MP" imprinted in red.
Internal policing duties in a regiment (or a station) are handled by the Regimental Police, who are soldiers of the unit who are assigned to policing tasks for a short period of time. They are essentially used to regulate traffic, and can be identified by a black brassard with the letters "RP" embossed in gold or white.
The Indian Air Force is policed by the Indian Air Force Police. They can be identified by their white peaked caps, white lanyards and belts (with a pistol holster). They used to wear a black brassard with the letters "IAF(P)" imprinted in red, until 2013. Now Indian Air Force Provost and Security officers and IAF(P) wear an arm badge.
In Indonesia, the military police are known as Korps Polisi Militer (CPM) or simply Polisi Militer (PM). They are the police of the military/armed forces organization in charge of enforcing discipline and the maintenance of law and order in the military environment and for military purposes. They serve as policing units in the armed forces. The military police of Indonesia also perform duties in the area of law enforcement (including investigation of crime) involving members of the military (even in certain cases that may also involve the regular civilian police, especially if the case involves a civilian), installation of security, escort protection of senior military officers and/or important government officials such as the President and Vice President, setting and supervising prisoners of war, controlling custody of military prisoners, managing military traffic control and marking and managing routes and resupply routes for military and civilian purposes. Indonesian Military Police are identifiable with their blue berets (dragged to the left) and also wear white helmet printed PM and dark blue brassard worn on their upper left sleeve printed PM.
There are 3 military police corps in Indonesia, which are "POM-AD" (Polisi Militer Angkatan Darat) for policing in the army, "POM-AL" (Polisi Militer Angkatan Laut) for policing in the navy, and "POM-AU" (Polisi Militer Angkatan Udara) for policing in the air force.
Provosts or Provos in Indonesia, shortened ("PROV"), secures, supervises and maintains discipline in a battalion or a regimental headquarter of the military, which is specifically different from the military police. Its area of responsibility for enforcing discipline and order is only limited to inside the military complex which it is given authority, and not beyond. It is also known as the Regimental Police in commonwealth countries. The Indonesian Provosts soldiers are usually posted at the entrances of a military base and are identifiable with their dark blue brassard printed PROV worn on their upper left sleeve.
The Israeli Military Police Corps (Heil HaMishtara HaTzva'it) is the military police/provost of the Israel Defense Forces. It also helps monitor Israeli military prisons. At times of emergency enemy detainees are held and sorted by the military police.
The corps has very little civilian jurisdiction and for that reason works in conjunction with the Israeli Police when civilians are involved. The Israel Border Police is Israel's Gendarmerie equivalent.
During World War II, the Kempeitai were the military police of the Imperial Japanese Army and the Tokkeitai were the military police of the Imperial Japanese Navy. They also performed intelligence and secret police functions and were active in Japan and its occupied territories. They were at the forefront of committing Japanese war crime against Asian neighbors.
Today's Japan Self-Defense Forces maintain military police units called the Keimutai (警務隊).
The Kor Polis Tentera DiRaja (Royal Military Police Corps) performs military police duties in the Malaysian Army. Apart from enforcing discipline and conduct of members of the Army, the Corps oversees security of designated Army installations, performs escort and ceremonial duties, and assists civil law enforcement authorities. The Kor Polis Tentera is also tasked with crime prevention and investigating criminal activities on Army property or by military personnel. With its roots in the British Royal Military Police, members of the Kor Polis Tentera DiRaja also wear the distinctive red peaked cap, white lanyard and belt, as well as a black brassard with the letters "PT" imprinted. PT stands for "Polis Tentera", the Malay words for "Military Police". Military police on traffic duty wear armbands sporting the letters "MP" in red.
Since the establishment and inception of the Pakistan Armed Forces, they have maintained their own military police. The Pakistan Army received its share of Muslim personnel from the former Royal Indian Military Police, forming the Pakistan Army Military Police or "MP". Later, the Pakistan Navy established the "naval police" with its centre commissioned at "PNS Nighaban", and the Pakistan Air Force later established the PAF Police to maintain order.
The Pakistan Army's military police is known as the Pakistan Army Corps of Military Police. They can be identified by their red armbands, white cross belts and white combat helmets with the letters "MP", written in white.
The Pakistan Air Force established its own military police, known as the "Pakistan Air Force Police" commonly refereed to as Provost. The PAF Police can be identified by their red armlets, white cross belts and white combat helmets with "PAF Police" written in red.
The MP, NP and the PAF Police do not exercise any jurisdiction over civilians, nor can the civil courts interfere in the operations of the Military Police. In some cases the Military Police Corps have worked with civilian police agencies if civilians are involved.
The American-established (now defunct) Philippine Constabulary (PC) was also known as the Military Police Command. Pursuant to Republic Act 6975 (the DILG Reorganization Act of 1991), the PC and the Integrated National Police merged to form the civilian Philippine National Police, and was placed under the Department of Interior and Local Government.
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Each branch of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces has its own military police/Provost section. The Sri Lanka Army is policed by the Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police and by Regimental Police, who belong to each individual regiments or corps.
The Military Police force carries out the following missions:
- Maintenance of order and discipline: Consists of monitoring, maintaining and, if necessary, re-establishing discipline and military order. This also involves controlling stragglers and refugees in times of war and guarding and escorting prisoners of war.
- Security missions: Prevents and deters any threat to or attack against the personnel and property of the armed forces. MPs also provide VIP motorcycle escorts and honor guards, perform close protection missions and escort classified documents and money transports.
In Singapore, the Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command serves as the law enforcement agency of the Singapore Armed Forces. The Command is headed by a colonel, otherwise also known as the Provost Marshal. Its sub-units included the Military Police Enforcement Unit (including Special Investigations Branch and ceremonial and drill components), the Detention Barracks (DB), The 1st Provost Bn, MP Training School and the Security Support Forces (including Military working Dog Wing, Close Protection and Security Ops Unit). The command also collaborates closely with the Singapore Police Force in terms of policing work duties, investigations, etc.
The ROCMP is responsible for enforcing military law, maintaining military discipline, providing backup for the civilian police force or serving as combat troops during times of emergency, providing security for certain government buildings, including the Presidential Building in Taipei City, as well as performing counter-terrorism and VIP protection operations. The ROCMP are also charged with the defense of the capital Taipei.
In Thailand, each branch of the armed forces has its own military police force. The Royal Thai Navy has the สารวัตรทหารเรือ (Naval Military Police), the Royal Thai Army has the สารวัตรทหาร (Army Military Police), and the Royal Thai Air force has the สารวัตรทหารอากาศ (Air Force Military Police).
The duties of the Air Military Police Department (กรมทหารสารวัตรทหารอากาศ) are peacekeeping, security, regulating traffic discipline within Air Force installations and housing areas, apprehending deserters, escorting VIPs and investigating crimes under the authority of the Military Court. These investigations include prisoners of war, enemy aliens, refugees and displaced officers within the Air Force and designated areas. It is under supervision of the Commander of the Air Military Police Department.
There is one active Air MP Battalion called the Battalion of Military Air Police (กองพันทหารสารวัตรทหารอากาศ). The Air Military Police Department is one unit under the supervision of the Office of Don Muang RTAF Base Commander (สำนักงานผู้บังคับทหารอากาศดอนเมือง).
- Office of Don Muang RTAF Base Commander: (สำนักงานผู้บังคับทหารอากาศดอนเมือง)
- Air Military Police Department:(กรมทหารสารวัตรทหารอากาศ)
- Battalion of Military Air Police (กองพันทหารสารวัตรทหารอากาศ)
In Vietnam, the 144th Brigade of Military Guard (Kiểm soát Quân sự) is under the command of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army. Vietnam Military Guard is responsible for guarding and protecting the Presidential Palace, government offices and army offices. Vietnam Military Surveillance (Kiểm soát Quân sự) is also underthe command of the General Staff and responsible for supervising military laws on soldiers and officers
Military Police Command (Kommando Militärstreife & Militärpolizei – Kdo MilStrf&MP) The Austrian Military Police Command, located in Vienna, consists of the following elements
- Military Police HQ
- Fundamentals Division
- Training Division
- Signal Platoon
- Close Protection
- 3 MP Companies
- MP Militia
The Military Police have three locations in Austria. The Military Police Command and one MP Co. are located in Vienna. One MP Co. is in Graz and one in Salzburg.
The Military Police is tasked with law enforcement and the protection of the forces, military events and Armed Forces property. The increasing number of international operations in which Austrian soldiers plarticipate and new threat scenarios hugely expand the spectrum of tasks. In addition to its traditional domestic tasks, the Military Police now also fulfill tasks in international operations. In Austria the Military Police is only tasked with internal Armed Forces matters. Abroad, they are tasked with extensive assignments. It closes the security gap between a conflict that has ended and a functioning society. A large number of experienced specialists and modern equipment are required to meet these demanding tasks.
National tasks include:
- Check routines and security checks
- Security duty
- Traffic control
- Close Protection
- Force Protection
- Law enforcement
International tasks include:
- Taking down traffic accidents
- Crime scene investigation
- Fingerprinting and photographing
- Searches/investigations/support in interventions
- Detention of dangerous criminals
- Crowd and riot control
- Operation of detention facilities
- Interventions (Special weapons and tactics - SWAT)
- Close Protection
- Defence against terrorism
ce Service is Brigadier General Borislav Sertov.
The Belgian Army's Military Police Group (Groupe Police Militaire in French, Groep Militaire Politie in Dutch) performs military police duties on behalf of all four components of the Belgian military. The group is headed by a colonel and has 188 members in five MP detachments. Until 1995, the Belgian Rijkswacht/Gendarmerie was, besides its civilian policing tasks, responsible for the nation's Military Police duties.
The Military Police Group staff is located in the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in the Brussels suburb of Evere. Alpha Detachment located at Evere covers the province of Flemish Brabant and the capital, Brussels. Bravo Detachment covers the Walloon Brabant, Hainaut and Namur areas and is located at Nivelles. Charlie Detachment located at Marche-en-Famenne covers the Liege and Luxembourg areas. Delta Detachment covers the Limbourg and Antwerp areas and is located at Leopoldsburg. Echo Detachment located at Lombardsijde covers Western and Eastern Flanders.
The Military Police force carries out the following missions:
- Maintenance of order and discipline: Consists of monitoring, maintaining and, if necessary, re-establishing discipline and military order. This also involves controlling stragglers and refugees in times of war and guarding and escorting prisoners of war.
- Traffic regulation: Includes traffic monitoring and regulation to ensure the flow of military movements in accordance with plans. This includes route reconnaissance and marking, convoy and oversize vehicle escort and river crossing control. Traffic accident investigations is also a part of the job.
- Security missions: Prevents and deters any threat to or attack against the personnel and property of the armed forces. The Military Police force protects, for example, the Palace of the Nation and the Parliaments and Councils of the Regions and the Communities, headquarters and classified conferences. MPs also provide VIP motorcycle escorts and honour guards, perform close protection missions, and escort classified documents and money transports.
The Belgian Military Police has also taken part in multinational peacekeeping missions such as Afghanistan, Kosovo and Congo. The Federal Police’s Military Crime Division (DJMM) performs all investigations involving the armed forces.
In 2003, duties relating to refugees and deserters in wartime were transferred from the then disbanded RijkswachtGendarmerie to the MPs. Members of the former 4 and 6 MP Companies were merged into the new MP Group, along with some Gendarmes previously assigned MP-related duties.
Belgian MPs are identified by black armbands with the letters MP in white block letters, worn on the left arm.
Bosnia and HerzegovinaEdit
Shortly after the formation of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2005, an intentional strategy was made to limit in law and multi-ethnic, crime violation in the armed forces, so to speak, the Military Police, which was formed later on and approved by the Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The first documents reflecting the establishment of interior order bodies in Bulgaria are: Instruction on Establishment of Initial Military Police Governorship, dated 3 July 1877, Instruction on the Rights and Duties of the Constituted Local Police Guards, dated 19 July 1877, and Temporary Regulations on Constituting Police Voluntary Sentries and Armed Guards, dated 8 August 1877.
According to the Instruction on Military Police Governorship in the free Bulgarian lands and regions with army presence, the Military Police enforced the law and order in the rear of the army, suspended possible clashes among members of different religious communities and observed for the proper implementation of commanders instructions.
Irrespective of the military police presence in the rear of the army and troops, newly- appointed civil administrative authorities (governors) were given the right to organize mounted and infantry sentries and armed local guards.
Temporary Regulations on Gendarmerie Structure were promulgated after Prince Alexander I had suspended the Constitution of Turnovo in 1881. The gendarmerie became government guard with military organization and was tasked with maintenance of public law and order, law enforcement, and implementation of police rules issued by the authorities. The new structure was based on French and Austrian experience.
Gendarmerie Corps Chief, subordinate to the Military Minister, was empowered to act as a liaison point between the military administration and the other ministries and institutions as well as to take independent decisions on any issues within his competence. Gendarmerie units’ chiefs were independent of the provincial military chiefs and were empowered to issue orders to them.
Drafting of bodies for security and interior order was based on the necessity of mastering and integrating this activity under the Military Ministry. With Decree of the Prince No. 73/ 3 July 1882, the Gendarmerie Corps was converted into the Dragoon Corps. The intention of the military minister was to be set up a cavalry unit authorized to carry out police duties as well. Of interest is Ministerial Order No. 193/ 1882 which tasked the Dragoon Corps with specific tasks on the Ruschuk-Varna railway. Then existing Military Police Railway Command was disbanded on 1 October1882.
The names used in the documents mentioned above, "military police governorship" and "military police command", connote the meaning and sense of the specific activities of these bodies and prove that military police history dates back to the very beginning of the Third Bulgarian State.
In 1883 started a process of purposeful legislative regulation on the activity of the police forces for public order and security and their gradual differentiation from the Military Ministry. Prince Alexander I tasked Prime Minister Dragan Tsankov with the establishment of a new police structure in Bulgaria. Its activity was to be legally based upon the Regulations on Police Guards, adopted in 1883.
In compliance with the Decree of His Highness No. 756/ 17 September 1883, the Dragoon Corps was disbanded on 1 October 1883. Its property, clothing, armament and ammunition were to be given to the Ministry of the Interior.
In the Act on the Armed Forces Regulation in the Bulgarian Principality, adopted by the Sixth Regular National Assembly on 3 December 1891, was envisaged establishment of six semi-companies in stages. Each of them was to be added to a division and to be set military police tasks in wartime. Such units were not actually formed but this fact shows the political will for their creation in case of eventual military activities.
Tasks and strength of the MPs were precisely defined in the eve of the 1912 war with Turkey. A Military Police infantry platoon of 60 with an officer in charge and a mounted platoon of 50 were added to any division. The Military Police patrolled in the troops areas and in the rear, maintaining the order and discipline.
While Bulgaria was getting ready for the war, the Strategic Command assessed the need of military police presence in the army. In 1915 a military police sector of six squadrons was founded under the Staff of the acting army. In the same year was issued Instruction on the Officer Qualities and Posts in the Military Police Troops. The document reads their goals: to maintain order and law in the troops’ areas and in the rear, to enforce laws, ordinances, regulations, and orders of senior commanders and chiefs. The Military Police were tasked with guarding staffs, transport, warehouses and other army installations. They were also empowered to implement specific tasks – crime investigation, protection of civilians against despoiling and abusing, fight against marauders, supervision and control over the civilians following the army and especially the unreliable and/ or espionage suspected individuals. MPs convoyed, secured refugees, prisoners-of-war, military posts and mail, collected and stored weapons left behind by its own or enemy troops, horses and other objects, checked on the regularity of troops at the railway stations.
With Ministerial Order No.160/ 20 December 1916 was promulgated Instruction on Military Police Service within First Infantry Division of Sofia. It empowered the Military Police to apprehend, subject to search, and detain any suspected individuals as well as individuals without proper documents no matter whether they were civilian or military.
In 1923 the Act on Military Police Replenishment was adopted due to the necessity of organizational and structural building of the Military Police. The criteria for personnel selection were too high for that time and met the high standards and specific requirements for performing military police duties.
In 1940 the Ministry of War issued Recommendations on the Military Police Service. Military police units were tasked with maintenance of order, morale, and discipline in the army. The Recommendations also listed a lot of measures for securing staffs, communications and messages in the rear. In the last chapter it was emphasized that the Recommendations were valid in wartime and were to be executed on maneuvers and under martial law declared in peacetime.
The Military Police Group was set up under the Chief Army Command on 20 February 1941, shortly before Bulgaria entered World War II. Military Police School for Initial and Further Personnel Training was founded in Sofia in 1942.
The Military Police Group was transformed into the Securing Group in compliance of the Order of the Military Ministry, dated 2 September 1944. In January 1945 this Military Securing Group was disbanded and a special group for implementation of specific tasks in the army was formed. In 1946 it became regiment. In 1947 under Ordinance No. 523 of 8 April the Regiment was disbanded under the Paris Peace Treaty clauses.
In 1991 the Ministry of Defense tasked the General Staff with planning of the Military Police organization and structure in order to re-establish the service. A few months later, on 5 November 1991 the Ministerial Council issued Decree No. 217 which proclaimed the establishment of the Military Police – based on regional principle, part of the Bulgarian Army, and to meet the needs of the Armed Forces, troops, ministries, administrations, and Civil Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Military Police units are specialized bodies under the Minister of Defense for the purposes of law enforcement, prevention and disclosure of crimes and other violations, maintenance of army order and discipline within garrisons, control over army transport and protection of legal interests and rights of the Bulgarian Army personnel.
The Military Police, due to the required specific knowledge, experience and skills, had become professional ten years earlier before the Bulgarian Army abolished conscription. The Military Police gradually turns into a modern NATO-modelled formation.
With Order of the Minister of Defense No. OX-0082/ 29 January 1998 the Military Police Administration – GS was transferred from its immediate subordination to the Chief of the General Staff of the Bulgarian Army to subordination to the Minister of Defense.
On 2 December 1999 with Ministerial Order No. 985 was founded the Security Service – Military Police and Military Counterintelligence under the Minister of Defense. It was successor to the then existing administrations MPs and MCI.
On 1 April 2008, as a result of reformation of the national security system, the Military Counterintelligence passed to the newly founded State Agency National Security. The Security Service – Military Police and Military Counterintelligence was transformed into the Military Police Service under the Minister of Defense.
The fifth of November has been announced the Military Police Service Celebration Day with Order of the Minister of Defense No. OX-708/ 10 October 2008.
The current chief of the Bulgarian Military Police Service is Brigadier General Borislav Sertov.
The Croatian Military Police (Croatian: Vojna policija) is a part of the Croatian Armed Forces (Oružane snage Republike Hrvatske). The Croatian Military Police was formed on 27 August 1991, shortly after the National Guard Corps (Zbor narodne garde)--now the Croatian Army—was formed.
Parts of Croatian Military Police are:
- NSVP - Military Police Education center "Bojnik Alfred Hill"
- 66th Military Police Battalion
- 67th Military Police Battalion
- 68th Military Police Battalion
- 69th Military Police Company
- 70th Military Police Company
- 71st Military Police Battalion
- 72nd Military Police Battalion
- 73rd Military Police Battalion (HRM (Croatian Navy))
- 74th Military Police Company (HRZ (Croatian Air Force))
- 75th Military Police Battalion
The Military Police Corps (Czech Republic) (Czech vojenská policie) was set up on 21 January 1991. Within the provisions of the Czech Law No. 124/1992 Dig. regarding the Military Police, they are responsible for police protection of armed forces, military facilities, military material and other state property controlled by the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. The Military Police are a professional force.
The Military Police are headed by a Chief, who directly reports to the Minister of Defence.
As of 1 July 2003, the Military Police officers are equipped with accessories black in colour, including their distinctive feature - the black beret.
The structure is based on the territorial principle. The Military Police subordinated headquarters are located in Prague, Stará Boleslav, Tábor, and Olomouc.
Military police officers are assigned directly to military units, and they form also part of military contingents of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic in foreign deployments. Foreign Deployments:
The military police officers serve within contingents of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic on foreign operations on the territory of Iraq and on the Balkans, and as of March 2007 its Special Operation Group (SOG) also in southern Afghanistan in the Helmand Province.
In Denmark the military police (Danish: militærpoliti) services are carried out as independent units under each branch. In the army all military police tasks are done as an integral part of the Trænregimentet,  whereas the navy military police is an independent unit under command and control of the commanding officer of the Danish Frogman Corps  and the air force, as a part of the force protection squadron (Squadron 660) of the air force Combat Support Wing.  Unlike the two other branches, the navy military police also handles installation guard duties (which is carried out by regular soldiers in the army and by an installation protection unit under Squadron 660 in the air force) of naval installations as well as certain military installations in the Danish capital region, such as the Danish Defence Command and the Ministry of Defence.
MP personnel typically wear either branch-specific display dress uniforms with white shoulder markings with the text MP or the branch-common daily combat uniform, with a red beret. In the air force the MP-shoulder markings is typically replaced with markings saying either VAGT or GUARD, but for international missions they also use the MP-markings.
MP personnel generally do not have legal authority over civilians in non-military areas but only over military personnel and on military installations (also publicly accessible places like Holmen naval base in Copenhagen). On some occasions MP personnel can support civilian police in certain tasks, but will only have slightly more legal authority than civilians—similar to the police home guard.
Typical MP jobs are:
- Installation/perimeter guard
- Personnel protection
- Traffic control
- Courier services
- Prisoner transport
The Sõjaväepolitsei are the Military Police of the Estonian Defence Forces. The Estonian MP organization was created in 1994 and is today divided into tactical (patrol) and investigative units. Additionally, conscript based reserve MP platoons are trained in Guard Battalion every year. MP tasks include investigation of serious disciplinary cases and some armed service-related crimes, supervision of military discipline within the Forces, military traffic control and various security tasks. Within conflict/crises areas (Afghanistan) the MP may provide close protection of the Estonian national representative and other visiting VIPs. When on regular patrol assignment, Estonian MPs wear a black brassard on their right shoulder, with the letters SP in silver, and are usually equipped with an HK USP 9 mm pistol, spare magazines, radio, handcuffs, pepper spray and an expandable police baton.
The Sotilaspoliisi (literally, "Soldier Police") are the military police of the Finnish Defence Forces. The Finnish MPs wear a black brassard on the left shoulder with the letters 'SP' in white. A military policeman is usually armed with a 9 mm pistol, a baton, pepper spray and handcuffs on his belt. The military police includes both career and conscript personnel, and is primarily used to guard military installations and supervise military traffic. All military police personnel are trained with basic police techniques and usually receive training for fighting in urban areas. In wartime, the tasks are more extensive and include protection of key personnel and targets, especially against enemy special forces, and surveillance, control, pursuit, arrest and destruction missions. For training, almost all brigades have military police companies. The companies are part of and subordinate to the brigade.
The military police has jurisdiction over military personnel, military areas, installations and exercise areas. However, a military police patrol may stop a crime that it witnesses in process in a civilian area. Additionally if a military police unit is near to a serious crime taking place, such as a robbery or an assault, and the civilian police are delayed, a military police unit that is near to the scene can offer to handle the situation until the civilian police arrive. As with some other Finnish Defence Forces units, the military police can be used to provide assistance to the civilian police when they are undermanned or lack special resources. In such case, the military police may take measures deemed necessary by the civilian police. For example, during the 2005 Helsinki World Athletic Championship Games, military police conscripts and career personnel were placed along the marathon route to prevent the large numbers of spectators from obstructing the runners.
Before and during World War II, Finland did not have military police in peacetime, but only temporary sotapoliisi ("war police"). Ex-police officers were conscripted for police officer duty in the armed forces; usually only the officers had police training. Planning for sotapoliisi was still unfinished at the break of war, so regular reservists could not be conscripted. Thus personnel had to be recruited without regard to quality; conscripts found unfit for field duty for e.g. health reasons, and even those with previous criminal record were recruited, and the reputation suffered.  For a long time, sotapoliisi existed only in wartime. However, improvement to this came eventually: the military police school was founded in 1963, and civilian police background was no longer required.
The crimes committed by military personnel are, as a rule, investigated by the military. Minor infractions are usually investigated by the career personnel of the unit, while more serious crimes are investigated by the investigative section of the General Staff of the Finnish Defence Forces. In minor matters, the company commander or his superiors may use disciplinary powers, but more serious cases are deferred to the civilian prosecutor who will take the case to the district court.
Special divisions of the gendarmerie are:
- The Gendarmerie Navale (also called the Gendarmerie Maritime) polices the Navy (and also acts as a coast guard and water police force).
- The Gendarmerie de l'Air polices the Air Force, it is placed under the dual supervision of the Gendarmerie and the Air Force, it fulfills police and security missions in the air bases, and goes on the site of an accident involving military aircraft. This branch is separate from the Air Transport Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie des Transports Aériens), which is placed under the dual supervision of the Gendarmerie and the direction of civilian aviation and fulfills police and security missions in civilian airfields and airports.
- The Ordnance Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie de l'Armement) fulfills police and security missions in the establishments of the Délégation Générale pour l'Armement (France's defence procurement agency).
- The Gendarmeries non-metropolitan branches include units serving in the French overseas départements and territories (such as the Gendarmerie of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), staff at the disposal of independent States for technical co-operation, provost detachments in French bases located in some independent States, Germany, security guards in French embassies and consulates abroad.
During World War II, Germany had numerous military police units. The primary units were the Feldgendarmerie, which comprised members of the Gendarmerie. Other units included the Army Patrol Service (Heeres-Streifendienst), the Train Station Guards (Bahnhofswache), and the Feldjägerkorps. Criminal investigations were conducted by the Geheime Feldpolizei or Secret Field Police.
The Feldjäger are the current military police of the German Bundeswehr. The term Feldjäger ("field rifleman" or "field hunter") has a long tradition and dates back to the mid-17th century. Their motto is Suum Cuique ("To each his own", derived from Cicero, De Finibus, Bonorum et Malorum, liber V, 67: "(...) ut fortitudo in laboribus periculisque cernatur, (...), iustitia in suo cuique tribuendo.").
The paramilitary Greek Gendarmerie fulfilled most security and order duties in Greece until World War II. In 1951, Law 1746/51 established the framework of the Hellenic Army's Greek Military Police (Greek: Ελληνική Στρατιωτική Αστυνομία or ΕΣΑ, Ellinikí Stratiotikí Astynomía). The organization—and particularly its Special Interrogative Department, EAT-ESA—became notorious for its brutality during the 1967–1974 military junta. Law 276/76 renamed it simply to "Military Police" (Στρατονομία). Corresponding organizations exist also for other two branches of the Greek armed forces: for the Hellenic Air Force (Αερονομία, Aeronomia), founded in 1945 as the Greek Air Force Police (Ελληνική Αεροπορική Αστυνομία, ΕΑΑ), and for the Hellenic Navy (Ναυτονομία, Naftonomia, properly Υπηρεσία Ναυτονομίας or Y.ΝΑ.)
These three forces work together often but are independent from each other. Most of the personnel are draftee soldiers undergoing their regular military service.
The Irish Military Police (colloquially "PA"s, deriving from the official title, Póilíní Airm) are responsible for the prevention and detection of crime in the Irish Defence Forces. Entry to the PA is restricted to serving members of the Defence Forces. All members of the Corps are NCOs, with Officers being transferred in for temporary assignments. Unlike many Military Police Services, they retain responsibility for controlling access to many, but not all, military posts. In addition they provide a military detachment to the Oireachtas (Houses of Parliament) and have a large ceremonial role. In the past they had a role in training armed elements of the Garda Síochána but in recent times this has decreased. Historically, they were responsible for detaining political prisoners in military prisons (until the handing over of Military Prisons at Cork, Spike Island, Arbour Hill and the Curragh to the Civil Authorities) and in the past occasionally provided firing squads for executions (the last time being the "Emergency" period of 1939-1946).
The Arma dei Carabinieri is a gendarmerie force acting as both the military police and one of the five national police forces in Italy. Formed on 13 July 1814, it has been for almost two centuries the senior branch of the Italian Army, until on 5 October 2000 it became a fully independent Service of the Italian military.
With a strength of about 120,000, the Arma dei Carabinieri is a very large organization, including its own air and naval services, but most of its personnel is used for civilian police duties.
The properly Military Police components of the Arma dei Carabinieri are grouped into the "Divisione Unità Mobili Carabinieri" (Carabinieri Mobile Units Division), organized as follows:
- 1st Carabinieri Parachutist Regiment "Tuscania".
- 7th Carabinieri Battalion "Trentino - Alto Adige".
- 13th Carabinieri Battalion "Friuli - Venezia Giulia".
- Gruppo Intervento Speciale.
From these units are drawn most of the elements that form the Carabinieri MP coys, platoons and detachments assigned to all the major Italian Army, Navy and Air Force units, as well as many of the personnel forming the MSU Regiments (Multinational Specialist Units) and the IPUs (Integrated Police Units) serving abroad in support of European Union, NATO and United Nation missions. The Arma dei Carabinieri have gained a very good reputation for the professionalism and organization of their MP units in support of international missions, so much that during the 2004 G8 Sea Island Conference the Carabinieri have been tasked to organize and run the CoESPU (Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units), to centralize the training of multinational MP units for international missions.
The 1st Brigade of the same "Divisione Unità Mobili Carabinieri", organized on 11 Mobile battalions and 1 Cavalry Regiment, does contribute to form the same Military Police components as the 1st Brigade, but is mostly tasked to riot control civilian police duties. It is worth to note that inside each of its battalions there is usually a small Mechanized company, so in case of war they are likely to be mobilized for combat duties (as happened during both World Wars).
The Guardia di Finanza acts as a specialized Military Police force when called upon. Its normal duties include being a force acting in border control, customs duties, and police investigations into financial crimes and illegal drug trafficking.
- Traffic control
- Military security
- Law and order
After the cold war, this has now evolved into:
- Mobility support
In the Netherlands, the function of military police is performed by the Koninklijke Marechaussee ("Royal Constabulary"), a separate branch of the military independent of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Besides performing military duties, the Marechaussee is also a gendarmerie force.
The word Marechaussee seems to derive from the old French name Marecheaux given to an ancient court of justice in Paris called the "Tribunal of Constables and Marshals of France". These constables and marshals were to become members of the Gendarmerie, which served as a model for the police forces of both Belgium and the Netherlands. The term Marechaussee was also used for the Continental Army's military police during the American Revolution.
In Norway, military police are service members of the Norwegian Army, Royal Norwegian Navy or Royal Norwegian Air Force. Since about 2002, all are trained at Sessvollmoen Camp. MPs in the Army are assigned to the Military Police Battalion, located at Bardufoss, Troms county. The first battalion commander and Provost Marshal of 6. division Norwegian Army was Maj M Langvik, the current battalion commander is Lieutenant Colonel Jan Henry Norvalls. The battalion consists of approximately 50 officers and NCOs, and 150 privates and corporals. Norwegian MPs first go through a six-month selection/educational period, before being assigned to the battalion or to regimental duties with other units for the remainder of their twelve-month service. Norwegian MPs do not have authority over civilians, except on or in the vicinity of military installations, vehicles or other property or under martial law. They do have authority over military personnel, including in certain circumstances reservists, anywhere, including when such personnel are off duty.
The Heimevernet ("Home Guard") also has MPs in its ranks. Usually each District (regiment) has one or two platoons, consisting exclusively of former regular or conscript military police personnel.
Norwegian MPs wear a red beret and a red lanyard around the left shoulder extending to the left front pocket. Only personnel currently serving as MPs are allowed to wear this. When on official duty, they also wear the MP armband, which is black with "MP" in red letters. It was previously worn on the right shoulder, but is now worn on the left shoulder, following NATO practice. They can also wear white webbing, or a number of items for special duties, like high visibility vests for traffic duty, or as mounted personnel while performing motorcycle escort for the Royal Family or their official guests, etc.
Army canine units are also assigned to the MP battalion, but the personnel in such units are not necessarily MPs. Such personnel do not hold military police authority, and do not wear the MP insignia.
MPs have no other powers over civilians than ordinary members of the public, except inside, or in the immediate vicinity of military installations. More serious cases, like narcotics, are handed over to civilian police for investigation.
In Portugal, each branch of the Armed Forces has its own military police force. The Portuguese Navy has the Polícia Naval (Naval Police), the Portuguese Army has the Polícia do Exército (Army Police), and the Portuguese Air Force has the Polícia Aérea (Air Police). The Air Police is an arm of its own inside the Air Force, but the Army Police is only a speciality of the cavalry arm and the Naval Police is a unit of the Marine Corps (Fuzileiros). A military criminal investigation police, common for the three branches of Armed Forces, also exists, this being the Polícia Judiciária Militar (Military Judiciary Police), that is under the direct dependency of the Minister of National Defense.
Portugal, also, has a gendarmerie type force, the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR, National Republican Guard), that is a special corps of troops that executes both civil public security missions and military missions. In time of peace, GNR is under operacional command of the Minister of Internal Affairs, but in time of war it can be put under the command of the Armed Forces. GNR is not tasked with enforcing the law within the Armed Forces.
Included in the Portuguese Navy organization also exist two special police forces. The first one is the Polícia Maritima (Maritime Police), that serves as a coast guard and maritime law enforcement agency in the scope of the civil role of the Portuguese Navy as the National Maritime Authority. The other one is the Polícia dos Estabelecimentos da Marinha (Navy's Establishments Police), a small gendarmerie type agency responsible for guarding the Lisbon Naval Base and some other naval facilities.
In Romania, the Romanian Military Police (Poliția Militară) carries out police duties for the Romanian Armed Forces. It usually handles military security and military crimes and it has national jurisdiction. The Romanian military police is organized in four battalions (two of them are headquartered in Bucharest, one in Iași and one in Târgu Mureș).
The Romanian Gendarmerie, although a military force with national jurisdiction, is not tasked with enforcing the law within the armed forces (in contrast to the French Gendarmerie, which acts as both military and national police force).
Former military police organisations were the Commandant's Service (Военная комендатура) and Military Automobile Inspection (Военная автомобильная инспекция (ВАИ)).
(Latin: Vojna Policija, Cyrillic: Војна полиција) The Military Police are considered to be among the best qualified and most combat-prepared organizations within the Serbian military. Their responsibilities include counterterrorist operations, combating organized crime, close protection, securing hostages and search and rescue.
Specific training is provided for members of special units of the Military Police. Drills for Military Police units, from squad to battalion, are based on their anticipated tactical employment, including training in putting down civil disorder. The Military Police Directorate of the General Staff of the Serbian Military is responsible for overseeing the units of the Military Police.
Each branch of the Spanish Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) has its own military police (Policia Militar, Policia Naval y Policia Aerea respectively). They are only recognized as constabularies with jurisdiction over military installations and military personnel. They have no jurisdiction over civilians off of military installations. They are also in charge of the security of military installations, play a role as bodyguards of generals, admirals and other relevant military personnel, provide security services to military transports and police military personnel abroad.
The Civil Guard (in Spanish Guardia Civil) is the Spanish gendarmerie force. Along with their civilian law enforcement functions, due to their military nature the Civil Guard is also assigned several functions as a Military Police under the Minister of Defence, the most important of which is Criminal Investigations in military facilities and vessels, other MP functions include traffic and customs enforcement in international missions.
A second organisation called the Traffic Regulators existed within the Rear Services. Traffic Regulators served to control military highway and motor vehicle traffic. Traffic Regulators also wear a white painted helmet with red stripes to indicate their status and either an armband ar patch with the Cyrillic letter "P" (R).
The Swedish military police are part of the Life Guards, stationed in Stockholm. There are two MP companies, the 14th and the 15th companies. The 14th MP company serve a so-called GSS/T contract (two years of service over a period of eight years, the remaining time the soldiers can have a civilian job or study) and the 15th MP company serve a so-called GSS/K contract (hired continually for eight years). The Life Guards are also the seat of the Swedish military police unit (MP-enheten) which is responsible for the education of new MPs and is in charge of all MP activities in Sweden. Part of 13th security battalion, which is a counter-intelligence battalion, is also part of the Life Guards and has some soldiers who are trained MPs (mostly corporals and sergeants).
In the Swiss Armed Forces, the Military Police is responsible for law enforcement on military property and for all incidents where military personnel or equipment is involved. Furthermore, the military police provides protection of Swiss representatives abroad and is in part responsible for the guarding of embassies and foreign VIPs in Switzerland, as well as maintaining personal security for members of the Swiss Federal Council. In addition, the Swiss Explosive Ordnance Disposal Center is a branch of the MP for the disposal of unexploded ordnance and also participates in various demining operations around the world.
The professional MP units comprise 758 officers and are divided into four Regions, each consisting of two companies and additional groups specialised on criminal investigations and training. In addition, there are two militia MP battalions with a head count of roughly 2000 men.
Unlike regular army personnel, military policemen wear grey uniforms in order to provide distinct identification. Moreover, the MP is equipped uniquely, armed with SIG Pro side arms and SIG 552 assault rifles (compared to the standard issue SIG P220 pistol and SIG 550 assault rifle). Professional MP units drive patrol cars similar to those of the civilian police, but also use Piranha and Duro APCs.
In the United Kingdom the term 'Military Police' usually refers to the Royal Military Police. The Royal Military Police is the branch of the Adjutant General's Corps, responsible for policing the British Army (both in the United Kingdom and overseas).
The term 'Service Police' is often used to describe the three separate police organisations for each of the three branches of the UK's Armed Forces:
- The Royal Navy is policed by the Royal Navy Police (RNP), the members of which are traditionally known as Regulators (or Master-at-Arms if a Chief Petty Officer or Warrant Officer).
- The Royal Navy Police also provides Royal Marines specialising as service policemen. Prior to 2009, the Royal Marines Police was an independent organisation.
- In addition to the Royal Military Police, most British Army units have their own Regimental Provost (RP) staff. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as Regimental Police, they do not have any police powers or policing function, but are soldiers responsible for discipline within their own units. They are normally located in the Guardroom.
- The Royal Air Force is policed by the Royal Air Force Police (RAFP). The RAFP provides not only a full Policing function, but they also fulfil a security and counter intelligence function for the RAF and the wider defence community.
In addition, each of the three service police has its own Special Investigation Branch (SIB) to undertake investigation of more serious crime and plain-clothes investigations, and utilise the joint Service Police Crime Bureau operated by the RNP, RMP and RAFP.
The 1st Military Police Battalion (1 MP Bn) is the field component of the Military Police and the Domestic Policing Unit (DPU) is the garrison policing component. In the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police also performs the role of a secondary communications network in the front battle zone. Army MP’s wear a red shoulder patch with MP in black. In the Royal Australian Navy, the Naval Police Coxswain Branch performs dual roles of performing general police duties, investigation of criminal offences and a secondary role of ships' coxswain staff responsible for administration of ships' personnel. In the Royal Australian Air Force, the Air Force Police perform the military police role. The Air Force Police organisation falls within Security Forces, therefore their role is largely providing force protection and enforcing military and civilian laws. Air Force Police members wear either a black brassard or patch with white SP meaning Service Police.
Service Police is the term used to describe all three services policing agencies.
The Royal Australian Corps of Military Police train their own working dogs for a more Infantry/combat role.
All major crimes committed by or against personnel of the Australian Defence Force are investigated by the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service.
New Zealand Defence Force Military PoliceEdit
The New Zealand Defence Force Military Police (NZDF MP) is a tri-service Military Police unit formed on 1 December 2014. The three Military Police units from the Navy, Army, and Air Force were almalgamated to form the tri service NZDF MP.
The New Zealand Defence Force Military Police comprises military police personnel from the Royal New Zealand Navy, New Zealand Army, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Personnel still maintain their own single service identity but operate under a single Provost Marshal and investigate offences against the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971.
The New Zealand Defence Force Military Police operates outside of the normal Navy, Army and Air Force command structure. The current Provost Marshal is a Group Captain who reports directly to the Vice Chief of the NZDF.
For all serious and complex investigations that are outside the scope of regular Military Police personnel a specialised unit known as the Special Investigations Branch (SIB) handles all high-profile investigations. SIB personnel attend courses with the New Zealand Police Criminal Investigation Branch. SIB have a similar role to the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS). SIB are also seconded to the NZ Police CIB.
New Zealand Defence Force Military Police also provide the close protection function for the NZDF. Only personnel from within the unit are able to attend the Tier 1 course and undergo a rigorous selection process. From time to time NZ Police officers from the Diplomatic Protection Squad and the Armed Offenders Squad have been known to also complete the course.
New Zealand Defence Force Military Police also complete NZ Police courses such as Urgent Duty Driving, Disaster Victim Identification, Basic and Intermediate Crash Investigation with the NZ Police Serious Crash Unit, and the Diplomatic Protection Squad training course.
New Zealand Defence Force Military Police are responsible for all detainee handling both in peacetime and in an operational environment such as custody and escort of POWs. Military Police are responsible for maintaining discipline at the Services Correction Establishment (SCE) which is located at Burnham Military Camp. SCE is the NZDF Military Prison and consists of guards who are all serving members of the NZDF MP. The guards are responsible for rehabilitation of service personnel who have been sent to the facility as a result of serious offences committed against the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971.
All New Zealand Defence Force Military Police are identifieable by the blue and white "MP" patch they wear on their uniform and the blue beret as head dress, the wearing of the Blue beret differs from many commonwealth military police units as traditionally a red beret is worn.
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Media related to Military police at Wikimedia Commons