Army Job MOS 31B Military Police

These soldiers defend the rule of law

Image shows a military police officer standing in front of a jeep. He is wearing a kevlar vest. Text reads: "A day in the life of military police: enforcing military laws and regulations, controlling traffic, responding to emergencies, preventing crime"

Image by Gary Ferster © The Balance 2019

The Army's Military Police play an integral role is securing other military personnel and property at home, foreign bases and in forward bases in war zones. The Military Police, or MPs, also are trained in corrections and confining of inmates, prisoners of war, investigations and mobility security support around the world. Their main job is to protect and preserve the rule of law.

The Army categorizes this job as military occupational specialty (MOS) 31B.

Job Duties of Army MPs

Military police protect lives and property on Army installations by enforcing military laws and regulations, as well as controlling traffic, preventing crime, and responding to emergencies.

They provide support to the battlefield by conducting force protection, anti-terrorism, area security, and police intelligence operations and crime prevention programs.

Army MPs also lead military police squads and sections, operate police desks, plan crime prevention measures, operate evidence rooms and prepare operations plans and orders in military police detachment.

Training Information for MOS 31B

Job training for military police requires 20 weeks of One Station Unit Training and on-the-job instruction in police methods in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. 

You’ll learn basic warrior skills and use of firearms, military and civil laws and jurisdiction, investigating and collecting evidence, traffic and crowd control, security, mobility support operations and arrest and restraint of suspects.

Military police also train in non-lethal and lethal capabilities. Operations include peacekeeping, disaster relief and teaming up with foreign military and civilian law enforcement depending upon the location of the base military operations being conducted.

Advanced Training in Military Police and Security

Some of the opportunities available to the MOS 31 Career Field within the Army include crime scene investigator, dog handler, drug patrol, explosives patrol, law and order operations and customs support.

Qualifying for Army Military Police

Soldiers in this job need a score of at least 91 in the skilled technical area of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. 

If you want to be a member of the military police force, you need to be able to qualify for a secret security clearance from the Department of Defense. That means undergoing a background check which can take several weeks that examines your character and finances. A history of drug use or alcohol abuse and most criminal offenses will likely disqualify you from receiving this clearance. 

For this MOS, a soldier needs red-green color vision and a valid state driver's license.

Similar Civilian Occupations to MOS 31B

Although many of your duties in the Army will be specific to that branch of the service, you'll be qualified for many civilian jobs as a result of your training. The military police enforce civil and federal regulations, so it stands to reason that the transition to civilian city, state or federal law enforcement professions is a logical process for many military veterans in this MOS.

You may require additional state or local licensing, but you should be able to work as a police of sheriff's patrol officer, a security guard supervisor of detectives.