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Posted: 2/4/2001 12:47:59 PM EDT
My soon to be 17yr old son wants to be an LEO and thinks a military background might be helpful. I suggested something along the lines of MP. Without having served myself (except for a small stint in the Texas State Guard/MP) I would appreciate any ideas,opinions,suggestions.

Link Posted: 2/4/2001 1:08:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 1:20:16 PM EDT
Thanks for that reply Paul
I did vist a recruiter when I was in my mid 20's and felt he was telling me everything "I"
wanted to hear.

A note has been made.
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 1:44:06 PM EDT
I was an army MP, and it is a big help, you'll find a huge percentage of police are former MP's.  He will still need a minimum of 2 yrs college, at least in most states.
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 1:57:47 PM EDT

In Phoenix a HS diploma is all that is required. Of course you still have to qualify.
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 2:20:23 PM EDT
For leo experience The Coast Guard might be the way to go. Thats almost all they do these days, law enforcement.
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 2:41:51 PM EDT
USMC Force Recon.  Special Forces with the Marine Corps.  It's a great experience & any LE agency will want him.  Do it in the reserves & go to college too if he wants.
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 2:58:02 PM EDT
Thanks again for the replys guys.(hum sounds poetic)

Keep opinions coming.

Thanks again in advance.
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 3:05:00 PM EDT
I'm in the Air Force.  I would recomend it.  I've met quite a few people in other branches that regret not joining the Air Force.  AF just treats it's people better.  I would definetly NOT recomend the Army.  
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 3:15:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 3:36:12 PM EDT
I'm going to keep replying to this post & thanking you guys for your replys because I believe in your experinces and your sincerity. I want to give my son & namesake (he can blame his mother) as much fodder for a thinking cap as possible.

Speaking of which I can only view this board every now and then when I'm at work but cannot reply. I'm jealous of you guys that can during work.

Gotta go now. But keep the info coming!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 9:55:20 PM EDT
I'm sorry he wants to be an MP.  MP's are almost universally detested in the military, and many of them go out of their way to earn this distinction.  I'm sure there are plenty of good MP's, but I never seem to have encountered one, and I was not a troublemaker by any stretch of the imagination.

While MP's serve a vital wartime role, during the 99.99% of the time that we are not at war I can't much "figger" what they do except guard things and harrass guys who may have had a few beers to many.

Military bases are relatively crime-free, at least compared to corresponding civilian areas.

Don't mean to flame anybody unless the "shoe fits."
Link Posted: 2/4/2001 11:39:18 PM EDT
The Force is with you
A new program may open up 2,500 master-at-arms billets, offering sailors career opportunities and increasing force protection

The Navy plans to more than double its master-at-arms force over the next several years, creating about 2,500 openings for sailors who want out of dead-end jobs or seek to be law-enforcement specialists.

It isn’t specifically known yet how an expanded MA force will be fielded. The MA force will continue to carry out its traditional role, but Navy security specialists are working on a program tied to a high-priority push to improve force protection at all levels.

Called “Naval Security Force 21,” the program is meant to provide added protection at Navy units and for personnel worldwide. MAs might even serve as bodyguards for some admirals.

“Force protection has become a priority for how we train, equip and man our forces to deal with the threat of terrorism worldwide to our ships and our people,” said Cmdr. Greg Smith, a Navy spokesman in Washington.

The Navy plans to create about 2,500 MA billets on top of the 1,800 already in existence, said Master Chief Master-at-Arms (SW) Kathleen McAllister. She’s MA program manager with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, designated rating sponsor for MAs.

In another major move, recruits fresh out of boot camp will be allowed to strike for MA for the first time. Until now, the job was open only to sailors in the E-5 paygrade and below willing to convert ratings.

Officials say the program is so new that no specifics are available on what training will be conducted beyond an existing seven-week MA basic skills course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

MAs now are trained to:

** Serve as security advisors.

** Enforce Navy rules and regulations, and maintain discipline.

** Provide physical security.

** Conduct preliminary investigations, a role that will be expanded.

** Organize and train other Navy people in security and shore-patrol duties, also to be emphasized.

** Conduct crime-prevention programs.

** Operate brigs.

** Assist in crowd control.

** Handle and care for dogs that detect narcotics and explosives.

But shifting NSF 21 from its current emphasis on physical security ashore to one that includes protecting ships at sea from terrorists undoubtedly will add new aspects to what MAs are taught.

McAllister said the Navy is reducing sharply the number of part-time masters-at-arms who work in physical security only during shore tours. That could limit shore billets for some ratings, such as boatswain’s mate.

New full-time assignments could include being sort of a Secret Service protective force for 17 admirals permanently serving overseas, and probably for many other senior officers who regularly travel outside the United States.

The Navy plans to “grow” the MA rating in both the junior and senior grades, providing adequate upward mobility and supervision of junior MAs.

Background on requesting conversion to MA is in a Navy directive, OpNavInst 1440.1C. McAllister emphasized that sailors considering a conversion should seek guidance from a rated MA if possible in putting together a solid application package.
Link Posted: 2/5/2001 5:21:51 AM EDT
If...your son tested (ASVAB) and attained the scores that would qualify him for USAF LE training...he should be able to enlist under the "guaranteed job" option.  [b]DO NOT[/b] make the [b]BIG MISTAKE[/b] as many have of confusing LE (Law Enforcement) with SP (Security Police) as they are not the same.  SPs guard gates, fences, and assets.  LEs do police work.  "Guaranteed job" in USAF means that you get that job, unless you wash-out academically.  I enlisted "guaranteed job" in the mid 70's for ATC.  Once I was half way through Basic, I was sent to a Career Counselor (quota filler) to hear him say, "...sorry, there's no room for you at ATC school, and here's a new contract for you to sign...check-of one of these 3 jobs and you'll be off.".  I pushed the 'new contract' back toward him without checking anything.  I had the right to leave Basic at that point, I knew it, and I told him to start getting me OUT.  The issue was dropped for another week.  After M-16 training, I had 87 holes in my target that should have had 80 (I knew which holes were mine [:D]).  My Squadron Commander ordered me to her office.  The Captain said that I had shot well enough to try out for the USAF Team stationed right around the corner at Lackland, but that this pesky contract would have to be shredded first.  I thanked her and declined.  [b]BEWARE[/b] of these types of games.  
Link Posted: 2/5/2001 5:22:50 AM EDT
The Air Force is nice... :)
Link Posted: 2/5/2001 6:41:13 AM EDT
I hate to rain on this Ait Force lovefest,  but I would hightly recomend the Army. I did eight years as service as an aircraft mechanic and after six years in the civilian world...earn in the top %5 of the industry working only six months a year.

I considered going Air Force, but at the time (1984) they coluld not guarantee a specific job.....just general Aircraft Maintenence.  

The Army gave me the exact option in writing and as long as I passed Basic training and  AIT, that is what I would get.  

I have NEVER heard of any one in the ARMY getting screwed on the option they chose and signed a contract for when they enlisted....NEVER

MP's don't have the best reputatuion but like anything else in life.......you get out what you put in.

....the Air Force is OK if you don't mind being in the' wimpy' branch!!    

Just kidding, pick the service that is best for you and remember you will only get out what you put in.
Link Posted: 2/5/2001 6:44:11 AM EDT
In the Air Farce you will get better food, but you`ll always be a wingnut to me.
Link Posted: 2/5/2001 6:54:58 AM EDT

It will be more of a challenge.

There are Force Recon reserve units in New Mexico and Reno.  It's true that when one enlists, there is no guarantee of MOS.  However, this is not the same with reserves. Give it a try.
Link Posted: 2/5/2001 9:59:53 AM EDT
I may eventually go Air Force - but that'll be when I decide I don't need to work anymore - just a paycheck. Then I can get fat and grow my hair out. The Arym won't let me do any of these :)
Link Posted: 2/5/2001 10:20:52 AM EDT
Hey, what hoops does one need to jump through to get in Force Recon?  And when you jump through those hoops, does it matter where you live?  This is pertaining to reserve duty.  So, if you're in say, northern california and you want to apply for Force Recon, would you be able to stay at that ao or would you have to go to some other area where they have a recon unit?

I talked to a recruiter and went through meps about a month ago.  They put me at field wireman but it's still negotiable since I haven't signed anything.  So what leverage does one who is going in to the reserve forces have over those going in active duty in regards to picking the MOS?  

Someone said that if you wanted to get in to Force Recon in the reserves, you're pretty much guaranteed, is this true?

Oh yeah, I also know that you have to have a infantry MOS to get in to Force Recon.. so once you got your infantry MOS, what kind of 'guarantee' is there about your eligibility for Force Recon?

Sorry to be long winded.
Link Posted: 2/5/2001 11:35:11 AM EDT
..talk to your recruiter, TALK TO THE UNIT YOU WANT IN TO.  You go to grunt school first, then lots of ojt and later more schools (dive, jump, ranger etc.).
Link Posted: 2/5/2001 12:09:15 PM EDT
I know for a fact that the Army will not always give you what you signed up for. Back in the late 60's when any warm body was getting drafted, the standard line was get drafted for 2 years or you can sign up of 3 or 4 years and they will give you what you asked for.......NOT... about 20 guys who worked in the area I was signed up for MP and didn't get it, so we pulled the regs and got a year knocked off their enlistment.
My SIL just got out a year ago, was Air Poiice in the AF, best way to go if you really need to get in.
just my 0.02 Ron
Link Posted: 2/5/2001 4:21:45 PM EDT
Major Murphy has perhaps the best advise.  Visit the recruiter & current unit members.  In the reserves you are guarenteed, but if you don't pass recon you will spend your drill weekends working on passing recon school.  I was guarenteed here in Anchorage, Alaska and I'm sure your recruiter will be honest with you too.  There are a number of units out there.
Link Posted: 4/2/2001 10:42:15 PM EDT
I was an SP(Security Specialist) in the Air Force.  I AM an MP in the guard.  I can say that any of the services can give your son the experience he wants, although he would have the best chance of getting a (reasonably)Guaranteed job would be the Air Force.  And for my prior SP buddies, the New Air Force does not have the SP/LE distinction anymore.  They are now"Security Forces."  And Just for your info, I have beein working in either Corrections or Law Enforcement for the 19 years since I left active duty.
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 3:20:33 AM EDT
I served as an Army Recruiter from '89 to '92.  All branches were co-located in the same one-floor office building, so we all got to know each other real well.

"Product" knowledge, both of ours and the competition, was an important part of the job.  This was the situation at the time:

1) The Army had the most jobs of any of the branches (300).  No, that did not mean that all 300 would be available to choose from at one time, but there was a much larger pool to draw from.  

The other three branches (Navy, Air Force, Marines) had jobs numbering in the double digits.  No rocket science to this, as the Army was (is) the largest branch.

2) If you qualified to enlist in the Army, you were guaranteed the job you selected, in writing, in your enlistment contract.  This applied to [u]any[/u] job that was offered to you.

Since all the branches were located together, we'd encourage the applicants to check out the other branches.  Everything we explained during our presentation was backed-up in black & white, either through our own pamphlets, newspaper/magazine clippings, regulations, etc.; we stressed to them to accept no less from the other branches.

To prove the guaranteed job selection, we'd have him/her take one of our pamphlets around to see if the others could provide a like-worded ("guaranteed job") pamphlet of their own.  It had to be in writing, their own official hand-out and [b]NOT[/b] word of mouth.    

Wouldn't be long before they're back, ready to fill out an enlistment packet.

3) We had an Army Regulation in the office that had a detailed description of each and every MOS in the Army, to include duties and responsibilities at each rank level.  This was very helpful in answering questions about what's available in terms of jobs.

I heard from many applicants how they wanted to go into the Army to enhance their chances of getting into a civilian job later on.  What I'd generally tell them was unless I was going to be with them throughout their entire enlistment, there was no way that I could predict how they're going to do, how the training will help them, or what will the experience be like for them.  That was something that they were going to have to find out for themselves.

To me, the Reserves/National Guard was not the best opportunity for a young person.  Unless they were currently enrolled in college and/or had a real solid civilian job, active duty had so many more benefits and opportunities.

There were more than a few Reserve/NG enlistees wanting to go active after returning from basic/AIT.  This proved to be difficult at times, and there were certain benefits that were lost in the transition.

The important thing is to know in black & white (writing) what you'll be getting.  Check out all the branches, and have them [b]show[/b] you, and not just [b]tell[/b] you, what the guarantees are, and what they can't guarantee.

Unfortunately I've only touched the surface of the subject, and there's too many theoreticals to deal with.  You'll see this shortly ....

Link Posted: 4/3/2001 4:21:44 AM EDT
My dad was provost marshall at Great Lakes and in the Navy for nearly 30years
I went into the Army and was a grunt/medic vietnam class of 69/70...GET IT IN WRITING...with the option to opt out if promises arent kept...
Personally I like to see you go into any branch of service with a mind to "serve" and not be served . In other words go into the service with the mindset of giving to others and not in it for yourself...self-serving people dont make good soldiers or good cops learn that early and youve learned alot...if you just want to go into the service to get the training to become a cop ... got to a tech school and take up police science and go be a cop somewhere...my opinion
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 4:54:38 AM EDT
at the risk of cyber-violent interservice rivalry...i have this to say,

"hell if i wanted the easy life, i would have joined the air force."

Link Posted: 4/3/2001 7:12:51 AM EDT
I was in the Navy and agree, monetary-wise, that the Advanced Electronics Field (I was a Firecontrolman.. a gun and missile tech) is the way to go.  You'll land a nice job once you get out.

As for LE experience, I agree wholeheartedly with Rich about the Coast Guard.  My ex-husband was a Coastie and believe me, it is primarily law enforcement and drug ops with some life-saving through in.  They also have great boarding team schools.

Again, get it in writing.. the school will be guaranteed but don't be surprised if some of the "sign-on bennies" get explained away.  I was supposed to be a push-button 3rd class out of 'A' school but the instructors wouldn't sign off on our PARS.  The really crappy thing is that I was already an E-3 out of boot camp and should have been eligible (TIR) for 3rd at six months.  The school itself was 9 months.  I didn't see 3rd until 11 months after boot camp.  I'm still a little miffed about that.
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 7:30:40 AM EDT
If the enlistment is just a stepping stone for a future job in law enforcement skip the Marines. That way, whatever law enforcement agency he joins will know that he has completed countless hours of sensitivity training.

Also think about why every branch of the armed forces advertises itself as a great stepping stone-except for the Marines. They only really want people who want to be a Marine for the sake of being a Marine and never  promise you a future beyond that.
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 8:01:16 AM EDT
G30 is your name Nasser? Same time same mos.
You got some nads. I would never cop to being a recruiter. I wanted to hurt mine.
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 2:50:45 PM EDT
Tell him to go into the reserve, any branch.  Get the training and the feel then get a college education.
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 3:05:01 PM EDT
I served in the Cavalry(army) from '93-'97. I never met anyone that didn't get the MOS they were guarenteed upon enlistment. The exception might be some of the cooks that failed out of their AIT training.

After my Army enlistment ended in '97 I tried joining the Air Force. They will only take prior service Army if you join Para-Rescue or another SF Air Foce group that I can't remember now. I was tired of crawling around in the mud, so I just became a civilian.

When I was stationed at Ft. Dix during Operation Joint Endevor('96), the barracks alternated- Army, Air Force, Army, Air Force, etc. The building exteriors were the same, but the interiors were very different. Their living quarters had dressers, refridgerators, telephones, carpet, ceiling fans, and more. All we got was a steel-post bed and a wall locker.

The USAF personel stationed at Leanard Wood got daily cleaning service. At Ft. Stewert, the USAF personal staying in the barracks next to us got additional pay because they were not up to Air Force standards. They were the exact same as ours.

On a different note. I dated a female MP stationed at Ft. Stewert, GA. I believe she was the only non-lesbian in the MP unit. I became friends wth many of them through her. Everytime I see a movie with 2 girls going at it, I remember the MP barracks. Many stories. They even got me to go with them to 'CLUB 1'(gay/lesbian) in Savanna, GA. The female floor of course, not the male.

Anyway, I think I would have stayed in a lot longer had I joined he Air Force from the begining. Oh, another story. One time we were unloading some trucks at McGuire AFB in NJ. It started to rain and an alarm sounded. Every Air Force personel in sight went indoors, while we continued working in the rain. We were used to being soaking wet every day. After the sun came out, another alarm sounded. This meant all AF personel could come outdoors and get back to work. We thought this was the funniest thing we had ever seen.

Sorry this post was so long. I had only planned on a short message, but then began remembering different things.

BTW. After getting out of the military I used my GI Bill to get my LE degree. I also got certified by the MN Police Officers Standards & Training(POST) Board and got a national instructors license from the Monadnock police officers training councel. Of course thoughts changed. I ended up buying into a construction co.  
If I could do it all over again I would have still joined the military, but it would probably be the AF this time. Good Luck
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 3:55:04 PM EDT
As my board name implies I'm in the Coast Guard, and have enjoyed it for the last 6 years.  I mainly picked this branch of service because I was interested in Law Enforcement, and there are some excellent opportunities.

One thing to keep in mind about the Coast Guard is there are no LE specific ratings like most other branches of service have.  Primarily Boatswain's mates (BM), and Machinery Technicians(MK) have the most opportunity for LE.  They are usually the ratings picked for the strike teams.  When on one of the large Cutters however all ratings from Storekeeper to Electronics Technician can be part of the boarding teams, after receiving training.  The upside is that you can get experience in another field in case you decide not to pursue LE as a civilian, and the downside is you may be assigned somewhere with little LE at all.

All that being said the Coast Guard is a great branch of service that many people overlook,  I estimate that as much as 30% of the Coast Guard members are prior service in some other branch.  I have nothing but the greatest respect for all other branches of service, but it is great to be really making a difference even during peace time.  If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me.
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 4:24:26 PM EDT
Best way to go, b/s in cj, minor in pol sci....forget mil service, unless he really wants to experience it. if it is work he is interested in, go the route stated!! LOTS of jobs right now in leo...NOT a big deal as far as military training. 4 years of ed. better!  p.d.`s in the south, hiring big time! believe me, i work for a school big on cj`s right now...........[sniper]
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 5:00:37 PM EDT
I've been in the USAF for the last 18 1/2 years, enlisted as Security Police when we were 2 seperate AFSC's. We wore the same badge but Sp's were more hard core while the Law Enforcement pukes were reguarded as sissys who would write their own mom a speeding ticket.

Since the career fields have merged you will hear both good and bad things. All in all it was a good move.

I've worked with Army MP's, Navy SP's (UGH) and USMC MP's. If I had a son (2 daughters) who wanted to be a copper on the outside I'd tell him to enlist for 4 years in the USAF, get a guaranteed job as SF and go overseas. Then bust his ass getting a associates degree and get out.

Check out these links:

Any questions feel free to e-mail

Link Posted: 4/3/2001 6:12:00 PM EDT
Go Air Force without a doubt--I did.They treat you the best,have the best food,less chickenshit and they have the best looking woman.
As far as comments about the"Air Farce",there's a few Iraqi's that might disagree with the term "Air Farce"
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 6:55:23 PM EDT
Tell him to go to college and get a four year degree. The military sucks. I should know I'm active duty. NO, I don't have a bad attitude, NO, I'm not disgruntled. I'm pretty much an upstanding service member. Pressed uniforms, shined boots etc....

Unless he needs some straightening out and low pay for hard work. You want to see a pay chart I will post it.

It sucks because I know we can do better but we don't because lack of funds or incompetent leadership in all levels.

Keep in mind I'm being offered up to 45K to re-enlist at the end of this year.
Link Posted: 4/3/2001 7:08:35 PM EDT
[b]Miss Magnum[/b]
if you don't mind me asking who are you doing pac-fires for now?

Link Posted: 4/3/2001 9:39:42 PM EDT
I will add my .02 to the pot. First I know first hand that you CAN be gauranteed in writing your job (MOS)of choice by the ARMY. That doesn't mean you will get it if you are a complete f**k up, but it does mean you will at least get the chance. I have heard of one situation were a young trooper was not allowed the oppurtunity to go to Ranger School because of logistics reason, was no training cycle begining in near future or something, any way he was given the oppurtunity to go home or sign a new contract of his choice. Secondly, the military especially Infantry, is not suited to civilian police work. Why? because in the military your objective is simply maximum damage to your enemy. You shoot everything without having to worry about justification, hostages,(except Seal Team, Delta, etc.) or any of the other obstacles that face police. I have heard many times that it is very hard for former warriors to adjust to civilian police work. My personal opinion is that if he is wanting to be a police officer, skip the military and start with a program that is geared toward his chosen profession. Oh... and as far a MPs go I have a friend who was one in Alabama and is now a police officer, he says it is completly differnt dealing with the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) and with civilian law. He does not recomend going in to the Mps if you are going to go civilian law later. He said he would stick with Infantry if he had to go military. But if not would just go get a bachelors degree and go into a federal job. FBI, ATF god knows we could use some good atf agents, cia etc. Stay away from criminal justice degree because if you go through four years of school and decide you don't want to be a leo you are screwed. Everyone suggests getting a degree in business, pyscology, etc. then going to federal job. Check out the governments websites and see their recomendations and requirements. Whatever he decides to do please help him be an honest, honorable, and respectable member of the LEO community.
Link Posted: 4/4/2001 1:31:08 AM EDT
i was going to be an MP when i joined the army, but i saw the video at the MEPS of cav scout and went that route. never regretted it, but it did steer me away from a prospective LEO career.
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