720th MP Battalion
The Military Police Corps is one of the youngest branches of the United States Army. It was officially established on 26 September 1941. It’s traditions of duty and service are unsurpassed in our armed services. Soldiers have been performing police duties from the time of the Revolutionary War, when these duties were assigned mainly to a mounted police force called the “troops of the Marechaussee”. Soldiers as the Veteran’s Reserve Corps and Provost Corps performed military police duties during the Civil War. MPs served with distinction in the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, the Korean Conflict, and in Vietnam. As a result of their distinguished service in Vietnam, the Military Police Corps was designated a combat support and service of the Army on 14 October 1968.
Since Vietnam, the versatility of the Military Police Corps has made it a “Force of Choice” for use in Low Intensity Conflicts and Operations Other Than War in which our nation has been involved, such as Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada and Just Cause in Panama. During Operations Desert Shield and Storm, the Military Police provided Area Security, conducted Battlefield Circulation Control, and exercised custody over thousands of Iraqi prisoners. Since 1991, the Military Police has assisted in restoring hope to Somalia and upholding democracy in Haiti. Military Police are maintaining order in war-torn Bosnia, as well as conducting patrols, operating checkpoints, and conducting investigations in an effort to keep the peace in Kosovo. At home, they have been busy providing disaster relief, quelling prison unrest, and combating urban riots while still fulfilling their fundamental function of maintaining discipline and security within the Army. The Military Police Corps has been a very busy organization during the fifty-seven years of its existence, and as one of the most deployed branches of the service, it appears that it will remain so for the foreseeable future. The Military Police Corps is indeed a “21st Century Force on the Move”.