The Role of Law Enforcement in the Marine Corps

The Marine Corps has its own law enforcement division: the United States Marine Corps Military Police. This military police force conducts law and order operations in expeditionary environments across the range of military operations. These Marines fulfill duties like criminal investigations, traffic enforcement, emergency call response, base access and corrections. In the United States and its territories, their responsibilities include enforcement of military law, orders and regulations on Marine Corps bases. Outside the U.S., military police authority is designated by the laws of the country, international agreements and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Marines assigned to the Military Police and Corrections occupational field (58XX) serve in one of four Military Occupational Specialties (the Marine Corps term for jobs):


• Military Police Officer (5803)

• Corrections Officer (5804)

• Criminal Investigation Officer (5805)


• Military Police (5811)

• Correctional Specialist (5831)

• Criminal Investigator (CID) Agent (5821)


What’s the difference between Military Police Officers (5803) and Military Police (5811)?


Military Police Officers (5803) and Military Police (5811) are two separate roles in the Marine Corps. Military Police Officers are Marine Officers screened and trained to lead enlisted Marines. Military Police (5811) are enlisted Marines who serve under the command of Military Police Officers. Military Police Officers hold more responsibility than Military Police and are charged with administering the law on Marine Corps bases while overseeing the enlisted Marine Police they are assigned.

Basic Requirements


Applicants must meet the general requirements to become Marines; however, there are additional criteria to serve in the Military Police and Corrections occupational field, including the following:

 • Must be a U.S. citizen

 • Must possess clarity of speech

 • Must have vision correctable to 20/20

 • Must have a valid state driver's license

 • Must possess a GT score of 95 or higher

 • Security requirement: secret security clearance eligibility

 • Must be 18 years old prior to completion of military police school

 • Must have normal color vision. Waivers to this prerequisite will not be granted.

How the Marine Corps trains its Military Police Force


Military Police Officers and Military Police undergo rigorous training to prepare them for their roles. Because Military Police Officers are Marine Officers, they must first prove they have the physical, mental and moral character to lead Marines. Candidates are screened and trained for these qualities at Officer Candidates School (OCS) and The Basic School (TBS) at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.


Enlisted Military Police complete recruit training at either Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, or Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. After recruit training, they attend School of Infantry, Marine Combat Training Battalion, at Camp Geiger, North Carolina, or Camp Pendleton, California.


Both Military Police Officers and Military Police attend a 20-week training program at the Marine Corps Police Academy in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Here they train in law enforcement operations, use of lethal and non-lethal weapons, force protection and first aid. After successfully completing this course, Military Police Officers and Military Police are assigned to their first duty station where they receive additional on-the-job training.

Career Growth



The Marine Corps provides opportunities to grow in the law enforcement field through advanced training, including the following:

  • Advanced Crime Scene Investigative Techniques
  • Criminal Investigation Division (CID)
  • Domestic Violence Intervention
  • Police Dog Handlers
  • Protective Services Training
  • Non-Lethal Warfare
  • Special Reaction Team