Soldiers participating in phase two of the military police occupational specialty course being conducted at Fort Custer Training Center in Augusta, Mich., completed their field training exercise requirement for graduation on May 12, 2016. Thirty Soldiers comprised of units from National Guard, Army Reserve and active-duty, participated in the FTX.
During the FTX, Soldiers were tested on their abilities to act as personal security detail, operate a check point and conduct military operations in urban terrain.
“The FTX tests the Soldiers’ abilities to come together as a team and complete the lanes. The students were matched up with their team less than 24 hours before the start of the FTX,” said Lt. Col. Mike Shoen, commander of the 1st Battalion, 177th Regiment, Regional Training Institute at FCTC.
The majority of the Soldiers preparing to complete phase two of the 31B course started three weeks ago with the phase one course. Although it is not a requirement for the Soldiers to complete both phases back-to-back, most of them have chosen to do so. Others, joined the phase two group after having completed phase one last year.
During phase one of the program, Soldiers are taught basic police functions. They learn how to respond to domestic violence and medical emergencies, investigate traffic accidents, perform gate security and how to properly fill out reports.
Phase two of the program starts with training Soldiers on how to react to an active-shooter threat. The most difficult portion of the phase is testing the students on their ability to qualify with the Beretta M9. Phase two also gives introduction to the MK19 grenade launcher and the M2 machine gun, to include familiarization fires on the EST 2000 virtual and immersive training system. Soldiers are also given instruction on how to conduct convoy operations while performing as a personal security detail.
This training program couldn’t be completed without the program’s dedicated instructors. Those interested in becoming an instructor must meet the following requirements; minimum of three years as an MP, must be an E6 or E5 promotable and have experience as a team or squad leader. Currently, there are three vacancies at the 31B course for instructors.
“Our goal is to find Soldiers we can utilize as instructors for three to five years before sending them back to their units as subject matter experts,” Shoen added.
Soldiers from this course graduated May 14, 2016 at the FCTC chapel.