In overseas areas, off-post incidents are investigated in accordance with status of
forces agreements (SOFAs) or US and host-nation agreements.
The authority of military police to enforce military law and order and regulations
is derived primarily from the constitutional power of the president.
He is the
commander in chief of the armed forces. Military police must be familiar with the
contents of the articles of the UCMJ and local law and polices in order to perform
their duties effectively.
Authority Based on Location. There are marked differences between the authority of
military police at home and in a foreign country. These differences arise because
of the laws of the country concerned.
Agreements have been made to resolve
An example of this is the SOFA.
recognizes one government to take action in cases where both governments could take
Authority over Places and Persons. Military police have authority over all members
of the Armed Forces on active duty, as well as over certain retired members and
others defined in Article 2 of the UCMJ.
Military police have no authority over
members of the National Guard. MP have no authority over Army Reserve, or members
of the Reserve Officers Training Corps not on active duty. This is true even when
they are on a federal military installation.
In areas under military jurisdiction, MP may take persons into custody, regardless
of whether or not they are members of the military service.
Authority over Persons Not Subject to the UCMJ. Civilians not subject to the UCMJ
can be apprehended for violation of post regulations. They may be escorted to the
post entrance and forbidden reentry.
If found committing a felony or a
misdemeanor, they may be held long enough to be turned over to civil authorities.
Offenses investigated by MP investigators were discussed in Lesson 1. Guidance of
The following are types of offenses investigated by MP investigators:
Crimes against property valued at less than
,000 and in which the property
is not of a sensitive nature.
Offenses involving use or possession of non-narcotic controlled substances
such as those below, and the amount is sufficient for personal use only and
not for resale to others:
Derivatives of sativa.