they operate TCPs, mobile patrols, and perform other functions, such as
checkpoints and defiles.
They also erect temporary signs to serve as a
straggler control measure. Lost military personnel can use these signs to
find their way to the closest MP element. It should also be noted that this
requires increased alertness on the part of MP in the area of security since
the enemy can also use the signs.
Stragglers are controlled by military police in accordance with the
straggler control plan and other directives from higher headquarters. They
usually use mobile patrols and TCPs to control stragglers.
the situation dictates, as in mass straggler situations, MP set up straggler
posts connected by mobile patrols and straggler collecting points.
Straggler lines may be established. This is a series of straggler control
posts connected by mobile patrols.
Their purpose is to find, help, and
return stragglers to military control.
Categories of Stragglers.
identified and categorized so that proper action can be taken. The reasons
for soldiers becoming separated from their units are many in the modern
More than ever before, a high intensity conflict will be
characterized by chaos. This confusion will create stragglers.
There are many causes for a soldier becoming a straggler.
have become injured and dazed. Injuries may not only be physical, but may
be psychological. In the mass casualty situations that are possible in an
NBC environment, many of the unit's leaders may have become casualties.
There are also those soldiers that may have become separated due to
irresponsible acts on their part. Unfortunately, there are also those who
The most common way of identifying stragglers is by checking uniforms,
passes, or other authorization documents.
In many cases, stragglers will
identify themselves as they seek to rejoin units from which they may have
become inadvertently separated. MP should know what units are operating in
They should be alert for persons and vehicles they would not
normally expect to find in the area.
MP must be alert for deliberate
stragglers who are attempting to desert or are absent without leave.
Caution should also be used in approaching any straggler since he may be an
enemy agent who has infiltrated the lines.
Military police must decide what category the straggler fits.
Stragglers are categorized to help decide what to do with them. There are
three categories of stragglers.
These categories are injured, uninjured,
and those attempting to avoid returning to their unit. Straggler categories
can be modified by appropriate authority, depending on the situation.