Warfighter Symposium 2000
John E. Davies
The U.S. Army Military Police School (USAMPS) hosted its annual Warfighter Symposium at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, 3-7 March 2000. This event brought together over 150 senior military police officers, warrant officers, and sergeants major. The purpose of this year’s symposium was to gather and provide information on current Army Military Police topics and initiatives through the use of large-group seminars and small-group workgroup sessions.
The large-group seminars consisted of presentations by Department of the Army personnel, the Criminal Investigation Command, the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Maneuver Support Center and USAMPS directorates, and the 14th Military Police Brigade. Additional large-group presentations consisted of a Central Command (CENTCOM) update, MP and CID operations in Kosovo, and the Joint Task Force-6 Command briefing. The small groups were broken down the first day into officer and noncommissioned officer workgroups to discuss issues such as attrition and retention, Warfighter Team Competition, the Enlisted Personnel Management System, and Combat Training Center lessons learned.
On the second day, the small groups were broken into functional areas with discussions centered on Provost Marshal operations, command team issues, the Criminal Investigation Command, and confinement operations. At the conclusion of the symposium, several of the issues were singled out as significant to the Regiment. These included–
The Army Training System (TATS)
TRADOC continues to move towards TATS, and the Military Police School is meeting the challenge by having fielded TATS courses for BNCOC and ANCOC, with the MPCCC scheduled to be forwarded to the Army Training Support Center (ATSC) by the end of April. The goal is that TATS courses will be progressive and sequential and eliminate duplicate training. Both TATS BNCOC and ANCOC are approximately 5 weeks long, down from 11 weeks 1 day, and 9 weeks, 3 days, respectively. The leadership expressed concern during the symposium considering the enormity of the reduction. Therefore, both courses will be reviewed for redesign to accommodate user concerns, digital training, and the Commandant’s initiatives. This review will begin upon completion of an ongoing occupational data analysis, requirements, and structure (ODARS) survey. To ensure representation of TATS users, The Army School System (TASS) Training Battalion, National Guard Bureau (NGB), and U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) SME support will be requested.
Total Army Analysis (TAA) 7.01
DA representatives presented the potential impact of the Army’s Manning the Force initiatives and other force-structure changes on the Military Police Corps. While DA has yet to announce specific decisions, the symposium members expressed a clear need to continue the exchange of information and ideas amongst the senior MP leaders, active and reserve, to ensure we best present the risks and opportunities associated with any proposed changes.
During the symposium, the participants completed a survey asking for their assessment of where the Military Police Corps stood in relation to the seven Objective Force characteristics articulated in the Army Vision (Responsive, Deployable, Agile, Versatile, Lethal, Survivable, and Sustainable). They were also asked to assess how the MP contribute to the overall Army’s attainment of these characteristics. Their feedback will be incorporated into a special study at USAMPS, begun in April, to look at the future of the MP Corps. USAMPS will use the results of this study in future TAAs to shape the MP Corps to be as relevant then as it is now.
Initial Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) and Interim Division (IDIV)
The Commandant and Directorate of Combat Developments (DCD) addressed the Military Police structure in these developing organizations. In the IBCT, the Military Police are recognized as an augmentation force with the size of that force being determined by the mission. Imbedded in this brigade is a small Provost Marshal cell to advise the commander on MP functions and plans for the employment of augmentation forces. The Commandant relayed to the group the feedback from the Army’s senior leadership on the continued need for MP forces regardless of the mission, a reflection of the outstanding work being performed throughout the world and across the operational spectrum. USAMPS will continue to remain engaged in the development of these organizations, as well as all of the transformation initiatives, and will keep the MP leadership informed and engaged.
The MP leadership discussed the future direction of the I/R force structure and specifically the impact of planned 95B to 95C conversions in the Reserve Component. The leadership reaffirmed the basic concept and need for organizations capable of handling the I/R function across the operational spectrum regardless of the classification or status of the internee. Recent requirements in Kosovo validated this concept. The impact of the converting to I/R specialists as well as the impact of not converting carries significant readiness implications. The leadership tabled a final decision pending the results of a study by the Army Research Institute into the two MOSs.
At a conference hosted by the 43d Military Police Brigade in March, the Commandant announced that the conversion of the present EPW force structure to the I/R structure would continue as planned but without the conversion of the individual MOSs to 95C I/R specialists. However, concurrent with this decision was guidance to DCD to include in its Futures Study, the need to imbed 95C NCOs within the operations sections of the I/R units and the need to look at the allocation rules to determine if more confinement modules are required. He challenged the Reserve Components to ensure that their soldiers who will remain 95B receive training to maintain their proficiency in MP individual tasks.
Wrapping up the symposium, the Commandant discussed what being an MP soldier means and the reputation earned as the “Force of Choice.” Being an MP is not merely someone trained on a set of tasks that any soldier could perform after a quick class. An MP is a values-based soldier who, under the close mentoring of dedicated NCOs and day-to-day experience, has honed their instinct and judgement. They are soldiers who can quickly assess a situation, who understand the human dimension of conflict, and who can react accordingly whether it’s in peace, conflict, or war. An MP is someone who has learned when to be trustful and compassionate and when to be skeptical and firm. Our MP demonstrate this versatility daily on our installations and in locations like Bosnia and Kosovo.
Feedback from the attendees overwhelmingly supported the format. Planning for Warfighter 2001 has already begun and will include expanded Reserve Component presentations and opportunities for the participants to attend several workshops. USAMPS will conduct a leader’s VTC in July to update the field on this year’s issues and start developing presentation topics and workgroup issues for 2001. In this period of significant change in the Army, this coming year promises to hold many challenges and opportunities. The Warfighter Symposiums have proven to be a key component in keeping the field informed and involved in the Regiment’s future.
COPYRIGHT 2000 U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group