Trouble choosing an MOS
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  1. #1

    Trouble choosing an MOS

    My trouble is this: I leave for MCRD San Diego on Sept. 10th and have yet to sign for an MOS. I was thinking of going the MP route, but I've been told by a few people that being an MP in the Marine Corps is looked at as being unfavorable by civilian police departments because they have to retrain former MPs. When I decide to retire from the Marine Corps, I plan on trying to become a state trooper or some type of police officer. Does anybody know how true this really is? I was also wondering what MPs in the Marine Corps actually do: are they used primarily in the police sense, or do they perform infantry-type duties, like fighting on the front line? If someone could clear this up for me, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.


  2. #2
    I have heard that MP's are not looked upon with favor by local municipalities for police officer candidates. Any other military job pretty much is though.


  3. #3
    Ditto to what Haffner said. If your long term desire is to be in LE, then you're probably better off going in as a cook or candle maker then being an MP. But lets face it, an Honorable discharge from the Marine Corps comes with no limitations.


  4. #4
    Marine Free Member Chumley's Avatar
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    sjj87,

    Starting off as an MP will certainly help you out as a civilian police officer. There is no doubt that it will be a little different and you will need additional training, but not necessarily un-training. Here in NY, former military are given preference when it comes to becoming a NYS Trooper, even though you are still required to go through their program. You are eligible for additional credits on NYS tests and age waivers are offered too.

    Most police require at least a 2 year criminal justice degree, that's the minimum ( in addition to any military background / schools ) so once you get to your first duty station, start looking into getting that continuing education underway.

    Also, most law enforcement, and also most employers in general, are glad to have former Marines on board - we tend to get the job done, no matter what it is, so you will be in good shape - just keep your record clean!

    Good luck on deciding. If the MP MOS doesn't feel right, I suggest to push for something that will give you a solid civilian career. Try to round out your background so you have multiple career options after the USMC, whether you do one tour or a career. All / any Marine Corps schools / experience will look good on a resume, and a technical MOS will not hurt you even if you decide to be a cop afterwards.

    C


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    Marine Free Member Chumley's Avatar
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    sjj87,

    Starting off as an MP will certainly help you out as a civilian police officer. There is no doubt that it will be a little different and you will need additional training, but not necessarily un-training. Here in NY, former military are given preference when it comes to becoming a NYS Trooper, even though you are still required to go through their program. You are eligible for additional credits on NYS tests and age waivers are offered too.

    Most police require at least a 2 year criminal justice degree, that's the minimum ( in addition to any military background / schools ) so once you get to your first duty station, start looking into getting that continuing education underway.

    Also, most law enforcement, and also most employers in general, are glad to have former Marines on board - we tend to get the job done, no matter what it is, so you will be in good shape - just keep your record clean!

    Good luck on deciding. If the MP MOS doesn't feel right, I suggest to push for something that will give you a solid civilian career. Try to round out your background so you have multiple career options after the USMC, whether you do one tour or a career. All / any Marine Corps schools / experience will look good on a resume, and a technical MOS will not hurt you even if you decide to be a cop afterwards.

    C


  6. #6
    Marine Free Member Chumley's Avatar
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    sjj87,

    Second part of your question...
    MP's are the police force on base. They stand posts at all gates to the base, run radar speed checks, and haul you away if you been at the e-club too long. Sometimes the pick up your drunk roommates off the sidewalk and bring them back, knock on your door, and ask "Does this belong to you?" That isn't always followed up with "here ya go" but more often with "we know someone who is particularly interested in this, and we'll bring him back later....maybe." sorry - another flashback.

    Very often the MP's will deploy just as any other MOS will. They may do any number of Marine tasks...standard MP stuff usually, but every Marine is a rifleman first, and depending on the unit you are attached to and your location, just about anything is possible.


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    Marine Platinum Member Zulu 36's Avatar
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    sjj87,

    I was an MP and I am retired police officer (deputy police chief).

    Some police departments do not like to hire former MPs. The "retraining" is not really the issue. Military MP training is generally not accepted as "basic police training" in most, if not all, states. You would have to go to the same academy as a former Marine cook, or some mook off the street with no military background. So the "retraining" part is really a non-issue. They have to "retrain" you regardless.

    The laws are different, some procedures are different. But not so out of line as a certified police officer moving from, say, Michigan to Florida. You still have to learn new laws and procedures (although not necessarily attend a full academy again).

    Probably the PDs who do not like former MPs had a bad experience with one or two who had an inability to adjust to civilian law enforcement. Military police have authorities that civilian police do not have. For example, MPs can arrest someone for being disrespectful (or i.e., contempt of cop), but civilian police officers cannot. MPs can arrest for someone not following a lawful order to, say, shut up. Civilian police cannot except under certain additional conditions. In essence, MPs (particularly in the Corps) more strictly enforce military law than most civilian PDs enforce civilian law.

    My old department would, and still will, hire former MPs in a heart beat if they were otherwise fully qualified. We had some very good former MPs (all branches) on my department. Even one ex-Navy signalman.


  8. #8
    Thanks to everyone for the advice.


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