May’s Hot Job Is … 31B Military Police

Now that On Your Guard is back online, we plan to pick one hot job each month throughout 2015 and tell you a bit about it. What defines each featured job as “hot”? One all-important benchmark: number of times people searched for it on the National Guard jobs board. So, without further ado, let’s get started.


For anyone thinking about starting down a law enforcement or security services career path, the 31B-Military Police military occupational specialty (MOS) in the Army National Guard may well be the best first step possible. In fact, 31B is, hands down, the most searched for MOS on the jobs board.

Just like their civilian counterparts, military police, or MPs, are called upon to preserve law and order. That means preventing and investigating crimes, providing surveillance, gathering evidence, patrolling the base, controlling crowds, and providing security to keep the peace. They also respond to natural disasters and other emergencies on the home front.

Besides its primary mission to serve local communities, the National Guard is also called upon to serve the Nation. Military police who are called to active duty in a war zone support battlefield operations. This could include working with intelligence officers to deal with prisoners of war and guarding senior officers. The Guard’s military police also have been called upon to train police forces in other countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaking of training, 31Bs attend 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, followed by 8-10 weeks of Advanced Individual Training for their MOS. Advanced training includes both classroom and in-the-field instruction, and you’ll learn how to conduct police work, from crowd control techniques to how to restrain suspects and investigate crimes. The Guard also offers MPs additional opportunities for specialized training, such as an Interviewing and Interrogation Course and an Active Shooter Response Course.

The National Guard is a part-time commitment, which allows Soldiers to simultaneously serve and work toward a degree and/or pursue a civilian career. So, once you’re finished with Basic and Advanced training, you’ll have time to take advantage of the Guard’s outstanding education benefits, like tuition assistance and the Montgomery GI Bill. From there, you’ll be able to combine that education with the experience you’ll have as an MP to become an excellent law enforcement/security job candidate.

Plus, as SPC Stephen Strebinger explains in this video, MP training can give you a better feel for what area of civilian police work you want to pursue. He says he’s working toward a degree in criminal justice, and “the Guard’s paying for me to get there.”

For more information about how you can join the Guard’s military police, or learn more about any of its 200 career fields, visit the National Guard jobs board and contact a recruiter today.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

September Spotlight: Summer Training in Indiana

Indiana National Guard partners with FEMA in water rescue exercise

A rescue team member from Ohio's Federal Emergency Management Team prepares to deliver a simulated casualty to a team of Soldiers from the 381st Military Police Company, Indiana National Guard. The Vibrant Response 14 exercise tests the abilities of multiple agencies to respond in the event of an actual chemical, biological, radioactive, or nuclear incident or other emergencies. (Photo by Sgt. Brandon K. Anderson)

A rescue team member from Ohio's Federal Emergency Management Team prepares to deliver a simulated casualty to a team of Soldiers from the 381st Military Police Company, Indiana National Guard. The Vibrant Response 14 exercise tests the abilities of multiple agencies to respond in the event of an actual chemical, biological, radioactive, or nuclear incident or other emergencies. (Photo by Sgt. Brandon K. Anderson)

Shortly after a 911 call is placed, a team of amphibious rescue firefighters arrive on the scene of a lake where a family member is frantic about a loved one who has failed to return after swimming in the lake.

This was the scenario being played out on the shoreline of Brush Creek Reservoir in early August, when Soldiers from the 381st Military Police Company, Indiana Army National Guard, and members of Ohio Task Force 1 conducted joint training as part of a Vibrant Response 14 exercise held near Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.

Ohio Task Force 1, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s water rescue team for Ohio, made the trip to join in the multi-agency training exercise.

Ray Smith, a hazardous material and water team manager for Ohio Task Force 1, said the lake shore operation was meant to simulate what would happen if a team was called to search for a possible drowning victim.

“Our team is conducting this mission as part of a search-and-rescue scenario,” Smith said. “We’re launching four boats with two-man teams in them to search the shores of the reservoir and use GPS to mark the location of each victim.”

The “victims” are then delivered to Soldiers on the shore for evaluation and possible evacuation for further treatment, he said.

Although this is part of the Vibrant Response 14 exercise, everyone on the rescue teams is a firefighter in Ohio and trains for this type of scenario.

“Any time there would be a flood in their local jurisdiction, these guys would be involved in this kind of operation,” Smith said.

Army PFC David Ladd, the 381st Military Police combat medic charged with administering first aid for the simulated casualty, said working with the rescue team has been a great experience for him.

“I just got out of advanced individual training and having this type of experience is great for me,” Ladd said. “I’m hoping to get a job as an emergency medical technician, and I think this kind of training will help me in my job as a combat medic.”

Having the ability to train alongside different agencies like FEMA is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, Ladd said.

One rescue team member, Josh Compton, agreed with him.

“I’ve been with the task force for seven years now and have been a firefighter for 13 and have noticed that over the years we’re doing more and more with the military,” Compton said. “When I first got on, there was very little interaction between the two groups, but now it’s pretty common.”

Compton, who has deployed in response to numerous hurricanes in the past, said the water rescue team is a new concept for FEMA, and he sees the benefit.

“You never know when you’ll be in a situation where you’ll not only need this type of team but also will be working with the military, and this training will go a long way for preparing them and us,” he said.

If you have what it takes to respond to search and rescue missions, a career in the Army National Guard may be a great option for you. Check out the Guard’s jobs board and contact a recruiter today.

Original article by Army SGT Brandon K. Anderson, 13th Public Affairs Detachment, appeared in the news section of

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

‘I Have a New Life, Thanks to the Guard’

SSG Shawnda Roberts

SSG Shawnda Roberts

It’s not every day that opportunity comes knocking at the door. For Shawnda Roberts, that knock was both literal and life altering.

Now, technically, it had been the wrong door, the result of a slight mix-up. A recruiter for the Army National Guard had been searching for a nearby address when he showed up at Roberts’ South Florida apartment nine years ago. Rather than send the visitor on his way to the correct destination, Roberts started asking questions about what this branch of the military did. It had been her impression that the Guard was a full-time active duty branch that went to war a lot.

“I was already at war with this life I was stuck in,” says Roberts, who quickly learned once she invited the recruiter inside her home that the Guard was a part-time commitment that offered a lot of benefits.

Roberts was 24 at the time and had already earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology and a master’s in public administration by the time the recruiter showed up. Even with a full-time job in her field as a corrections officer, Roberts felt lost.

“It just wasn’t my passion.”

On top of being unsure about her career path and realizing the burden of student loans, Roberts was also trying to escape an abusive relationship. Growing up, she’d dealt with a family life that had been marred by drugs, violence, and abuse. She’d gone from her mother to her grandmother’s care, and due to the addiction problems of both, had been taken in at one point by her third-grade teacher. And now she was dealing with yet another bad situation.

“By the time the recruiter left, I was blown away. I had no idea I qualified to join the Guard. I knew what my responsibilities would be, the benefits the Guard afforded, and how the Guard could help me accomplish many of my goals.”

Including being able to shed her skin and start anew. Within a matter of weeks, Roberts enlisted in the Florida National Guard.

“I never looked back on that life. I have a new life, thanks to the Guard.”

After Basic Training, her first Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was 92Y Supply Specialist. She later moved into 31B Military Police and Intelligence because they better aligned with her previous work experience.

Most recently, though, Roberts decided to switch gears a bit. She became a recruiter and staff sergeant last fall. And, because the Guard offers money for college, she also decided to become a certified medical assistant through Florida Career College.

But don’t assume she’s finished her educational pursuits just yet. SSG Roberts’ next plan is to become a physician assistant through the Army’s Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP). She decided on this as a long-term goal during her deployment to Afghanistan, where she shadowed a physician assistant who helped wounded Soldiers.

“There is no organization I can think of that pays up to $50,000 toward student loans,” says SSG Roberts. “This one benefit alone increased my credit score and kept me out of a financial hardship.”

But the benefits of service go beyond financial security.

“The emotional connection you get from training and deploying with your battle buddies is priceless.”

That’s not to say that life, no matter how much it can improve, is without hardships.

“Part of the Soldier’s Creed is ‘I will never quit.’ This motto has been instilled in me. Replaying those four words in my head is enough motivation to defeat any new obstacles that come my way.”

SSG Roberts also wants to help others overcome obstacles. After she retires from the Guard, one of her goals is to open a center that provides free legal and medical services for people who are struggling because she knows what it is to struggle, and how much it means to receive help.

That’s part of the reason she became a recruiter.

“Somebody has always helped me. I’d like to be able to save at least one person.”

If you’d like more information on how to join the Army National Guard, get in touch with a recruiter — perhaps even SSG Roberts if you happen to be in Florida — and visit the Guard jobs board today.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter