FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – Twenty-nine young adults, ages 16 through 20, had the opportunity to train with members of the U.S. Army Military Police School during an eight-day National Law Enforcement Explorer Academy, July 13 through 20.
The academy is designed to provide practical training and leadership experience, as well as an exploration of careers within the Military Police Corps.
"Every two years we host an academy here at Fort Leonard Wood," said Lt. Col. Curt Schroeder, 701st Military Police Battalion commander. "What we do is help facilitate the training so that they can see what we run our military police through in order to go from a civilian to a Soldier to a military police officer. We give them one week of familiarization of what military police officers get to do as a part of their training."
Explorers participated in hands-on training to gain an understanding of military police work such as protective services, law enforcement and confinement operations, traffic and patrol incidents, and the military working dog program. They experienced daily military police life, including physical readiness training, the Army Physical Fitness Test, field training exercises, barracks life and Meals Ready to Eat.
"It's a challenging week for them," Schroeder said. "We get them up at four thirty in the morning, and they go to bed right around nine at night for a complete week."
The week culminated in a graduation ceremony, July 19, on the MP Memorial Grove that was followed by a banquet.
"What they've accomplished is that they've done some of the best training that we offer here at the MP Corps," said 1st Lt. Michael Leggett, C Company, 701st Military Police Battalion executive officer, "The one thing I think they'll carry back with them is the leadership that they got from here, being able to stand out amongst their peers and also to take charge."
Explorers are selected from across the United States to attend the academy through a competitive application process that is reviewed by a board of senior law enforcement officials at the federal, state and local level.
Page 2 of 2 - Exploring is part of the Learning for Life Program providing positive and meaningful real-world career experiences and leadership development opportunities for all teenagers and young adults in their chosen field of interest.
Fort Leonard Wood is one of four national academies to host the academy biannually.
Shroeder said that about five of the 30 Explorers who went through the 2011 academy here enlisted in the Army.