NIANTIC, Conn. – In front of family, friends, and distinguished visitors, 24 Soldiers from the National Guard and Reserve graduated from the 169th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Basic Military Police Course at Camp Nett, here, Aug. 25, 2020.
The 30-day course is designed to reclassify students who already hold a Military Occupational Specialty to become certified as Military Police officers.
“The first phase is primarily law enforcement,” said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Ryan Maynard, chief instructor for the Basic Military Police Course. “Then it goes into … range time and response to active shooters, then into a lot of field work you’d expect of your combat support military police.”
On average, the 169th conducts two Basic Military Police Courses per year, under the auspices of the United States Army Military Police School out of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic and students arriving from around the country, the schoolhouse needed to adjust its safety measures to ensure the safety of the students, cadre, and support staff.
“We really enforced disinfecting everything, wearing masks, and everyone carried hand sanitizer on them,” said Maynard. “We do safety briefs every single day along with risk assessments.”
Additionally, every student was tested for COVID-19 at the start of the course. Any student who tested positive, even if they were asymptomatic, was ordered to return home. However, as with most military training, a certain level of close contact was required to achieve training standards.
“We still maintained social distance, but unfortunately some of the law enforcement and military police aspect is physical in nature so it required them to go hands on,” said Maynard. “We did what we could to mitigate that risk as much as possible.”
As a result of these additional safety measures, no students or cadre contracted the virus and they were able to push through and complete the training.
The next iteration of the Basic Military Police Course is scheduled to begin Sept. 30, 2020.