FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The Department of Defense Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, or POST, awarded accreditation status on May 27 to the U.S. Army Military Police School’s 31A Basic Officer Leader Course, 31B Military Police One Station Unit Training and U.S. Army Civilian Police Academy.
The DOD POST Commission is the accrediting body for all federal law enforcement basic training courses in the DOD. In addition to the Army, defense and service agencies with DOD POST Commission accreditation include the Defense Health Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense Logistics Agency, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Pentagon Force Protection Agency, along with the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
Scott Cheek is chief of the Office of Accreditation and Credentialing and executive secretary of the DOD POST Commission. He said having this accreditation means a course’s core law enforcement curriculum is aligned to international standards and best practices.
For graduates of these courses, it also means going between accredited agencies is easier.
“Different agencies have different specific requirements, but the core curriculum is the same for all of those agencies,” Cheek said.
Currently, 17 states also have reciprocity agreements with the Military Police Corps, Cheek added, meaning agreements to honor each other’s training requirements have been reached.
“And that number is growing,” Cheek said. “Every state in the country is going to be interested in someone who’s certified by standards such as this.”
To achieve accreditation, agencies submit to an independent review of their academy, policies and programs to ensure compliance with DOD Instruction 5525.15, Law Enforcement Standards and Training in the Department of Defense. The reviewers look over the core curriculum, instructor qualifications, training development and delivery, and training management.
Accreditation is a cyclical process occurring every three years, and each year, agencies must submit annual reports in preparation for reaccreditation, which is a new and independent review of the training course.
“We look at everything like we looked at it the first time,” Cheek said. “We look at all of the lesson plans, slideshow presentations, all of the training aids, instructor qualifications — we go through the whole list again and we make sure that everything is still at that standard.”
It was an eight-year process for USAMPS to achieve DOD POST Commission accreditation, said Brig. Gen. Niave Knell, USAMPS commandant. She added that she’s “incredibly proud” of the team’s efforts, including pilot programs run by the 14th Military Police Brigade and the Basic Military Police Training Division; adaptations to the program of instruction by the USAMPS Director of Training, instructors and drill sergeants; and the accreditation team’s coordination and determination.
“Everyone at USAMPS believes our great MPs deserve recognition for the training completed here,” she said. “They were willing to do the hard work to ensure that can happen. With over 39,000 Army law enforcement officers, USAMPS is leading the DOD in police reform and professionalism.”
In addition to the accreditation of the 31A, 31B and USACPA courses, the 31E Corrections Specialist Course was reaccredited for the third time by the American Corrections Association Aug. 14.
The course received maximum ratings when audited in June, Cheek said.
During an awards ceremony, Cheek said USAMPS was told “by a very senior assessor” that they had “the best corrections academy in the nation.”
About the three newly accredited courses
The 22-week MP 31A BOLC trains and educates officers to apply and sustain the core competencies of the MP Corps Regiment. Its mission is to provide the operational force with trained, combat-ready MP commissioned officers instilled with Army values and ethics, and exemplify the highest standards and practices of Army law enforcement.
The 400-hour 31B MP OSUT Course trains and educates Army enlisted MP Soldiers to perform specific technical and tactical skills necessary to successfully maintain law and order at Army installations, perform security and mobility support missions in forward-deployed environments, and to sustain the core competencies of the highest standards and practices of Army law enforcement.
The 10-week USACPA trains and educates Army civilian police officers to perform specific technical and tactical skills necessary to successfully maintain law and order at Army installations and to sustain the core competencies of the highest standards and practices of Army law enforcement.