Women in the Corps of Military Police!
If they are doing exceptionally well in the State/UT Police forces of the Nation, Border security Force and other forces then there is every reason to believe that they would be doing an extraordinary job in Provost!
By: M S Nazki
The police officer walked her beat with an outward smile and the inner worry of a mother. That is what women are all about. They can be mega assists in maintaining discipline in cantonments and delivering the message in their own inimitable style. I was on a book in which the heroics of women were vividly depicted. In fact they can do it, that is why it is written. In fact I have used three of them (books) to deliver a thought in practical form one is this in the beginning and the other two are in the conclusion. Courage by Jesse J. Thoma. Natasha Parson is a ride-along mental health clinician attached to the local police department. She charges into danger without a gun or badge to de-escalate crises. She’s quick on her feet and confident in her opinions. If only she could convince her by-the-book, humorless partner that she’s an asset, not the enemy. Being a cop is in Tommy Finch’s blood. She comes from a long line of cops and grew up learning how to protect and serve with honor and integrity. Getting saddled with a shrink who’s reckless and brash isn’t something Tommy signed up for. How can she do her job when she’s responsible for the safety of an unarmed civilian? A woman can think her way out with sophistication being the art of execution!
Provosts are military police whose duties are policing solely within the armed forces of a country. The head of the military police is commonly referred to as the provost marshal, an ancient title originally given to an officer whose duty was to ensure that an army did no harm to the citizenry. Military police are concerned with law enforcement (including criminal investigation) on military property and concerning military personnel, installation security, close personal protection of senior military officers, management of prisoners of war, management of military prisons, traffic control, route signing and resupply route management. Not all military police organizations are concerned with all of these areas, however. These personnel are generally not front-line combatants but, especially when directing military convoys, will be at or close to the front line. Some MPs, such as the US MP Corps, are used as the primary defense force in rear area operations. In many countries, military forces have separate prisons and judicial systems, different from civilian entities. The military possibly also has its own interpretation of criminal justice. In Indian Army it is the Corps of Military Police that is the organization that performs the tasks mentioned above but they have their own specified ones which I would be coming to later in the script.
I. Rich legacy and fabulous history:
Every great institution has a history and that to a big one. There are set traditions, disciplinary culture spruced up with fantastic initiatives being taken time to time as the years roll over, the old stalwarts fade away and the new ones join in the family of olive greens and red head gears.
- The Corps of Military Police traces its origin to the days preceding WW II. In Jul 1939, one Indian Provost Section along with one British section were formed to raise, Force 4 Provost Unit, which was part of 4 Indian Infantry Division. Indian section was raised out of other Ranks from 7 and 11 Cavalry Regiments.
*The recorded date for the raising of the first Indian Provost unit was 28 Aug 1939. The Provost Units similarly raised, soon proved their worth in the fast moving campaigns of North Africa and Burma thereby prompting the Government to formally sanction the formation of the Corps of Military Police (India) on 07 Jul 1942.
- It was, however, in the aftermath of World War II that the Corps of Military Police (India) truly won their spurs.
- On 18 Oct 1947, the ‘Corps of Indian Military Police (CIMP) shed its historical British connection and was re-designate as the Corps of military Police (CMP). This date is celebrated as the Corps Raising Day.
- After Independence, the Corps has served with élan and proved its mettle while contributing in maintenance of highest standards in the Indian Army.
*The Corps of Military police boasts of a Regimental Centre and School in the picturesque surroundings of Bangalore.
*While initially the manpower for Provost Units was drafted from other Regiments, in 1963. The Corps of Military Police started direct recruitment for the Corps.
- The Regimental Centre has since then been training recruits to take on the responsibilities of Military Policemen, after imparting a rigorous training of 65 weeks.
*Apart from basic military training, every Military Policeman is imparted Provost, Signal and Driving and Maintenance training before he finally passes out of the training centre to join his assigned unit. The officers in the Corps of Military Police are posted from all arms.
II. 1971 War and thereafter:
- After the 1971 war, the Corps was closely associated with the onerous task of looking after approximately 90,000 Prisoners of War for more than a year.
*The Military policemen have also had the honor to serve with distinction, as part of the UN Mission forces in various theatres, around the globe.
*The members of the Corps of Military Police are the most visible faces during National functions and Army events.
*The tall, smart and immaculately turned out personnel of the Corps of Military Police are the pride of Indian Army during important ceremonial events.
- The first Provost Marshal of the Indian Army was Brigadier AR Forbes and first Commandant of Corps of Military Police Centre and School was Major WHR Dutton, MC.
- In recognition of its dedicated and distinguished service, the President of India, Shri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, presented ‘Colors’ to the Corps on 24 Apr 1982.
The Corps of Military Police (CMP) is the military police of the Indian Army. In addition, the CMP is trained to handle prisoners of war and to regulate traffic, as well as to handle basic telecommunication equipment such as telephone exchanges.
- Their motto is, ‘Seva Tatha Sahayta (serve and help).
*The term ‘red berets’ is synonymous with the personnel of the elite corps of Military Police (CMP), since all ranks of this Corps adorn the exclusive red berets along with white belts to distinguish themselves from other Corps of Army.
- The role of this Corps is primarily to assist Army formations in maintaining a high standard of discipline of its troops, prevent breaches of various rules and regulations and to assist in the preservation of high morale of all ranks of the formation.
- Initially under the British rule, the Corps was known as Corps of Indian Military Police (CIMP) and after the Freedom of India on 18 October 1947, the corps was re-designated and now is known as ‘Corps of Military Police (CMP)’.
III. Role and Task of Corps of Military Police:
*Policing the Cantonments and Army Establishments.
- Maintenance of Order and Discipline in the cantonments, Army Establishments and to prevent the breach of Rules and Regulations of the Indian Army by the Soldiers serving in the Regular Army.
*Maintaining the movements of Logistics, soldiers and vehicles in the cantonments during peace and war both times
*Controlling stragglers and refugees in war.
- Assistance to other regiments, soldiers and their families.
*Aid to Civil Police and is responsible to make liaison with Civil Police, Naval police, and Air Force police
*Investigating Cases of the Indian Army.
*Providing pilot vehicles to Division Commanders, Corps Commanders, Army Commanders and COAS.
*Providing close protection to the Chief of Army Staff.
III. Now the doors for women to be part of military policing have been flung open:
This is something that should have done a long time before because they were already part of the Police and other paramilitary forces. In fact they have been doing splendidly and sensationally well. In armed forces too they have excelled. They are absolutely great at desk work, have the2 tendency to show initiative and do things which at times are unimaginable. Now they have got the chance to excel in the Military Police and do not be surprised they are coming out top gear here too. So finally the dice for them has been rolled over and it’s time for the juggernaut to move on! Some details:
*First batch of women military police has been inducted into Indian Army. It was composed of 83 women soldiers from the Indian Army’s military police by the Corps of Military Police Centre and School (CMP C&S) at the Dronacharya Parade Ground in Bengaluru.
- The attestation parade was a low-key event during which Covid protocol was strictly adhered to.
*The commandant of CMP C&S, while reviewing the parade, complimented the newly attested women soldiers for their impeccable drill.
- He congratulated them for their successful completion of 61 intense weeks of training on aspects such as basic military training, provost training, policing duties, management of prisoners of war, ceremonial duties, skill development including driving, maintenance of vehicles and signal communications.
*The commandant expressed his confidence that the training imparted to them and the standards achieved would hold them in good stead and help them to be force multipliers at their new units, located across different terrains and operational conditions in the country.
The lady military police officers will always be ready with a broad smile and a kind word, for lowering stress in the cantonment as this is all part of the job. I will conclude this story with briefs of two books which will leave you stunned as to what the women can do. The first is, Line of Duty (Fairview Station) by V.K. Powell. What happens when a police officer’s fight for justice conflicts with an ER doctor’s commitment to patient care? Police officer Finley Masters wants to interview an injured suspect and make an arrest so she can move on to the next case. As long as she keeps closing cases she can hide the pain of caring for her alcoholic father. Dr. Dylan Carlyle dedicates herself to healing the sick and looking after her family. She doesn’t have time for dating, especially not a reckless cop who thinks she’s God’s gift to women. When Finley Masters strolls into the emergency room making demands, Dylan protects her turf and her heart. A tragic incident brings them together, but their feelings keep them coming back. The second is, ‘A Date to Die’ by Anne Laughlin. Kay Adler is a hardworking Chicago detective who seeks justice for the victims of murder. She has one close friend, no lovers, and a difficult family. Her life is her work. If she drinks enough on her off hours, it suits her just fine. When people she knows start dying, her team works to track down the killer. He’s a master of disguise and impossible to find, and she must look at uncomfortable parts of her past to find a suspect. She finds two. She’s removed from the case because of her personal involvement and is replaced by Detective Jamie Sidwell, a woman with whom she has a troubled relationship. Their uneasy alliance takes them places they never would have guessed, but their bond is tested when the killer turns his sights on Kay! Any thing can happen in this world but the women have to fight it out. That is precise what their training taught them in Bengalore. Happy innings girls!
-The author is a Senior Correspondent of news agency Global News Service (GNS)