Keepers Of The Crossroads
With increased security at entry points causing wait times up to several hours, Marines with Security Battalion are working to protect Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia and other Marine Corps installations, while remaining alert to the unique circumstances of the "The Crossroads of the Corps".
The focus of Security Battalion is to protect the lives and rights of Marines, residents, employees, and visitors of the installation. They maintain order while preventing and suppressing crime, and investigate crimes committed. Enforcing the Uniform Code of Military Justice, state and federal regulations, and mitigating hazards allows all who reside on Quantico to conduct their lives in a structured and safe environment.
“I chose military police, because I wanted to actively learn about the law,” said Cpl. Hannah L. Klingler, a military police Marine with Marine Corps Base Quantico Security Battalion.
It takes three months to make a Marine, three more to make a military police Marine. MPs at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia serve as “The Keepers of the Crossroads.”
While every Marine is a rifleman, and must qualify at basic training with their service weapon ... military police Marines must complete pistol qualification and additional sidearm training, field exercises, and train in low-light and harsh weather conditions.
They train with diversified weapons simulations, and are sprayed with oleoresin capsicum, a non-lethal riot control deterrent, and complete other additional training such as detainee handling, first aid/first responder training, forensics, biometrics and tactical site exploitations, and much more before ever reaching their duty station.
“Quantico hosts a lot of people, and Marines come from all over to train here,” Klingler continued. “It’s really important to keep everyone safe.”
The Provost Marshal Office has a combined force of civilian and military police. Civilian law enforcement employed on Quantico complete the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Program (MCLEP), a 14 week training conducted on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California MCLEP began in 2005, and today there are over 900 men and women who proudly wear their badge.
Once these Marines and civilian law enforcement report to MCB Quantico, they rotate between ten-hour shifts, each one beginning and ending with a watch brief, which keeps the oncoming officers informed.
“We use proactive policing to reduce response time when it’s time to react,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christian T. Tetzlaff, operations chief with the battalion.
These Marines train for various situations like impaired and/or emotionally disturbed persons, escalation of force, traffic court, responding to domestic violence, and active shooters. They qualify and sustain their pistol readiness year round.
“We are always on the watch to ensure the security of this installation,” Tetzlaff continued.
Marine Corps Base Quantico was built around a civilian township, includes a train station, and is divided by a highway. Longer wait times and increased identification checks are just one piece of the security required to maintain safety in these circumstances.
“We ask for your patience as we continue to solve the diverse problems we are facing,” Tetzlaff explained. “We are interested and invested in the people of this installation – not just in a security sense but also in consideration to patron’s day-to-day lives.”