Military Provost Guard Service

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Military Provost Guard Service
MPGS Capbadge.png
Cap Badge of the MPGS
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Role Armed Guarding
Colonel of
the Regiment
Her Majesty the Queen
Tactical Recognition Flash MPGS TRF.svg

The Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS) is responsible for maintaining physical security at British Armed Forces locations across Great Britain. It is one of three constituent units of the Adjutant General's Corps Provost Branch (the other two parts being the Royal Military Police and the Military Provost Staff). The Provost branch is the responsibility of the Provost Marshal who is a Brigadier from the Royal Military Police. In Northern Ireland, security at Ministry of Defence establishments is provided by the Northern Ireland Security Guard Service in a similar manner to that of the MPGS in Great Britain.

The MPGS was formed in the wake of structural changes (Strategic Defence Review) of the Armed Forces and the increased threat of terrorism.

The aim of the MPGS is to rationalise guarding arrangements at sites where service personnel normally live and work. The MPGS replaces previously civilian held duties with armed soldiers. The MPGS works alongside the civilian unarmed Ministry of Defence Guard Service (MGS).

Operational role[edit]

The MPGS's duties include:[1]

  • Controlling entry and exit access to a site
  • Managing control room operations and ensuring all visitors are dealt with efficiently
  • Patrolling site perimeters and taking necessary action to preserve perimeter security
  • Security incident management, such as suspicious packages, bomb threats, protests, etc.
  • Military Working Dog services at some sites.

To join the MPGS applicants must have served for at least three years on a previous engagement in any arm or service, including the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve, Territorial Army, and Royal Auxiliary Air Force. They must have completed that service within six years of application to the MPGS, unless they have relevant service in the Police or HM Prison Service since leaving the armed forces.[2]

To join they have to re-enlist into the Regular British Army on a Military Local Service Engagement (MLSE). The MLSE is a form of engagement which is ideally suited to use by the MPGS. The MLSE is renewable on a three yearly basis providing the soldier continues to meet the requirements and standards of the service as well as their being a continued need for MPGS soldiers at that particular unit.[2]

There are 26 Police Constabularies that currently have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Military Provost Guard Service in respect of the legal authority for carrying firearms on UK roads.[3]


Uniform and equipment[edit]

MPGS soldiers are issued the same uniform and equipment as the other arms and services in the British Army, albeit at a reduced scaling due to a barracks based role. Everyday working dress is the standard Personal Clothing System Combat Uniform (PCS CU) in Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP), beret with cap badge, belt (or stable belt) and combat boots. The shirt and jacket will have the MPGS tactical recognition flash (see top) on the right sleeve. If soldiers are carrying out security duties on roads or vehicle checks, they may also wear a high-visibility yellow jacket, normally with "SECURITY" or "MILITARY GUARD" printed on the front and back.

The main firearm used by the MPGS is the SA80 L85A2 assault rifle; Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistols may also be used. All MPGS soldiers must pass a weapon handling test biannually to use firearms.


The MPGS utilises Toyota 4x4 pickup vehicles in white or silver with "SERVICE SECURITY PATROL" or "ARMY SECURITY PATROL" on the bonnet, left side, right side and at the rear on top of a yellow fluorescent stripe. Some vehicles have an amber strobe beacon on the roof for increased visibility. As of late 2013 the MOD bought some new Ford Ranger pickups [4] for use within the MPGS and other MOD departments. They carry the same livery as the Toyota pickups. The LDV or Ford minibus is also used when more personnel need to be carried. They carry similar markings and warning lights.


  1. ^ "Military Provost Guard Service". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Military Provost Guard Service at RAF Marham". RAF Marham website. Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "DO Letterhead (Andover) Outside MOD" (PDF). 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  4. ^

See also[edit]