FOREIGN MP BRASSARDS



The brassard is often the most distinctive dress item of a Military Policeman on duty.

Usually worn on the upper arm, the origin of the brassard is supposedly to have been linked to military units used as police during the Indian Mutiny. It was during the Mutiny that certain units tied red cloth around their upper right arms in order to distinguish themselves from the mutineers.

In general, countries that drive on the left hand side of the road wear the brassard on the right arm, whilst those that use the right hand side of the road use the left arm. For example, the Royal Military Police wear the brassard on the right arm, and the US Army Military Police Corps use the left arm.



  Australia
The Royal Australian Corps of Military Police wear three different types of brassard, all worn on the right sleeve.
The first brassard is similar in size and colour to the British RMP brasssard, and is fastened by velcro. This is called the winter armband as it is only used when wearing pullovers or dress jackets in Southern Australia during the colder months.
The second is called a Polyester Armband. This is made of two parts. The lower part is red reinforced cotton/polyester which is sewn onto the upper support which is light khaki coloured cotton/polyester. The lower section has the black letters MP while the upper, until recently, was where the wearers rank was sewn. The extension has a slit in it to slip the shoulder strap through, securing it to the uniform. It has a velcro closure to secure it to the arm.
The third brassard is made of black cotton with red MP embroidered letters towards the bottom and with a Disruptive Pattern Camouflage Uniform (DPCU) rank patch above them. This is referred to as the field armband and is only worn with DPCU.


Belgium
Formerly the Gendarmerie (National Police) provided police services to the Belgium Army. This service is now being provided by an established Belgium Army military police force, who wear a brassard similar to the US Army brassard. The Belgium Police Militaire use a flaming grenade as their corps insignia.


Canada
Military Police from the Canadian Armed Forces Security Branch wear a bilingual brassard. It consists of three horizontal lines of lettering, "MILITARY POLICE MILITAIRE", the first two lines being English and the last two lines being French. The brassard is used for garrison and routine operations. For garrison duty the lettering is white on a black background.
For NATO operations Canadian MP's still use the brassard illustrated at left.


Denmark
The Royal Danish Military Police (Militaerpoliti) wear a brassard similar to the NATO white lettering on a black background. They are also distinguished by a lanyard worn on the right shoulder. This is green for field/combat dress and white for service dress. The Danish Military Police also wear a distinctive red beret.


Sotilaspoliisi 
Finland
Until recently the Finnish Sotilaspoliisi ("Military Police" in Finnish) did not wear a brassard, but wore a patch over the left breast pcket with the word "SOTILASPOLIISI". They also wore a patch with the letters SP on both sleeves at the shoulder.

In addition the Finnish military police wear a sword-and-lion's-head emblem that is officially the Finnish National Police emblem. It is used as the military occupation badge on the dress uniform.

Today Finish MP's wear a neon-yellow vest with a patch on the left breast with the text "SOLITASPOLIITI" or "MILITÄRPOLIS". The latter is primarily used by the Swedish-speaking brigade in Southern Finland. On the back of vest in large text is found "SOTILASPOLIITI". This vest is only worn together with the brassard at he brigades.


A brassard, similar to the US military police brassard, but with the letters SP, is now worn. The rank insignia of the bearer is worn above the SP text of the brassard.
(Source: Matti-Pekka Heikura and Filip Norrård, Finland)


Gendarmerie Nationale ?
France
The French National Police (Gendarmerie Nationale) provide police services to the French army outside of France. When detailed to this duty they are called the Prevote (Provost). One photograph has been seen where a brassard has been worn. It is not known whether this is common.
Police Militaire ? In addition, Police Militaire units are detailed within the army to perform police duties on a regimental basis within France. These units wear various brassards in regimental colours.


Germany
The "Feldjager" of the Federal Republic of Germany use a white brassard similar in size to the US brassard. In black lettering is "FELDJAGER", the German term for "field hunter," which is their name for military police. Centered above the title is the German flag.


Pre-1940 brassard

1940-1968 brassard

Post 1968 brassard

Camouflage brassard

Great Britain
The British brassard for the Corps of Royal Military Police is relatively unchanged from that used in World War I when red letters on a dark blue background was used by the Corps of Military Police. During 1940 the background changed to a black background. It is somewhat smaller than a US brassard. In 1968 the colors were reversed from red lettering on black felt and is now of red felt material and 3.5 inches in height, with black lettering, 1.5 inches in height.

During the Falklands War, and on other occasions, a camoflaged brassard like that illustrated to the left have been seen. During the Falklands conflict these were worn by members of 160 Provost Company based in Aldershot.

The British Army also maintains Regimental Police who wear a variety of brassards bearing the letters "RP."



Greece
The Greek Military Police - "Stratonomia" wears the brassard illustrated.


Ireland
Established in 1924, the Republic of Eire military police, the An Cor Poilini Airm, wear a green brassard with white letters "MP".


Israel
The Israeli Defense Forces use a white brassard similar in size to the US brassard. The red lettering, in Hebrew, states "MEM TZADEH" which are the first two letters for MISTARAH TZA-IT (MISHTARAH TZA-IT), Hebrew for military police. Israeli military police use a small strip of cloth, that hangs down from the shoulder strap, to indicate the unit to which they are assigned. This type of identification is used by all Israeli soldiers.


Italy
The para-military National Police (L'arma dei Carabinieri) provide military police services, through their Organizzazione de Polizia Militare, to the Italian Army. When detailed to this duty they wear a brassard similar to the US, but with the carabinieri grenade symbol above the letters MP. The Carabinieri symbol is a flaming grenade, a symbol which dates back to the 1800's. The flaming grenade is a symbol commonly used for European law enforcement


Mexico
A sample of one type of Mexican Army brassard. The brassard is similar in size and shape to the US brassard. A white outline and different coloring (in this case green) is used. The letters PM stand for "POLICÍA MILITAR," Spanish for military police.

This same type of brassard is worn by military police from various Central and South American countries, but generally with white letters on a blue-black brassard, similar to the US brassard.



Netherlands
The Royal Military Constabulary (Koninklijke Marechaussee) was formed in 1814. They use a brassard similar to the pre-1956 US Army brassard with white lettering on blue cloth.


NATO
National Military Police that are formed into Combined Military Police Patrols wear their own national uniforms with a unique NATO brassard. This brassard uses the letters MP in white between the NATO star.


Norway
The Norwegian Militaerpolitiet wear a brassard with red lettering on black.
When they are deployed on NATO missions they also use a reflective brassard that is reversible to camouflage on the other side.

  Portugal
Although they were formed earlier, the Portugese Army Polícia Militar expanded dramatically in 1950. Portugese MP companies and platoons were assigned to combat duties in Angola, Mozambique and Guine Bissau. In 1975 these provinces, along with Cabo Verde, S. Tome and the Principe Islands were granted independence.

In 1976 the Portugese army MP's had their name changed to Polícia do Exército, which means "Army Police."

There are also two other military police forces; the Polícia Naval (Naval Military Police) and the Polícia Aérea (Air Force Police).

Portugese army military police wear a brassard similar the pre-1956 US brassard, with white lettering "PE."

  Russia
The armed forces of the USSR did not have military police as such as there was no such thing as "crime" within the utopia of the Soviet Union and it was therefore totally unnecessary to have a force to police the armed forces. The "Kommandant's Service" of the Russian Army wear a yellow letter "K" on a red patch on the sleeve to indicate their membership of this service - the "de facto" army police.
Traffic Regulators are maintained within the armed forces and they wear a yellow letter "P" on a red patch on their sleeves to indicate this fact instead of a brassard.


South Korea
The Republic of Korea military police use a brassard similar to the US brassard in size and shape. The lettering, "HUN BYONG," is Korean for "military police".

They also wear "brass" consisting of a pair of crossed .45 caliber semi-automatic pistols, similar to the US Army crossed pistols.



Spain
Spain also uses a brassard similar to the Netherlands, but uses white letters PM standing for "POLICIA MILITAR", on the blue brassard.


Sweden
There are two MP units within the Swedish Armed Forces; the First, or Life Squadron (Livskvadron), and the Second MP Squadron (2. MP-skvadron). Some MP's are also assigned to the Life Regiment Hussars (Livregementes Husarer).

All MP's learn to ride horses, as they are all detailed to 10 - 15 months duty with the The Royal Lifeguard Dragoons (Kunglig Livgardets Dragoner) with the 1st Cavalry Regiment (K1). This regiment is the only unit to still have horses and they trace their regimental heritage to 1526. The unit is responsible for guarding the royal castle. The primary wartime mission for Swedish MP's is anti-sabotage missions against infiltrators.



Switzerland
Three police organisations exist with the Swiss Army. They are the Militarpolizei (Military Police), the Heerspolizei (Army Police), and the Strassenpolizei (Traffic Police). The Traffic Police and Army Police do not wear brassards. It is believed that the Army Police are being converted to the Military Police. The Swiss MP's wear a white brassard, similar to the US MP brassard with a black letter "P".


United States
The US Army Military Police Corps brassard has been relatively unchanged since the First World War. Originally white lettering on a dark blue background, this later changed to white lettering on a black background.
A version using black lettering on US Army camouflage material is also now in use. The patch of the Brigade or Command to which the military policeman is attached, is usually placed above the lettering.

During the Vietnam War, the US Military Police also used painted helmet to improve their visibility and distinctiveness.