8th Military Police Brigade
On order, 8th Military Police Brigade conducts military police combat support operations to protect and all for the freedom of movement of US assets critical to CFC, USFK AND EUSA. The 8th MP Brigade, headquartered in Yongsan, has the unclassified wartime mission of conducting area security, keeping law and order, overseeing enemy prisoners of war and battlefield circulation control operations throughout the theater.
The 8th Miltary Police Brigade consists of two battalions: the 94th Military Police Battalion in Yongsan (Seoul) and the 728th Military Police Battalion in Taegu (Camp Walker). The subordinate units of the 94th MP BN are: the 55th Military Police Company in Chunchon (Camp Page), the 142d Military Police Company in Yongsan, the 557th Military Police Company in Pyongtaek (Camp Humphreys) and the 249th Military Police Detachment (Confinement) in Pyongtaek. The subordinate units of the 728th MP BN are: the 57th Military Police Company in Waegwan (Camp Carroll), the 188th Military Police Company in Taegu and the 552d Military Police Company in Pusan (Camp Hialeah). Soldiers of the Brigade today continue the traditions of the past in providing outstanding MP support to the theater in armistice, war, operations other than war and to "Assist, Protect and Defend" military, civilian and family members.
Military Police (MP) in Korea trace their roots back to the Korean War. Throughout the war, MPs played a vital role in the defense of the country. They fought the enemy behind the lines and protected vital roads, installations, equipment, and supplies. Other duties during that time included crime prevention, apprehension of absentees and traffic accident prevention and investigation.
A major mission of MP forces during the war was maintaining security at enemy prisoner of war camps. By early 1951, more than 150,000 Communist prisoners were held by the United Nations Command. Riots, demonstrations and violence had become common in the camps. In October of that year, the 8137th Military Police (P) Group was activated to control the growing number of prisoners, a task they performed until the end of the war. MP units were also tasked to conduct search and kill or capture missions against north Korean guerillas who had infiltrated throughout the ROK rear areas. The 728th Military Police Battalion received two Meritorious Unit Citations for "ensuring the rapid and orderly movement of troops and supplies over more than 1,000 miles of road, maintaining the security of vital bridges, controlling the movements of refugees and maintaining order in an area encompassing more than 6,000 miles."
But the limited and frustrating "police action" in Korea would merely mark the beginning of the MP role in the "Land of the Morning Calm." With the establishment of a truce in Korea on July 27, 1953, some service members were returned to the United States, but the MP remained in a law enforcement capacity.
In the years since the armistice, the law enforcement role of the MP has remained an important one, but is no longer singularly our primary mission. The role of military police in the combat support role has greatly expanded. While performing our traditional law enforcement roles, we are constantly training to perform battlefield circulation control, area security and enemy prisoner of war operations.
In September of 1984, all non-divisional MP units became members of the 8th Military Police Brigade (Provisional). Leaders recognized that if there were ever again a war in Korea, it would be necessary for all military police units to be put together in order to perform their wartime mission. As a result, the 728th Military Police Battalion in Taegu, Pusan, Pyongtaek, and Waegwan; the 142d Military Police Company in Yongsan; the 55th Military Police Company in Camp Market; the 3d Military Police Detachment at Camp Red Cloud; and the Military Police Detachment-Korea became members of the 8th Military Police Brigade (Provisional). Since 1984, members of the 8th Military Police Brigade (Provisional) have developed MP plans and training that support the OPLANs for the Peninsula, while at the same time providing daily support to US Forces Korea activities.
In 1995, the concept plan was approved for the activation of a TO&E brigade in Korea. The 8th MP Brigade was officially activated on April 11, 1996 to provide command and control for the 728th Military Police Battalion and the 94th Military Police Battalion in armistice and to serve as the theater military police brigade during hostilities. The distinguished Vietnam era 8th MP Group was chosen to reactivate as the 8th Military Police Brigade. Historically, the 8th MP Group was part of yet another significant expansion in MP responsibilities. It was formed as part of a brigade in Vietnam for greater command and control purposes, much like the reason for the activation of the 8th Militry Police Brigade.
The unit's lineage and honors are highly regarded. It received Vietnam Campaign Participation Credit for the Counteroffensive, Phase V; Counteroffensive, Phase VI; Tet 69/Counteroffensive; Summer-Fall 1969; Winter-Spring 1970; Sanctuary Counteroffensive; Counteroffensive, Phase VII; Consolidation I; Consolidation II; and Cease Fire. Decorations include the Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1968-1969 and The Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1968-1972.