Can You Specialize a Military Degree in Criminal Justice?

Criminal JusticeEvery military branch offers ways to specialize a military degree in criminal justice. Depending on the military branch, students who are members of the military may pursue job specializations that will translate well into civilian criminal justice jobs in the future, according to Military.com.

The Army

The U.S. Army trains criminal investigation special agents, MOS 31D, to evaluate criminal actions and all that involve Army personnel. They deal with everything from property crimes, such as theft and destruction, and personal crimes, such as assault and murder. Senior agents investigate crimes related to treason, espionage and terrorism. They collect and analyze criminal intelligence, crime scene evidence and military records.

Army criminal investigation special agents complete 15 weeks of advanced individual training (AIT) that requires them to successfully study the CID’s Special Agent Course and the Army’s Military Police One Station Unit Training (OSUT). Students learn how about interview and investigation techniques and procedures. They also learn about civil and military laws, which helps them to become civil law enforcement officers.

The Navy

In the Navy, security personnel are called Masters at Arms (MAs). These law enforcement professionals provide security, enforce policies and maintain stability. Masters at Arms are assigned to specific units that deal with very different tasks. Some Masters at Arms provide physical security and protection to military members, vehicles and property. They may escort high ranking government officials or conduct water-based security patrols and activities.

Some Masters at Arms are assigned to run on-ship military prisons and process prisoners. Navy law enforcement professions must complete seven to nine weeks of basic training before they are transferred to advanced training for nine weeks. Here, they learn everything from armed sentry processes to protection techniques to crime prevention programs. They also learn about first aid, firearms and self-defense tactics.

The Air Force

The Air Force refers to their law enforcement professionals as Security Forces Specialists. These individuals are assigned to both local and foreign military bases. These special agents lead impartial and independent investigations of Air Force personnel and related criminal activities. Their main goal is to gather and analyze information for criminal processing. Other special agents help maintain online security through the Department of Defense’s Defense Cyber Crime center. This is where IT forensic and cyber intelligence analysts are trained to protect the nation’s defense technology.

Air Force training to become a Security Forces Specialist includes eight weeks of boot camp and three months of advanced technical training. Graduates earn a college level degree in criminal justice. This program teaches them how to direct vehicle traffic, conduct incident investigations and ensure the safety of all base personnel and resources. They learn military techniques, such as tactical drills and engagement procedures, which are also used by civilian law enforcement agents.

Related Resource: Foreign Service Specialist

There are additional ways to specialize a military degree in criminal justice. The Marine Corps maintains their Criminal Investigation Division trains CID Agents who attend the Army’s Military Police Schools (USAMPS) and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).