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Army Reserve

The Army Reserve is an integral part of the British Army, fulfilling a vital role in the nation's defence and peacekeeping operations, both at home and abroad.  It is staffed by spare-time, voluntary personnel, representing one quarter of the Army's total capability.

The Military Provost Staff (MPS), are a relatively new unit having been formed in 2007 to work alongside the Regular MPS to deliver a Prisoner of War (PW) handling capability on operations.

Personnel currently serving with 1 Company (1 Coy), MPS come from a diverse blend of professions; Police Officers, Prison Officers, Police Detention Officers, BT Engineers, College Lecturers and Driving Instructors. 

What they all have in common is the enthusiasm and energy to commit to a rewarding spare-time career that offers them a challenging and rewarding path that they can pursue up to 55 years of age. The majority will have previous military experience of some form or another; some will be working in a custodial setting or have a life skill that will add value.

Basic Military Training

If you have no military experience then your training will be delivered alongside those pursuing other Army Reserve careers at a centralised location away from Colchester.  This training is delivered in 2 parts; Trained Soldier Course (TSC), A & B.  This might take you a year to complete, the TSC (A) is 6 weekends, and the TSC (B) is 2 weeks.

Transferring into the MPS

Transfer is available for those individuals already serving with Army Reserve units.  The criteria are as follows:  Substantive Corporal with 2 recommendations for promotion to Sergeant, at least 3 years residual service, is fully fit and able to deploy if required.  All applicants meeting these requirements will be interviewed to asses their suitability to transfer.

Custodial Training

This is undertaken at the Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC), Colchester and delivered over two 2 week courses. These courses are designed to give you knowledge and experience to work in custodial environments both at home and on operations.

The first course will deliver a foundation in military custodial procedures to equip you to handle Service Personnel under Sentence (SUS) within the MCTC and the second course focuses on PW Handling. The aim and objectives of both courses is to ensure that you have the requisite knowledge and experience to deliver custodial surety to the MOD and HMG.

Rank and Pay

This is decided on enlistment, depending on previous military service and experience. All trained members of the MPS are Sergeants (Sgt) and are paid accordingly. The current rate of pay for a level 1 Sgt (Lower Band) is £74.20 per day rising to £84.33.  A Staff Sergeant (SSgt) starts at £82.14 and rises to £94.58 per day.

Tax Free Bounty

A tax free bounty is payable on completion of the minimum training commitment each year. It rises incrementally from £416 in the first year to £1641 in the fifth and subsequent years.


Commtment is what makes the Army Reserve a vital part of the British Army, as a nationally recruited unit, the minimum training commitment is 19 days (8 hrs per day or more) per training year. The training year runs from 1st Apr - 31st Mar. The training is broken up into Annual Camp and Mandatory Military Training, the camp is 15 days and the other training is 4 days.

Further Opportunities

The opportunity to attend additional training for professional development exists, and military courses can form part of the training commitment. Also, unit members are actively encouraged to work and train alongside their regular peers whether at the MCTC on Exercises or on Adventure Training.

Joining the MPS

If you have got this far, why not give it a go and apply to join.  Either write to MPS Recruiting, MCTC, COLCHESTER, CO2 9NU. Or you can telephone on 01206 543591.

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