Episode 59: Police Officer vs. Soldier

The police officer can retire at 60 years while the soldier can retire after 20 years of service, regardless of age.

This series discusses criminal justice and national defense. Most importantly, it establishes the differences between the military and the police forces. Without further ado, let’s dive right into it

Criminal justice dispenses justice to those who violate the laws. In contrast, national defense utilizes instruments of national powers to fight and win wars against foreign militaries. The instruments of national powers are DIME, which stands for Diplomacy, Informational, Military, and Economy. 

In a much simpler term, criminal justice enforces the law to protect and serve the people, whereas national defense establishes strategies to protect the country against international threats. This means that the police are responsible for the safety of the people, whereas the military is responsible for national defense and  homeland security. 

Now, let’s talk about the few differences between a military person and a police officer. 

A police officer is a law enforcement agent. Law enforcement agents also include sheriffs, deputies, criminal investigators, detectives, the FBI, the CIA and other government agencies. They investigate crimes, gather evidence, and take reports on illegal activities. A police officer ensures public safety and delivers justice to those who commit crimes. 

A military person, on the other hand, is not a law enforcement agent. A military person is a soldier, a sailor, a marine, or an airman whose mission does not involve the arrest of criminals or investigating crimes. For the rest of the podcast, I will use soldier for military person. Unlike a police officer, a soldier does not bear arms, or you do not see a military person, whether on base or outside the base, with a weapon. 

However, a soldier is assigned a weapon that he uses for range qualifications and battlefield deployments. After the ranges or upon redeployment, he returns his weapon to the arms room. He does not carry his weapon every day unless he is a military police officer who is a law enforcement officer working with the Central Intelligence Department (CID). CID is the equivalent of the FBI. The jurisdiction of a military police officer is within the military base he is assigned to. Thus, military police do not arrest civilians and, more so, other military personnel who may have committed a crime outside of the base. Only a military police has the authority to arrest another soldier.  Unlike police officers who protect lives and property of everyone living in America by enforcing state and federal laws, military police protect peoples’ lives and property on Army installations by enforcing military laws and regulations.

A police officer can be off duty; a soldier is on duty 24 hours a day. A police officer is subject to civilian prosecution, meaning that the police officer who is accused of a crime is arrested by any other police officer, tried by the court and correction systems, and if found guilty, sent to a jail or prison However, a soldier who is accused of committing a crime is arrested by a military police officer, judged by a court martial and if found guilty, sent to military prison. Moreover, even if the soldier who committed or accused of committing the crime off base, he would not be tried by the civilian court system; rather, he will be transferred to his base to be processed by the CID, and ultimately, court martialed under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

A police officer is a civilian working for the justice department, whereas a soldier is a federal employee under the Department of Defense. The commander in Chief for the military is the President of the United States, but the boss of a police officer is the chief of police of the department of assignment. 

In a riot, police officers will intervene to protect, serve and maintain order. The military will not intervene unless the president activates them. Even then, it will be the military reserve and the National Guard of the state of the riots that will be activated by the secretary of the state or the governor. In an invasion of the country by a foreign force or when the United States invades or conducts operations in another country, the military will intervene to protect the homeland or defend and defeat the enemy. 

Let me see if you understand what I just told you.  Who has the authority to intervene in case of an active shooter in a building or a fight between two rival gangs? Good job; the police. Another question; who will the U.S. government send to kill or extract a corrupt leader of a foreign country? Great, you got it; it will be the military. 

In summary, the main differences between a police officer and a soldier are the missions they serve and their conditions of employment. The police officer can retire at 60 years while the soldier can retire after 20 years of service, regardless of age. A police officer is a law enforcement agent responsible for delivering justice to those who have committed crimes, while a soldier protects the homeland against international threats. from foreign governments. Both are important in public safety and national defense.