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U.S. Marine Corps - Small Wars Manual (1940 Edition)




Planning agency				12-5
Approval of plans			12-6
Local creative law			12-7
United States creative laws		12-8
Composition				12-9
Duties and powers			12-10
Size of force				12-11
Administrative organization		12-12
Supply and equipment			12-13
Records and reports			12-14
Finances				12-15
Recruiting				12-16
Housing and shelter			12-17
Military courtas			12-18 

12-5. Planning agency.-a. The establishing of a constabulary is preceded by the appointment of a planning group to draft the necessary plans for its formation. The initiative in the creation of the constabulary devolves upon the United States forces, since it has assumed the obligation to restore law enforcement and defense forces to the country concerned prior to withdrawal of United States forces.

b. The planning group, or the majority of the members of such a group, are usually drawn from the military and naval forces of the United States Government within the country concerned. The selection of the planning group from among officers of the United States forces then in the country is advisable since such officers will normally be more familiar with existing political, economic, geographical, and psychological conditions. In addition to such members, it may be advisable to select officers who have had prior experience in constabulary duty in other countries.

12-6. Approval of plans.-a. After the planning group has completed its plans for the organization of the constabulary, the plans must first be approved by the proper officials before the constabulary may be considered existent. Among the officials who approve the plans are the Chief Executive of the local state, the diplomatic representative of the United States accredited to the foreign country concerned, the senior naval officer in command of the United States forces operating within the foreign country concerned, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of State, the Congress of the United States, and the President of the United States. When a legislative body exists, the approval of the legislature of the foreign country concerned is also secured. When a military government has been established, only the approval of the United States executive, legislative, and departmental agencies is required.

12-7. Local creative law.-In order that the constabulary may be the constituted military instrument of the local government, it must be legally established and provided with the legal power to execute its functions. In the law or decree establishing the constabulary, there should be definite provisions setting forth the authority and responsibility of the commander of the constabulary in order that the constabulary may be entirely free from autocratic or political control within the country concerned. The law or decree should state definitely the specific duties that the constabulary is legally empowered to perform.

12-8. United States creative laws.-a. The plans for the establishment of a constabulary will invariably contain certain provisions relative to the employment of members of the United States armed forces as officers or directing heads of the proposed constabulary upon its initial formation. The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9 (8), states: "No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States; and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall, without, the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever from any king, prince, or foreign state." In order that members of the United States forces may arcept office, including emolument for such office, from the foreign country ccmcerned, it is necessary that the Congress of the United States grant specific authority by law. The necessary law for service with the constabulary is drawn up by the planning group, and, after approval , is presented to the Congress for enactment and subsequent approval by the President of the United States. Such authority may be included in a treaty between the United States and the country concerned.

b. Since all treaties of the United States are ratified only by the United States Senate, without action by the House of Representatives, it becomes necessary to enact a separate law approved by both Houses of Congress, even though authority for members of the United States forces to serve in the constabulary maybe included in the treaty. When a general law has been already enacted by the congress of the United States permitting members of the United States forces to serve in the armed forces of the foreign country concerned, no specific law is required.

12-9. Composition.-a. Initially, the officers of the constabulary are selected officers and enlisted men (usually qualified noncommissioned officers) of the United States military and naval forces. ln time, as the domestic situation becomes tranquil and the native members of the constabulary become proficient in their duties, the United States officers of the constabulary are replaced by native officers. Officers and enlisted men of the United States forces appointed as officers of the constabulary should be acceptable to the local government ancd have the qualities considered essential for a position of similar importance in the United States forces. They must be physically fit to withstand arduous duty in the field and should be proficient in the language of the country concerned. A general knowledge of local conditions is an important requirement. They should be known for their tactful relationships, and should be in sympathy with the aspirations of the inhabitants of the country concerned in their desire to become a stable sovereign people. They should be educationally and professionally equipped to execute the varied functions that they will be called upon to perform.

b. Native troops make up the enlisted personnel of the constabulary. Service is not compulsory. Recruiting is carried on throughout the country, and the desired personnel is acquired by enlisting only those volunteers who possess the requisite qualifications.

c. Plans are made for the operation of recruit depots. Schools in academic and governmental subjects are conducted for enlisted personnel. Consideration must be given to the formation of a medical department. In some cases, a coast guard may be required. The medical department and the coast guard are included in the constabulary organization. Early establishment of a school for training candidates for commission should receive much thought and consideration. The establishment of such a school will provide orderly replacement of the personnel of the United States forces utilized initially to officer the constabulary. It also indicates to the local government the altruistic motives of the United States governrnent and indicates its intention to turn over the control of the constabulary to the local government at the earliest possible moment.

12-10. Duties and powers.-a. The police duties formerly performed by the organic military and naval forces of the country concerned are assumed by the organized constabulary. The constabulary is the national-defense force of the country concerned and also performs police duties and civil fnnctions.

b. The military duties of the constabulary consist of the defense of the country against outside aggression and the suppression of domestic disorder when local police in the territorial subdivisions of the country are ineffective in the maintenance of law and order.

c. Among the police duties of the constabulary are the prevention of smuggling and the control of the importation, sale, and custody of arms, ammunition, and explosives. It is also empowered to arrest offenders for infractions of local laws, not only of the state, but also of the territorial subdivisions and municipalities. It is charged with the protection of persons and property, the control of prisons, and the issuance of travel permits and vehicular licenses. The constabulary provides guards for voting places and electoral records, and exerts plenary control during natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes.

d. The civil duties of the constabulary include the distribution of funds for the payment of civil employees in outlying areas and the distribution of executive, legislative, and judicial notices. When required, the constabulary operates the lighthouse and lifesaving service by means of a coast guard. Members of the constabulary may act as communal advisors to municipalities. The constabulary may be assigned the task of supervision of the construction of roads and bridges. Census compilation, supervision of local sanitation, and operation and control of telephone and telegraphic systems, including air and radio communication may also be included among the civil duties of the constabulary. Other civil duties are the supervision of weights and measures, the enforcement of harbor and docking regulations, compilation of reports on the use of public lands, supervision of the occupancy of public lands, and periodic reports of agricultural conditions.

12-11. Size of force.-In determining the strength of the constabulary force, it is necessary to consider carefully the domestic situation in each territorial division of the country concerned, particularly the situation in the principal cities and seaports. The strength of the constabulary detachment required for one locality may be entirely inadequate or excessive in another locality. Factors that enter into the determination of the strength of the constabulary are the organic strength of the military forces employed prior to the intervention, the organic strength of the civil police forces in territorial divisions and municipalities, the normal domestic situation relative to law observance and law enforcement in the territorial subdivisions, and the relative importance of the larger cities within the state. The political, economic, and geographical importance of the various territorial subdivisions should also be considered. The constabulary should be large enough to suppress active rebellion, as well as to repel outside aggression. The original estimate of the strength required is based upon the normal domestic situation in all territorial subdivisions of the country concerned. Local conditions in a particular section may call for a material increase in the strength, that would be normaly required for that section. Such conditions should be taken into consideration in order that the initial strength may be adequate to meet all situations that may require the employment of the constabulary. Although the foregoing considerations may dictate the necessity for a larger force, restrictions on the strength of the constabulary may be imposed by the limited finances of the local government, as well as the financial requirements of other governmental activities.

12-12. Administrative organization.-The constabulary is organized administratively in the fo11owing manner: the headquarters, consisting of the commander and his staff; the administrative, technical, and supply departments or groups; the operating forces, organized as administrative or tactical units and stationed in tactical localities or at posts and stations in conjunction with other governmental activities. The geographical divisions of the state are normally the determining factor in the formation of "groupments" or territorial commands.

12-13. Supply and equipment.-a. Any estimate that is made to determine the required strength of a constabulary must naturally include provisions for the supply and equipment for such troops. Among the items of equipment are weapons and military uniforms for distinctive dress for the troops and, in some cases, vehicular transportation. The confidence and loyalty of the native troops is promoted by careful supervision of their material needs. More often than not, they will have been accustomed to meager salaries irregularly paid, scant food carelessly provided, as well as indifferent shelter, clothing, and equipment. When they are regularly paid in full on the date due, when fed adequately as provided by the allowance, and when good shelter, clothing, and equiprnent are provided, native troops will usually respond in the quality of service rendered.

Organization of Constabulary

In establishing and maintaining an organization of native troops, attempts should be made to provide better clothing and shelter and particularly better food than native civilians of the same social class enjoy. This is decidedly an important morale factor. The equipment of the constabulary is governed by the type of service required. Often clifferent types of equipment are employed in various localities.

b. In many countries, the distinctive uniform or dress of native troops prior to intervention by United States forces is likely to be of a type more adapted to purely peaceful military display or ceremony than to combat. In some cases, the uniform is of a type that cannot be termed a "distinctive dress" within the meaning of the Rules of Land Warfare. There is a natural inclination on the part of United states forces when organizing a constabulary to outfit the troops with a uniform similar to that of the United states forces, with slight, modifications in the distinctive ornaments, texture of clothing, and design. Any uniform adopted for the constabulary should be suitable for the combat and climatic conditions 1ikely to be encountered.

c. The organic armed forces of the country may have been only indifferently armed. Such weapons as they have are likely to be in a poor condition, due to carelessness in upkeep. However, modern weapons are becoming more accessible to all countries, due to the lowered costs as a result of modern mass production. Such arms as are in good condition are retained and reissued to the constabulary after the disarmament of government and insurgent forces. Plans for arming the constabulary should take into consideration all probable tasks that may be assigned, as well as the capabilities of the troops in the employment of the various types of weapons. It may be advisable to arm the constabulary with weapons of different types, make, and in different proportions from the organic armament of the United States forces.

d. There are three methods for subsisting the constabulary. The first method is by the organization of general messes at those points where sufficient troops are quartered together to make the method feasible. The second method is to permit individuals to subsist themselves upon the payment of an adequate subsistence allowance in addition to their normal pay. The third method is the subsistence of personnel by contract with civilian contractors. The ration allowance should be announced in orders. The psychology of making the ration allowance the same for general mess, subsistence allowance, and contract mess is self-evident, since the troops will feel that under each system they are receiving the same treatment in regard to their food. The organized mess is practicable only at those posts and staations having a sufficient, number to make this method economical. Recruit depots, officers' schools, and commands of over 20 men are normally fed in general messes. However, even in commands of over 20 men, activities in the field may dictate that a subsistence allowance is more practicable. In small detached posts of only a few men, it is usually more practicable to furnish food by contract messing, or to pay the troops a subsistence allowance. In outlying posts and stations, troops normally ration themselves on the cash allowance. As a general rule, a cash allowance should not be granted if a general mess can be organized or if contract messing is practicable. When a cash allowance is paid, there is a tendency to squander the cash allowance and to contract indebtedness for food, with no assurance that troops are subsisted on a well-balanced ration. When food is procured under contract, the contractor may be so interested in making a profit, that troops will not receive the proper amount or quality of food. The commanding officers of detached posts should continually check on the quantity and quality of food served when troops are subsisted in a contract mess. In the conduct of a general mess, no attempt should be made to supply foreign food products. The ration component should be confined to local staples and garden products, since it is this type of food to which the troops are accustomed.

e. Estimates should be made covering the type and quantity of miscellaneous supplies required by the constabulary. Many materials may be purchased locally. To facilitate the acquisition of supplies not obtainable locally, they are normally procured from the continental United States.

12-14. Records and reports.-a. The records and reports in general use by military organizations are used by the constabulary. In addition, periodic reports may be required covering local economic and political conditions, reports of arrests and disposition of such cases, reports of military activities of the various units, and such special reports as may be required by higher authority.

b. Reports and records should always be in the language of the country concerned. It is unreasonable to require natives to learn the English language simply because that is the language of the United States forces. In the preparation of texts to be used in the training of troops and in the preparation of instructions for handling of legal cases, the language of the country concerned should always be employed.

12-15. Finances.-a. When planning the creation of a constabulary, the financial status of the country concerned is naturally a feature that will influence the strength of the constabulary as well as the acquisition of supplies fo such a force. When the necessary funds have been estimated, it is imperative that such funds be allotted from the national treasury by presidential decree or by the legal sanction of the legislature of the country concerned. Funds are allotted from the revenues by the military government in those cases where the constabulary is organized during the tenure of a military government. Appropriations for the establishment and maintenance of the constabulary may be difficult to obtain, not only because administrative authority is required for such allotment, but also due to the fact that, in most instances, the country will have few funds available for such a purpose. The scarcity of funds is likely to be the consequence of unstable economic conditions due to widespread disorder, the despoliation of the treasury by individuals or groups, and the lack of an efficient system for the collection and control of taxes and custom duties.

b. Initially, a large part of the revenue of the country concerned will necessarily be devoted to the financing of the constabulary. After the initial allotment of funds has been authorized for the establishment of the constabulary, it is necessary to assure that the annual or other periodic allotments are continued, and that these allotments are given the highest priority in the national budget. This is insisted upon at all times, and efforts to decrease or subordinate this allotment for the constabulary should be resisted energetically.

c. The pay of officers and enlisted personnel forms a large part of the expenditures of the constabulary. Consideration should be given to the standards of living within the country in computing the rates of pay. The rates of pay should be such as to attract the best type of natives to join the constabulary. By making the rates of pay attractive, natives of the highest type will be encouraged to make the constabulary a career. This feature is particularly desirable since it will tend to promote tranquility throughout the country after the withdrawal of the United States forces, if the majority of the officers and men have served in the constabulary for a number of years. Initially, all the officers of the constabulary are members of the United States forces. The rates of pay granted them as officers of the constabulary are in addition to pay and allowances received from the United States government.

12--16. Recruiting.-a. Age and height limits are established for recruits. Physical requirements are decided upon for regular enlistments, but these may be relaxed somewhat in case of emergency. If recruit depots are maintained, a definite period for recruit training is assigned. In some cases, it may be advisable to refuse enlistment of men from disturbed sections of the country. In many cases, the political affiliations of applicants must be considered. This matter may be adjusted satisfactorily by the enlistment of recruits of different political beliefs in proportion to the voting strength of the principal political parties. In some cases, it may be deemed advisable to refuse enlistment to members of former military forces of the country. In some countries, the best method of obtaining recruits may be to enlist troops from one locality to serve in that locality under their own noncommissioned officers after a period of training at a recruit depot. In accordance with the plan of organization of the constabulary into a chain of command through departmental control, it may be advisable to distribute the officers of the constabulary to their respective posts and stations in order that the recruiting of enlisted personnel may be accomplished under their direction and control. The officers of the constabulary act as recruiting officers in addition to their other duties. To assist in recruiting, notices are published in the official gazette of the local government, advertisements are inserted in local newspapers, and notices are furnished local civil officials for publication to the populace. Itinerant recruiting parties may be employed in thickly settled areas. Medical units are attached to garrisons in the more important towns and villages in order that applicants may receive prompt medical examination. In some cases, it may be necessary to utilize the services of contract physicians for the initial examination of recruits, further examination to be conducted later by medical personnel of the constabulary.

b. Before accepting applicants for service, the recruiting officer should assure himself of the proper qualifications of applicants. In addition to an oral examination, recommendations from reputable citizens of the home locality of the applicants are usually required. In many instances, the recommendations of local civil officials are invaluable in the selection of applicants.

12-17. Housing and shelter.-When the organic armed forces of the country have been disbanded upon the formation of the constabulary, it will be found that many public buildings are available to house the constabulary. These public buildings will consist of barracks, offices, forts, prisons, camps, police stations and, in some cases, naval craft. Public buildings are within the eminent domain of the local government and as such can be lawfully employed by proper authority to house and shelter the constabulary. When such housing does not exist, it may be necessary to rent suitable buildings or to erect permanent buildings. Prison labor may be used in such construction and every effort should be made to use construction materials obtainable locally. Warehouses may have to be leased for the storage of supplies when such space is not available in old arsenals, forts, or former military warehouses.

12-18. Military courts.- The system of military courts-marrtial set up by the constabulary must have the legal sanction of the local government. Usually, the constitution of any sovereign state will provide for military tribunals. In such cases, it is necessary only to secure legislative approval for the system of courts martial applicable to the constabulary. A modification of the courts-martial system employed by the United states forces, adapted to local conditions and the basic laws of the country concerned, will usually be acceptable. The system of courts-martial set up within the constabulary does not usurp any of the judicial functions of the civil courts. Members of the constabulary, who commit civil offenses should be brougt before civil courts for trial and punishment. (See par. 12-27.) Trial by courts-martial is reserved for military and for criminal offenses, when civil jurisdiction is lacking in the latter case.

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