U.S. Army Military Police Civil Disturbance and Martial Law Training Course

Civil disturbances may be riots, violent uprisings, or unlawful actions. As a member of the military forces, you may be ordered under certain conditions to help restore law and order and protect property. The National Guard is likely to face most of the violence during demonstrations. To gain successful control of a civil disturbance, it will require an understanding of the reason for social unrest and basic human behavior patterns. Planning control strategy depends on knowing why people behave as they do. Group behavior sets the scene for civil disturbances. However, it is individual behavior which in the end is the most important.

A study of past civil disorders shows that civil disturbances will follow definite stages. Understanding individual attitudes and behavior factors which influence these basic stages will be helpful in stopping civil disturbances.

Behind all disturbances is a cause which can be traced to one or more existing problems in a particular community. Causes change with the times. For example, economic and nuclear control are the main new issues for the 80′s. It matters little whether the problem is real or imagined. The impact is the same. Problems can be divided into two basic categories: politicalideological and socioeconomic.