British Army - Combat Service Support - a10a7 - Adjutant General's Corps - SPS Branch - Provost Branch - RMP - ETS Branch - ALS Branch - Armed Forces



The Adjutant General's Corps was formed on 1 April 1992 and its sole task is the management of the Army's most precious resource, its soldiers.

The Corps absorbed the functions of six existing smaller corps; the Royal Military Police, the Royal Army Pay Corps, the Royal Army Educational Corps, the Royal Army Chaplains Department, the Army Legal Corps and the Military Provost Staff Corps.

The Corps is organised into four branches, Staff and Personnel Support (SPS), Provost (PRP), Educational and Training Services (ETS) and Army Legal Services (ALS) and at 2015 personnel totals were as follows:

Personnel Totals - Adjutant General's Corps Strength
Provost (Royal Military Police) 1,600
Staff and Personnel Support Branch (SPS) 3,500
Educational and Training Services 320
Army Legal Services 130

THE ROLE OF SPS BRANCH (Staff and Personnel Support)

The role of the SPS Branch is to ensure the efficient and smooth delivery of personnel administration to the Army. This includes support to individual officers and soldiers in units, by processing pay and Service documentation, first line provision of financial, welfare, education and resettlement guidance to individuals and the provision of clerical skills and information management, to ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the unit or department.

AGC (SPS) officers are employed throughout the Army, in direct support of units as Regimental Administrative Officers or AGC Detachment Commanders. They hold Commander AGC (SPS) and SO2 AGC (SPS) posts in district/Divisional and Brigade HQs and fill posts at the Adjutant General's Information Centre (AGIC) and general staff appointments throughout the Army headquarters locations.

AGC (SPS) soldiers are employed as Military Clerks in direct support of units within the AGC Field Detachments, in fixed centre pay offices, in headquarters to provide staff support and in miscellaneous posts, such as embassy clerks, as management accountants or in AGIC as programmer analysts.

The principal functional tasks of AGC (SPS) personnel on operations are:

a. The maintenance of Field Records, including the soldiers' Record of Service, casualty reporting and disciplinary documentation.

b. Clerical and staff support to Battlegroup HQs and independent Sub Units such as Engineer and Logistic Squadrons.

c. The issue of pay and allowances to personnel

d. The maintenance of Imprest Accounts (the MoD Public Accounts) which involves paying local suppliers for services, receiving cash from non-Army agencies such as NAAFI and Forces Post Office receipts.

e. The deployment of a Field Records Cell which co-ordinates all personnel administration in the field.

AGC (SPS) personnel play a full part in operational duties by undertaking such tasks as local defence, guards and command post duties. In addition, Command Officers can employ any soldier in their unit as they see fit and may require AGC (SPS) personnel to undertake appropriate additional training to allow them to be used in some specialist roles specific to the unit, or as radio operators or drivers. The majority of AGC(SPS) soldiers, currently about 70 per cent are serving with field force units, with the remaining 30 per cent in base and training units or HQs, such as the MoD.

Members of AGC (SPS) are first trained as soldiers and then specialise as Military Clerks. AGC (SPS) officers complete the same military training as their counterparts in other Arms and Services, starting at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. They are required to attend all promotion courses, such as the Junior Command and Staff Course, and to pass the standard career exams prior to promotion to the rank of Major.

The Role of the ETS Branch

The AGC (ETS) Branch has the responsibility of improving the efficiency, effectiveness and morale of the Army by providing support to operations and the developmental education, training, support and resettlement services that the Army requires to carry out its task. ETS personnel provide assistance at almost all levels of command but their most visible task is the manning of Army Education Centres wherever the Army is stationed. At these centres officers and soldiers receive the educational support necessary for them to achieve both civilian and military qualifications.

The Role of the ALS Branch

The AGC (ALS) Branch advises on all aspects of service and civilian law that may affect every level of the Army from General to Private soldiers. Members of the branch are usually qualified as solicitors or barristers.


Provost comprises the Royal Military Police (RMP) and the Military Provost Staff (MPS) and the Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS). The main role of the RMP is to ‘Police the Force’, and ‘provide Police Support to the Force’. The MPS provide advice to Commanders on all custody and detention issues. The MPGS is the Army’s professional armed guarding service established to release general service personnel from armed guarding duties.

Provost Mission

To provide the necessary military police, custodial and guarding service to the Army in order to ensure military effectiveness.

Provost Marshal (Army) Enduring Vision

  • Deliver Provost Support on Operations across the spectrum of conflict.

  • Attract and retain high quality and self disciplined Officers, Warrant Officers and NCOs, bound together by a common ethos, playing a crucial role in the Military Criminal Justice System.

  • Set the benchmark for a highly trained and operationally effective Provost Service - a standard to which Military Police worldwide can aspire.


“A Regulatory body with unique investigative and policing skills and competencies which also undertakes military tasks complementary to its specialist role. Its core tasks are to police the Force and provide police support to the Force”.

Regular Units Location Attached Reserve Unit Location
1 Regiment RMP Catterick Livingston and Stockton on Tees
3 Regiment RMP Bulford Cannock and Manchester
4 Regiment RMP Aldershot Tulse Hill
Special Investigation Branch Regiment RMP Bulford Bulford
Special Operations Unit RMP Longmoor  

Principle Functions. The RMP has three specialist areas:

  • Investigations. Supporting the Military Criminal Justice System will invariably be the highest priority for the RMP, who alone have the unique capability to deliver the full range of policing functions throughout the spectrum of conflict at home, in overseas garrisons and on operations. This police service must be proactive and visible, contributing to success on operations by enforcing the law, deterring crime and thus underpinning the Military Criminal Justice System.

  • Special Investigations. The Special Investigations Branch (SIB) of the RMP is responsible for all special and sensitive investigations. In high intensity conflict they continue to police, investigating a myriad of offences ranging from murder to fratricide; the investigative procedure is the same, only the operational context changes.

  • Close Protection (CP). RMP provide CP personnel and training for others on CP duties, both for at risk military personnel and those of Other Government Departments. RMP provides a core of trained manpower at high readiness to cover contingencies and can also generate Short Term Training Teams.

In addition, the RMP also provide:

  • The provision of a specialist Crime Reduction service to reduce the opportunities for crime, to shape attitudes and to maintain morale.

  • The regulation of movement and manoeuvre, such as route reconnaissance, route selection, signing and manning of routes, and the establishment of Military Police Stations and Posts.

  • The training and mentoring of Indigenous Civilian and Police Forces through the provision of basic police training in the form of an investigative capability with crime scene management, interviewing skills, file preparation and possibly forensics.

  • Special to arm advice directly to the operational commanders on: arrest and detention, searches of people, property or vehicles, incident control, and crime scene management. They will also provide surety to correct handling of evidence in support of pre-planned operations.


Principle Function. The principal function of the MPS at the Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC) at Colchester, Essex, is to detain personnel, both male and female, of the three Services and civilians subject to the Services Disciplinary Acts, in accordance with the provisions of the Imprisonment and Detention (Army) Rules 1979.

The MCTC is an establishment that provides corrective training for those servicemen and women sentenced to periods of detention; it is not a prison. The MCTC takes servicemen and women who have been sentenced to periods of detention from 14 days to two years. Up to 316 detainees can be held at the MCTC. The MCTC has extensive Military Training facilities and an Education Wing that includes trade training. The MPS has approximately 100 personnel from all three services.



"To deliver trained professionals in order to meet Defence armed security requirements."

Principle Function. The Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS) was established in 1997 as the Army’s professional armed guarding service to relieve the Ministry of Defence Police and general service personnel from armed guarding duties at nominated Tri-Service locations.

The MPGS comprises regular soldiers employed on a Military Local Service Engagement that is restricted to the United Kingdom. All MPGS soldiers have had previous service experience and service may be up to the age of 55. The MPGS has approximately 1500 personnel.

MPGS duties include:

  • Controlling entry and exit to a site.

  • Managing control room operations and ensuring all visitors are dealt with efficiently.

  • Patrolling site perimeters and taking necessary action to preserve perimeter security.

  • Security incident management, such as suspicious packages, bomb threats, protests, etc.

  • Military Working Dog services at some sites.

  • The MPGS is part of the Provost Branch of the Adjutant General's Corps and is under the direction of Provost Marshal (Army), who is the Director and Head of Service. MPGS units are formed under the command of their respective Head of Establishment, with Provost Marshal (Army) maintaining technical standards through annual inspections.

  • Each MPGS unit has a structured rank system that provides opportunity for promotion to Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, and Warrant Officer Level 2 rank at some sites.

  • Given the size of the MPGS, a number of Warrant Officer Level 1 opportunities exist across the country. Promotion is based on merit and uses the same system of annual performance appraisal in line with the current Tri-Service guidance for appraisal reporting.