United States Army Provost Marshal General

Last updated
Provost Marshal General of the United States Army
Duane R. Miller (1) (cropped).jpg
BG Duane R. Miller

since August 5, 2021 [1]
Department of the Army
Reports to Chief of Staff of the Army
FormationJanuary 10, 1776
First holder CPT William Marony
Website Official Website

The provost marshal general (pronounced "provo") is a United States Army staff position that handles investigations of U.S. Army personnel. It is the highest-ranking provost marshal position in the U.S. Army, reporting to the Chief of Staff of the United States Army. The position brings all aspects of law enforcement in the U.S. Army in a single office. [2]


The role has been off and on since 1776 (usually in periods of war time). After shutting down in 1974 at the end of the Vietnam War, it was resurrected on January 30, 2003 following the September 11 attacks.

It is responsible for:

Prior to its most recent organization, the responsibilities of this position were scattered across various army units.


American Revolutionary War

William Marony was the first provost marshal general, appointed by George Washington on January 10, 1776. The principal job was maintaining jails and supervising 40 executions. Nine men served as provost marshal general until 1778 when the duties were transferred to the Marechausse Corps. Service ended at the end of the war. [3] [4]

American Civil War

Headquarters of Provost Marshal General, Defenses South of the Potomac The photographic history of the Civil War - thousands of scenes photographed 1861-65, with text by many special authorities (1911) (14576397547).jpg
Headquarters of Provost Marshal General, Defenses South of the Potomac

James B. Fry was appointed on March 3, 1863 to be the first provost marshal general during the American Civil War. The office dealt with recruitment and desertion issues. It also supervised the Invalid Corps, in which disabled soldiers performed garrison duty (as opposed to field duty). The position was abolished in 1866. [3] An 1866 proposal to reorganise the Army to include a Provost Marshal's Bureau "consisting of a Provost Marshal General with the rank, pay and emoluments of a Brigadier General and an Assistant Provost Marshal General with the rank, pay and emoluments of a Colonel of Cavalry" was rejected on the grounds "that it creates an unnecessary office for an undeserving public servant". [5]

Spanish–American War

Arthur MacArthur, Jr. was appointed provost marshal general of Manila in July 1901 to provide law enforcement in Manila and the provinces. The position was abolished after about a year. [3]

World War I

Enoch Crowder was appointed provost marshal general in July 1917 with focus on enforcing the Selective Service System. During the American Expeditionary Force provost marshal generals oversaw military police, prisoner of war, criminal investigation, and circulation in Europe. Among the European marshals were Hanson E. Ely, William H. Allaire, John C. Groome III, and Harry Hill Bandholtz. The European component was dissolved in 1919 and the provost marshal general remained an advisor to the War Department until 1927. [3]

World War II

The Basic Field Manual in 1937 outlined the position when it was reactivated. Allen W. Gullion was appointed in 1941. Its duties initially were to control enemy aliens but were later expanded to do security clearance investigations and Military Police. After 1943 it was responsible for prisoner-of-war camps in the United States as well as Japanese-American relocation camps. Toward the end of the war it began investigating crimes and apprehending deserters and would handle the War Crimes Division of the Judge Advocate General's Office. [3]

Post World War II

Gullion remained until April 1944 when he was succeeded by Archer L. Lerch, Blackshear M. Bryan in 1945, Edwin P. Parker Jr. in 1948, William H. Maglin in 1953, and Haydon L. Boatner in 1957. [3]

Vietnam War

Ralph J. Butchers was appointed in 1960 followed by Carl C. Turner in 1964, Karl W. Gustafson in 1968 and finally Lloyd B. Ramsey in 1970 until the office was abolished on May 20, 1974. [3]

War on Terror

After the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the position of provost marshal general was recreated.

List of provost marshals general

Here is the list of provost marshals general: [6] [7]

NamePhotoTerm beganTerm ended
1. MG Allen W. Gullion AllenGullion.jpg July 31, 1941April 27, 1944
2.MG Archer L. Lerch Archer L. Lerch.jpg May, 1944July 17, 1945
3.MG Blackshear M. Bryan Blackshear M Bryan.jpg July 17, 1945April 9, 1948
4.MG Edwin P. Parker Jr. Edwin P. Parker Jr..jpg April 10, 1948February 4, 1953
5.MG William H. Maglin MG William Maglin.jpg February 5, 1953September, 1957
6.MG Haydon L. Boatner Haydon Boatner.jpg November 19, 1957October 31, 1960
7.MG Ralph J. Butchers Ralph Butchers.jpg December 1, 1960July 1, 1964
8.MG Carl C. Turner Carl Turner.jpg July 1, 1964September 30, 1968
9.MG Karl J. Gustafson MG Karl Gustafson.jpg September 30, 1968July 14, 1970
10.MG Lloyd B. Ramsey Lloyd Ramsey.jpg July 14, 1970May 20, 1974
Position abolished on May 20, 1974
11.MG Donald J. Ryder Donald Ryder.jpg October 29, 2003July 14, 2006
12. BG Rodney L. Johnson Rodney Johnson.jpg July 14, 2006January 15, 2010
13.BG Colleen L. McGuire BG McGuire.jpg January 15, 2010September 28, 2011
14.MG David E. Quantock David Quantock.jpg September 28, 2011October 27, 2014
15.MG Mark S. Inch MG Inch2a.jpg October 27, 2014May, 2017
16.MG David P. Glaser David P. Glaser (5).jpg May 2017June 24, 2019
17.MG Kevin Vereen Kevin Vereen (3).jpg June 24, 2019July 2020
18.MG Donna W. Martin Donna W. Martin (2).jpg July 2020August 5, 2021
19.BG Duane R. Miller Duane R. Miller (1) (cropped).jpg August 5, 2021Incumbent

See also

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  1. https://www.dvidshub.net/webcast/26806
  2. Taylor, Scott. "Provost Marshal General back in the saddle again", Military Police, April 2004. Accessed October 12, 2009. "With an office in the Pentagon (a first for the position), the Provost Marshal General now serves as the Army Staff's single source for law enforcement, providing executive oversight for planning, resourcing, policy making, and execution of full-spectrum law enforcement and security support to the Army. Functional areas include criminal investigations, police intelligence, physical security, corrections and internment, and antiterrorism."
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Evolution of the Office of the Provost Marshal General by Ronald Craig - Military Police - April 2004
  4. "545th Military Police Company - first-team.us - Retrieved October 10, 2009". Archived from the original on 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
  5. p.157 Hamilton, Gail The Biography Of James G. Blaine Kessinger Publishing, 2005
  6. "Office of Provost Marshal General of the United States Army" (PDF). army.mil/opmg. 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  7. "Office of Provost Marshal General of the United States Army" (PDF). army.mil/opmg. 2017-12-26. Retrieved 2017-12-26.