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Provost Marshal Generals
Of the United States Army

As of February 14, 201



Contents and images in this photo history provided by Mr. Andy Watson, Branch and Command Historian, US Army Military Police Corps, Wikipedia and by Dr. Ronald Craig.

On 26 September 2003, the Office of the Provost Marshal General (OPMG) was reestablished.

It had been 29 years since the office was deactivated. Major General Donald J. Ryder, former Commandant of the U.S. Army Military Police School and commander of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC), was appointed to the post. The OPMG had never remained in continuous service, having been dissolved and eliminated at various times in history, yet performed critical functions and served the military and nation in the most critical times.

The first American provost marshal, William Marony, was appointed by General George Washington on 10 January 1776. Captain Marony was assigned detachments to serve as provost guard on a temporary basis. His primary duties were maintaining jails and supervising executions. Nine men served as provost marshal during the Revolutionary War, supervising at least 40 executions. In the summer of 1778, many provost marshal duties were transferred to the Marechaussee Corps, a troop of light dragoons, referred to by General Washington as a Grand Provost Marshalcy. Yet provost marshals still served until the end of the war.

From the conclusion of the Revolutionary War until the beginning of the Civil War, provost marshals were appointed when needed and only on temporary terms. Beginning in 1861, regimental provost marshals were formed in the Army of the Potomac. The organization was later expanded to division, corps, and army levels, with each Federal Army having a Provost Marshal General. By the fall of 1862, provost marshals were operating in all northern states, with primary duties of capturing deserters. A similar system existed in the Confederate Army; provost marshals were appointed to enforce conscription and other laws. On 3 March 1863, Congress established the post of U.S. Provost Marshal General. Colonel James Fry, later a brigadier general, was appointed to the post.

Brigadier General Fry oversaw deputy provost marshals in each congressional district. The Provost Marshal General Bureau, which Brigadier General Fry organized, dealt mainly with recruitment and desertion issues, enforcement of the Conscription Act of 1863, and supervision of the Invalid Corps, which contained disabled soldiers performing garrison duties. The Provost Marshal General Bureau was abolished in 1866, but regional provost marshals continued to perform their duties during the reconstruction of the southern states. After the invasion of the Philippine Islands in 1898 and the defeat of the Spanish, the U.S. Army assumed an occupation position. In July 1901, Brigadier General Arthur McArthur was appointed Provost Marshal General of Manila, in addition to his duties as military governor. He established a provost guard brigade for law enforcement in the city and a constabulary in the provinces. But this provost marshal position, like all others, was temporary and was soon replaced with civil authority.




CPT William Marony






BG James B. Fry

BG James B. Fry was appointed on March 3, 1863 as the Provost Marshal General during the United States Civil War. His office dealt with recruitment and desertion issues. It also supervised the Invalid Corps (renamed the Veterans Reserve Corps), in which disabled solders performed policing duties in prisons, hospitals, and other garrison areas. The position and Provost Marshal Bureau were discontinued in 1866.



BG Marsena Randolph Patrick

Provost Marshal General of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War, also the top Provost Marshal in the field. His major concerns were order within the ranks, law and order, straggler control, and managing prisoners of war after battles. During the Battle of Gettysburg he commanded approximately 1300 provost troops.





 LTG Arthur MacArthur Jr.

LTG Arthur Mac Arthur, Jr. (at the time Brigadier General) was appointed Provost Marshal General of Manila in July 1901 to provide law enforcement in Manila and the provinces. This position was abolished about one year later.






 MG Enoch Crowder

MG Enoch Crowder was appointed Provost Marshal General of the Army on July 1917. His position focused on creating and enforcing the Selective Service System.  American Expeditionary Force Provost Marshal Generals oversaw military police operations, prisoner of war management, criminal investigations, and battlefield circulation control in Europe. Among the European provost marshals were Hanson E. Ely, William H. Allaire, John C. Groome, and Harry H. Bandholtz. The European component was dissolved in 1919, but the Provost Marshal General remained an advisor to the War Department until 1927.



BG Harry H. Bandholtz


 MG Hanson E. Ely






MG Andrew W. Gullion

 The Basic Field Manual in 1937 outlined the position when it was reactivated. Andrew 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 Command and Control. 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.







                                  MG Archer L. Lerch                                         MG Edwin P. Parker, Jr.                                    MG William H. Maglin

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


 Brigadier General Blackshear M. Bryan



MG Haydon L. Boatner

MG Haydon L. Boatner was an ex Marine in charge of the MPs who put down the riots once and for all in the Koje-Do POW Camps during the Korean War. He was known for his no nonsense method of command and his colorful language.





MG Ralph J. Butchers

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





                                                    MG Carl C. Turner                              MG Karl W. Gustafson                        MG Lloyd B. Ramsey






MG Donald Ryder

Served as Provost Marshal General from October 29, 2003 until July 14, 2006.



BG Rodney L. Johnson

Served as Provost Marshal General from July 2006 until January 2010. BG Johnson also commanded the 545th MP Company as a young Captain at Fort Hood, Texas in the 1980’s and is a lifetime member of the 545th MP Company Association.





BG Colleen L. McGuire

BG Colleen L. McGuire served as Provost Marshal General from January 2010 Septem 28, 2011 and is our first female PMG.


MG David Quantock

Assumed Command September 28, 2011



Provost Marshal Generals


Sam Reinert
545th Military Police Company Association
626 1/2 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA
(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX