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Trooper Recruit School

Recruit line up outside the Training Academy on the first day of recruit school.

Trooper Recruit School

What is recruit school like?

Every enlisted member was once a recruit, giving each officer, from trooper to colonel, a shared experience unlike any other. Often compared to a military boot camp, the recruit school environment instills discipline, commitment and excellence. From the residential program to the demanding physical training, every aspect of recruit school is designed to build camaraderie among recruits and provide each individual the foundation for a successful career.

A Day in the Life of a Recruit

Recruit School Experience


Michigan State Police troopers are full-service police officers with enforcement authority throughout the entire state. All troopers complete our residential training academy in Lansing, Michigan where they receive nearly 1,200 hours of hands-on, lecture, and scenario-based instruction in:

  • Firearms
  • Patrol Techniques
  • First Aid
  • Criminal Law
  • Crime Scene Processing
  • Precision Driving
  • Water Safety
  • Defensive Tactics
  • Report Writing
  • Ethics
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Implicit Bias
  • The demanding day of an MSP recruit begins at 5 a.m. with reveille. After 30 minutes to prepare for the day, the recruit reports to physical training. The arduous work-out includes running, strength training and aerobics, as well as health and nutrition.
  • After physical training, the recruit is given 15 minutes to shower and change before breakfast, the quickest meal of the day. The recruit has just 30 minutes to eat breakfast and prepare his/her room for inspection. The recruit is also quizzed on academic material and department policies and procedures.
  • Morning classes begin at 8 a.m. The classes cover topics vital to the execution of law enforcement duties including criminal law and procedure, constitutional law, report writing and cultural awareness. The first break comes at lunch, where the recruit has one hour to eat, study and prepare for the afternoon activities.
  • During the afternoon the recruit participates in hands-on activities learning first aid, firearms, defensive tactics, water safety, and patrol tactics. For these topics, the recruit class is broken into smaller squads allowing more one-on-one interaction with instructors.
  • Dinner begins promptly at 5 p.m. The evening is filled with military drills, work details, testing, and study time. The playing of taps signals lights out at 10 p.m. The day's activities repeat five days a week for the duration of recruit school. As a residential program, the recruit is only allowed to leave the Training Academy on Friday evenings and must return on Sunday afternoons.
  • Each recruit school has two primary instructors, a commander and assistant commander, usually at the rank of sergeant. Around 10 troopers from across the state, on temporary assignment to the Training Academy, also serve as instructors. Each trooper instructs one primary subject, such as patrols, but will also instruct other subjects as needed.


Recruit school takes place at the MSP Training Academy, 7426 North Canal Road, Lansing, Michigan 48913.