With V:Courage, Kempeitai is able to decide when to fall back into cover or hold his ground. Sporting BS 12, he is above average in the fire engagements against bare-bones troops with all ideal conditions satisfied. While the role of Kempeitai is to keep Link team integrity and prevent Loss of Lieutenant, they certainly can fulfill an offensive role with their Spitfire and Shock Marksmanrifle loadout. The Shock Marksman Rifle loadout is a particular stand out since it has MSV 2 to deal with ODD and the like. In a link team, Kempeitai is a good offensive model with the right loadout.
While seldom used, Sixth Sense L1 can allow you to delay your ARO and ignore surprise shot/attacks along with the effects of being attacked through smoke. This can make a lone Kempeitai good by itself you put him in surpressive fire. Outside of this, Kempeitai has average LI ARM and no BTS, meaning that he is not going to survive a prolonged engagement.
However, the defensive role that Kempeitai provides is more army-wide. The first is Chain of Command on two of the profiles, which allows the JSA to run more aggressive lieutenant options with less repercussions. The other is Number 2, which keeps the integrity of the link team if the link leader is killed by making him the new link leader. This makes Kempeitai a lynchpin unit in keeping your list held together during the game.
+ Having CoC, this allows you to use your lieutenant rather aggressively. Do not be afraid to trade your lieutenant if you can get an even trade or higher.
+Number 2 also allows you to play your humble Keisotsu team in an aggressive manner. Be it with one of the Kempeitai's special weapons or a Keisotsu leading the link team.
Being that the Kempeitai has chain of command, this makes him a priority target to take down. However, this can be a daunting task due to the ability to join a Keisotsu link team and Sixth Sense Level 1. However, with only ARM 1 and no BTS, the Kempeitai will die against most things that put focus fire on them.
If you are expecting the use of the MSV 2 + Shock Marskman Rifle profile, try to use white noise or albedo to get the advantage.
The minimum you want in a list is one for CoC. That is if your lieutenant options are non-Keisotsu ones, which will usually be the case. Three can get expensive but it ensures that you will never go into LoL most of the time with two, while the third is one of the special weapons. If you take a more offensive Keisotsu link or need an inexpensive MSV 2 attack piece, then the Shock Marksman loadout is the go-to.
Being that the Kempeitai is your key piece of your army, you want him in total cover to keep him safe. However, the Boarding Shotgun is good in terms of point defense of your link team. If you plan to use Kempeitai in a more aggressive role, make sure you have smoke available to cover his approach.
Active Turn Role
Outside of the Shock Marksman Rifle or Spitfire profiles, he is going to be a lynch-pin for your army when your aggressive lieutenant options eventually dies off.
However, the Shock Marksman Rifle is good for dealing with models with V: Dogged and NWI, along with skills or equipment that make it harder to hit (ODD, Mimetism, etc.) due to MSV 2.
Outside of the Boarding Shotgun for point defense, there is little in the way of ARO options for the Kempeitai. The only thing that comes close is using the Shock Marksman Rifle to stop the use of smoke down a fire lane. For the most part, you should be keeping them behind total cover in the reactive turn.