MP regimental leader gives parting words Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 August 2015
By Marti Yoshida
Assistant editor
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Fort Leonard Wood’s U.S. Army Military Police School commandant departs, after serving two years as the regiment’s top officer.

Brig. Gen. Mark Spindler will assume duties later this month as deputy director, Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Spindler answered the following questions for the GUIDON:
Brig. Gen. Mark Spindler, U.S. Army Military Police School commandant, waves to the crowd, as part of a ceremony honoring his induction into the University of Missouri 2014 Army ROTC Hall of Fame November 2014 on the university football field. Courtesy photo

What about your tour at Fort Leonard Wood will you remember the most?
By far, I will remember the people — both military and civilian people, leaders here, who are just remarkable professionals.

That’s not only on the installation, but that’s also in the Waynesville and St. Robert communities. It’s not just what they do; it’s how they do it every day.

There seems to be a real zeal and commitment to get this right, to do the best they can for Soldiers and their Families, without a lot of need for notoriety.

I’m a little bit biased, because I’m a St. Louis boy, and it’s good to be back home with my people here in the Heartland — what wonderfully gracious people.

It’s been a real joy to be out here. So certainly, by far, the people will be what I miss most.

What was your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is not having the ultimate authority to make changes overnight.

If you want to change your doctrine or equipment or force design, there are set procedures that you have to go through to do all that.

The good news is we have a lot of civilian leadership who have been here a long time and can assist you through that maze of how to get things done. That’s been rewarding.

Really, change, if you’re going after things, it’s all about people and relationships with people. When you build good relationships with people, they are more forthcoming in helping you, not just to get through it; it’s their job to do that, but to help you think about it.

Military and civilian professionals have been wonderful, as we’ve tried to work equipment changes in the military police and force structure. It’s about working the relationships and building a working relationship that has really helped get over some of these big hurdles in making those changes.

What is the state of the military police regiment and its future?
The Military Police Regiment is absolutely heading in the right direction, thanks to the great team that I have been part of.

The leadership, great guidance, vision and support from the Maneuver Support Center and the Provost Marshal General’s Office in Washington has allowed us to build the right leaders of tomorrow, because leader development is the number-one thing we do here.

We’re all about building tomorrow’s leaders. This is all about handing the baton to a new generation of officers who have the competence, commitment and character to be worthy of leading our Soldiers. They have been wonderful partners in building that piece.

I think the regiment is very healthy going ahead. Certainly, it has its challenges, as does the rest of the Army, as we’re trying to get smaller. We try to think, ‘How can I have my regiment, our regiment, best serve our Army?’

How will the regiment have to adapt to remain viable in today’s complex world?
The Army has released its new Army Operating Concept, which really has set the azimuth and parameters for the Army to think how to best get after this unknowable future, this unknowable enemy, this ever-changing enemy.

As our senior leaders have described tomorrow in this new Army concept, it will be the responsibility now of the branches to build a force that’s agile and adaptable enough to get after that.

For military police, I think what we do, and certainly what I tried to do over the last two years, is military policing, which is fundamentally different than policing in my mind.

We’re Soldiers first, but we’re all about preserving the fighting force. Military policing is about protecting the Army, so the Army can do its will.

I don’t want to catch the DUI; I want to prevent the DUI. I don’t want to catch the assault; I want to prevent it, so that our Army isn’t wounded; so the Army has the freedom to do its will.

Not that civilian police departments don’t do that either, but as a Soldier I have a vested interest in being able to get after our enemies. I think this is the role of military police to help provide the freedom of action by preserving the force. By assisting, protecting and defending.

We may not have all the resources that we had as of yesterday. So, how do you mitigate all of that?

We have to have freedom of action. It might not be as big, but we can do a lot of different things, because we own the day, we own the night, and we have the will to do it.

I think military police play a big part in providing that freedom of action.

What are your parting words to the Soldiers and civilians of the regiment?
My parting words would be to tell you how truly fortunate I have been to be part of this great team.

For my Family to be here and be part of this great community really is a fortunate thing. It really has been a privilege and a pleasure to be here.

The only parting words I would say is don’t ever tire. It’s a wonderful Army. It’s a wonderful regiment. Keep the fires burning, because our Army deserves it.

More importantly, the young men and women who walk through these gates in our basic (combat) training, they deserve the very best leaders we can give them and that starts with the energy.

What I have seen with the new generation of leaders who are coming through here, they’re going to carry it off, and we’ll be the Army that our  nation expects us to be.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 August 2015 )