Story and photos by Andrea Smith
Public Affairs Office
The U.S. Army Military Police School, joined by several past senior leaders, families and friends, celebrated 77 years of Military Police Corps history Sept. 24 through Saturday at Fort Leonard Wood.
Military Police Regimental Week officially began with a ceremony to reflect on those who gave their lives to protect their country.
This ceremony, held every year during the regimental week, is a Memorial Tribute to honor fallen Military Police Soldiers.
“They still speak to us. If you listen quietly, you can hear them,” said U.S. Army Military Police Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. James Breckinridge. “You remember their voices from the conversations you had before they gave their last measure of devotion to this nation.”
He added, “Look around and you will see their legacy. It is us, Americans gathered in a free society, unified in the common purpose of honoring uncommon bravery. We are their legacy.”
Breckinridge explained that 2018 not only marks the 77th anniversary of the Military Police Corps, but also the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War.
“Military police heroism, valor, action, and capability against the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong, proved that military police are capable of delaying and defeating enemies in direct combat,” he said. “This significant event in our history directly prompted the Chief of Staff to change the Military Police Branch from a combat service support unit to a combat support unit.”
Brig. Gen. Brian Bisacre, USAMPS commandant and 50th chief of the MP Corps, stressed the importance of not only recognizing the service of the Military Police Soldiers, but also those civilians who provide support.
The Military Police courage and bravery was also demonstrated by family members when they conducted Army training on Sept. 25 with MP-specific tasks at the Warrior Tower, Stem Village and the evasive driving course.
Several events were held in celebration of the corps’ official birthday Sept. 26, starting with the Regimental Run, where MP Soldiers gathered on Gammon Field in the early hours led by Bisacre. A cake-cutting ceremony was held immediately following the run.
Sept. 27 began with the Hall of Fame Induction and Unveiling ceremony, where four distinguished individuals were inducted: retired Col. William Hart, retired Col. John Garrity, retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 David Zeliff, and retired Command Sgt. Maj. Dorsey Newcomb.
Also taking place on Sept. 28 was the Regimental Retreat at MSCoE Plaza.
“The 19 color bearers represent the 19 military police brigades of our regiment. Collectively, they represent approximately 37,000 Soldiers of our regiment, many of which stand on their post around the world,” Bisacre said. “And across every post, there is a Military Police Soldier reporting law enforcement every minute of every day with the sole purpose of assisting, protecting, and, if necessary, defending our families and our Soldiers.”
Bisacre closed his remarks by sharing what the sound of retreat means to him.
“I am not sure what everyone else thinks about during the playing of the retreat. I can only tell you what I think about. I raise my eyes to the heavens, and I thank God every day for the men and women who volunteered to serve our nation,” he said. “Preserving peace around the world, and God forbid, I know they will ruck up and deploy anywhere in the world to support and defend our Constitution and preserve the greatest gift in the world; freedom.”
MP reunion groups also visited the installation throughout the week, touring Stem Village, Memorial Grove and the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex. Veterans from the 793rd MP Association and Company C, 385th MP Bn./31st MP Detachment were among those in attendance.
The MPs hung up their belts to finish off the week at the Military Police Regimental Ball held Saturday evening at Nutter Field House, where retired Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Rimmer was awarded the 2018 Gold Marechaussee. Rimmer received the award in recognition of his dedication, competence and contribution to the Military Police Corps Regiment.