By Melissa Buckley, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (September 27, 2023) — “Serving with dignity, determination and discipline” — the U.S. Army Military Police School hosted a week of events to celebrate 82 years of devotion to serving others.

“No one understands duty better than an MP. For 82 years, we have devoted ourselves to the service of others with dignity, determination and discipline. Duty can, at times, be heavy, and those that have never walked in our shoes can easily forget the importance of human detention, emergency response and critical investigations. No matter our status as active, Guard or Reserve Soldiers, or civilians as first responders and front-line public servants we will be the first to respond to people in crisis,” said Brig. Gen. Sarah Albrycht, U.S. Army Military Police School commandant, during the MP Regimental Week Retreat ceremony Sept. 20 on the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Plaza.

According to the U.S. Army Center of Military History, the MP Corps achieved permanent status in the U.S. Army on Sept. 26, 1941, but its service dates back to the Revolutionary War.

The week’s events started by honoring fallen MPs at a memorial tribute Sept. 18 in Memorial Grove, where USAMPS Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. William Shoaf served as the guest speaker.

“To our Gold Star families in attendance or viewing virtually today, your presence is powerful and it is a solid reminder of your sacrifice and the tremendous cost paid for the freedoms we all share,” Shoaf said. “Today is the most sacred of days — we remember — our heroes gave all.”

The next day, the Order of the Crossed Pistols event for spouses kicked off at Training Area 130 with an Army Combat Fitness Test.

“We chose events specific to a day in the life of a trainee,” said 1st Lt. Elias Esparza, one of the event organizers. “The day is designed to help them understand MP life. They also get to meet other spouses and make new friends. We are building a community.”

Besides the ACFT, events throughout the day included the Personal Endurance Course, rappelling down the Warrior Tower, eating lunch at an Army Warrior Restaurant and weapons displays.

“I am excited for the rappel tower. We don’t get the opportunity to do this very often,” said Maggie Bourne, spouse of an MP Soldier. “We are building friendships and making memories today.”

Bourne said she enjoyed watching Soldiers at the event cheering on their spouses.

“It is fun to see them out here together, laughing and showing their support,” Bourne said.

While the spouses were enjoying the events planned for them, nearly 50 Soldiers from the 503rd MP Battalion were busy jumping out of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter over Forney Airfield.

The 503rd MP Battalion is the only Airborne-capable MP battalion in the world and is based at Fort Liberty, North Carolina.

Trainees with Company C, 795th MP Battalion, who are preparing to attend Airborne school after one station unit training, got to witness the event firsthand and see everything that goes into a jump, from practicing how to land correctly, to strapping on their parachutes, to landing.

During the Regimental Retreat ceremony, which took place Sept. 20 at MSCoE Plaza, Albrycht said the event is about honoring every MP Soldier — past, present and future.

“Retreat is a daily ceremony held at military installations as the national flag is lowered at the end of the duty day. For many of the early years of my career, it was Military Police on duty who conducted both reveille and retreat. I find that ironic because the MPs likely got that duty, because they are always — on duty. Our duty day never ends,” Albrycht said. “It has been 82 years since Sept. 26, 1941. So, for 29,944 days, over 710,000 hours, we have stood the watch, manned the desk and patrolled the streets — handing our duty down from guard mount to guard mount, from shift to shift, for five generations of Military Police. That, my friends, is devotion to duty.”

At the Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. James W. Frye NCO of Excellence Award ceremony on Friday, the MP Corps recognized the hard work and dedication of NCOs during a presentation at Lincoln Hall Auditorium.

Top honors went to Staff Sgt. Nathan Villarreal, from the 89th MP Brigade, and Master Sgt. Grant Smith, from the 290th MP Brigade.

Five new photos were added to the MP Corps Hall of Fame Friday during a ceremony at the John B. Mahaffey Museum as well. The inductees were retired Maj. Gen. Adolph McQueen, retired Col. Timothy Lamb, retired Col. Thomas Tatum, retired Command Sgt. Maj. John McNeirney and retired Sgt. Maj. Douglas Loggins.

The week of regimental events also included a golf tournament, fishing event at the Lake of the Ozarks Recreation Area and regimental ball.

Photos from throughout the week are available to view and download on the Fort Leonard Wood Flickr page.

(Editor’s note: Angi Betran and Brian Hill, both from the Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office, contributed to this story.)

Military Police Soldiers fold the U.S. flag during a Retreat ceremony Sept. 20 on the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Plaza, as part of MP Regimental Week. (Photo Credit: Photo by Angi Betran, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)











About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.

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