Fort Bragg is the Army’s most populous post, so participating in various activities — from traffic stops to airborne operation — has become part of the routine for law enforcement officers assigned to units of 16th MP Brigade here.
Recently, the unit’s Soldiers and their Family members conducted a week of activities honoring the 72nd birthday of the MP Regiment.
The week began Sept. 23 with an airborne operation scheduled for members of 16th MP Brigade paratroopers to maintain their parachuting proficiency. The brigade is dubbed “One of a Kind,” for having airborne and air assault capabilities.
Day two, the 503rd MP Battalion hosted the Order of the Crossed Pistols, a tradition dating back to 1923. Family members experienced the rigors of law enforcement and airborne Soldiers with a day of training at a variety of stations to earn a pendant upon completion of all stations. The 503rd MP Bn. is co-located at Fort Bragg with 16th MP Brigade.
“At each station, you will receive either a ‘Go’ or ‘No-Go’ depending on how you execute the task,” said 503rd MP Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Maddox in the opening remarks. “After the training, you will be provided with a Meal, Ready-to-Eat for lunch. That’s something you can’t get anywhere else.”
Soldiers coached their Family members at each station in a round-robin style event that included low-crawling with a rubber rifle, donning a gas mask, executing tactical movements, performing drill and ceremony, putting on a parachute, apprehending a suspect, and making a notional traffic stop with lights and sirens.
The Family members began the activities with reservation, their Soldiers and children watching and cheering from the sidelines.
“I’m here with my wife, because she thinks she can learn more about my job than I can,” said Pfc. Todd Foster, who is assigned to 118th MP Company.
Foster observed his wife as she learned the proper employment of handcuffs and defending against or subduing a suspect with the ASP, a collapsible police baton.
“You have fun?” asked Foster.
“Yeah! I get to be you for a day,” said Samantha Foster. “I do a little bit better than you though,” she continued with confidence.
The 503rd MP Battalion hosted an organizational day with unit tailgating to build esprit de corps. The main event featured a flag football tournament for the coveted “Pig Bowl Trophy.” The winner of the 2013 Pig Bowl is the 118th MP Company. About 200 Soldiers and Family members participated in the events.
Col. Alexander Conyers and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Sivak led the 72nd MP regimental run. Law enforcement Soldiers from across Fort Bragg participated in the run to honor the service of MPs.
The 72nd MP Regimental Ball was celebrated at Fayetteville, N.C. Sept. 28 where XVIII Airborne Corps Command Sgt. Major Isaia Vimoto was the guest speaker. Vimoto gave a light-hearted but serious speech, telling the military police officers to uphold the trust granted them by the American people and their fellow soldiers.
“I would not be where I am today if it were not for excellent NCOs like Command Sgt. Major Vimoto to mentor and guide me,” said 16th MP BDE Commander Col. Alexander Conyers. “Seek out good leadership to mentor you, and learn from them.”