The Army’s military police, over the past decade of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, have proven to be among the Army’s most valuable assets, the Army’s top cop said April 17, to Soldiers at Fort Bragg.
Maj. Gen. David Quantock, provost marshal general, visited his former stomping grounds to address the 503rd Military Police Battalion and the post’s Criminal Investigations Detachment. He lauded the units and their Soldiers for exemplary service and a job well done supporting the Global War on Terror.
“I have the greatest job in the world because I get to take credit for all the great work that you have done over your careers and the great value (military police) provide our Army,” said Quantock, a former executive officer for the 503rd MP Bn. and commander of its higher headquarters, the 16th MP Brigade. “At the end of the day, it’s about resources (and) keeping this great Army and great military police capability in the future.”
The general is not alone in his praise, he said, noting that senior leaders throughout the Army are well aware of the impact military police have at home and abroad. Such recognition is as important today as ever in history, as the Defense Department continually looks for ways to reduce costs and cut personnel where possible, he added.
The Army’s military police corps consists of about 17,000 Soldiers among more than 190 companies. Initially, Army analysis recommended a drawdown of 3,600 military police, but after a closer look at their capabilities, their reduction was only 1,400, Quantock said.
Pentagon officials and policy makers realize the effect capable law enforcers have on potential success in Afghanistan, he added.
Military police are readily available and used for other missions, too, he said, citing their abilities to conduct combat patrols, search missions and manage road blocks to interdict insurgents.
“People realize the importance that military police play in the importance of the Army,” the general said. “That is a big deal for us. We are a remarkable organization as far as keeping our strength, so you should be very proud. I’m very proud, because it’s you folks who have allowed us to do that. It is your fingerprint, both here and downrange in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has provided us the opportunity to continue to be the force of choice.”
The role of military police in garrison is also well known. The trust and confidence Soldiers and their Families have in military police to protect and serve them on post cannot be understated, he said.
Military police set the example for moral and ethical conduct for the rest of the Army.
“We are indispensable. Trust is everything. We’ve got to make sure we keep that trust by conducting ourselves in an ethical and moral fashion. When (Soldiers and their Families) see that (military police) brassard, that means something. They trust their lives with you. They trust their Families with you and we do not want to let those Families down.”
As provost marshal general, Quantock is the commanding general of the Army’s Military Police Corps, Army Criminal Investigations Command, and Army Corrections Command. He has oversight of everything encompassing military law enforcement, including traffic violations, combat readiness, detainee operations and federal investigations.
Quantock assumed this post in September after commanding the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.