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              Music - Andrews Sisters "Booie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company C"

     2nd Bde          

545th Military Police Company

1st Cavalry Division

and later the Arctic MP BN and then the 793rd MP BN

Barracks Life

As of July 13, 2012

 

Military Policemen and women, like any other branch of the military services, spend a lot of time in their barracks and many a great memory is retained and many a good lifelong friend is made in and around the barracks. The following is a short pictorial history of life in the barracks for the members of the 545th MP Company throughout the units' history.

 

Fort Bliss, Texas

 

Adobe enlisted barracks at Fort Bliss circa late 1800’s

 

Artist rendition of the Ft Bliss headquarters and parade field circa 1910 and some of the barracks would have looked like the two buildings on the left of this drawing.  The Ft Bliss Historian informs us that some of the older barracks were constructed of adobe as well as many of the horse stables prior to 1919.

 

Historical reconstruction of a Cavalry barracks squad bay at Ft Bliss circa mid to late 1800’s complete with Spencer Cavalry Carbines in rifle racks.  Photo courtesy of the Ft Bliss Historical Society

 

 

Ft Bliss from left to right - Barracks, Staff Offices and Headquarters Building with flag pole in front Circa 1913 Photo courtesy of Texas A&M

 

Main Gate to Fort Bliss circa 1921 from a Post Card of that era

 

Officers Row at Fort Bliss circa 1913 Photo courtesy Texas A&M

 

Winter at Ft Bliss circa 1913 Photo courtesy of Texas A&M

 

Unidentified Cav MP in front of Main Post Theater at Ft Bliss circa 1941

 

Main Post Theater at Ft Bliss

 

Wood Framed WW II style Barracks at Fort Bliss, Texas circa 1940 - 1942

 

As preparations got under way for WW II many of the new arrivals to Ft Bliss found themselves billeted in squad tents as shown above

 

 

Old Adobe Barracks of the type first erected at Ft Bliss in the 1800's and still in limited use by the 1st Cavalry in the 1930's

 

Up until the mid 1930's there was no running water in many barracks at Ft Bliss and water was hauled in tankers to each company area for washing, cleaning, shaving etc and since the Cav still had horses, water was required for them as well.  Note the water tank vehicle in photo.

 

 

A great shot of a horse drawn water tanker at Fort Bliss

Tanker probably belonged to the 7th Cav Regimental Supply Office

 

Fort Bliss Movie Theatre where the Cav MP's took in a movie now and then circa 1942

 

Fort Bliss Cafeteria, Service Club and Library circa 1942

 

 

 

Australia

 

The members of the MP Platoon were quartered in squad tents like those shown above in Australia

 

 

Pacific Theatre

Members of the MP Platoon in the Philippines in front of their squad tents circa 1944 - 1945

 

 

  MP Platoon, HQS Troop 1CD billets at Los Negros Island in the Pacific 1944

 

Interior of an MP Platoon Squad Tent on Los Negros Island (note the Thompson Sub MG’s hanging up) 1944

 

 

 

Japan

 

Camp Drake Japan 1949

 

Camp Drake PX and Commissary 1949

 

 

MP Plt member PFC Brown (in foreground) and unknown MP in the barracks at Camp Drake, Japan 1950

 

MP Platoon member Jim Price in front of the barracks at Camp Drake, Japan circa 1950

 

Members of the 545th MP Company in front of the barracks (photo left) at Camp Drake, Japan, 1950

 

MP Plt members Davis, Shumate and Branson in the barracks at Camp Drake circa 1950

 

MP's Whalen (a member of our association), Grey and SGT Price in front of the barracks at Camp Drake Japan 1948 - 1949

 

MP's CPL James, PFC Gardner and PVT Everhart (a member of our association) in front of the barracks at Camp Drake, Japan circa 1949

 

SGT Harold E Lehman (a member of our association – now Deceased) with Gideon in front of the MP Platoon barracks at Camp Drake, Japan 1947

 

 

Barracks interior for the MP Platoon at Camp Drake, Japan 1947

Note the mosquito nets

 

545th MP PFC Schumacher in the barracks at Camp Crawford 1953 - check out those square corners and tight dust cover on this mans bunk!  A squared away MP!

 

Interior of 545th barracks at Camp Crawford, Japan circa 1954

 

 

545th MP PFC Bruno Nervo shining his boots at Camp Crawford, Japan 1952

 

 

545th Provisional Platoon MP's Bill Heiner, Bill Martin, John Krull and Tom Rinn (kneeling) at Camp Crawford, Japan 1952

 

 

545th MP Price somewhere near the company area at Camp McGill, Japan 1949 - 1950

 

545th MP PFC Roth, 3rd Traffic Platoon in front of the barracks at Camp Whittington, Japan 1955 – 1956

 

 

PFC Lester Meinert (with elbow on gun tube) and other 545th MPs in front of their barracks at Camp Bender, Japan in 1954.  Lester is a member of our association

 

 

 

Korea

545th MP Company CP in Korea 1950

 

Mail Call in the 545th Co AO 1950

 

 

Pup tents and straw shelters were home to the 545th MP's during the push into North Korea in the field 1950

 

 

Temporary Barracks and Orderly Room for the 545th in Korea 1950

 

A room with a bath in Korea for the 545th 1951

 

 

An MP’s worldly possessions in front of his tent in Korea 1951

 

545sup>th MP Co AO and barracks at Camp Custer, Korea circa 1963

 

3up>rd Plt, 545th MP Co in front of barracks (in background) at Camp Custer Korea 1963

The one and only 545sup>th MP Co latrine servicing over 200 men with eight commodes, ten sinks and four working showers (sometimes)  PFC Bob Goble in dark shorts on the left and SSG Scoggins in center.  MSG Goble is a member of our Association

 

Inside the 545th Day Room at Camp Custer

 

Exterior shot of the 545th Day Room at Camp Custer

 

 

Barber Shop and Shoe Shine at Camp Custer, Korea

 

Aerial view of the 545th MP Co area at Camp Custer, Korea 1963

 

Sp/4 Bodens’ rack in the barracks at Camp Custer, Korea 1963

 

PFC Franklin Weed, Security Platoon, 545th MP Co in front of his barracks at Camp Howze, Korea circa 1963

 

545th MP Company, 3rd Platoon card sharks in the barracks: PFC Phelps, SGT Rhein, SGT Shook and PFC Paolino at Camp Custer, Korea 1963
(SSG Shook is a member of our association)

 

 

 

Fort Gulick, Panama

 

545th MP Platoon Barracks at Fort Gulick in the Canal Zone, Panama

 

 

Barracks and sports field at Fort Gulick, Panama

 

Post pool at Fort Gulick, Panama

 

 

Maybe some of you remember the good old days when you had to pull latrine orderly and those faucets had better sparkle and shine

 

 

545th MP’s Stayton and Shearon in the barracks in Panama, Sp/4 Shearon is a member of our association

 

And of course there was always field gear inspection

 

 

 

Vietnam

 

545th Barracks at Camp Radcliff, RVN 1966

 

 

Ariel view of Camp Radcliff, RVN 1966

 

Great Accommodations at Camp Evans for the 545th MP Co in Vietnam complete with bunkers in front of every tent and hooch circa 1967

 

2nd Plt, 545th MP Co in front of their tent circa 1967

 

Bunk space for a 545th MP at Fire Base Buttons, RVN 1968

 

545th MP Cleaning his gear in front of his tent circa 1967

 

Sp/4 James Flahive in his bunk at Tay Ninh, RVN 1967

Note the Claymore bag full of M16 magazines (always ready)

 

 

545th MP Co Area in the early days at Phouc Vinh before we got the new barracks and installed cement sidewalks circa 1968 - 1969 Everything including the bunkers leaked when it rained!

 

 

Inside the 545th Barbershop at Phouc Vinh circa 1969

 

545th MP Lt Jeanes with all the comforts of home circa 1967

 

545th MP SGT Harrison showing off the reason he now has a nice breeze through his tent (a spent artillery shell) and why life is sometimes very interesting and exciting!

 

 

Another Deluxe 545th Condo in Vietnam complete with the most modern fire and safety equipment Note the "4 holer" background left

 

545th MP Co AO prior to the new hooch's circa 1969

 

 

545th MP Co 1SG's favorite wishing well (photo left) which was a urinal close to the orderly room and all the patrols would wave to him as they drove by as he visited this shrine each morning.

 

545th MP Mike Hall in the company AO at Phouc Vinh, RVN circa 1969

Note the numerous bunkers (Mike is a member of our association)

 

 

And then there was the Monsoon Season where you got plenty wet on the way to and from the shower as 545th MP Dupree can attest to in Phouc Vinh RVN circa 1969

 


 

545th MP Mike Hall in his luxurious living accommodations complete with the latest in mosquito netting which is color coordinated with his Olive Drab tent.  Mike is one of the very first members of the unit association

 

Mail Call at the 545th MP Co in Phouc Vinh, RVN circa 1969

 

Another bunch of very wet 545th MP's at Phouc Vinh during the Monsoon Season circa 1969 (Sgt Bourelle is third from left and a member of our association)

 

The 545th eventually replaced all the old GP Medium tents with the new hooch's shown in this photo and we also added cement sidewalks that didn't float away during the monsoons like the board walks did in Phouc Vinh

 

 

The 545th outdoor movie screen at Phouc Vinh where everyone sat on their steel pot during the movie and if we got incoming, you dove into the ditch and crawled to the bunker

 

All the comforts of home with footlocker/boot rack made from old ammo boxes by SGT Bourelle for the entire company at Phouc Vinh, RVN.  Also note the Navy grey paint which was scrounged by SFC "Big Ernie" Lozano from the CBEE's

 

545th MP Ernie Trammel on his front porch at Phouc Vinh 1969

 

Joint Barracks at Tay Ninh, Vietnam about 1970

 

 

545th MP Co Barracks at Bear Cat, Vietnam circa 1970

 

 

 Interior of the new hooch's in Phouc Vinh, Vietnam 1970. Note the ammo box paneling and storage lockers. We could even get armed forces TV on occasion.

 

 

 

 Fort Chaffee, Arkansas

 

545th MP's riding by their WW II style barracks at Ft Chaffee

 

545th MP's forming up in front of their Orderly Room at Ft Chaffee

 

 

 

 Fort Drum, New York

 

545th MP Co, 2nd Plt Ldr, Bill Strite in front of barracks at Ft Drum, New York circa 1981 - 1982

 

 

 

National Training Center, FT Irwin, California

 

545th MP PFC Harrison (standing) in the clamshell billet at Ft Irwin Calif.

 

 

545th MP, PVT Pennington in the clamshell billet at the NTC

 

Unidentified 545th MP in the clamshell at the NTC

 

 

Germany

 

 

SAAF MP Barracks

 

 

 

Kuwait

Kuwait

545th MP Terry Cashatt getting a haircut in the Company AO

 

 

 

Desert Storm

Desert Storm

 

545th bunks down in a warehouse in the Dhahran Port area while waiting for their equipment to arrive and to “acclimatize” in the summer of 1990

 

545th MP Byron Grey at the R & R center billet in Iraq

 

Division Main - AA Horse where the rear echelon types had bunk space.

 

 

1st Cav PMO Bunker at AA Wendy with some 545th troop tents in the background

 

 

4th Platoon, 545th MP Co living accommodations in the Desert in Iraq 1991

 

 

Afghanistan

 

 

Luxurious living quarters for the 545th MP Co in Afghanistan

 

545th MP Co unit AO in Afghanistan with snow and mountains in the background

 

Great living conditions for the 545th in Afghanistan.  No heat and no running water in the barracks and no hot chow.

 

Unidentified 545th MP's making themselves comfortable in the unit barracks

 

 

 

Iraq War OIF II

 

545th MP's SPC's Bunting and Hammock setting up commo between barracks units in Baghdad, Iraq

 

 

A little RPG damage to one of the 545th billets in Baghdad

 

 

545th MP Co AO and quarters outside of Baghdad, Iraq

 

Unidentified 545th MP in his billet outside Baghdad, Iraq

 

545th MP Co Commander CPT Townsend in the Co AO prior to going out on a mission in Baghdad

 

 

 

Fort Hood, Texas

 

3rd Plt members in front of the 545th barracks circa 1983 - 1984

 

3rd Plt Bay Bulletin Board 1983 - 1984

 

545th MP Co Barracks circa 1981

 

545th MP Co Barracks, 1979

 

545th MP Dave Garcias in the barracks circa 1983 - 1984

Dave is a member of the unit association

 

 

SPC Dave Garcias in the barracks at Ft Hood.

 

545th MP Johnson by the unit barracks 1979

(MP Johnson is also a member of our association)

 

 

The old WW II style barracks used by the 545th MP Co at Fort Hood

 

SP4 Charles Chiamulera, 545th MP barracks, summer 1975, Fort Hood, TX

 

 

545th MP Tom Harris in front of the Co Orderly Room circa 1976

Tom is a member of our association

 

 

545th Company Barracks Courtyard at Ft Hood circa 1983

 

545th MP’s Tierce, Carlson and Stout in the barracks hallway at Ft Hood 1980

David Stout (on the left) is a member of our association

 

 

PFC Glenny in the barracks 1989

 

 

PFC Ronnie Rogers, PFC Pertee and Sp/4 Karl Klein in the barracks 1988

 

SPC Melissa Roberts, 1st Plt, 545th MP Co cleaning her M60 mg in the barracks 1988

 

PFC Sauer catching some zzzzz’s in his rack at Ft Hood 1987

 

 

Sp/4 Cooper in his barracks 1988

 

Sp/4 James Throbridges in his rack in the 545th barracks 1988

James is a member of our association

 

 

The main Gate at Fort Hood as it is today

 

Barracks with individual rooms as are presently in use at Ft Hood today

 

Interior of individual barracks room

The Cavalry has come a long way from the days of hay filled mattress covers.

 

 

Mess Area or kitchenette in individual barracks room at Ft Hood

 

 

Latrine in individual barracks room (no more worry about dropping the soap)

 

SP4 Lori Curtis in the Barracks at Fort Hood 1983
Her locker is obviously not ready for inspection

  

And the best photo of all at Fort Hood, Texas

 

 

 

 

Fort Richardson, Alaska

 

As of November 2007 this is the new home for the 545th MP Company. 

 

This was the temporary home for the 545th MP Company in Alaska where the unit piggy backed with the 164th MP Co until their new building was ready for occupation

 

The 545th is now in this building

 

The 545th will have barracks similar to the one shown above in the near future

 

The present day barracks of the 545th MP Company complete with new paint job 2008

 

Company sign at Ft Richardson, December 2008

 

Brand new barracks for the 545th MP Company in the 793rd MP BN Barracks complex at Fort Richardson, Alaska 2010

 

PFC Lindsay Bailey's room in Bldg 662, Ft. Richardson, AK

 

Barracks 1

One of the new individual rooms in the 545th MP Co barracks at Ft Richardson. Definitely not your father’s Army

 

I’ll just bet some of you old Platoon Sergeants out there will cringe when you see this excellent display of uniforms, clothing and equipment.

 

Each MP has his or her own kitchenette which I must say is a good thing for them. At least if they don’t like the SOS the Mess Sergeant is serving up in the Dining Facility, they can prepare their own meal at home in the barracks.

 

Barracks Orderly

An active duty MP recently posed the question to me “What the hell is a Barracks Orderly” and the thought crossed my mind that there are hundreds of soldiers out there that have never had the experience of pulling Barracks Orderly duty.

Prior to the 1970’s we had these orderlies in almost every unit in the Army assigned by the Platoon or 1SG every day. Many 1SG’s even had a Duty Roster posted for each week for this duty. The only day of the week when one was not assigned was on Sunday – although some units had them on Sunday mornings until after church call.

The duties of the Barracks Orderly varied by unit and it also depended on whether your unit still had coal stoves in the barracks or not and in this case the Barracks Orderly was also the Fire Watch.

Once a day the Company Commander, First Sergeant or the Field First (usually the OPNS SGT) would inspect the barracks and as he entered each platoon area, the Barracks Orderly would present himself to the inspecting officer or NCO, come to attention and render a hand salute and state in a loud military voice “PFC Smith, 3rd Platoon Orderly reports the barracks ready for inspection – Sir”. The inspecting officer would then indicate “Follow me Private” and the orderly would follow the inspector with a clip board and make note of all of the gigs found by the inspector. These Gig Sheets would then be turned in to the 1SG and a weekly tally of gigs or deficiencies would be totaled up. It varied by unit, but the platoon with the least amount of weekly gigs usually all got week end passes and even those members of that platoon on company punishment would be pardoned.

No – that is not all the Barracks Orderly did! These inspections usually occurred in the afternoon and prior to them the Orderly was very busy indeed. Once the unit had completed morning PT and had returned from the Mess Hall, they prepared for the days duties or training or whatever else was on the Training Schedule for that day. Before they fell out for these activities, they made their bunks, dusted and shined the floor, took out the trash and cleaned the latrines. That’s when the barracks orderlies got busy.

First stop was the platoon latrine and showers. The orderly usually made sure all the toilet seats were up and that they had all been cleaned properly and that there were no water marks on the chrome or seats. Then all the floor drains and shower drains were Brassoed and free of gunk, hair etc. Then the same was done with the sink drains. In the days of the Double Blade Razors when we had used razor receptacles in the latrine, they were emptied and cleaned and all the faucets were turned off tightly so as not to allow any dripping and the sinks - mirrors and chrome were cleaned, polished and shined.

Second stop was the barracks and Squad Bays where the orderly made sure that the Butt Cans were clean and had fresh water in them or in some units fresh sand. Floors were checked to make sure that the platoon members had properly buffed the floors and usually they had not and the orderly had to rebuff them. Then the orderly checked the window sills and stair rails and other areas for dust. In the brown shoe Army when the rifle racks were sometimes kept in the barracks, the weapons were checked for dust as well. In those days single NCOs who lived on post in the barracks had to leave their room doors unlocked and an orderly checked all these rooms to insure that the NCOs did not leave anything undone or had left any items out and not squared away their room for inspection. Last but not least, the orderly then made sure all the garbage cans were emptied and clean inside and out and if your barracks were still heated by those old pot belly stoves, you emptied the ashes, cleaned and blacked the stove and refilled it with fresh coal. Then you went outside and cleaned, rinsed and trimmed all the brooms and mops and hung them upside down to dry – or went to the supply room and got new mop heads if necessary.

If you were a really conscientious Barracks Orderly you then checked the platoon police area and made sure that no one had left a gum wrapper or an unstripped cigarette butt on the ground that had been missed or overlooked during Police Call and then you got cleaned up and put on fresh starched fatigues and got ready for barracks inspection.

Worse than Barracks Orderly was Commanders or Orderly Room Orderly. The First Sergeant kept you hopping all day! Everyone from SP/5 on down was subject to this duty. NCO’s from Corporal on up were exempt. The Best job to have was Day Room Orderly.

I hope this little bit of Army Barracks life history was of interest to you newer soldiers as I am sure that you old timers will all remember this and the many times you may have pulled this duty.

Another purpose of the Barracks Orderly was to be a security watch for the barracks as Scroungers and Thieves from other units used to roam all over post looking for a chance to “midnight requisition” items for their unit like toilet seats and curtains from the day room.

 

There are literally thousands of photos of the 545th MP Company in their barracks and around the company areas.  The photos in this short history were chosen at random and if anyone wishes to add or delete a photo or add some information, kindly contact CPT Sam Reinert at the 545th MP Co Association.

Sam Reinert

CPT MP USAR (Ret)

Founder

545th Military Police Company Association

626 1/2 South 9th Street

Richmond, Indiana   47374  USA

(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX

http://545thmpassn.com/