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                Music - Christmas Songs "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"

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545th Military Police Company
1st Cavalry Division and Arctic MP BN
A Pictorial History

As November 2, 2013

Since the days of the old horse cavalry on the western plains, the cavalry troopers have celebrated Christmas. Most of the troopers in the old cavalry regiments were of German, Irish or Italian descent and were predominately Catholic with a few German Lutherans thrown in for good measure. Even many of the Indian Scouts were converted Christians. We know that they carried on the traditions of a Christmas tree and a turkey Christmas dinner as well as many of the other Christmas trimmings and traditions that we know and observe today. Of course being cavalry troopers there was probably a little “holiday cheer” to be found within the regiments as well and the old Provost Sergeants were probably a little busy during this period of time. The following is a pictorial history of the Christmas activities of the 545th MP Company throughout its history and has been made possible by the many contributions of photographs and historical documents provided by the members of the unit association. I hope you enjoy viewing this document as much as I did putting it together!

Western Plains


Cav troopers during the Indian Wars often had to enjoy their Christmas dinner at lonely camp fires on the Western Plains in the old Line Regiments


Fort Bliss, Texas

Sadly, there are no photographs available at this time for Christmas activities at Fort Bliss. We do know that prior to the formation of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Bliss, the old cavalry Regiments that were later to become part of that unit were authorized by the War Department to procure from the local economy, smoked hams and other such supplies that would provide a plentiful Christmas Dinner for the troopers.


This painting by Remington depicts the troopers of the 7th Cav roasting a Christmas beef at Christmas on the western plains somewhere near Fort Bliss, Texas. Note the snow capped Franklin Mountains in the background

In addition to what the Quartermaster procured from the local economy, the troopers probably hunted and brought in such items as deer and wild turkey which were plentiful on the western plains at that time. Later as the 1st Cavalry Division and the MP Platoon were formed, the old adobe barracks and mess halls gave way to modern brick barracks and mess facilities until the build up for WW II began and they had to construct framed wooden barracks to facilitate all the incoming troopers, Christmas dinner became more formal and organized. It was prepared in modern facilities and all the troopers ate heartily of the plentiful Christmas bounty. 1942 was the last year that the 1st Cavalry Division celebrated Christmas at Fort Bliss. By the summer of 1943 they were in Australia and getting ready to ship out for the Pacific Islands.


The 1st Cavalry Division did not spend Christmas is Australia. By the time Christmas rolled around in 1943 they were in the midst of WWII in the Pacific Theatre.

Pacific Theatre

The pace of combat was hectic and as there were no static bases or positions until the cessation of hostilities, there were no Christmas celebrations during WW II in the Pacific Theatre and therefore no photos available that we have knowledge of at this time. Some real echelon units did receive hot turkey for Christmas during WW II, but most line units were lucky to receive hot canned turkey roll or hot K Rations during WW II in the Pacific Islands.


As per SGT Lehman (Deceased), MSG Everhart, CPL Whalen and PFC George – all members of our association who served at Camp Drake Japan, there was a hot Christmas meal in 1947 – 1949 at Camp Drake and cigars were passed out to all the Division troopers on Christmas day. Aside from a Christmas tree at Division Headquarters, there were no decorations of note anywhere in the barracks or orderly room.


1CD Christamas Card 1953

1CD Christmas Card 1953




During the Korean War, the action was so intense and the movements so frequent and far reaching that most units, including the 545th MP Company had no Christmas dinner to speak of. MSG Everhart tells us that it was just another day in the War for him and his POW collection detachment. After the Korean War in the late 1950’s and during the early 1960’s there were some great Christmas activities in the 545th MP Company.



Santa (545th MP Leroy Slater) departs the 545th Orderly Room at Camp Custer on a candy cane run to the local village in an ox cart 1963

Santa has left Camp Custer and is enroute to the local village with candy canes and candy bars for all the local children


Our very own SGT Shook (in foreground) passing out candy bars to the local Korean children in the village of Pajuri just outside the main gate at Camp Custer, Korea 1963. SSG John Shook is a member of our association


Another good shot of SGT John Shook (second from left in photo) and SSG Johnson with a box of Clark Bars for the Korean Children

Santa in all his Glory!!

The Korean children are really enjoying the visit from the 545th Santa 1963


Aside from the MP’s on duty – just about the entire company was present for this event including the Commander and First Sergeant and the Korean National Police Helped as well.


CPT Sam Reinert and 1SG Bill Sykes in the MP Club with Santa. Phouc Vinh, Vietnam 1969

Christmas Card from the Cav troopers in Vietnam

A little Christmas party at the 545th command CP in Vietnam 1967

Christmas in a 545th Squad tent in Vietnam 1967

Christmas at the Plt Command hooch LZ English 1967

The 545th even invited a captured NVA Scout to the Xmas party in 1967


545th MP Co Christmas tree in RVN 1967

SGT’s Dell and Monzo and an unidentified MP at LZ English 1967
Sgt Dell is a member of our association


Christmas in the 1st Platoon, 545th MP Co circa 1967 RVN

1st Cavalry Division Christmas card 1970

Christmas at LZ Buttons, Song Be, Vietnam 1969



At the time of the writing of this document, there are no Christmas photos available from the 545th MP Co in Bosnia.


At the time of the writing of this document, there are no Christmas photos available from the 545th MP Co in Afghanistan.


Desert Shield/Storm


1st Cav Christmas card 1990


Christmas Day in the Desert. You would never guess it, but Santa is really our very own LTC Lupo who was the Division PM at the time. LTC Lupo is a member of our Association

Iraq War

6th Platoon, 545th MP Co Charlie Brown Christmas Tree 2004


SGT Tony Jannotti of the 545th MP Co tells Santa what he wants for Christmas in Baghdad

545th MP Co Christmas party in Baghdad 2004

Santa’s Helper in Baghdad - SSG McQueen is a member of our association

545th Xmas tree in Iraq 2009



Fort Hood

During Christmas of 1970 there was a rare snow fall on Christmas Eve and they had to brush the snow off the Cav Patch painted on a rock in the company area

545th MP writes Santa a ticket at Fort Hood 1971

Santa inspecting Guard Mount at Fort Hood 1976

545th MPs Glenny, Pertee and Kurbo in the barracks at Ft Hood 1987

Ronnie Rogers, PFC Pertee and SP4 Karl in the barracks at Ft Hood 1987

Christmas at Fort Hood, 1995
SPC Kozer, SGT King, CPL Stitzer, Santa (unknown), SPC Dematty, SPC Johnson and SFC Miller



Fort Richardson

Here is a great shot of the very first Christmas celebrated by the newest members of the 545th MP Company at Fort Richardson in 2007 and note the snow shoes!

545th Christmas trees decorated by the family readiness group at Fort Richardson 2008

Santa, his little helpers and the good kids in his sleigh at Ft Richardson 2008

SPC Shakal, SGT Venezuela and PFC Skutt good little Santa’s helpers all at Ft Richardson 2009


Christmas in the 545th 2009


Santa has been to the 545th 2009



Santa's little helpers at the Mpost Exchange 2011




"A Different Christmas Poem"




"A Soldiers Silent Night" Video



"The First Noel" Allison Crowe Video

Christmas Photo Album1







Should anyone viewing this document have any photos that they would like to share with us for inclusion in this photo history, please send them to:

Sam Reinert



545th Military Police Company Association

626 1/2 South 9th Street

Richmond, Indiana   47374  USA

(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX