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                  Music - Little Texas "God Bless Texas"

545th Military Police Company

Fort Hood, Texas

First Team’s Finest

As of November 19, 2013

On December 29, 1845, Texas became a state.  Fort Gates was established soon afterwards to protect the local settlers from Indian attacks.  On September 18, 1942, Fort Gates was renamed Fort Hood for the famous Confederate General, John Bell Hood.  Over the years, the post grew in size and in number of units assigned to it as well. It also saw some famous personalities go through Armor training in its training units.  Probably the most famous trainee to come through Fort Hood was Elvis Presley, arriving on March 28, 1958.

Upon its return from Vietnam 05 May 1971, the 1st Cavalry Division “First Team” came to Fort Hood and replaced the 1st Armored Division “Old Ironsides” when it deployed to Germany. Utilizing the assets and even some of the personnel left over from the departed 1st Armor Division, the 1st Cavalry Division was reorganized and reassigned to III Corps and received and experimental designation of the Triple-Capability (TRICAP) Division.  Its mission, under the direction of the Modern Army Selected Systems Test, Evaluation and Review (MASSTER) was to carry on a close identification with and test forward looking combined armor, air cavalry and airmobile concepts.

The Division consisted of the 1st Armored Brigade, the 2nd Air Cavalry Combat Brigade (ACCB), and the 4th Airmobile Infantry Brigade.  Division Artillery provided the fire support; Support Command provided normal troop support and service elements and Division Troops supplied the specialty units, consisting of a composite sub set of operating elements organic to the Division.  As part of the Division Troops reorganization, the 501st Military Police Company, 1st Armored Division was redesignated as the 545th Military Police Company, 1st Cavalry Division (Tricap).

In January 1975, the 1st Cavalry Division was once again reorganized, becoming the Army’s newest armored division.  During the Division’s most recent past, the unit successfully completed field testing of TACFIRE, a computerized system to increase the effectiveness of artillery.

On 07 August 1990, a deployment order for the Southwest Asia operations was issued. The order called for the division to be attached to the XVIII Airborne Corps to reinforce Saudi Arabia and organize for combat operations.  Plans calling for the division to deploy by 15 September extended the workday to 14, 16 and in some cases 24 hours.  On schedule, by mid September over 800 heavy loaded vehicles were loaded at Ft. Hood railhead to make the trip to the seaports of Houston and Beaumont.  An additional 4,200 vehicles formed road convoys that left every two hours, around the clock.

On 16 September, an Air Force C5A Galaxy, carrying the advanced headquarters staff left the Fort Hood, Robert Gray Army Airfield.  The 545th MP Company joined in the operations to perform its security missions and fight.  They served proudly in the Persian Gulf War; helping the 1st Cavalry Division and other coalition forces crush the Iraqi Army.  The company then redeployed to Fort Hood, Texas with the “First Team” in April 1991.

At Fort Hood on 21 May 1991, the 1st Cavalry Division became the largest division in the U.S. Army with the reactivation of its 3rd “Grey Wolf Battle Team”

Following this reorganization, the division became the Army’s largest division and only armored contingency force, ready to deploy from Ft Hood to anywhere in the world on a moments notice.

 

DEACTIVATION OF THE 545TH MP COMPANY
AT FORT HOOD, TEXAS

There have been many questions asked by prior members of the 545th MP Co as to the intent behind the deactivation of this fine unit at Fort Hood. In an email received by Sam Reinert from CPT Matt Mularoni, the last Commanding Officer of the 545th MP Co, dated Sunday, September 18, 2005 the reasoning behind this historic action is explained quite clearly:

“Sam:

The main reason for the deactivation of the Division MP companies is the Army’s transformation to the modular combat brigade.  This concept allows the “plug and play” ability of the force commander to tailor the forces to meet his specific needs.  For example:  A force Commander may determine that he needs a heavy brigade with tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, an airborne brigade, an airmobile brigade, and a Stryker brigade for his mission.  The new modularity allows the Army to provide a brigade from the 1st Cavalry Division, a Brigade from the 82nd Airborne Division, and a Brigade from the 101st Airborne Division and a Stryker Brigade from Fort Lewis, Washington.  It is a new way of structuring and/or combining forces to meet mission requirements.

One of the down-falls is the need to assign the “separates” to the brigades.  Therefore, not only the division military police company, but the division artillery, signal battalion, military intelligence battalion, and the division support command were disbanded and the units assigned directly to their brigades.  Since the end of the Cold War, the Army has deployed in the “Brigade Combat Team”.  What this has meant, is that just prior to a deployment, the brigade would receive its “slice” elements (MP’s, intelligence units, support, engineer, artillery, etc.).  By forming the Brigade units of action, these “slice” elements are already assigned to the Brigade.  In theory, this realignment should eliminate the learning curve that occurs when thee “slice” elements are attached to the Brigade for deployment.  Now, the units will train and deploy together in an already formed cohesive team.  What modularity has done is taken the formation that is created for a deployment, then disbanded when the mission is over and made the relationships permanent.

As for the MP Platoons, they are assigned to the Headquarters Company of the Brigade’s Special Troops Battalion (STB).  This new unit, under the command of a Lieutenant Colonel, organizes the signal company, the MP Platoon, the Military Intelligence Company, and other assorted smaller elements into a single command.  Hence the answer to your original question is that the MP Platoon Leader reports directly to STB HHC commander through to the STB CDR to the BDE CDR.  The Provost Marshal’s influence is through the MP Captain and senior MP NCO on the Brigade Staff.  This is no different that what we have seen in the last couple of years.  In Iraq, the Provost Marshal did not have direct control of any MP forces within the area of operations.  The PM shop is a division staff element that recommends to the Division Commander on the overall MP missions within the unit.  As recently noted during my last deployment, I did not report or receive guidance from the PM for any 545th missions.  My tasking was done by the Brigade Commander that I supported in sector.

In my opinion, the major downfall to the reorganization is the loss of the MP company commander to oversee the professional development and MP specific training of the lieutenants and the loss of the 1SG’s identical roles of the platoon sergeants and the squad leaders.  As for operational, the main loss is the general support platoons.  These roles and missions will have to be spread throughout the division.

As with anything new, changes will occur and the doctrine will follow.  As sad as it seems to lose not only the 545th, but the rest of the division MP companies, this transformation aligns forces as the Army now fights and will be an overall benefit.  All of us must remove the blinders and look at the need for overall mission accomplishment.  The role of the division military police had changed dramatically over the past thirty years.  In Iraq, there was no division military police desk and I think there was a total for forty traffic tickets written (and that was because the CG had one platoon running traffic control points on the base camp for about 3 weeks due to speeding).  Law enforcement may be the main mission in garrison, but on deployment, that slides to the very bottom of the mission priority and the combat role takes center stage. 

If the Military Police Corps had done it right, there would have been an entire MP Battalion with an MP Company to each Brigade assigned to the Divisions.  Hope this has shed some light from my personal foxhole?

Matt

 

 

545th MILITARY POLICE COMPANY   
ASSOCIATION
626 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana   47374

September 19, 2005

CPT. Matt Mularoni
Commanding Officer
545th Military Police Company
Fort Hood, Texas

Subject:  Letter of Farewell

Upon the inactivation of the 545th Military Police Company, the members of the 545th Military Police Company Association would like to send you and the members of your command our greetings and express our farewell and best wishes for success in your next assignments.

The loss of this historic Military Police Company will be felt by all of us in the Association for many years to come.  Some of our members made the landing on Los Negros Island and some were in Manila; some marched into Tokyo with MacArthur; many were with the flying column that drove right into the heart of North Korea and captured it’s Capitol, many more were in Vietnam and a few were with the First Team when it crossed over into Iraq with specific instructions to destroy the Republican Guard.  All of us will never forget our time with our beloved 545th.

As you and the other fine Military Policemen and women proceed to new assignments and other Military Police units, remember your time with the First Team’s Finest with pride.  It always was and will always be the best and most highly decorated military police company in the U.S. Army.  It will be a while, if ever that another MP unit breaks that record.

I too had the privilege of commanding the 545th and I know what an honor and a pleasure that was.  No one can take that away from either of us.  Nor can anyone take away the pride that each and every member, both active and inactive carries with him or her for the rest of their lives for their service with the 545th.

Wear that yellow and black Cavalry patch with pride and walk tall among other Military Policemen so they may all know that you served in the best of the best and were first in all things always.

Farewell to you my good friend and fellow 545th MP member and farewell to all members of your unit, may God bless them all.

On behalf of all members of the 545th Military Police Company Association,

 

Samuel R. Reinert
CEO and Founder
545th MP Co. Assn.

And

Commanding Officer
545th Military Police Company
1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
Phouc Vinh, Republic of Vietnam

 

Garry Owen

 

THE FORT HOOD SENTINEL
Thursday, April 23, 1981
Page 2-C

MILITARY POLICE RESPOND TO DISTRESS

By Bill R. Shepherd

They’re called many names by most soldiers, mostly unprintable slurs.  But those things don’t bother SSgt. Ramon N. Hernandez, a military policeman from the 545th MP Co., 1st Cav. Div.  “We stick to our motto:  ‘Of the Troops, For the Troops.’  We try to help people out, no matter what others think of us,” the uniformed patrolman explained.

Hernandez talks while driving and listening to his jeep’s radio, a skill MP’s claim comes with experience.  “Basically, we check parking lots to insure everything is secure.  If car doors are not locked, we lock them and leave a note for the owner, reminding him to lock it up.”

Listening to Hernandez makes it hard to believe that all the MP’s do is harass soldiers, even though that is how many soldiers feel.  “We try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt,” Hernandez said.  “If we stop you for having a tail light out, we normally just inform you that it’s out.  We’ll write it down on paper and if we see you again and it’s still not fixed, then, we’ll give you a ticket.”

In contrast, if any MP finds car keys in a vehicle, it’s an automatic ticket.  “By Texas law, we are required to write a ticket.”  Hernandez confirmed.  “We take the keys, secure the car, and leave a note for the owner telling him to pick up his keys at III Corps PMO.”

The shift for the uniformed patrol usually begins about two hours before the duty inspection, a detailed examination by the platoon leader and sometimes, the Provost Marshal.  “We’re the model for the troops,” said the 545th MP Co’s top NCO, 1st Sgt. Harold L. Mappes.  “We’ve got to set the example.  If we don’t look better than the troop, we can’t approach him.”

LOOKING GOOD doesn’t stop with the MP; their jeeps are also maintained in top shape.  The MP’s believe that maintenance is the key to any military police outfit.  “We spend many hours getting these jeeps ready for their daily use,” stressed Sgt. Alan W. Wagner, the shop foreman at the 545th motor pool.  “They (MP’s) even come down on their days off to help out.  They really take good care of the vehicles.”

Once the MP’s and their jeeps have been inspected, the soldiers attend a daily briefing.  They’re briefed on many subjects, including the handling of juveniles, and using hand-irons.  Then, they are advised of any on going situations.  Reports from as far away as San Antonio are used.

After the briefing, the MP’s hit the road.  Unfortunately, “Hollywood glory” is not part of their day.  Mostly, the day is long and patrol duty is boring, but Hernandez feels the high visibility of an MP in pressed fatigues and bright, shiny helmet liner, helps stop crime.

“Our mission as the uniformed patrol is to respond where we are needed.  We get the basic facts:  who, what, when, where, why and how,” explained Hernandez.  “We take statements and turn the investigation over to MPI (Military Police Investigators).”

THERE ARE SIX investigators presently in the 1st Cav. Div. MPI section, according to Investigator Christian N. Latino.  “Our job is to pick up where the patrol left off, and put the pieces of the jig-saw puzzle together.” He emphasized.

The investigators work in civilian clothes.  The main reason, according to SSgt. Jose M. Flores, the MPI NCOIC, is that they do a lot of interviews, “Wearing civilian clothes helps make the subjects being interviewed feel they’re not outranked by the investigator,” he stated.

“The only luxury is I don’t have to polish my boots.”  Latino answered about wearing civilian clothes.  “I’ve covered all the angles and it’s the only advantage I can see.”

The MP’s work long hours, as much as 70 hours a week, according to both Hernandez and Latino, but this doesn’t relieve them from other responsibilities.  Like other First Team troops, the MP’s are soldiers first.  In the 545th MP Co.’s orderly room, the complaints about duty, training and details are voiced as often as in any other orderly room.

As one MP puts it, MP doesn’t mean military police, it means “Multi-Purpose”

 

 

      Fort Hood Photo Album        Fort Hood Photo Album Two      Ft Hood News

                                                             Fort Hood Photo Album           Fort Hood Photo Album Two                   Ft Hood News 

 


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/