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545th Military Police Company

A Pictorial History

The Guidon’s of the 545th

As of March 8, 2014

 

All branches of the military constantly test and develop new tactics, logistical methods, weapons, vehicles and just about anything else that can be tested and upgraded.  There is frequent improvement and modernization in the military and that includes military heraldry.  That too has seen change over the years and the Military Police Corps and more specifically, the 545th MP Company is no exception. There have been several changes, modifications, and additions to the Military Police Guidon’s over the years (some of them unauthorized) and the following is a Pictorial History of this Guidon’s within the 1st Cavalry Division Military Police and the Arctic MP Battalion:

 

The Old Horse Cavalry

 

There were no Military Police units in the old horse cavalry.  Some units were assigned to a specific Provost Marshal for temporary Provost Duty or an individual NCO might be assigned to a specific unit as a temporary Provost Sergeant but this was similar to the old Navy when they assigned a Petty Officer and several seamen to Shore Patrol Duty on a temporary basis. To this writers knowledge there were no known Guidon’s for Provost Troops in any of the Cavalry Regiments or troops serving in the western states.

 

Fort Bliss, Texas

 

To date there are no known photos of a Guidon for the original MP Platoon, Hqs Troop, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Bliss.  Verbal history has it that when the unit was forming up and the Hqs Troop staff was making preparations for the unit to join them; a cavalry type (red and white) Guidon was ordered for the eventual assumption of command ceremony.  When the officers and NCO’s finally started to trickle in to the unit for assignment in 1942 a few of them noticed this “Cavalry type Guidon” and made objection.  Many of the original members of the MP Platoon were selected from the line Regiments and transferred to the MP Platoon for OJT to become MP’s but several old time MP NCO’s including an old WW I veteran who had been assigned to the unit made it clear that the MP Colors were green and yellow and so the Guidon was re ordered in the appropriate colors. 

 

Australia

 

There are no photographs of the MP Platoon Guidon available at this time

Pacific Theatre

 

There are no photographs of the MP Platoon Guidon available at this time

 

 

 

Japan

 

SGT Harold E. Lehman (Deceased) served in the MP Platoon at Camp Drake, Japan from 1946 – 1948 and until his demise was a member of the 545th MP Co Association.  SGT Lehman was the unit Guidon Bearer during this entire time and was also the unofficial unit verbal historian as he took an interest in such things at an early age and went out of his way to question the old timers in the unit regarding its history.  SGT Lehman worked road patrol as well as foot patrol and Gate Duty at Camp Drake and even part time in the Mess Hall as a Cook.  It seems there were a lot of Irishmen in the unit who liked Corned Beef and Cabbage and the regular cooks did not make it to their liking so SGT Lehman volunteered and did a satisfactory job so remained on part time in the Mess Hall. SGT Lehman also made some extra income in the unit by manufacturing the fancy yellow Lanyards that are seen so often in our old unit photos and selling them to individual MP’s.  Thanks to SGT Lehman we have some really great photos of the MP Platoon Guidon.

 

SGT Harold Lehman (on the right) and unknown MP hold MP Platoon Guidon at Camp Drake, Japan.  Although this is a black and white Photograph, the colors have been confirmed by three veterans (and members of our association) of the unit:  MSG Roger L. Everhart, PFC C.D. George and SGT Lehman himself. The top half of the Guidon obviously Green and the bottom half was Yellow.

 

CPT Dalton Lain, Commander MP Platoon and Guidon Bearer marching in formation at Camp Drake, Japan circa 1946. This Guidon Bearer was the one SGT Lehman replaced and although his name is unknown he did serve with the MP Platoon all through the Pacific Island Campaigns (as per SGT Lehman)

 

MP Platoon marching at Camp Drake, Japan circa 1949 and you will note that the Guidon color had changed to solid Green by this time and SGT Lehman had already gone back to the States.  The name of this Guidon Bearer is unknown at this time.

 

Another photo of the MP Platoon Guidon at Camp Drake circa 1949 and it looks like the “LIGHT STARCH” phase had begun for the Khaki uniforms. 

 

There are no known photographs of the unit Guidon at Camp Crawford, but from Camp Crawford forward in time it was custom in the 545th MP Company as well as in most other units in the US Army to maintain HEAVY STARCH in the Khaki uniforms.  It was usually so HEAVY that you had to punch your fist down through the legs of the trousers before you could insert your foot. Many of the old timers did not like this as they could no longer keep their “smoke fixin’s” to roll their cigarettes in the shirt pocket as once you peeled the starched pocket flap open it tended to roll up at the corners in the summer heat and after that you looked really sloppy with all four corners of your shirt pockets rolled up!  The younger MP’s used to keep their “Tailor Made” (Factory Rolled) smokes in the trouser leg.  They used condoms or “Stretch Boot Rubbers” (these were purchased in the PX and were usually OG in color, elastic or stretch cord and about 4” long with a metal hook on each end) to blouse their trousers and would slip the smokes up the leg where they would remain safely and not make a bulge in any of the starched pockets. Later on when Leggings were no longer in use and everyone had high top boots this went slowly out of fashion as trousers that were bloused into the boots tended to remain there, unlike the leggings, although you could still find Boot Rubbers or Blousing Aids as they were sometimes called in some PX’s up until the mid 1970’s. Just a bit of historical trivia FYI

 

 

  

 

Korea

 

The 545th Guidon in Korea which was taken during the Candy Cane Parade with Santa (a 545th MP) in his ox cart going through Pa-Ju-Ri at Christmas passing out candy canes circa 1962

 

Photo of the 545th MP Co Guidon at Camp Custer, Korea 1963

 

 

 

Vietnam

 

Guidon in front of the Orderly Room at Phouc Vinh, RVN 1969

 

Guidon Bearer of the 545th Gideon in formation at Phouc Vinh, RVN circa 1969 SFC “Big Ernie” Lozano making the morning report to 1SG Sykes.

 

CPT Kociaba, CO 545th MP Co and the 545th Guidon at the Division Stand Down in Bien Hoa circa 1972

Guidon Bearers name unknown

 

From left to right SGT Bell, SSG Mills (shaking hands with unknown), and Unidentified Guidon Bearer (possibly SSG Lord) with Gideon, SGT Conley and CPT Reinert at an awards ceremony held in Phouc Vinh RVN circa 1969 MP Club building in the background

 

 

 

Fort Chaffee, Arkansas

 

 

 

 

 

Fort Drum, New York

 

2nd Platoon, 545th MP Co Guidon at Ft Drum, New York circa 1982

 

545th MPs at OP Blue Northern L to R Sp4 Angel Fuentes, SGT Bill Crutchfield, Pv2 Chad McRee (center), PV2 Brian Harris, PV2 Steve Grabowski and SGT Gabriel Tiegle

 

 

 

 

Bosnia

 

There are no known photos at this time of the Guidon in Bosnia

 

 

Afghanistan

 

There are no known photos at this time of the Guidon in Afghanistan

 

 

Desert Storm

 

CPT Jeffery T. Harris, Co 545th MP Co and other members of the unit with Guidon in Desert Storm

 

2nd Platoon Guidon in Desert Storm

 

Note the gold and green platoon Guidon for the 2nd Platoon, 545th MP Co in Desert Storm

 

1st Platoon, 545th MP Company Guidon

“Iron horse Platoon”

This Guidon presented to the Platoon Leader by members of the Platoon

 

 

 

 

Kuwait

 

3rd Platoon, 545th MP Company Guidon in Kuwait 1992

“Wolf Pack”

 

PFC Grey, 1st Platoon, 545th MP Co Tactical Assembly Area HORSE, Saudi Arabia

 

545th MP Company CP somewhere in Kuwait 1992

 

 

 

 

Iraq War

 

                            

 

A few of the Platoon Guidon’s and a subdued company Guidon in Iraq – more to be added later as the writer of this document finds them

 

 

SPC Alonzo, 545th MP Co Guidon Bearer in Baghdad, Iraq

It should be noted that as in days of the Civil War, the 545th MP Company Guidon Bearer was chosen because of his height and was seen everywhere with the Co Commander so that the Troopers of the 545th could rally on him in time of need

 

Four 545th Commanders in Iraq:  LTC Harris, CPT Townsend, CPT Mularoni and COL Swengros

 

CPT Townsend, SPC Alonzo and 1SG George with 545th Guidon in Baghdad, Iraq

 

LTC Byrd, Capt.’s Townsend and Mularoni and 1SG George at the Change of Command Ceremony in Baghdad with the 545th Guidon

 

SFC Rusty Harr with Guidon

 

545th MP Adam Shuman with his platoon guidon in Iraq

 

Shane Weber top row, second from left '2003

 

 

 

OIF 09 – 10

 

3rd PLT Guidon 545th MP Co Iraq 2010

 

 

 

 

 

Fort Hood, Texas

 

2nd Platoon 545th MP Co in formation at Ft Hood with Guidon 1978

 

545th MP and last Guidon Bearer SSG Mike Ashcraft in the Orderly Room with the 545th Gideon at Ft Hood

 

CPT Matt Mularoni the last Commander of the 545th MP Co with the Guidon in the Orderly Room at Ft Hood

 

545th MP Company Guidon in front of the Orderly Room at Fort Hood, Texas in the 1980’s

 

CPT Rodney L. Johnson, Commander 545th MP Co with Guidon at FT Hood circa 1985

This 545th Commander was later to become the Commandant of the MP School and then the Provost Marshal General of the US Army

 

1LT Nance Commander, 545th MP Co and SFC Hoover with the 545th Guidon receive the Superior Unit Award Streamer from the Division ADC

 

1989, Fort Hood, Texas

 

The 545th Guidon in all its Glory in the Orderly Room at Ft Hood, Texas

 

The last official photo of the 545th MP Company Guidon with the last Gideon Bearer, SSG Mike Ashcraft taken in front of the 545th Orderly Room at Ft Hood, Texas and at the writing of this document, Mike is assigned to Recruiting Duty and longs to be back in an MP unit

 

SSG Nat

SSG Natalie Kindrick holding Guidon, SGT Tillman holding cased colors and on the left is SFC Coleman 1993

 

 

 

Fort Richardson, Alaska

 

On 12 August, 2008 at 1400 hrs the 545th MP Company was reactivated on Pershing Field at Fort Richardson, Alaska and here is the 545th MP Co Guidon in all its glory carried by SSG Michael Crerend, the Co Gideon Bearer/Color Sergeant

 

 

MAJ Brian Sullivan, Co 545th MP Co, UNK Guidon Bearer and 1SG Lavander Wilkerson, 1SG, 545th MP Co Fort Richardson, Alaska December 2008

 

This fancy piece of gear is certainly an improvement over the good old days when the Motor Sergeant would weld a piece of pipe to a scrap of sheet steel and paint it MP Green so the unit Gideon could be displayed in the orderly room.  This is the present day display mount for the unit Guidon at Fort Richardson.  I can only assume the various crests represent the units in the Arctic MP BN

 

Here is the current Guidon (December 2010) on display in the Orderly Room of the 545th MP Co at Ft Richardson Alaska with all of the streamers displayed.

 

This photo of CPT Mixon and the Guidon taken at the Deployment Ceremony at Fort Richardson, Alaska 2009 shows most of the streamers and the big grin on CPT Mixon’s face showing his pride at commanding this great unit!!

 

CPT Mixon, CMDR, 545th MP Co, 1SG Dementer, First Sergeant of the 545th MP Co and the Color Sergeant holding the Guidon at the Deployment Ceremony at Ft Richardson, Alaska.  You will note that the 545th carries on the tradition of having a Color Sergeant and not just any enlisted person or Gideon bearer carry the Gideon.  It is an honor to carry the colors of the 545th MP Co and accordingly, an NCO should be given this honor.  This is both an honor to the colors and to the Color Sergeant.

 

Another great photo of our unit colors

 

Current Guidon just outside the orderly room at Ft Richardson, Alaska 2010.

 

 545th MP's 4th Platoon (Warhorse) Guidon, Fort Hood, Texas 1986

 

 

 

Individual Platoon Mottos

 

Throughout the history of the 545th MP Company, it was not uncommon for each platoon to have their own Guidon and also a platoon motto. This trend really caught on in Vietnam.  Often times this motto would even be sewn on the Platoon Guidon. Here below is a list of the Platoon Mottos that have been confirmed to date.

 

Hqs Platoon

Movers and Shakers

 

1st Platoon

Iron Horse

Hell Raisers

Hell Hounds

Praetorians

 

2nd Platoon

Blackjack

Shock Troopers

Guardians

 

3rd Platoon

Road Runners

Wolf Pack

Grey Wolf

War Dawgs

 

4th Platoon

Death Dealers

Mamma sans Boys

Rice Paddy Jumpers

Warhorse

 

5th Platoon

Ghost Riders

Outlaws

Night Stalkers

 

6th Platoon

Palace Guard

Palatial Troopers

The CG’s Own

Defend to the Death

 

 

 

From the Institute of Heraldry

March 1998

 

The color yellow piped with green was assigned to the Military Police by AR 600-35 dated 20 April 1922.  With the establishment of yellow for Armor and the use of green for the insignia on the Armor flag, the colors for the Military Police were reversed.  The current colors, green piped with yellow, were assigned by regulation 600-60-1 dated 26 October 1951

 

This document prepared by:

 

CPT Sam Reinert

Founder and CEO

545th MP Co Association

765 962 4627 FAX and phone

samreinert1@545thmpcoassn.org