FORT LEONARD WOOD, Missouri- Military Police Regiment Soldiers participating in the 75th Military Police Anniversary Competitive Challenge on Fort Leonard Wood exemplified the opening stanzas of the U.S. Army’s Soldier’s Creed.
“I am a warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values. I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.”
The competition was the first that deviated from the three-Soldier-team, combat-skills concept judged on the combat skills relating to the military police occupational Specialty from which Soldiers branch off to different specialties. All those capabilities were tested in this year’s individual noncommissioned officer and Soldier competition.
Sgt. Dakota Bowen, Headquarters and Headquarters Division, 15th MP Brigade, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was awarded first place in the NCO category, and Spc. Cullen Campbell, 197th MP Company, 385th MP Battalion, Fort Stewart, Georgia, was awarded first place in the Soldier category.
“A military policeman must have some knowledge on what a corrections specialist does or what a military working dog handler does and vice versa,” said Sgt. Maj. Dianna Smith, U.S. Army Military Police School, Directorate of Proponency, Initiatives and Integrations. “The MPACC consists of a physical endurance assessment, written tests, hands-on warrior tasks and battle drills, weapons qualification, land navigation course, obstacle course and battlefield forensics,” the report said.
Second-place winners were Sgt. William Donohoo, 411th MP Co., 720th MP Bn., Fort Hood, Texas, and Spc. Jose Mercado, 64th MP Co., 720th MP Bn., Fort Hood.
Third-place winners were Staff Sgt. Andrew Evens, 546th MP Co., 385th MP Bn., Fort Stewart, Georgia, and Spc. Issac Stanley, 984th MP Co., 795th MP Bn., Fort Carson, Colorado.
The Spirit Award went to Staff Sgt. Joshua Hambly, 170th MP Co., 504th MP Bn., Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
This year’s challenge was designed as an individual challenge to test military expertise, inspire hard work and enhance esprit de corps. The field of competitors included all ranks from private through staff sergeant with a variety of units from across the MP Corps Regiment.
The competitors participated in a grueling three-day competition consisting of 11 physically-demanding events and six written exams guaranteeing competitors would have to rely on their brains and not just brawn and sheer will to prevail. In the end, the competition was set up with the goal of identifying the best NCO and Soldier in the regiment, in addition to serving as stewards of history and traditions.
These Soldiers displayed the skills and stamina expected from MP professionals. As the competition came to a conclusion and the competitors packed their things that began their journeys back to their home stations, everyone took something away to improve themselves and their units. Whether it was a new skill or friendship, all walked away better Soldiers and leaders.
(Editor’s note: The article includes information provided by Maj. Jason Burke and Sgt. Maj. Dianna Smith with excerpts taken from a Public Affairs Office press release.)