545th Military Poloce Company
Organizational Legacy
"Assist, Protect and Defend"


  "The Military Police Story - 1954"  
Produced and Filmed By The US Army


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12 Aug, 2008 - 545th Military Police Company, Reactivated and Assigned To
The Arctic Military Police Battalion (Provisional) - Ft. Richardson, Alaska


Battalion Distinctive Unit Insignia

Introduction

The 1st Cavalry Division, a major subordinate command of the US Third Mobile Armored Corps, is a 19,000 soldier, heavy armored division stationed at Ft. Hood, TX. As one of the two "on-call" heavy contingency force divisions of the Army, the First Team has an on-order mission to deploy by sea, air or land to any part of the world on a short notice. The following narratives, divided in timeline eras of major operational missions, describes the threat environment, tactical conditions, evolution of equipment technology and the strategic methodology employed by one of the subnorate units of the Separate Battalions and Companies Command, the 545th Military Police Company whose accomplishments and the honors they achieved are summarized in the sections that follow.

On 15 February 1939; The Military Police Platoon was constituted in the Regular Army as Headquarters Troop, Military Police Platoon, 1st Cavalry Division. As staffing needs arose from the Word War II, on 04 July 1942; the Headquarters Troop, Military Police Platoon was redesignated as Military Police Platoon, 1st Cavalry Division and activated at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Following a long series of assignments, as described in the sections thst follow - the 545th Military Police Company, Separate Battalions and Companies Command, was inactivated on 15 October 2005 at Fort Hood, Texas, and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division. This inactivation was part of the transformation of the 1st Cavalry Division to the Modular Force Structure of the Army. As part of the transformation, assets previously held at Division level, but habitually attached to the brigades during operations were made organic to those brigades. Military police platoons became organic components of the headquarters and headquarters companies of the new brigade-level special troops battalions.

Mission:

The mission of the Military Police provides an important function in the full spectrum of Army operations as a member of the Maneuver, Fires, and Effects division. The Military Police provides expertise in police, detainment and stability operations in order to enhance security and enable mobility. The Military Police can be utilized in direct combat and during peacetime. The Military Police have five main functions:

  1. Maneuver and mobility support operations
  2. Area security operations
  3. Law and order operations
  4. Internment and resettlement operations
  5. Police intelligence operations

These five functions of the Military Police provides the commanders with the necessary information and support for the successful completion of many Army missions.

Organizational Summary:

The Military Police Corps is one of the youngest branches of the United States Army. It was officially established on 26 September 1941 an can trace its lineage and history back to the American Revolution. General George Washington requested that the staff position of Provost Marshal be created to deal with disciplinary issues. In January 1776, William Maroney was appointed as the first Provost Marshall of the Continental Army. The Provost Marshals relied on soldiers temporarily drawn from other units, and had difficulty enforcing discipline. On 20 May 1778, Congress established the Provost Corps, which General Washington referred to as the "Marechaussee." Captain Bartholomew von Heer, a German-speaking officer from Pennsylvania, was appointed as the first commander of the Marechaussee on 01 June 1778. Under the new organization, the Provost Marshal was responsible for soldiers under custody and for punishments, while the Marechaussee was tasked with the enforcement of order within the Continental Army.

The Military Police Corps is one of the youngest branches of the United States Army. It was officially established on 26 September 1941 an can trace its lineage and history back to the American Revolution. General George Washington requested that the staff position of Provost Marshal be created to deal with disciplinary issues. In January 1776, William Maroney was appointed as the first Provost Marshall of the Continental Army.

Since the Continental Army created a military police unit in 1776, there have always been personnel assigned to help carry out military police functions as needed. These functions include capturing or deterring deserters, custody and transport of prisoners, and investigating other criminal activities, just to name a few. From 1783 to 1861, the United States Army didnít have a specialized unit for these activities, but instead, simply assigned personnel as needed and rotated them through the ranks.

During the Civil War, the incredible numbers of soldiers on both sides were often unruly, both in the field and in civilian areas. A system of Provost Marshals was created by both the Union and the Confederate Armies to deal with the need for police forces. The Union Army established a permanent police force whose main duties were to prevent riots, looting, desertion, and violence against civilians. Towards the end of the War, the Provost Marshal Department was established. This new military department was given the task of controlling the local governments in the Southern states.

By World War 1, the Military Police Corps was temporarily created. The soldiers that were assigned wore the "MP" carmbands that so many associate with this area of the military. Their primary duties included guarding prisoners, rounding up deserters and draft dodgers, as well as overseeing the prisoner of war camps found in the United States. On 26 September, 1941, the Military Police Corp became a permanent unit in the United States Army. Over 210,000 personnel, both of enlisted and officer ranks, served as Military Police. For every major conflict from that time forward, including Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Military Police have held an important role in all branches of the Armed Forces.

On 15 February 1939; The Military Police Platoon was constituted in the Regular Army as Headquarters Troop, Military Police Platoon, 1st Cavalry Division. As staffing needs arose from the Word War II, on 04 July 1942; the Headquarters Troop, Military Police Platoon was redesignated as Military Police Platoon, 1st Cavalry Division and activated at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Following a long series of assignments, as described in the sections thst follow - the 545th Military Police Company, Separate Battalions and Companies Command, was inactivated on 15 October 2005 at Fort Hood, Texas, and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division. This inactivation was part of the transformation of the 1st Cavalry Division to the Modular Force Structure of the Army. As part of the transformation, assets previously held at Division level, but habitually attached to the brigades during operations were made organic to those brigades. Military police platoons became organic components of the headquarters and headquarters companies of the new brigade-level special troops battalions.

On August 12, 2008 at 1400 HRS on Pershing Field, at Fort Richardson, Alaska and to the strains of the cavalry song Garry Owen, the famed 545th Military Police Company was reactivated as per DA Permanent Order APOP 37-10. In their new role, the 545th Military Police will be assigned to the Arctic Military Police Battalion (Provisional). Many of the members of this unit are veterans of the old cavalry 545th MP Unit at Ft Hood, Texas who will continue the cavalry traditions as in the past.

Today, Military Police enforce military law under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Articles of War. The offenses can range from disobedience to mutiny and everything in between. What once was established to enforce discipline among the ranks, now maintains justice in the military.


This folio of material highlights of the many subsequent historical critical missions performed by members of the 545th Military Bolice Company, whose actions, operations and the many critical issues resolved over its73+ years history to meet the changing threat and the honors they achieved are summarized in the following sections:

Table of Contents







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Copyright © 1996, Cavalry Outpost Publications ® and Trooper Wm. H. Boudreau, "F" Troop, 8th Cavalry Regiment (1946 - 1947). All rights to this body of work are reserved and are not in the public domain, or as noted in the bibliography. Reproduction, or transfer by electronic means, of the History of the 1st Cavalry Division, the subordinate units or any internal element, is not permitted without prior authorization. Readers are encouraged to link to any of the pages of this Web site, provided that proper acknowledgment attributing to the source of the data is made. The information or content of the material contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Revised 06 Nov '12 SpellChecked