On 04 July 1942, the unit was redesignated Military Police Platoon, 1st Cavalry Division and activated at Fort Bliss, Texas. In February 1943, the entire 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for an overseas assignment as a dismounted unit. An impatient 1st Cavalry Division was dismounted and they were processed for movement to the Southwest Pacific theater as foot solders. In mid June 1943, the last troops of the division departed Fort Bliss, Texas for Camp Stoneman, California and later on 03 July, boarded the "SS Monterey and the SS George Washington" for Australia and the Southwest Pacific.
On 04 December 1943, the Military Police Platoon, 1st Cavalry Division was
redesignated as the Military Police Platoon, 1st Cavalry Division (Special).
After six months of training in Australia, the division got its first taste of
combat. On 29 February 1944, the men of the Division sailed for the Admiralty
Islands and stormed ashore in an amphibious landing at Los Negros Island.
After a fierce campaign in which the enemy lost some 7,000 combat soldiers,
the division could look with pride on its first combat test of World War II.
The next action for the Cavalry troopers was on the Philippine Island of
Leyte. The division fought tirelessly against the Japanese fortification. With
the last of the strong-holds eliminated, the division moved on to Luzon, the
main island of the Philippines.
One of the First Team's most noted feats was accomplished during the fighting for Luzon. On 31 January 1945, General Douglas MacArthur issued the order, "Go to Manila, free the prisoners at Santo Tomas, take Malacanan Palace and the legislative building." The next day, the "flying column," as the element came to be known, jumped off to slice through 100 miles of Japanese territory. Hours later, the 1st Cavalry Division was in Manila and the prisoners were freed.
As the war came to a sudden end, MacArthur selected the First Team for the honor of leading the Allied Occupational Army into Tokyo. During the occupation of Japan, on 25 March 1949, the Military Police Platoon was reorganized and redesignated as the 545th Military Police Company and remained assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division (Infantry).
The landing at Pohang-dong helped halt the North Korean war machine at the
Pusan perimeter. The division broke out of the perimeter in mid-September and
started north. Crossing the 38th Parallel on 09 October 1950, the troopers of
the 1st Cavalry Division crashed into Pyongyang, capturing the capital city of
North Korea on 19 October. The sudden intervention of Communist Chinese forces
dashed hopes of a quick end to the war. First Team troopers fought
courageously in the see-saw campaigns that followed, and successfully defended
the city of Seoul. By January 1952, the division, after 18 months of
continuous fighting, rotated back to Hokkaido, Japan.
Concurrently with the reflagging on 15 October 1957, the 545th Military Police Company was inactivated and relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division who had returned to Korea where they were given the mission of patrolling the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which proved to be a hazardous duty and "alerts" were continuous. On 23 November 1962, "A' Troop, 9th Cavalry, manning Outpost Susan, was attacked by a barrage of grenades, that killed one trooper and wounded another. On several occasions in 1962 and 1963, troopers were attacked by marauding North Korean soldiers.
The inactivity of the 545th Military Police Company was short lived as on 15
July 1963, the unit was reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division and activated
in Korea on 01 September 1963. In June 1965, the 545th Military Police Company
accompanied the 1st Cavalry Division in the rotation back to the United States
along with other units of the 1st Cavalry Division.
An advance party of military police elements departed by air in mid August while the remainder of the Company were shipped out by troop transports and aircraft carriers from Charleston, VA in August 1965. The military police acted as the Provost Marshal section for each ship, including guarding prisoners who had attempted to go AWOL. As their ships arrived in Vietnam beginning 12 September, the 545th Military Police Company set up operations and began to expedite traffic.
Once an adequate traffic control system was established, the troops were flown by helicopters or accompanied convoys from Qui Nhon up Highway 19 to the Division base camp at An Khe. Arriving at Camp Radcliff they commenced the construction of their company area while providing security and carrying out Division Military Police duties. Beginning in mid September several Infantry battalions supported the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division.
On 01 October Operation Shiny Bayonet (the First Team's first Brigade-size airmobile action) commenced with the Military Police providing convoy security; traffic control points; guards for captured materials and weapons; forward collection points and in some instances 24 hour bridge security along Highway 19 from Qui Nhon through the An Khe Pass and Mang Yang Pass where four thousand French soldiers lost their life.
By mid October an MP desk with traffic and criminal investigation division (CID) sections were established in the division base areas. A second MP desk was operated in the Village of An Khe. In late October thru November the Plei Me - Pleiku Campaign kept assigned MP platoons of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigades busy. The Security platoon accompanied the Division Forward Headquarters. By the end of 1965 the MPs had established and operated key roadblocks with the assistance of the Vietnam National Police.
In late March, during operations "Lincoln" and "Mosby", convey escorts from An Khe to the forward CP of the 1st Brigade were provided. In October 1966, forward collection points were set up where brigades were operating. All military age males and detainees were sent by the maneuver battalions to the collection point supporting its brigade. There, confirmed enemy were interrogated for immediate tactical information then evacuated through regular prisoner of war channels. Other detainees were held at forward collection points for questioning by military intelligence., the national police or hamlet cadre in order to classify them as friendly or enemy.
In June 1967, the MPs launched into operations with the Police Field Force (PFF). These were combined operations, mainly with the Vietnam 222nd Battalion, Combat National Police. The mode of operation was to cordon a village at dawn. The Vietnamese police searched houses and questioned people as they moved through.
After the 1st Cavalry Division moved south to III Corps, the MPs continued their missions of Theater Of Combat (TOC) security and convey control. They also began combined operations with the Vietnamese National Police in traffic control and "populace and resource control". The progress of the war meant an increase, rather than a decrease,in the duties of the MPs. There were fewer prisoners to care for and fewer hostile hamlets to search, but the relative peace of 1969 increased the need for traffic control on the roads and maintain tranquility in the civil and military rear areas.
On 05 May 1971, the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division, minus those of the 3rd Brigade, were moved from Vietnam to Fort Hood, Texas. Using the assets and personnel of the 1st Armored Division, the 1st Cavalry Division was reorganized, reassigned to III Corps and received an experimental designation of the Triple-Capability (TRICAP) Division. Its mission, under the direction of 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) 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).
On 16 September, an Air Force C5A Galaxy, carrying the advanced headquarters staff, left Fort Hood Robert Gray Army Airfield. The 545th Military Police 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.
On 14 November 2001, the 2nd Platoon, 545th Military Police Company deployed
to Camp Doha, Kuwait in support of Task Force BLACKJACK THUNDER, Operation
DESERT SPRING 03-01. While undergoing their training exercises, on 15 December
they were redeployed and assigned to HQ-ARCENT located at Bagram, Afghanistan
in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Afghan Military Forces (AMF)
were holding up to 4,500 detainees throughout the Coalition Joint Operational
Area (CJOA) Afghanistan who required interrogation and documentation of
Personal Identification Data (PID).
In their new assignment in Afghanistan, the 545th Military Police Platoon collected Personal Identification Data (PID) on potential Taliban and al-Qaeda members in an effort to identify America's newest enemies. In their role that covered the collection of personnel data, to the security of detainees during the operations, and subsequent aerial escort missions back to the collection points, the 545th Military Police Platoon proved to be a true combat multiplier in Afghanistan.
On 11 February, the Platoon their operations in Afghanistan completed, returned to Kuwait and continued their training and support of Task Force Blackjack. They returned to Ft. Hood, TX at the end of March while the rest of Task Force Blackjack came back in April.
Following a long series of assignments with the 1st Cavalry Division,- 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.
The 545th of today continues to provide the same solid MP support that the 1st Cavalry Division has learned to expect. The 545th is trained ready to assist and protect in garrison and provide complete tactical MP support. The 545th Military Police Company has always and always will continue to be "The First Team's Finest".
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.
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