545th Military Poloce Company
Historical Missions
"Assist, Protect and Defend"

Constitution And Assignment

In 1939 pre-war plans were made for the formation of Zone of the Interior (ZI) military police units in the event of war. The plan recommended that 56 MP battalions to be formed for service within the United States. In the implementation of the plan, on 15 Feburary 1939, the Military Police Platoon, Headquarters Troop, 1st Cavalry Division was constituted in the regular Army.

World War II, Pacific Theater

Captured Japanese Pilot's View
On 07 December 1941, without warning, the Japanese destroyed the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. Although the 1st Cavalry Division was created as a result of a proven need for large orse-mounted formations, by 1940 many thought that the march of progress had left the horse far behind. All doubt was erased with the surprise of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Immediately troopers returned to the 1st Cavalry Division from all over the United States. They outfitted their horses and readied their weapons and vehicles in anticipation of the fight against the Axis.

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.

Military Police Directs Traffic- Tocloban

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).

Korean War

The Pusan Perimeter
It happened before dawn on 25 June 1950. Less than 5 years after the terrible devastations of World War II, a new war broke out from a distant land whose name means "Morning Calm". On 18 July the 1st Cavalry Division was ordered to Korea. Initially scheduled to make an amphibious landing at Inchon, it was redirected to the southeastern coast of Korea at Pohang-dong a port 80 miles north of Pusan. The North Koreans were 25 miles away when elements of the 1st Cavalry Division swept ashore to successfully carry out the first amphibious landing of the Korean War. Its initial mission was to establish the Pusan Perimeter. By 22 July, all regiments were deployed in battle positions; in itself a remarkable logistical achievement in the face of Typhoon Helene that pounded the Korean coastline.

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.

Prisnor Of War Compound - Korea
Under the changing world conditions. several adjustments were necessary in the force levels to accommodate a reduction of 100,000 soldiers. In the Far East, the United States agreed to withdraw all ground troops (including the 1st Cavalry Division) from Japan. One of the force adjustments, impacting the Division, took place on 15 October, 1957, in ceremonies held in Tonggu, Korea, the colors of the 24th Infantry Division were retired and the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division were passed to the Commanding General of the former 24th Infantry Division. "The First Team" had returned, standing ready to defend Korea against Communist aggression.

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.

Vietnam War

Air Cavalry Uni
The 1st Cavalry Division went home, but only long enough to be reorganized and be prepared for a new mission. On 03 July 1965, in Doughboy Stadium at Fort Benning, Georgia the colors of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) were cased and retired. As the band played the rousing strains of GarryOwen, the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division were moved onto the field. As part of the reorganization, the 11th Air Assault Military Police Company was redesignated as the 545th Military Police Company, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

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.

Interrogation OF VC Prisnor
Starting on 25 January 1966, the 545th MP Company supported operations "Masher/White Wing" by providing guards for captured materials and weapons and operated an enclosure for detained VC suspects. The MPs aided Military Intelligence Teams whenever they became involved in sweeps of populated areas - guarding, searching, detaining, protecting and detecting. Mps regularly accompanied civil affairs personnel to secure them while they operated in areas of tactical operations of the division.

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.

The Modern Cavalry

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).

Persian Gulf War, Southwest Asia

USNS Capella, RollOn RollOff Vessel
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 work day to 14, 16 and in some cases 24 hours. On schedule, by mid September over 800 heavy loaded vehicles were loaded at the Ft. Hood railhead to make the trip to the seaports of Houston and Beaumont. An additional 4,200 vehicles formed road conveys that left every two hours, around the clock.

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).

545 Military Police In Formation
The purpose of collecting PID is to create a better database for identifying potential enemy threats and to screen these individuals to determine if they meet the criteria to be treated as detainees. If an individual meets the specified criteria, they are taken into custody in a detainee status and secured for further processing.

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.

Today's Cavalry

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.

Uncasing The 545 Military Police Colors
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.

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.

Cavalry Outpost Publications Logo 14 Oct '99
Need a gift for an Alumni of the 1st Cavalry Division?

eMail Your WebSite Comments.

Return to "MyOwnPages"©.

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 21 Nov '12 SpellChecked