Leading the Way
Sgt. Jason Bird, 217th Military Police Detachment, works with his military working dog, Kondi, during the 2007 TRADOC Military Working Dog Warrior Police Challeng at Fort Lee, Va. The 217th's hosting and participation in the 2007 TRADOC Military Working Dog Competition helped it to earn the Brig. Gen. David H. Stem Award. Photo by Mike Strasser

Fort Lee, Va. (Nov. 26, 2008) -- Capt. Donald Moore has twice been a part of the best military police force in the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

Make that three now.

Fort Lee's 217th Military Police Detachment, with Moore as its commander, earned the Brig. Gen. David H. Stem Award for 2008 as the best military police unit amongst more than 20 TRADOC MP elements that are company-sized or smaller.

Moore, who has been the unit's commander the past 18 months, said the 217th has competed for the award for at least the past four years, but this is the first time it finished first. He said winning has a lot to do with the quality of people in the unit.

"It makes me proud to know that people see what I see everyday," he said.A,A "As a commander, you're only as good as your lowest Soldier.A,A ...So to know that they're accomplishing what my intent is and to do it with limited supervision and limited resources makes me feel really good."

The 217th is comprised of "60-65" mostly military police Soldiers and other support personnel.A,A They comprise a large part of the law enforcement staff of the installation's Provost Marshal Office in its job of providing force protection and other services to the nearly 10,000A,A military members and Civilians assigned to the installation.

A number of factors can be attributed to winning the award, said Moore.A,A The unit made improvements on its annual inspections, physical training test scores, law enforcement training and how well it prepared Soldiers for deployment.

"We've taken what we've had and tried to improve," said Moore, "and it's been a lot of work and effort by these guys to do that."

Additionally, the unit stood out with its day-to-day law enforcement operations in the midst of the installation's Base Realignment and Closure projects; planning and operations of the Army's "Best Warrior" detainee operations event the past three years; and the organization and support of the first Military Police Working Dog Competition held last year. In that event, unit Soldiers captured first place in the narcotics and dog kennel competition.

Moore said much of what the unit has accomplished over the last year can be attributed to the various measures of support it has received from the Fort Lee community.

"Since I've been on this post, there's been just amazing support from the (U.S. Army) garrison to CASCOM and all of the Civilians that help us accomplish what we need to," he said.A,A "Everybody on this installation is so involved in supporting us that we wouldn't be able to do half the things that we do without them."

Col. Michael G. Morrow, the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee commander, said the 217th has done much to improve the installation despite the numerous challenges it faces.

"Capt. Don Moore and his Soldiers have done an outstanding job in providing law enforcement support at Fort Lee while continuing to train and prepare for combat operations and deployments," he said. "The 217th MPs, along with their professional counterparts in our Department of the Army Civilian Police force, have earned the respect and admiration of the folks at Fort Lee."

The TRADOC military police awards competition was established in 1985 as the Liberty Award.A,A It was renamed in 1987 for Stem, the former commandant of the U.S. Army Military Police School and chief of the Military Police Corps. Now that the 217th has won the Stem award, it will compete for the Brig. Gen. Jeremiah P. Holland Award, its Army-wide counterpart.A,A A,A

Page last updated Wed November 26th, 2008 at 08:38