205th MI Battalion officer selected for MacArthur Award
June 25, 2010
- The award recognizes company grade officers who best demonstrate the ideals for which MacArthur stood: duty, honor and country.
- Cumpston recently volunteered to deploy for a fourth tour to support a theater request for forces
FORT SHAFTER - Although Capt. Meghan Cumpston, 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, has three combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, she recently volunteered to deploy once again to support a theater request for forces.
This commitment to duty is one of the reasons the leaders in the 205th MI Bn., and the 500th MI Brigade nominated her for the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.
The award recognizes company grade officers who best demonstrate the ideals for which MacArthur stood: duty, honor and country.
In early March, Cumpston found out she was one of 14 junior officers selected Armywide who won the award. She traveled to Washington in May to accept the award.
"Her ability to lead, influence and promote the Army values makes her an indispensable asset to the junior officer corps and the U.S. Army," the leaders of the MI battalion and brigade noted in their recommendation. "She has the personal skills, technical and tactical proficiency and ability to build tailored, cohesive teams from personnel across the intelligence spectrum making her a first-rate leader."
Cumpston is currently deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. She commands the Strategic Debriefing Element in support of the first theater interrogation facility.
"My most rewarding assignment has been company command," she said. "I have been extremely fortunate to work for an outstanding chain of command that allows company commanders the freedom to command while providing the support needed to accomplish the mission.
"Now that we are deployed, the Soldiers are performing brilliantly and really holding themselves to a standard of excellence. I could not be more proud of them; this is a difficult and often thankless mission, and they have met the challenge head-on and are excelling," she said.
Her leaders attribute her unit's success to her outstanding training and leadership.
"Capt. Cumpston represents the best of the next generation of leaders for our Army: multiple combat tours, experienced in strategic to tactical operations, and retains a heartfelt care for Soldiers, mission and country," said Lt. Col. Timothy Parker, commander, 205th MI Bn.
"She holds nothing back, dedicating her time and applying her combat and intelligence experience to prepare her Soldiers and their families for their deployment," Parker added.
The training plan for the deployment - conceptualized, developed and implemented by Cumpston - is now the standard for the battalion, Parker said.
Cumpston commands one of the most diverse and challenging companies in the brigade, providing unique counterintelligence and human intelligence capabilities to the U.S. Army Pacific Command, Parker said.
Parker added that Cumpston continually exceeded expectations throughout the year as she trained, equipped and deployed the only technical surveillance countermeasures unit within USARPAC. She also maintained one of two strategic debriefing teams for the theater, a cyber counterintelligence unit and two counterintelligence regional offices.
Cumpston excelled at meeting every tasking, even though 20 to 25 of her Soldiers were deployed at any time in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Pacific in the Philippines.
Cumpston also was selected above all other 500th MIAca,!E+Bde., company commanders to assemble, train and deploy a 12-person, multi-functional team to Afghanistan, Parker said.
Cumpston's insight and initiative enabled the MFT to deploy equipped with state-of-the-art equipment not readily accessible in theater, the standard for follow-on multi-functional teams.
"Cumpston truly epitomizes what it means to be a leader in today's Army - completely dedicated to the mission and her Soldiers and always leading from the front," Parker said.