'A cut above': Fort Meade MP honored with prestigious award
April 18, 2011
- Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Walker received the Bronze Order of the Marechaussee Justification.
- The recognition, which is awarded to the top 10 percent of military police officers with more than a decade of service.
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - On a summer day in 1996, Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Walker was sitting in the Military Entrance Processing Station deciding what specialty to choose as a newly enlisted Soldier.
When a list of positions was read to him, in the spur of the moment Walker chose the military police.
"Just on a whim I went with it and I was like, 'Being a cop sounds cool,' " said Walker, the operations noncommissioned officer at the Fort Meade Directorate of Emergency Services.
After more than 14 years of service in the Military Police Corps, Walker received the Bronze Order of the Marechaussee Justification. The recognition, which is awarded to the top 10 percent of military police officers with more than a decade of service, was presented to Walker on Feb. 23 during a town hall meeting at the Post Theater.
Just three years earlier, Walker also was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in combat in Iraq.
Walker enlisted to follow in the footsteps of family members. His father, Arthur, served in the Navy for four years; his older brother, Keith, was in the Air Force for four years.
"Everybody in the family joined the military for a few years, and just following in that tradition I decided on the Army," Walker said. "I wanted to do things a little different and, of course, I stuck with it."
Early in his career, the Rochester, N.H., native tested out new equipment for the Army. He later was a recruiter, representing the Military Police Corps for four years. He also has been stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., Fort Stewart, Ga., and Panama.
In 2006, Walker deployed for 15 months to Iraq, where he trained Iraqi police in the Diyala providence.
"By the end of our tour, we had basically gone from nothing to taking them on patrol doing searches of houses and getting them out there," he said.
During his deployment, Walker served as a squad leader for 11 months and was promoted to platoon sergeant for the last four months.
In 2008, Walker arrived at Fort Meade with his wife, Kristina, and their daughter Kimberly. Since then, he has served as the Traffic Section NCOIC, provost sergeant and operations NCO.
Walker believes that the many roles he has served in the military helped him earn the Bronze Order of the Marechaussee Justification.
The award is named after the Marechaussee Corps, whose duty was to apprehend deserters, rioters and stragglers during the Revolutionary War. Considered the major military police unit during the Revolutionary war, its mission also included apprehension, detention, security and movement of prisoners of war.
"The Order of the Marechaussee is designed to represent career service at the top echelon of the MP corps." said Capt. Jerry Koltz, operations officer at DES. "Around here, at his level, Sergeant Walker personifies what that award is supposed to go to."
Koltz, who nominated Walker for the award, said that Walker is a "really good balance of technical and tactical proficiency without having lost touch of the human side."
When Walker was first informed of the nomination, he thought he would be rejected.
"Once it came back approved, how can you not have a good feeling -- especially when it says it's reserved for the top 10 percent of MPs'" he said. "It kind of puts you a little bit of a cut above."
Each award is numbered, and Walker's name and medal number -- 845 -- will be listed in the book of Order of the Marechaussee members at Fort Leonardwood, Mo.
The green and yellow bronze medal, which is draped around the neck, is not seen often as it is worn primarily during military police functions, Koltz said.
"Its a head turner," Walker said. "You don't see them too much."
Ready for the next step in his career, Walker will be moving in July to Fort Campbell, Ky. Although he doesn't know what position he will fill yet, Walker is hoping for another deployment.
"Hopefully, I'll get another platoon and lead troops in combat again," he said.