Fort Drum MP Soldiers attend Guardian Academy
February 14, 2013
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Three Military Police Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Rear, have been hitting the streets of Fort Drum in a squad car while participating in the ongoing Guardian Academy.
The three-week course run by the 91st Military Police Battalion trains MPs in New York state law and Fort Drum procedures. MPs also go through refresher classes on things they learned in advanced individual training, such as traffic stop procedures, standardized field sobriety tests, domestic disturbance calls and active-shooter scenarios.
The training began Jan. 28 and wraps up Friday.
"The Guardian Academy is to educate Soldiers on New York state law (and) military law and to better prepare them to work the road," said Staff Sgt. DJ Bundra, an instructor at the academy who is assigned to 511th Military Police Company, 91st MP Battalion. "(MPs) go through once when they get to Fort Drum; then we try to do a refresher course annually."
The course is mixed with classroom lectures, hands-on exercises and scenario-based learning. The training is geared toward what an MP would encounter on patrol.
"Throughout the academy, we learn the emergency vehicle operations course (and rehearse) domestic scenarios, traffic stops and felony traffic stop scenarios. We give the classroom portion on policy and procedures; we also practice active shooter," Bundra explained. "Domestic scenarios (are) something we see on a daily basis, and we do the scenarios here for practice, so that they can know what to expect when they do go into a home. We try to provide real life for them."
"For military police, this is what we do," she added. "This is our livelihood, and we need to make our Soldiers more educated and make sure they are safer when they respond to incidences like these."
Pfc. Morgan Adams, an MP assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BSTB, who has been in the Army for about a year and a half, said he likes being an MP and is learning a lot in the course.
"It's interesting, especially doing stuff like this," he said. "Even the smallest stuff we train on can change; there is always something new you need to react to, which is what I like about it.
"We refresh on what you learned in AIT and Fort Drum procedure," Adams added. "(The) best part of the course is doing scenarios. I like the hands-on stuff."
For Pvt. Davis Harris, also an MP with HHC, 2nd BSTB, the course gave him a chance to get out on the road. While being assigned to a brigade combat team, an MP spends a lot of time in the field supporting infantry troops and not much time working the streets in a squad car.
"This is the first time I am actually getting to work the road," Harris said. "We do not work the road as often because we are in an infantry brigade. We go out in the field more often than work the road.
"I have been learning more and more as the course goes on."
Attending the course is giving Spc. Luis Martinez, another MP with HHC, more confidence to do his job when he works the road.
"We are learning pretty much what we will be doing on the road, how to make traffic stops, how to detect if someone is driving while intoxicated or (under) the influence of any drugs, as well as how to respond to domestic disturbances or domestic altercations," he said. "It is preparing me a lot more than my last unit. This class is more detailed, and I feel more confident going onto the road."