MPs sharpen their instincts
March 15, 2013
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- A military policeman is dispatched to a residence on post for a domestic disturbance and is unsure what to expect. He knocks on the door and calls out "military police" to announce his presence. The sound of glass breaking and crying permeates the door. Acting on his instincts, the Soldier forces entry into the residence.
Although not an actual call, this scenario represents a situation MPs routinely respond to. The 709th MP Bn. initiated a Road Warrior Challenge, here, March 7, which focused on professional law enforcement tactics, techniques and procedures and encouraging MP Soldiers to stay proficient in those skills.
The first-ever 709th MP Bn. Road Warrior Challenge consisted of 16 Soldiers competing in nine events including baton strike, field sobriety test, apprehension, evaluate a casualty and active shooter lane.
"The commander's intent was to put an emphasis back on professional law enforcement in the military police corps," said 1st Lt. Garret Waugh, Headquarters Headquarters Detachment, 709th MP Bn., plans officer. "I hope this event gets Soldiers motivated and focused back on professional law enforcement because ultimately that's why we are here."
This event will become a quarterly challenge within the 709th MP Bn. with the Soldiers already preparing for the next challenge in May. This is an opportunity to test MP Soldiers on their professional law enforcement capabilities keeping these Soldiers competent in their field.
"Being out there and helping people is really what I look forward to when I go to work in the morning," said Pfc. Benjamin Varni, a company gunner for the 527th Military Police, 709th MP Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, which is headquartered in Sembach.
"Being a military policeman is about helping the community and keeping people safe," he continued. "They may not like me for doing it, but I'd rather be out there and take the heat for helping them than letting them get hurt or putting someone in a situation that is going to hurt those around them."
As often as first responders encounter difficult situations, it is imperative to identify strengths and weaknesses and have the opportunity to improve on weak areas and leverage strengths. This event gave Soldiers that opportunity.
"This experience has taught me to be more fluid and free thinking because when you respond to a call you never know the situation you are walking up on," said Spc. Richard Spurgeon, HHD, 709th MP Bn. commander's driver.
"This was a good opportunity to test myself, see how much I have learned since working here and see what else I still have to learn," said Spc. Michael Randall, 615th MP Co. team leader and patrolman.
"I think professional law enforcement is the one thing that separates us (from all other branches), especially in peacetime keeping us relevant to the force," said Waugh.