Leaders from the U.S. Army Military Police Corps Regiment and the British Army's Royal Military Police toasted to friendship and renewed their partnership during the annual Bond of Friendship ceremony Monday at Thurman Hall.
Brig. Gen. Mark Spindler, U.S. Army Military Police School commandant, and Brigadier Bill Warren, provost marshal of the British Army's Royal Military Police, signed the Bond of Friendship declaration and performed a ceremonial toast reaffirming their commitment to one another.
Spindler opened the ceremony with a quote from Sir Winston Churchill, which he said was fitting when hosting English friends.
"There's only one thing worse than fighting with allies and that's to fight without them," said Spindler, paraphrasing Churchill. "This is a very simple ceremony, but special to us because, as allies, we know what we have faced together for the last 10 to 12 years. Today is not about the last 10 to 12 years, it's to reaffirm the next 10 to 12 years and what we're going to do in the future"
The ceremony, Spindler said, is not only to celebrate the great tradition that exists between the two organizations but to cross talk and exchange ideas.
"The Bond of Friendship is really a time for us to get together and talk about the challenges that lie ahead, not just nationally but globally, and what MPs bring to the fighting force of tomorrow," Spindler said.
Warren, who was an exchange officer for USAMPS from 1989 to 1991 when the school was located at Fort McClellan, Ala., encouraged those in attendance to think beyond their own regiments and army when engaged in operations.
"Think back to your international allies," Warren said. "It's an important relationship because when we are arriving in new theaters of operation, we are always looking for elements and foundations to draw on."
Warren said he recognizes the importance of the relationship between USAMPS and the Royal Military Police.
"Fundamentally, we have a similar purpose of enabling and supporting the army while upholding the law within the Army," Warren said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to renew our bond of friendship."
Since the early 1970s, the United States Military Police Corps Regiment and the British Army's Royal Military Police have exchanged officers. In the early 1980s, a British exchange officer and a small-group leader became friends, and by 1996 they were the leaders of their respective regiments. The friends, Brigadier Ian Fulton and Brig. Gen. David Foley, decided to formalize the relationship between their two organizations.
Approval was given for a new idea -- a Bond of Friendship. The first official Bond of Friendship was signed by Brigadier Ian Fulton and Brig. Gen. David Foley in Chichester, West Sussex, England -- the home of the Royal Military Police -- on March 15, 1996.