By Pfc. Terence Ewings, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div., PAOAugust 15, 2008
AMARAH, Iraq - Iraqi men waited in line outside Amarah's Iraqi Police station anxious to join the ranks of the IP. A look of pride and determination on their faces, the candidates clutched their applications like lottery tickets in hopes of becoming one of the newest recruits.
Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Long Knife Brigade, are assisting the IP prior to the beginning of a new training cycle here.
"I have never seen a more respectable, disciplined and organized Iraqi Police unit," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Santiago-Colon, a military police squad leader in the Long Knife Brigade.
Santiago-Colon, a native of Puerto Rico, said the Iraqi people look to the Iraqi Security Forces and feel a sense of pride in their community when they see them on the streets of the Maysan province.
According to Santiago-Colon, a Soldier with 14 years of service, the new recruits also beam with pride when they don their uniforms and lace up their combat boots for the first time.
"The Iraqi Police have a great educational and developmental setup for the new Iraqis enlisting in this police force," said 1st Lt. Chris Scott, an engineering officer from New Jersey, who works with the military police during their joint training activities.
Scott said the increasing number of citizens interested in the enrollment process is an example that things are improving in this area. The American Soldiers are just here to ensure the Iraqis have everything they need to be successful.
"Our Soldiers are excited about working with the IP officers here," said Scott. "This IP station has a lot of potential, and we look forward to training with the ISF in the future."
The new recruits of the IP station in Amarah are scheduled to begin their training cycle in mid-August.