On July 23, 2014 twelve of the best Soldiers and Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) from the 91ST Military Police Battalion shared physical pains, camaraderie and Esprit de Corps with two Canadian Soldiers from the 2ND Military Regiment of the Canadian Army.
Making the long six hour drive from their base to Fort Drum, Sgt. Daniel Hansen and Cpl. Christopher McConnell, both from Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Petawawa, Ontario's 2ND Military Police Regiment, kicked off a friendship/partnership between units. Both Soldiers were quick to integrate and mix with the Guardian Soldiers and they all quickly bonded as "brothers in arms".
The morning started with all the Soldiers competing in the "Feat of Strength", an APFT style event which added events of a rope climb and a 120 pound sled drag. The Soldiers found the events to be very demanding but completed them with motivation and determination.
As soon as the "Feat of Strength" was complete the Soldiers were transported to the Fort Drum Air Assault Obstacle Course where they tackled the entire obstacle course of over 15 obstacles. The Soldiers found this course to be, not only challenging, but a great tool to overcome one's physical fears. "To climb to the top of the log ladder and climb over or to tackle the "tough one" can really test one's fear of heights" mentioned one of the competing Soldiers.
Tired but undaunted, all of the Soldiers loaded a LMTV to head out to the training area and finish the competition with the M-4 qualification range. All the Soldiers were given their M-4 set at mechanical zero and allowed only 6 rounds for zeroing. The Canadian Soldiers were qualified for record to the same standards as their U.S. Army counterparts.
The event culminated with an awards dinner where the 91ST Military Police Battalion command team, Lt. Col. Michelle Goyette and Command Sgt. Maj. Russell Erickson presented Army Achievement Medals to Sgt. John Kindrick of the 23D Military Police Company and Spc. Grafton Spinks of the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment.
Sgt. Daniel Hansen and Cpl. Christopher McConnell were also recognized and awarded the Army Sharpshooter Badge for qualifying on the M-4 Rifle. Both of these outstanding Canadian Military Policemen fired 31 out of 40 on their first attempt with rifles they had never fired before. This is a testament to their organic unit training and the mentoring provided by the range cadre of the 23D Military Police Company.
Although the Canadians were not competing for a spot to move forward to the 16TH Military Police Brigade competition, they provided an extra element of competition and helped to create a friendship between the 91ST Military Police Battalion and the Canadian 2ND Military Police Regiment that will continue into the future. In the spirit of good friendship, Sgt. Hansen and Cpl. McConnell were invited to attend the 91ST Military Police Ball in October 2014.
In the end, the 91ST Military Police Battalion selected two competitors to go on to compete in the 16TH Military Police Brigade NCO and Soldier of the quarter competition. However, the biggest reward was gaining a new partnership with our Military Police Neighbors to the North!