Headquarters company for largest police force in Department of Defense changes command

By Sgt. Audrey HayesJuly 16, 2017

Headquarters company for largest police force in Department of Defense changes command
Maj. John Mullaney hands the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 200th Military Police Command guideon to Brig. Gen. Marion Garcia, the 200th MPC commanding general, during a change of command ceremony at Fort Meade, Maryland, June 3. Mullaney rel... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT MEADE, Md. - Lethal, capable and combat-ready at any given moment is the goal of the 200th Military Police Command, the largest police force in the Department of Defense. The spearhead of the command is the Headquarters and Headquarters company, and when it comes to leadership within the company, dedication, engagement and flexibility are essential.

On June 3, the company said goodbye to their commander, Maj. John R. Mullaney, and welcomed their new leader, Capt. Robert D. Mark during a change of command ceremony at Fort Meade, Maryland.

The unit has come a long way from a garrison environment to making combat-ready a top priority.

"When I first took over the unit, I asked the first sergeant at the time, what HHC's mission statement was," said Mullaney, who serves as a civilian police officer in Montgomery County, Maryland. "He replied with the 200th MP Command's mission statement, not HHC's. I told him 'no, our mission is to facilitate the command so that the general can carry out his mission statement.'"

Mullaney, a Damascus, Maryland native, worked with the former deputy commander and now the commanding general for the 200th MPC, Brig. Gen. Marion Garcia, to establish the company's mission statement along with their mission essential tasks. One of the tasks is to be able to support the command headquarters if they were to deploy.

On Friday, Soldier's from HHC went out to the field to practice setting up a tactical operations center that would be used in an austere environment. Although Soldiers with the rank of captain and sergeant first class and below were required to go, Mullaney was among the group of privates and first lieutenants setting up tents.

"He isn't scared to jump in and get his hands dirty with the rest of us," said Sgt. 1st Class Cassandra West, a paralegal in HHC. "He's so engaged and he's a reservist. Out of all the commanders I've had, even active duty, he's been the most involved with his Soldiers."

"When I was a second lieutenant, I was in a unit with MP drill sergeants and they always taught me to never expect Soldiers to do something that I wouldn't do myself," said Mullaney.

The molding of Mullaney's leadership by enlisted Soldiers has greatly augmented the high operation tempo the company has transitioned to in its efforts to become always ready.

Because the company has been identified as an expeditionary force, which means at any given notice, they could be deployed, the commander has a substantial responsibility.

The incoming commander, Capt. Mark, has held the position of first sergeant - the highest level of authority for an enlisted Soldier in a company - and will be using those leadership skills to carry out the mission of the headquarters.

"General Garcia's vision is to transform our headquarters into a more expeditionary force. So, that means learning how to pack and ship our gear, ensuring personnel readiness is top priority and that we can deploy at next to no notice," said Mark.

"I know Maj. Mullaney has done an excellent job developing the mission essential tasks, which we didn't have before. Now that we have them, I can evaluate and assess the individual and unit proficiency in accordance with that, then we can change anything if we need to," said Mark.

Mark's long term goal for HHC is to ensure personnel are trained and certified so they can deploy with their organic equipment. This would augment Garcia's initiative of an expeditionary force.

"It's going to be a unique challenge," said Mark. "But, I've learned how to supervise and account for personnel and equipment in many different cultures of the Army, which should greatly assist me in my new role."