By Karl Weisel (USAG Wiesbaden)April 13, 2009
WIESBADEN, Germany - "You are some amazing Soldiers," was the way Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, 1st Armored Division commander, put it in honoring the 501st Military Police Company with this year's Griffin Award.
The annual presentation recognizes the best Military Police company in USAREUR and Seventh Army.
As one of the last division-element MP units in the Army, members of the 501st recently completed a 15-month-long deployment to Iraq with 1st AD.
"The things that you do are absolutely amazing," said Hertling, noting that MPs are often asked to perform duties that are not strictly part of the doctrine. But whatever mission they are handed, Hertling said, they do "unbelievable work. What I saw the MPs do was phenomenal."
The division commander also praised the outstanding preparation of the 501st officers, noncommissioned officers and enlisted personnel as they prepared for their mission in Iraq. The Griffin Award, he said, acknowledges not only the overall achievements of the unit, but also the individual accomplishments of each member of the 501st MP Company - "in a most challenging environment. ... There is a spirit and camaraderie in this unit. ... It's a very well deserved award."
U.S. Army Europe provost marshal Col. David LeMauk explained that when judges examine the nomination packets submitted by the eligible units in USAREUR, they look at all aspects of Soldier development from weapons training and know-how to civilian education. "The 501st clearly stood out ... head and shoulders above other MP units. ... This is not only a great honor for you, but also for the division."
"We're looking forward to the future," said Maj. Jean-Paul Guerard, company commander.
"These Soldiers worked hard," he said, adding that family members and Family Readiness Group members also played a significant role in helping the Soldiers accomplish their mission and win the Griffin Award. "We've got a lot of motivated folks."
"I feel it's a great honor," said Lt. Josephine Ladnier, praising the mentorship of the experienced leaders and the drive of the young Soldiers in the unit, many of whom experienced their first deployment. "With the missions we were given, we were all over the place ... and still they did great things. It's an accomplishment for all the Soldiers in the unit. We had a lot of great NCOs and officers who really worked well together."