The United States Army takes great pride in celebrating the history that has shaped the progress of our nation. On October 26, the Army carried on that tradition by celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Schofield Barracks Stockade.
Construction of the Stockade began in the spring of 1918 and was one of the last original structures to be built on the site of the then new Schofield Barracks.
Maj. Gen. David P. Glaser, the U.S. Army Provost Marshal General, asked the crowd that gathered at the Stockade for the ceremony, "Can you imagine the stories the Stockade could tell if the walls could talk?"
Glaser took the crowd on a trip through time from the Stockade's perspective during his speech, "In 1918, upon completion of the facility, all the Soldiers were deployed to France; this place was pretty empty.
"…so as the troops returned to Schofield Barracks in late 1920, the Stockade opened its doors for confinement and military prisoners in January 1921," said Glaser.
Glaser also pointed out that by 1922, the Schofield Barracks Stockade was one of only four facilities that were designated as United States Disciplinary Barracks, putting the Schofield Barracks into the same category as Leavenworth, Alcatraz, and Rikers Island.
"A label (designation) that brought along a mission to retain and rehabilitate Soldiers for continued service; a mission which it has maintained for most of its history," added Glaser.
As a disciplinary barracks, the stockade faced significant challenges through the years. Built for a maximum capacity of 350 inmates, the stockade would hold as many as 450 prisoners at its peak during WWII.
Though overcrowding and escape attempts were not uncommon, it wasn't until 1951 that the facility became a recognizable facility around the world for its role in the James Jones novel, From Here to Eternity and the film adaptation starring Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift in 1953.
Glaser noted that contrary to the novel's depiction of incarceration at the stockade, the facility housed violent criminal offenders as the island hosted more than a million Soldiers, at any given time, training for deployment or returning for rehabilitation from the Pacific Theater during WWII.
Following a series of renovations in the 1950's, a reporter from a local Honolulu newspaper referred to the stockade as a "model prison" which boasted luxuries like television, and movies being available to the prisoners along with a 32 person staff that included a physician, chaplain, social worker, and psychiatrist.
The facility made several other small adjustments during its tenure before becoming the U.S. Army Garrison North Provost Marshal Office and the base of military police operations for the northern half of Oahu.
Today, Soldiers from the 13th Military Police Detachment, the 520th Military Working Dog Detachment, and the 728th Military Police Battalion work alongside their Department of the Army Civilian Police and the Directorate of Emergency Services to provide a full spectrum of law enforcement and emergency response capabilities to the garrison community.
Col. Michelle Goyette, the commander of the 8th Military Police Brigade and the Director of Emergency Services for U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii, took time to acknowledge time and effort that was involved in producing the ceremony, "I want to thank everybody that was involved in putting this together; if it wasn't for the passion of our Soldiers and our DA Civilians that brought this history to life, we wouldn't be standing here today."
One of those Soldiers is Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Hout, 13th MP Det., who began researching the history of the Schofield Barracks Stockade when he arrived in February 2018.
"Having worked here before, I knew there was a lot of history surrounding the stockade, and it's important for the facility and the Soldiers who work here to understand and appreciate what those that came before us have done here," said Hout.
A large plaque, measuring over five feet in length, will be permanently erected near the entrance of the Stockade where Soldiers, Civilians, and visitors will be able learn more about the history of the facility.