By Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public AffairsJune 26, 2019
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (June 26, 2019) -- Lt. Col. Matthew R. LeBlanc assumed command of the 91st Military Police Battalion from Lt. Col. Scott R. Blanchard during a ceremony June 25 at Magrath Sport Complex.
The change of command ceremony was officiated by Col. Larry C. Dewey, 16th Military Police Brigade commander, who commended Blanchard for his leadership and welcomed LeBlanc to his new assignment.
Dewey said that under Blanchard's command, the 91st MP Battalion set the brigade standard for deployment readiness while maintaining the safety and security of the Fort Drum community.
"In terms of readiness, the 91st has consistently maintained some of the best personnel readiness metrics in the brigade," Dewey said. "Similarly, their equipment and maintenance readiness programs have also set the standard. Between the 227th MP Detachment and all three of the MP companies that rotate on the law enforcement mission, they provide a blanket of security that does not smother the community that it serves. They do it by, through and with their supporting commanders."
He also credited the battalion for having an impeccable reputation within the garrison and the 10th Mountain Division (LI).
"They enforce law but they also apply discretion, empathy and humility," Dewey said. "These Soldiers out here in front of you are a significant part of the installation's security mission, but it is also shared by Department of the Army security guards, civilian police, staffs in the Directorate of Emergency Services and Provost Marshal's Office, firefighters and emergency dispatchers. All of them contribute to the security that we often take for granted."
He said that the battalion's support of 1st Brigade Combat Team's rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, was noteworthy for both their performance in training and their preparations for this deployment in blizzard-like conditions at Fort Drum.
"Throughout that same timeframe, the battalion also deployed the 563rd MP Company to the Southwest border, supporting U.S. Customs and Border Protection - a mission which met with much public and media scrutiny," Dewey said. "Through that complex and sensitive mission they demonstrated their rugged, hard-working nature and can-do attitude to help protect our nation's sovereignty and rule of law. We could not be more proud of their accomplishments."
Additionally, two Soldiers assigned to the 91st MP Battalion, Spc. Joel Boulden and Cpl. Noah Slabaugh, demonstrated their technical and tactical skills to earn the titles of Soldier and NCO of the Year during the 10th Mountain Division's Best Warrior competition. They are currently competing at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in the weeklong XVII Airborne Corps NCO and Soldier of the Year competition for a chance to advance to the U.S. Army Forces Command-level event.
Dewey said that LeBlanc has the experience and expertise to grow the battalion's reputation for excellence.
His previous assignments include readiness branch chief and operations branch chief at U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky; DES operations officer, 97th Military Police Battalion at Fort Riley, Kansas; Afghan Detention and Corrections Advisory Team operations officer, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force; 116th Military Police Company commander, Fort Riley; and 95th MP Battalion assistant S3, Mannheim, Germany.
Upon taking command of the 91st MP Battalion, LeBlanc said that he is honored for the privilege of leading this stellar unit, and beginning this new adventure with his wife and two daughters.
"We are excited and honored to become members of the 91st Military Police Battalion and Fort Drum Directorate of Emergency Services," he said. "This will certainly be a most challenging but equally rewarding assignment we've ever had.
"To the Soldiers of the 91st and the professionals of Fort Drum DES, you're the reason I continue to serve, and I look forward to being part of this great team. I'll continue to count on those on my left and right as we continue to serve as the guardians of the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum in the North Country."