Vilseck, Germany — U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, Directorate of Emergency Services awarded Polizeikauptkommissar Gerhard Männer, a German police officer, the Order of the Marechaussee, steel category, for his support to the garrison and the United States Army Military Police Corps, during a ceremony on Feb. 23, 2021, at Rose Barracks. The award is one of the Military Police Regimental Association’s highest honors, and it’s the first one ever presented to a foreign civilian police office.
Männer joined the Directorate of Emergency Services 13 years ago as the first German police liaison to work within USAG Bavaria. According to Richard Camacho, deputy director of DES, his service helped strengthen the partnership between U.S. military communities and the host nation.
“The Military Police Regimental Association’s Order of the Marechaussee was officially established in 2000 to recognize exceptional dedication, competence and contribution to the Military Corps regiment over an extended period of time,” said Camacho. “To date, only 45 awards in steel have been awarded. This is the first award being presented to a foreign civilian police officer. This is truly a high honor.”
As part of a 2007 pilot project, Männer moved his official duty desk on-post. This idea resulted in a very efficient workflow. Policing systems, for both the U.S. Army and Germany, were able to work within the same office and address issues together quickly and effectively.
“This position is unique in the Bavarian police,” said Hans-Martin Schertl, mayor of Vilseck. “I remember the first meetings when we talked about this project. We have had some problems and this liaison position was the perfect solution. Short and uncomplicated, from cellphone to cellphone. Things have been fixed quickly — even if it was just an abandoned car. Thank you for the excellent teamwork!”
Leadership had nothing but praise for Männer.
“It takes a lot more of a team to make us who we are, and you [Männer] have been an integral part of this team,” said Col. Timothy MacDonald, commander of the 18th Military Police Brigade. “Mr. Männer supported over 20,000 requests for assistance and 33,000 emergency, or non-emergency, incidents. And that just speaks to his competence, and his commitment, and of course his character.”
Männer is described as an extremely humble person. Throughout his years working along USAG Bavaria, he continuously denied receiving a new duty car. By retirement, his old Audi A4 was 18 year old with over 250,000 miles. The old green and white vehicle became his trade mark around the community.
“The biggest challenge of this job was at the beginning — to get familiar with all the Army acronyms and the changing environment,” reflected Männer.
Entering retirement, Männer says he does not have plans to slow down. He wants to continue staying active with sports, such as Nordic walking, swimming and cycling. He plans to spend more time with his five grandchildren. And his special project is to refurbish his old motorcycle.
Filling big shoes, Männer’s position will be filled by the new liaison officer Polizeihauptmeister Tobias Lorenz.