By Army Sgt. Andrew Hillegass, JTF Guantanamo Public AffairsOctober 13, 2009
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (Oct. 2, 2009) - There is a saying that states, some things get better with age. While many of us may not look forward to our 68th birthday, the Soldiers of the 525th Military Police Battalion at Joint Task Force Guantanamo took time to celebrate their branch's anniversary.
The battalion gathered together with the rest of the JTF, Sept. 25, 2009, to recognize the MP Regiment's 68th birthday. The branch can trace its lineage back to the American Revolution with the establishment of the Marechaussee Corps. But, it wasn't until Sept. 26, 1941, that the Army officially recognized the Military Police Corps as a branch, making it one of the youngest in the Army.
Lt. Col. Alex Conyers, the 525th commander, took the opportunity to thank his Soldiers and remind them of what they can give back to the MP corps.
"We [military police] can give the gift of honoring and living the Army Values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage," said Conyers.
During his remarks, Conyers also took the time to thank his Soldiers whom he feels may not always get the recognition they ought to have.
"Our guards are here doing their jobs outside of the limelight and they do a great job," said Conyers.
After Conyers' remarks, the battalion held a ceremonial cake cutting with the highest ranking Soldier, Joint Detention Group's commander Army Col. Bruce Vargo, and the youngest Soldier, Army Pvt. John Grauer, doing the honors.
Grauer just completed his Advanced Individual Training school approximately five months ago. He felt the MP corps was right for him because of their long history of making a difference and helping people.
"I wanted to enlist as an MP because back home I had worked as a firefighter and I wanted to continue to help people. I also could identify with their motto of 'Assist, Protect and Defend," said Grauer.
With personnel deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Joint Task Force Guantanamo, military police are now recognized as the most deployed branch of the services outside of the Special Forces. The 525th MP Battalion was reactivated on Oct. 16, 2004, to assist the Joint Detention Group with detainee operations at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.