FORT POLK, La. -- The 272nd Military Police Company has a storied history -- from its beginning in World War II to the heroism of its Soldiers during Vietnam and its role in current operations -- the company is legendary in the Military Police regiment.

The company joined the Fort Polk family Oct. 16 during a ceremony on 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Field. The 272nd deactivated in July in Manheim, Germany, and reactivated under the 519th Military Police Battalion, 1st MEB. Capt. Camille Cunningham assumed command.

"Captain Cunningham comes to this unit with a proven record of excellence," said Lt. Col. David Detz, commander, 519th. "From her time in the Old Guard to her recent deployment to Afghanistan with the 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, she has already begun the process of building a 'mission first, Soldiers always' company."

The 272nd earned the nickname "Fighting Deuce" during a heroic defensive action in Vietnam. The company defended its reputation during the 519th battalion competition, the Viper Stakes.

"The Soldiers out here today are the foundation upon which the Fighting Deuce will be built at Fort Polk," Detz said.

"During the competition this week these Soldiers have demonstrated repeatedly that although they are few in number, they stand prepared to stake their claim as military police warriors."

"We participated in every team event this week - we wanted to win," said Cunningham. "The Soldiers gave it their all. I am impressed with the company's enthusiasm and motivation, and am humbled and honored to be their commander."

Cunningham explained her view of command. "If you look out for Soldiers, they will try their hardest at whatever mission you give them. They will accomplish it because they know the command team has their best interest in mind. If you take care of them, they will take care of the mission. That's my philosophy: Soldiers first," she said.

"The 272nd has a history that can't be beat," said 1st Sgt. William Stephens. "Most MPs know of the 272nd. I dealt with the company when I was in Germany, but this is my first chance to be a part of it. Serving as first sergeant has been my goal. I couldn't have gotten a better unit."

Stephens said he most looks forward to training with his new company. "I like to see the Soldiers grow - training is where that happens," he said. "There will be some long, frustrating days, but they're up to it."