By Spc. Marcus Fichtl, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment CommandAugust 1, 2012
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The 8th Military Police "Watchdog" Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command celebrated the accomplishments of one command team and welcomed another during the 8th MP Bde.'s Change of Command ceremony at Hamilton Field, here, July 27.
The brigade bid farewell to Col., La'Tonya Lynn, outgoing commander of the 8th MP Bde., and Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Thomas Sivak, outgoing senior enlisted leader 8th MP Bde., and welcomed Col. Mark Jackson, commander 8th MP Bde., and Cmd Sgt. Maj. Richard Woodring, senior enlisted advisor, 8th MP Bde.
Lynn took command of the brigade two years ago and Sivak joined her several months later. The team took command of a brigade still resetting from a deployment to Iraq and a brigade still finding its place in Hawaii after reflagging from Korea in 2006.
The unit focused on a series of missions and tasks to establish itself in Hawaii and the Pacific during Lynn's tenure.
The unit took command of the Department of Emergency Services on Hawaii and provided strategic guidance for law enforcement, fire and emergency health service members and civilians in serving the 90,000 strong Army community.
The brigade's reach shifted from shores of Hawaii toward the vastness of the Pacific as the brigade provided guidance and oversight to military police battalions in Alaska, Japan and Korea in addition to the battalion in Hawaii.
Lynn also described the "ohana," the family, the brigade built in Hawaii primarily in the North Shore. Companies of the unit partnered with elementary schools in Waialua, Haleiwa, Kahuku and Sunset Beach. The brigade also represented the Army in neighbor hood board meetings on the North Shore. As the unit provided mentorships to Hawaii's children it also trained, competed and formed a cooperative relationship with the law enforcement entities on Hawaii. Fruits of which culminated with a council with the Honolulu Police Department to better tackle issues affecting all the communities on Hawaii, civilian and military.
Under the guidance of Lynn and Sivak the unit also displayed its strength in leadership on the battlefield preparing multiple units for deployments to ongoing contingency operations and humanitarian assistance missions across the globe. The headquarters also displayed its ability to deploy and lead during Warpath and exercise with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.
The high rate of operations rested on Sivak and his wife Suna to provide for the welfare of the Soldiers and Families. A task according to Maj. Gen. Stephen Lyons, commander 8th Theater Sustainment command, perfectly fit a professional leader such as Sivak who placed Soldier and their families first.
"Part 1.5 and part 2 of my command team," Said Lynn
But as what Lyons described as a true command team, leaves Hamilton Field and the Watchdog Brigade for the last time, Lynn off to become the military liaison at the House of Representatives and Sivak to become the senior enlisted leader of the 16th MP Bde. (Airborne), at Fort Bragg, N.C. the torch passes to Jackson and Woodring.
Jackson, an Oregon, who last served as Provost Marshal General of the Army and Commander, US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID); Fort McNair, Washington DC and Woodring who last served as Provost Marshal Sergeant Major for the Operational Protection Directorate, USARPAC, a team combining for more than 50 years of military service and an unmatched wealth of knowledge.
Two leaders who represent the best of the Military Police Corps, and who according to Lynn, are entrusted with the Army's best military police brigade.
"From today on when people see the 8th MP Bde., hear the 8th MP Bde., and feel the might of the 8th MP, they will say, those are the watchdogs… Military Police, sustainers, protectors -- warriors of Hawaii, defenders of the Pacific."