FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Training for Warfighter competition during 71st Annual Military Police Regimental Week held here 17-22 Sept., is a team from 512th Military Police Company, 92nd Military Police Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, who spent Friday concluding their three-month long commitment to bring home the win for their unit.

Staff Sgt. Russell R. Hartman, native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a military police officer, 512th MP Co., 92nd MP Bn., 4th MEB, 1ID, is the training leader for the three-man team competing in Warfighter next week.

Hartman says he has two Warfighter competitions behind him with one third place finish in 2011.

"In 2009, I was exhausted," said Hartman, "when I crossed the finish line, it was great . . . I didn't care what place . . .but last year the whole sense was to at least get top three, and we got third place last year."

The team Hartman is training for Warfighter consists of Spc. Fredrick King, native of Yadkinville, N.C, Sgt. Daniel Henson, native of Springhill, Fla., and Pfc. Michael Staunton, native of Brigantine, N.J. All are from 512th MP Co., all are military police Soldiers and all were selected by their senior enlisted leadership to compete in the 2012 Warfighter.

Staunton says he has only been out of initial training for about three months.

"My 1st Sgt. asked me because I always had a good [physical training] score in basic," said Staunton, "so I couldn't really say no but it was kind of cool once I got into it."

All three team members say this is their first Warfighter competition.

"We don't know what to expect, we don't have a set plan," said King.

"It's pretty exciting," said Staunton, "the ruck march is going to be scary, 90 miles or whatever it is."

"During the entire Warfighter competition, historically, the distance we cover running and marching is usually about 70 to75 miles in four days," explains Henson.

"We are ready to get this over with but we are very well prepared and we're going to do very good this year . . . and we are lucky to have [Hartman] as our sponsor because he has a lot of knowledge, a lot of experience." added Henson.

The U.S. Army Military Police School website posted this year's theme as 'Balancing the Force for Decisive Action'.

Hartman says the actual events in the competition remain a secret until the teams begin each event. As a result he says he has been running his team through many different types of training to include ruck marches, weapons training, obstacle and team-building courses here on post.

The team has completed 10 to 15 ruck marches. They have done 15 miles a couple of times, 12-miles, a 10, 9 and several shorter distance marches, said Hartman.

"I've had the team do repelling, obstacles courses, several ranges," said Hartman, "they've practiced [combat lifesaving], swimming, taking apart and putting back together several weapons blindfolded."

"We've done the M4, M9, M249, and the Mark 19 blindfolded," said King.

The team has been training since June 2012.

This is a full time commitment and all the units here on Fort Leonard Wood have been very helpful, said Henson.

Hartman said training in Korea is "something else because of the hills and mountains" but appreciates being here for this round of training.

"There is nothing as good as the training here," said Hartman. "This is like the mother land for the competition and this is where it is [held] so you can't go wrong with training here."

Hartman says he wants to win for his battalion and has had solid command support during the training phase.

"The commander is all excited about this, we talked to him a couple weeks ago and he's . . . looking forward to how the team is going to place," said Hartman.

"We are looking to win it, bring [the trophy] back to Fort Leonard Wood," said Hartman.