By Sgt. 1st Class Mark BellOctober 16, 2012
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The 200th Military Police Command wrote a new page in the history books during an activation ceremony of the 387th Military Police Battalion on Sept. 29.
Soldiers filled the ranks and took over an old car dealership, transforming it into the home of the command's newest military police battalion.
While welcoming the newest unit in the 11th Military Police Brigade, Brig. Gen. Scottie D. Carpenter charged Lt. Col. Theodore Hawkins, battalion commander, with taking care of Soldiers assigned to the battalion.
"There was a great need for a battalion headquarters here," said Hawkins. "We have many challenges ahead of us, but with the help of the brigade and command, we will succeed. We have no other options."
Hawkins said the expectation for the first year is to build a fully functional battalion headquarters that will provide command and control for at least three military police companies in the Arizona area.
With only three Soldiers assigned to the battalion a couple months ago, Hawkins said filling the more than 60 authorized vacant positions has been difficult, yet rewarding.
"We will provide top-notch quality service while ensuring Soldier readiness across the board," he said.
One of those three Soldiers was the battalion's executive officer, Maj. John Meyers.
The Goodyear, Ariz., resident said it was important to fill the ranks with the right Soldiers.
"It's going to be very difficult to do and extreme challenging," he said about standing up an entirely new organization in a new community. "My philosophy is that good enough, is not good enough."
Meyers said he defines success as ensuring all battalion Soldiers are equipped and ready to answer the call to duty.
"Since we have high expectations for our NCOs and officers to take care of the formations, we are establishing a culture that has an outstanding work ethic," he said.
As the staff continues to grow and morph into a premiere battalion staff, Hawkins said he looks forward to the challenge.
"It makes you nervous when you realize what we are asking of our staff here, but at the same time there is an excitement here," said the Clovis, Calif., resident.
Still in the early stages of molding young leaders to take the helm of the military police battalion, Hawkins said the Army Reserve grows professionals within its ranks, and he is confident a year from today, they will be staffed with the best of the Citizen Warriors.
"This process takes some time," he said. We are not anywhere near complete, but we have grown significantly," he said. "We have the attitude that says, let's get out there and accomplish the mission."
Both Hawkins and Meyers are extremely pleased with progress and planning process.
"We couldn't have done this alone," said Meyers. "Not only did we lean on the brigade and command for support, but the 63rd Regional Support Command and the Army Reserve staffs have stepped in there and given us guidance and assistance when needed. They have a piece of this success."
Hawkins said the best thing about the Army is the Army.
"We are one team here," he said. "Like in conflict, we rely on our comrades to our left and right to forge forward and win the battle. Today, our partnerships have helped us get to this milestone."