By Scott Prater | Mountaineer staff
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson’s 759th Military Police Battalion has good cause to celebrate this month as two of its units earned top level excellence awards.
U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) recently announced that the 110th Military Police Company and the 759th MP Bn. Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment both earned the coveted FORSCOM Eagle Award for fiscal 2019.
The award signifies a unit as the best military police unit in all of FORSCOM. The 110th MP Company, 759th MP Bn., 89th MP Brigade, commanded by Capt. Alexis Marione, earned the Eagle Award as best company and the 759th Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, commanded by Capt. John Horner, took home the Eagle Award as best detachment.
“Winning the FORSCOM Eagle Award is an outstanding symbol of the hard work and dedication by the amazing Soldiers across the Lone Sentinel Battalion,” said Lt. Col. Ryan C. Cagle, commander, 759th MP Bn. “Competing in competitions such as the Eagle Award helps to make us a better organization and is a great opportunity to represent the Griffin Brigade, Mountain Post and ‘Ivy’ Division.”
To be considered for the honor, military police units develop packages detailing their experiences and accomplishments throughout the year, then submit those packages to FORSCOM for review.
A board of officers and sergeants major then comb through packages and form a consensus about the best units. They then compare the best and determine a winner. There is no award for second place.
“It really boils down to taking ownership of your achievements and your failures,” Horner said. “Being able to find a positive in those things and then being able to inspire our formations. If Capt. Marione and myself can’t inspire the formations, the Soldiers are not going to be motivated (to) go out and accomplish the things they’re being recognized for.”
Besides rating units in a variety of categories, including readiness and deployability, military police focus, innovation, training and community activities, board members consider units’ excellence and accomplishments throughout the year.
“They really want to see how a unit is proactive as opposed to reactive, in a policing sense,” Marione said. “That’s us going out and forming and bettering our community relationships.”
110th MP Company Soldiers, for instance, visited child development centers on post, where they invited children to inspect police cruisers and learn their capabilities. They also developed a toy drive for the Colorado Springs Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), an organization that supports local children.
“The toy drive was not led by command teams,” Marione said. “The 110th Soldiers took it upon themselves to organize and execute the event. They collected the toys during our holiday festivities and took them down to CASA themselves.”
During fiscal 2019, the combat support company rotated through the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, performing its law enforcement road mission and worked the entry gates at Fort Carson, all while experiencing 60 percent turnover.
“The turnover we experienced provided a fresh perspective, but I think the willingness of our junior leaders to take initiative and make this unit the best it can be is what really set us apart,” Marione said.
Both units now move on to compete at the Department of the Army level, with the winners earning the Maj. Gen. Harry Hill Bandholtz Award.
“It is great to see the units being recognized for the FORSCOM Eagle Award: the Soldiers train hard and protect the best hometown in the Army each day,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Thompson, senior enlisted leader, 759th MP Bn. “They are an example of the great Soldiers and leaders we have throughout Fort Carson and 4th Inf. Div.”