• 705th MP Bn. gains new command team

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    The 705th Military Police Battalion (Detention) conducted a change of command and change of responsibility in a dual ceremony May 18 on Main Parade.
    Outgoing Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Karin Watson relinquished command to incoming Commander Lt. Col. Robert Rodock, and outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. John Fair relinquished responsibility to incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Justin Shad.
    “Changes of command are significant events in a military career, and today is especially so,” said 15th Military Police Brigade Commander and U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Commandant Col. Dawn Hilton.
    Watson assumed command of the 705th in June 2016. Her previous assignments include Korea; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and Fort Bragg, N.C. In her next assignment, Watson will oversee global detention operations at the Pentagon.
    “Watson is a natural leader who superbly commanded the battalion and the Joint Regional Correctional Facility, but she did more than just lead,” Hilton said. “She also brought a vision that ranged from strategic to tactical in both the day-to-day running of her prison, but also in pursuit of increased levels of readiness.”
    Watson said she felt the same way she did when she first took command of the 705th.
    “I am extremely humbled and proud for this privilege … to lead this battalion, to lead America’s sons and daughters is a blessing,” she said. “The battalion remains ever vigilant and ready, experts at military corrections, trained and ready to conduct detention operations.”
    Fair assumed responsibility of the 705th in April 2016. His previous assignments include Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Shafter, Hawaii; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and Grafenwoer, Germany. Fair will stay on Fort Leavenworth as the 15th MP Brigade S3 sergeant major.
    “(Fair) is a phenomenal leader who has the unique ability to balance the needs of the unit and mission with the excellent care of the leaders, soldiers and civilians with whom he serves,” Hilton said. “Like the best (noncommissioned officers) in the Army, he upholds high standards, finds a way and makes everyone around him better.”
    Addressing the soldiers of the 705th, Fair said he began each week reading the same verse from Isaiah 40: “The grass withers, the flower fades but the word of God lives forever.”
    “This has been my reminder that I will go away and that I have been blessed to be your command sergeant major. It has been my reminder to keep my ego in check and that it is never about myself,” he said.
    “I want you to also know there have been times I needed you more than you needed me … I never tried to make you better soldiers. I left that to commanders and first sergeants. I only wanted to make you a better person, a better husband, a better wife or a better parent.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Hilton said Watson and Fair made a good team.
    “Together, their collective leadership and expertise resulted in flawless operations over the past two years both here at Fort Leavenworth and across the globe with their deployed soldiers,” she said. “I’ve watched them inspire and motivate soldiers and civilians to press through obstacles and achieve great accomplishments, all while making it look easy at the same time.
    “As we say farewell, we are fortunate to replace them with another truly gifted command team,” she said. “They both are well prepared and ready.”
    Rodock was commissioned into the Army in 2001 following his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. His previous assignments include two in Fort Carson, Colo.; six in Fort Polk, La., and one in Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. His education includes the Command and General Staff College and the Advanced Military Studies Program, School of Advanced Military Studies.
    “Rodock joins us today with a wealth of experience, and with his combat operations background, I have no doubt he will pick up where (Watson and Fair) left off and continue to prepare his soldiers to not only run world-class prison operations inside the JRCF, but also ensure his soldiers are ready to support the combatant commanders in detention operations,” Hilton said.
    Rodock said he felt honored to become the commander.
    “I would not be standing here today without the people who shaped me,” he said. “I am a product of my prior outstanding leaders who showed me what right looks like and continue to mentor me now.”
    Shad enlisted in the Army in 1996. His previous duty stations include Camp Humphreys, Korea; U.S. Army Correctional Activity Europe, Manheim, Germany; and Fort Lewis, Wash. He has served in six different assignments on Fort Leavenworth including Company A, 705th; 256th MP Company, 705th; 526th MP Company, 705th; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 705th; HHC, JRCF; and HHC, USDB, 40th MP Battalion (Detention).
    “Shad is no stranger to the brigade and will serve as the perfect confidant to Rodock,” Hilton said. “His correctional expertise will complement the highly talented and professional soldiers in front of you today and those staff working inside the JRCF.”
    Shad said he felt humbled.
    “(I) look forward to working with each and every one of you and your families as we continue to build upon the great accomplishments of this battalion’s history,” he said.
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