• 40th MP Battalion welcomes new senior NCO

  • Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Haliburton assumes responsibility of the 40th Military Police Battalion (Detention).

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Command Sgt. Maj. Veronica Knapp relinquished responsibility of the 40th Military Police Battalion (Detention) to Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Haliburton in a ceremony March 1 in the Lewis and Clark Center’s Eisenhower Auditorium.
    Knapp assumed responsibility of the 40th on Dec. 1, 2016. Her next assignment is command sergeant major of the 16th MP Brigade at Fort Bragg, N.C.
    “Without a doubt, Command Sergeant Major Knapp served the best interests of the battalion and its soldiers, and her actions extended to the local community. The principles of servant leadership are indeed woven into her personal and professional life,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Payne, 40th commander. “Her focus on serving soldiers was for their own good, and the good of the organization. She formed long-term relationships by encouraging soldier growth and development, so that over time they would reach their fullest potential.”
    Payne said Knapp achieved many accomplishments throughout her time as the command sergeant major, but he was most proud of the final salute program she established.
    “It upholds history and tradition, and I know that its symbolism is meaningful to families. The unit holds a formation just prior to retreat on the last day of active service for a retiring soldier,” Payne said. “As retreat is played and the flag retired, the flag is folded in sync with a narration, which identifies the meaning of each of the 13 folds. Once folded, the flag is presented to the soldier and his family.
    “It is a powerful ceremony and it has invoked many tears from appreciative families,” he said. “This ceremony is what Command Sergeant Major Knapp is all about. She orchestrated the ceremony, and many times she personally delivered the flag to the family. She cares so much for soldiers and families, and she has a great sense of how to incorporate Army traditions and values into events. It was an honor to serve with you.”
    In her speech, Knapp acknowledged several people who were part of her success at the 40th, noting the people are what makes the battalion like no other.
    “Without people, an organization is just a symbol on a flag. It is the people that make it fly,” Knapp said. “Every month at pre-service, I ask every soldier that comes into the organization to think about what their legacy is. I inform them that it doesn’t matter how long they’ve been in the Army. Everyone has a legacy. Your legacy is how people remember you.
    “My most cherished memories are those that cannot be measured. It is witnessing a soldier proudly don their first set of stripes, hearing the pride in their voices as they administer and recite the oath of office and enlistment during re-enlistment and promotion ceremonies, witnessing their amazing strength and athleticism as they show their competitive side in physical challenges, standing quietly in awe as they bashfully sing or play a musical instrument during leaders checks in the barracks, and hearing about their bravery from a civilian who observed them saving the life of another,” she said.
    Page 2 of 3 - “It is watching them as mothers and fathers at family functions, volunteering with veterans, schools and the local community, standing proudly in their uniforms as the honor guard, presenting a flag to a grieving family member as part of the funeral honors team, and rendering a salute with a soldier as they stand proudly in front of us on their last day of service. Command Sergeant Major Haliburton, these are some of the many experiences you have to look forward to every day, and I have no doubt that the unit will continue to thrive under your leadership.”
    Haliburton’s assignments have included military policeman, team leader and squad leader for the 529th MP Company in Wiesbaden, Germany; protective service agent and protective squad leader for Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe in Wiesbaden; drill sergeant for the 795th MP Battalion in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; drill sergeant in the 796th MP Battalion in Fort Leonard Wood; platoon sergeant and operations sergeant major for the 2nd Special Troops Battalion in Fort Carson, Colo.; first sergeant for the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy in Fort Jackson, S.C.; and first sergeant for the 289th MP Company in Fort Myer, Va. Most recently, he served as an operations sergeant major for the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks. He has deployed in support of Task Force Falcon, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
    “Every transition brings new perspectives, a different voice and a different manner of leadership ... (Haliburton) will offer a different perspective and set of experiences from which his subordinates will benefit,” Payne said. “He has a firm foundation of understanding of the mission inside the USDB and the challenges the soldiers face on a daily basis.
    “Command Sergeant Major Haliburton, Ilene and I welcome you to the Justice family and we look forward to forging a new command partnership,” he said. “You have my confidence to lead this great unit; empower your (noncommissioned officers) and utilize their wisdom and experience; teach, coach and mentor every officer, NCO and soldier; master and enforce the fundamentals of corrections; treat soldiers with the dignity they deserve; recognize the importance of families; ensure your soldiers have balance in their lives, and most importantly, have fun. Do these things and you will be successful.”
    Haliburton recognized Knapp and Payne in his speech.
    “I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to all of my phenomenal mentors who have provided world class mentorship and wholesome instruction to me being privileged to assume such a prestigious position,” Haliburton said. “Your support and advice will never be forgotten.
    “Command Sergeant Major Knapp, your service and leadership to this battalion goes without question. I appreciate your support during this transition and thank you and your family for welcoming me into the battalion,” he said.
    Page 3 of 3 - “Lieutenant Colonel Payne, I look forward to our relationship as I provide unconditional support and loyalty to this organization … I think of an amplifier when I think of a command sergeant major and their commander. In my opinion, the battalion commander is the high definition in dash radio. This radio comes with all of the functions and stations … When turned up without the use of an amplifier, they can only hear themselves. An amplifier is made to expand and deliver this HD quality sound to those who are wanting to hear. When used together, messages of the sender are amplified to ensure it reaches the target audience, and I am ready to connect.”
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