• 291st MP Company earns Barr Award

  • The 291st Military Police Company, 40th Military Police Battalion (Detention), was honored as the best military police company in U.S. Army Corrections Command and received the Brigadier General Thomas F. Barr Award in a ceremony March 28 at the 291st’s company operations facility.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    The 291st Military Police Company, 40th Military Police Battalion (Detention), was honored as the best military police company in U.S. Army Corrections Command and received the Brigadier General Thomas F. Barr Award in a ceremony March 28 at the 291st’s company operations facility.
    “Today, we’re presenting a team award,” said Brig. Gen. Duane Miller, ACC commander. “Many (sports) organizations have team awards, but the Thomas F. Barr Award is much more important and much more significant.
    “Sports teams, they do one thing well, but in this case the 291st does many things well,” he said. “So, the Lombardi Trophy, the Stanley Cup, that’s easy, but getting the Thomas F. Barr Award is hard and you earned it. You were chosen because you did those many things well and you did it in the most honorable profession in the world.”
    The Barr Award was first established in 2009. The winning unit is chosen each year by a board that considers each unit’s mission performance, significant achievements, mission readiness, weapons qualification, Army Physical Fitness Test averages, education attainment and local community support in a calendar year. The 291st also won the award in 2014.
    Lt. Col. Kevin Payne, 40th commander, said the 291st had several notable accomplishments throughout 2018, including remaining focused on the Army’s No. 1 priority: readiness.
    “An essential layer of readiness is the strength of the family readiness group, and 291st arguably maintained the battalion’s strongest program throughout the year,” Payne said.
    The company’s soldiers maintained a high level of fitness, which led to 20 soldiers earning the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, and they maintained focus on community and volunteer service.
    “In conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America, the 291st cleaned and placed flags on headstones at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery,” Payne said. “The unit also participated in numerous adopt-a-school events at Earl M. Lawson Elementary School in Leavenworth.”
    This included assisting with the school field day and providing mentorship to students.
    However, Payne said these achievements were not the most important of them all.
    “The 291st is identified by the quality of the individual soldiers and what they do on and sometimes off duty,” Payne said. “Each member of the team is focused on the outcomes that matter, and they act in a way that is consistent with the values the organization holds dear.”
    While off duty, one soldier pulled civilians from a burning vehicle and provided aid until help arrived; another chased down a purse thief after hearing a civilian cry out in distress; and one was selected as the goalie for the All Army Hockey Team and helped the team win gold at the 5th Baltic Military Winter Games in Lithuania, Payne said.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The extraordinary contributions of the unit span all measurable areas, and it is obvious that the warrior team is well led and made up of soldiers who care about the mission and more importantly about each other.”
    Miller said the company’s accomplishments that Payne listed are indicative of a quote by former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Creighton Abrams.
    “‘There must be within our Army a sense of purpose and dedication to that purpose,’” he quoted. “‘There must be a willingness to march a little further, carry a heavier load. To step out into the darkness and the unknown for the safety and well-being of others.’
    “I think that speaks well of you,” Miller said. “Simply put, you are the best of the best.”
    Capt. Adam Berg, 291st commander, said winning the Barr Award represents a lot.
    “For me, it is the care the soldiers have for each other, for the mission and for the local community,” Berg said. “It represents a true team effort, not just within the company, but the brigade.
    “The company has done a lot of great historical things,” he said. “They deployed to Afghanistan. They won the (Barr) award twice, and it just speaks to the consistent standards of excellence in the company. It just continues to set the bar high for us, and it gives the soldiers a sense of pride that they know they have to meet high standards.”
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