Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
The 165th Military Police Company, 705th Military Police Battalion (Detention), was honored as the best military police company in the U.S. Army Corrections Command and received the 2019 Brigadier General Thomas F. Barr Award in a ceremony March 2 at the 165th’s company operations facility.
“What’s really special about awards like this is that they require resilience, perseverance, sustained excellence, creativity and teamwork to earn,” said Lt. Col. Robert Rodock, 705th MP Battalion commander. “It takes everyone in the unit rowing in the same direction, overcoming personnel transitions, getting to ‘yes’ after the first ‘no,’ and cohesive ownership of the mission set. The 165th MP Company did all of that expertly.”
The Barr Award was established in 2009. The winning unit is chosen by a board that considers each unit’s mission performance, significant achievements, mission readiness, weapons qualification, Army Physical Fitness Test averages, education attainment levels and local community support in a calendar year. Though several companies in the 15th MP Brigade have received the award, this was the first time for the 165th MP Company.
“You are exactly the type of soldiers we need — resilient, fit and soldiers of character, representing all the best of America, teams of cohesive professionals,” said Brig. Gen. Duane Miller, ACC commander. “The soldiers of the 165th are highly trained, disciplined, fit and they know how to win.”
Capt. Stephanie Parker, 165th commander, said the company has had several accomplishments throughout the year, including completing 38 weeks of dedicated detention training and providing support to the third external evaluation in the battalion while also returning to the basics of being a soldier.
“Our leaders went above and beyond looking for creative solutions to provide the best training opportunities for our soldiers,” Parker said. “After analyzing the known resources easily available within our footprint, our leaders decided to break ground and find their own way, reaching out across all three components to establish new relationships and gain access to expanded training opportunities.
“We made a very deliberate shift in the direction of our training focus. …After taking a step back to objectively assess our formation, we decided to move away from pure detention operations in order to provide our soldiers with a more robust training cycle focused on the basics,” she said. “We accepted the risk, moved past the skills that are exercised daily within the facility and instead began to focus on exercising the tasks that simply make good soldiers, good (noncommissioned officers) and good leaders. Our goal was to create a strong foundation of skills applicable across the entire Army. Standing here today, I am proud to say that that decision has clearly paid off.”
Parker said other accomplishments of the company include helping the Joint Regional Correctional Facility achieve a 100 percent technical assistance visit rating, four soldiers deploying with the brigade in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, soldier and NCO of the quarter honors and several individual accomplishments among the company’s soldiers.
“I am immensely proud of every single person who is and has been a member of the Warhawks family,” Parker said. “As we leave this ceremony today, our momentum doesn’t end with the presentation of this trophy.
“The 165th will not stop working to build the most well-rounded, professional and competent soldiers that we can, and this certainly won’t be the last time that our soldiers and leaders are recognized for their incredible work ethic and their ability to set themselves apart from their peers,” she said. “I am humbled and honored to have the privilege of serving with these soldiers, NCOs and officers, and I’m certain that this will not be the last time the 165th Military Police Company proves that it is above the rest.”