Military Police celebrate 75th anniversary, honor fallen
By Gerald Williams, Bayonet & Saber /
The 209th Military Police Detachment celebrated the MP Corps 75th anniversary Sept. 23 on Fort Benning with food, floats for children and other games.
Capt. Benjamin North, Commander of the 209th Military Police Detachment, said the event also featured a working dog demonstration and police cars for kids to check out.
“The family members may be married to an MP or dog handler, but they don’t always get to go see the dogs in the kennels or experience what it’s like in a police car,” said North. “This is one of those moments when we get to bring all of our cool stuff out and let the kids play with the sirens and see the dogs do all the cool things they can do.”
“The military police use the working dogs for security checks, force protection at the gates, health and welfare for the units and being deployed down range,” said Staff Sgt. Gloria Greenidge, 904th Military Working Dog Detachment. “We have a close relationship with the military police.”
“I always wanted to go into the military,” said North. “When I was a child I always knew I wanted to serve my country. At one point in time, I saw a set up for MPs and thought it was very interesting. I ended up putting down choices like MP, Armor and Infantry and I wound up getting MP. I’m very happy being with the MPs.”
“Being an MP is different than being in the Armor or Infantry,” said North. “We help ensure that good order and discipline is maintained throughout the installation, across the Army as a whole. We’re held to a higher standard than every other branch, which I take pride in.”
“We work with a lot of retired military police officers,” said Sgt. 1st Class Chad Joyner, 209th Military Police Detachment. “Most of them served 20 to 30 years in the positions that we are working now. It honors their legacy and continues what they started.”
“If we forget who we are or where we came from, we are nothing. We try to remember those who came before us and paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said North.
The anniversary event also included a memorial for Capt. Rolando Valdes, commander of the 209th Military Police Detachment from 2014 to 2016.
“(My wife) says that I need to remember him and get it off my mind and my heart. That’s not gonna happen. There are too many people out there that need our help and I’m going to give every moment of my life that I have left, to make sure that our warriors are taken care of for protecting this country. That their families are taken care of on a daily basis,” said Sam Rhodes, program manager for Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness.
“Not only is the MP Corps doing well in the Army, but all our services have great leaders like Capt. Valdes. I love that guy. Never forget him.”
The 209th Military Police Detachment presented a plaque to be hung in their building detailing Valdes’ accomplishments and history prior to his death July 2, 2016.