Chief, Military Police Corps Regiment, and Commandant, U.S. Army Military Police School.
Before I came to Fort Leonard Wood, I knew very little about the maneuver support world; in fact, I was only introduced to the concept about 10 years ago when Lieutenant General David E. Quantock (Retired) was the commanding general of MSCoE. As I have studied this mission for the past year, it has become abundantly clear to me that stationing the Military Police Regiment, the Chemical Regiment, and the Engineer Regiment together at Fort Leonard Wood was no mistake. Our regiments, through the conduct of specialized activities, technical tools, and skills, shape perceptions and influence the behavior of the local populous, the enemy, and relevant actors within the operational environment. We alter the physical terrain through countermobility, general engineering, and police operations. Maneuver support forces mitigate obstacle effects and hazards designed or employed to impede our friendly freedom of movement. Maneuver support forces also provide enhanced protection capabilities against potential or active threats that would cause harm to our force and the civilian population and interfere with military activities. It takes a collective effort from all of our regiments to understand and shape the physical and cognitive domains, and each regiment makes unique contributions toward this end. I am so very humbled to have been selected to lead such an amazing organization that prides itself on being a team of teams.
So, as I leave this great Regiment in the very capable hands of the next commandant, I only hope that I was able to make a difference in the short time that I was here. Much like the little boy in the story of the starfish...
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still, and the man called out, "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?" The young boy paused, looked up, and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach, and they can't return to the sea by themselves.... When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water." The old man replied, "But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I'm afraid you won't really be able to make much of a difference." The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled, and said, "It made a difference to that one!" (1)
It has been my honor to serve as your 49th Commandant. Thank you for what you and your Families do every day in support of this great Regiment!
(1) Peter Straube, "The Starfish Story: One Step Towards Changing the World," Events for Change Web site, 5 June 2011, adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley.
Brigadier General Donna W. Martin