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Chief, Military Police Corps Regiment, and Commandant, U.S. Army Military Police School.

Let's talk about making a plan. The thing about planning is that as soon as you are about to execute a plan, things typically take an unexpected twist or turn, which isn't always a bad thing but unexpected nonetheless. That is what happened with my tenure as your 49th Commandant of the U.S. Army Military Police School. My plan (and the Army's plan) 2 years ago was to move to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, assume the Commandant position for at least 2 years, and then begrudgingly hand over the Regiment to the next deserving senior leader of this great Regiment. After only 13 months of occupying my dream assignment, things changed. In August, I relinquished the position as Commandant to Brigadier General Brian R. Bisacre and assumed the position of the commanding general of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence (MSCoE) and Fort Leonard Wood. Chris and I are so very grateful and humbled for the selection, and we are looking forward to continuing to serve the greatest Army in the World!

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!

Endnote:

(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
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Author:Martin, Donna W.
Publication:Military Police
Date:Sep 22, 2018
Words:752
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