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Friends and competitors.

On 23 July 2014, 12 of the best Soldiers and noncommissioned officers from the 91st Military Police Battalion (Guardians), 16th Military Police Brigade, Fort Drum, New York, shared physical pains, camaraderie, and esprit de corps as they competed with two Canadian soldiers from the 2 Military Police Regiment, Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ontario, Canada.

Canadian soldiers Sergeant Daniel Hansen and Corporal Christopher McConnell made the 6-hour drive from Ontario to Fort Drum and quickly integrated with the Guardians, forming a partnership between units and a friendship with their brothers in arms.

The morning began with the soldiers competing in the "Feat of Strength"--a type of Army physical fitness test with added events such as a rope climb and a 120-pound sled drag. Although the events were very demanding, the soldiers completed them with motivation and determination.

Next, the soldiers were transported to the Fort Drum Air Assault Obstacle Course where they tackled more than 15 obstacles. The soldiers found the course to be challenging, but they also realized that it was a great tool to help them overcome their physical fears.

Tired but undaunted, the soldiers loaded into a light medium tactical vehicle and headed to the M4 rifle qualification range to finish the competition. Each of the soldiers received an M4 rifle that was set at mechanical zero and just six rounds of ammunition for zeroing to the shooter. The Canadian soldiers operated under the same standards as their U.S. Army counterparts.

The day culminated with an awards dinner. The 91st Military Police Battalion command team of Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Goyette and Command Sergeant Major Russell Erickson presented Army Achievement Medals to Sergeant John Kindrick of the 23d Military Police Company and Specialist Grafton Spinks of the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment. Sergeant Hansen and Corporal McConnell were also recognized and were awarded the Army Sharpshooter Badge for qualifying with the M4 rifle. These two outstanding Canadian military police hit 31 of 40 targets on their first attempt at qualification with rifles they had never before fired. This is a testament to their organic unit training and to the mentorship provided by the range cadre of the 23d Military Police Company.

Although the Canadians were not competing to move forward to the 16th Military Police Brigade competition, they provided an extra element to the Guardian competition and they helped create a relationship between the 2 Military Police Regiment and the 91st Military Police Battalion that will continue into the future. In the spirit of friendship, Sergeant Hansen and Corporal McConnell were invited to attend the 91st Military Police Battalion Ball in October 2014.

Although, in the end, the 91st Military Police Battalion selected two competitors to move forward and compete in the 16th Military Police Brigade Soldier and noncommissioned officer of the quarter competition, the biggest reward for our unit was gaining a new partnership with our military police neighbors to the North!

Master Sergeant Gaereminck is an operations sergeant with the 91st Military Police Battalion. He holds an associate's degree in general education from Pierce College, Pierce County, Washington, and is working toward a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the American Military University.
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Author:Gaereminck, James E., II
Publication:Military Police
Date:Mar 22, 2015
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