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Presidential Unit Citation for 716th Military Police Battalion

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  • Presidential Unit Citation for 716th Military Police Battalion

    (FORT CAMPBELL, Ky., May 12th, 2004, 12:30 p.m.) -- A military police battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation on Wednesday for extraordinary heroism in Iraq, receiving it for the second time in unit history.

    The award Wednesday for the 716th Military Police Company was especially gratifying to the soldiers because it contrasts news out of Iraq about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military police officers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
    "I think you should take this story and put it right over top of the other one," said Terri Dorn, commander of the 194th Military Police Company within the battalion.

    "There are so many good things that the military police do, so many good things that these soldiers have done and it's kind of sad to have an individual incident happen and it just kind of clouds over all the good things that we've been doing," said Dorn, 32, of Green Bay, Wis.

    The 716th Military Police Battalion is the only one in Army military police corps history to receive the award, which honors actions that set it apart from others in the same war, said battalion commander Lt. Col. Aston Hayes.

    The 716th first received the Presidential Unit Citation for its defense of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1968.
    The latest award is for its work in southern Iraq while attached to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force for major combat. It provided security to the Marines, detained prisoners of war and conducted convoy operations.

    Its force of 1,200 later moved into seven Iraqi cities to rebuild police operations and rebuild infrastructure.
    "You once again stood up and held your heads high. The 716th knew what it was supposed to do in another one of our nation's wars to earn yourselves a Presidential Unit Citation, the highest award the government has to give," said Marine Col. John Sweeney. "There's no doubt here the every soldier here earned that, and we are thankful for that."

    Sweeney, chief of staff of the 1st Force Service Support Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, spoke at the ceremony Wednesday where award was presented.
    The 716th was the largest military police battalion in Iraq for major combat. Its partnership with the Marines is believed to be the first time an Army military police battalion was attached to a Marine unit during combat operations, Hayes said.
    After the Marines returned home, the 716th supported a coalition of Polish and Spanish armies in southern Iraq.

    On Oct. 17, 716th battalion commander Lt. Col. Kim S. Orlando was killed by hostile fire in Karbala. Hayes was flown to Iraq from Fort Riley, Kan., to take command of the 716th.
    Combined, the battalion was awarded 27 Purple Hearts to those injured in combat -- including four awarded posthumously to those killed.

    The unit's history dates to World War II when it helped guard troops and equipment transporting in and out of Jersey City, N.J. Since Vietnam, it has deployed to Grenada, Panama, Kosovo, and Saudi Arabia for the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
    It is the most decorated military police battalion in the Army.

    When his gun truck was hit with two rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire, Staff Sgt. Gerald A. Wolford pressed on to lead his heavy machine gun section through a four-hour battle to secure three river crossings in Ah Samawah, Iraq.

    Wolford was awarded the Silver Star for his actions, the third-highest decoration for valor in combat.

    “Staff Sgt. Wolford’s action served to inspire other Soldiers on the battlefield and motivated his section to continue to firefight despite physical injury, vehicle damage and fatigue,” the citation said.

    Wolford said his Soldiers deserve the most credit for their work. He serves in Company D, 3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

    The ceremony in which Wolford received his medal also served to honor the 325th AIR for its actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brig. Gen. Richard Rowe, assistant division commander of operations for the 82nd, and Col. Kurt Fuller, brigade commander of the 325th, presented 13 Bronze Stars with Valor Device and 60 Army Commendation Medals with Valor Device to paratroopers in the 325th AIR.

    The brigade returned from Iraq in February after a year of service there, spending most of its time securing southwestern Baghdad.
    :thumb: :thumb:
    Only Tearful, Animal Man Through the Nature of his Being is Destined to
    a Life of Warfare...

  • #2
    Arcom's's with V's are damn rare. They're earned by doing more than polishing your boots in the morning...

    These are real Combat MP's.

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    • #3
      MPs earn award

      Nice to see some units/people getting some recognition, and well deserved it is.
      Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
      (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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