‘Guardians’ join ‘Protectors’ at patching ceremony
Lt. Col. Kevin Comfort, commander, 97th MP Bn., left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Quirk, 97th MP Bn., right, place unit patches for the 42nd MP Bde. on Capt. Karmauta Irlmeier, 300th MP Co., 97th MP Bn., center left, and 1st Sgt. Timothy Morgan, 300th MP Co., 97th MP Bn., center right, during a patching ceremony Jan. 9 at the MP motor pool. Photo by: Julie Fiedler, POST.
Story by: Julie Fiedler
1ST INF. DIV. POST
The sound of shoulder patches being ripped off of uniforms tore through the motor pool of the 97th Military Police Battalion during a patching ceremony Jan. 9 on Custer Hill.
The occasion marked the transfer of the 97th MP Bn., from the 89th Military Police Brigade to the 42nd Military Police Brigade, based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.
"(Command Sgt. Maj. Dawn Rippelmeyer) and I are honored to be here," Col. Robert Taradash told the 97th MP Bn. Soldiers in his opening comments. "You are the strength of our Army … No matter what patch you have on your left shoulder, you have to show that strength."
Taradash, commander, 42nd MP Bde., welcomed the 97th MP Bn. into the "Protector" Family, saying "(Rippelmeyer) and I are proud of what you bring now to this brigade and all your accomplishments here at Fort Riley, supporting the 1st Infantry Division and supporting the community here at Fort Riley, and while you were deployed in combat."
"I think the 97th (MP Bn.) has a lot to bring (to the 42nd MP Bde.). It has about 800 Soldiers that have a lot of passion to do the right thing for the brigade. They work very hard trying to get it right and to make a difference," said Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Quirk, 97th MP Bn.
Before patches from the 89th MP Bde. were removed from their uniforms, Taradash told the Soldiers, "the patch you are about to remove represents one of the proudest brigades we have in our regiment. I've worn that patch twice in my career, and I feel the pride just like any of you do."
Taradash then directed the Soldiers to remember their 29 fallen comrades, remember the sacrifices they make daily and remember "the trust that our Army leadership places in you, as military police, to set and enforce standards of discipline that nobody else can do like we do," as they placed the insignia of the 42nd MP Bde. on their uniforms.
"There's a lot of pride," said Lt. Col. Kevin Comfort, commander, 97th MP Bn.
Adding that he knows a number of Soldiers in the 42nd MP Bde., Comfort said, "It's almost as though it was time to change."
"As we leave the 89th (MP Bde.), which has done very well for us, the 42nd (MP Bde.) will do the same. They will, I'm sure, wrap their arms around us and provide us the needs and necessities to make us operate and support the Soldiers on deployments and here at Fort Riley," Quirk said.
"We had a great relationship with the 89th (MP Bde.), and we're looking forward to having that same relationship with the 42nd (MP Bde.)," added Maj. Ryan Cagle, 97th MP Bn.
Col. David Chase and Command Sgt. Maj. Keith Devos also were in attendance.
At the end of the month, Chase and Devos will take command of the 42nd MP Bde. Chase, formerly stationed at Fort Riley, was once the commander of the 97th MP Bn.
"When I found out that the 97th (MP Bn.) was going to fall under the (42nd MP) Bde., I was very happy about that. I knew I was getting a great battalion," Chase said. "It's just a great opportunity. (I'm) very excited about it – very happy."