Following a review of the troops in a vintage Army jeep, Reviewing Officer Col. Bret Van Camp, commander, 1st MEB, was the first to address those in attendance. He spoke about the many deployments Soldiers of the 519th MP Bn had made during the two-plus years outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Glenn Schmick, was in charge with Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Narcisse.
“With their four separate line companies, three detachments, and the Directorate of Emergency Services, these two leaders balanced the responsibilities of unified land operations, DCRF (Defense CBRNE Reactionary Force), and law and order missions,” he said.
Van Camp pointed out that in addition to the various deployments and stateside missions, the 519th MP Bn defended Fort Polk by responding to more than 1.5 million calls for assistance annually.
“Leading this battalion through very different, complex missions took great skill and acumen,” he said. “These leaders provided that purpose, direction and motivation to accomplish all these tasks.”
Van Camp also thanked Schmick’s and Narcisse’s spouses — Angela and Theresa — for their mentorship and guidance to the 519th MP Bn’s Family members.
“They (519th MP Bn) have had the best Family-focused program I have ever seen, anywhere, in my 27 years of service,” he said. “A huge part of that was thanks to the ladies supporting them.”
After wishing Schmick and Narcisse the best, Van Camp turned to welcoming Myers and Davis.
“Today day we start the next chapter (of the 519th MP Bn),” he said. “To both Families we say, ‘Welcome, we’re proud to have you as part of the team, and we look forward to working with you to make every day better.’”
Next to speak was Schmick. He spoke of how “blessed” he was to be exposed to greatness time and time again throughout his military career.
“I am not the most disciplined person, but I witness discipline each day by our young troops,” he said. “I am not the most dedicated steward of our nation, but I have stood beside great civilian community police, security guards and firefighters who would not take one step back or waiver through fire, danger or furlough. I am not the most passionate man, but Command Sergeant Major Narcisse and the NCOs of this great unit have passion for soldiering enough for 10 armies.”
He thanked Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk Commander Brig. Gen. William Hickman for being role model.
“You make me proud to be an officer,” he said. “Thank you for allowing me to serve as a battalion commander and your Directorate of Emergency Services.”
Schmick then turned to his Family. He had special words for his son, Hunter.
“If I could bottle your loyalty, son, I could make a fortune,” he said. “You are such an awesome young man and are all that is good in me. I missed four of your birthdays because of this life we lead, but you in turn tell me you want to be a Soldier and a Ranger like, ‘Your Daddy.’ Well, son, I want to be as good a man as you are already.”
He closed by welcoming Myers.
“You’re getting a great battalion and DES,” he said. “There are no finer folks in the world.”
Schmick was followed by Narcisse, who echoed many of his commander’s sentiments. He issued a challenge to the Soldiers of the 519th MP Bn.
“You have the ultimate responsibility to transform yourself into the future leaders of America’s greatest generation of warriors,” he said.
Myers and Davis made brief comments, thanking Van Camp for the opportunity to command and lead the 519th MP Bn.
Myers comes to Fort Polk from an assignment as Deputy Provost Marshal, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C. Davis also comes from an assignment at Fort Bragg, with the 108th Military Police Company.