Soldiers say goodbye, MP Company inactivated

By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crane, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Capt. Cory J. Lane, commander of the 940th Military Police Company and 1st Sgt. Ronald D. Peppi case the unit colors while Maj. Robbie Anderson, commander of the 198th MP Battalion looks on during a ceremony at the National Guard Armory in Walton August 11, 2019. The 940th is made up of roughly 150 Soldiers and has served the commonwealth as part of the 198th Military Police Battalion since 2001. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Pvt. Alexander Hellman)

 

WALTON, Ky. – Soldiers of the 940th Military Police Company gathered for the final time as a unit for an inactivation ceremony at the National Guard Armory Aug. 11, 2019.

Due to realignment within the Kentucky National Guard’s force structure, military police units across the state were re-organized.

The Casing of the Colors ceremony is held to commemorate the unit’s service and history, signifying the end of the command.

“They’re divesting the company,” said Capt. Cory Lane, commander of the 940th. “What that means is they are restructuring the force so all the Soldiers will be going to different units at this point.”

Soldiers of the 940th have played vital roles in domestic operations in Kentucky as well as deploying with the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade to Iraq in 2011 and to the U.S. Virgin Islands in wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

Click for more photos.

Despite knowing about the possibility of the unit being inactivated, today’s ceremony still brought out a lot of emotion for leaders and Soldiers alike.

“Its very emotional for me, it’s like seeing your kids going away,” said 1st Sgt. Ronald Peppi, who was their first sergeant for the past 18 months. “The Guard is one big family. This company was a family and those were my Soldiers, but they were also like my children.”

Some Soldiers in the unit have only known the 940th, which made today a little tougher.

“I’ve been with this unit since 2010 and I haven’t been to another unit, its been my home,” said a teary eyed Sgt. Jessica Jenkins. “We’re a family and the camaraderie here is amazing and a lot of us are going to try to get in the same unit again.”

Of those in attendance, many were former Soldiers in the unit in some fashion and those who have retired but wanted to show their support for those currently still a part of the unit.

Following the guidon being cased for its final time, Maj. Robbie Anderson, commander of the 198th Military Police Battalion declared to the unit, “Mission Complete.”

This type of restructure doesn’t happen a lot in the National Guard according to Lane and despite the somber nature of the event, its uniqueness couldn’t be overlooked.

“It is one of those times where you have to sit back, and know it’s a sad time for all the Soldiers involved, but its kind of a unique thing going forward,” added Lane.

The 940th is made up of roughly 150 Soldiers and has served the commonwealth as part of the 198th Military Police Battalion since 2001. These Soldiers have the opportunity to either move to a new position within another military police unit or re-classify into a new Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) based on the needs of the organization and the preferences of the service member.

While the 940th will case their colors, the Walton Armory will continue to operate as a home for the Kentucky Guard’s Detachment 1, 223rd, MP Company.