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NEWS | Nov. 12, 2019

Largest police force in DoD changes leadership

By Sgt. Audrey Hayes 200th Military Police Command

After three years of commanding the largest police force in the Department of Defense, Maj. Gen. Marion Garcia handed the reins of the 200th Military Police Command to Maj. Gen. John F. Hussey in a change of command ceremony Nov. 1 on Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

The command, headquartered at Fort Meade, has approximately 14,000 Soldiers in 118 units across 33 states, making it the second largest command in the Army Reserve.

Keeping the 200th’s Soldiers trained and ready to deploy globally and defeat the threats of tomorrow in support of the Army Reserve’s Ready Force X initiative has been the a main goal for the command. While the last three years under Garcia’s leadership have been aggressively packed with rigorous training, her commitment to the troops has paid off.

The command conducted brigade-level mounted gunnery before the initiation of Operation Cold Steel, the largest live-fire exercise in Army Reserve history. The command established courses for senior noncommissioned officers who needed military education in order to stay relevant and get promoted. The command’s cooks won the Philip A. Connelly Award, the 94th MP Co. won the Supply Excellence Award, as well as her public affairs office winning a slew of awards, to include top honors for the entire Army in the areas of photography, journalism and storytelling. Also, Maj. James Balutowski, the operations officer for the 304th MP Battalion, won the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.

Garcia said she is 100 percent confident that the command will continue to grow under Hussey and that he is a devoted Soldier, knowledgeable mentor and true teammate.

“I was a battalion commander … and my unit was just put on orders to go to Iraq and run a detention facility,” said Garcia. “I reached out to a mentor for advice, who told me, ‘Listen, if you want to know how to run a detention facility, you need to call this … lieutenant colonel, who’d been an incredibly successful commander of a deployed detention battalion in Iraq.' ”

Garcia made the call. She drove to New Jersey with her operations officer and met with the lieutenant colonel after work in his office.

“We were there for hours running down an incredible list of questions,” said Garcia. “He stayed as long as we wanted. He offered insight. He offered knowledge. He offered wisdom. I credit my success in theater to that afternoon in New Jersey, where I learned from Lt. Col. John Hussey.”

Experience in the MP field is not something that lacks when it comes to Hussey.

He’s commanded multiple detention facilities in a deployed environment, to include battalion, Task Force, Joint Task Force, as well as Combined Joint Interagency Task Force capacities. His most recent assignment was the deputy commanding general of Guantanamo Bay.

One thing you’ll get from me is no messing around, said Hussey.

“Right now, I’m thinking how am I going to do this? General Garcia, you’ve set a very high bar, but as I look around at this command and our partnerships and mentorships, I know we can do it.”

“We live in a very dangerous and volatile world,” said Hussey. “We’ve got to be ready to work with our partners on active duty and in the National Guard and we’ve got to be ready to respond to our nation’s call. And I know, collectively, we will. I look forward to working with all of you.”