720th Military Police Battalion
"Soldiers of the Gauntlet"
The 720th Military Police Battalion, "Soldiers of the Gauntlet," was first constituted on 10 January 1942 in the Regular Army as the 720th Military Police Battalion. It was activated during World II at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland on 20 January 1942. The Battalion served in 3 major campaigns during the Second World War while based in Australia and New Guinea before relocating to Yokohama, Japan on 2 September 1945, as part of the occupational force. The Battalion relocated to Fort Hood, Texas on 21 February 1955.
The distinctive unit insignia had been approved on 2 May 1952, consisting of a shield blazoned: Vert, a dexter gauntlet in fess Or grasping an imp, head to base, Sable. Attached below the shield was a Gold color metal scroll inscribed "ORDERLY REGULATION" in Green enamel letters. The golden restraining hand grasping the inverted black imp, which was symbolical of a petty devil or malignant spirit, was symbolical of the restraining functions of the organization, implying the means by which undesirable factions were kept under control. The motto "ORDERLY REGULATION" was expressive of the determination of the personnel to regulate with order, and alluded to the charges on the shield.
The 401st Military Police Company participated in numerous deployments since its assignment to the 720th Military Police Battalion in 1972. It was credited with participation in various task force operations since its constitution during World War II. Missions have included tasks in Honduras, Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989-1990, Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990-1991, as well as many other operations around the world.
As of 15 January 1997 about 8,900 U.S. troops were in Bosnia, including 2 engineer battalions dismantling IFOR base camps. Operation Joint Endeavor gave way to Operation Joint Guard on 20 December 1996. NATO's 60,000-member implementation force completed its mission, and a 31,000-strong stabilization force deployed for the next phase of the alliance peace effort. At the height of the IFOR mission, 19,000 US troops served at 38 base camps in the northern sector. About 1,200 troops from the 720th Military Police Battalion from Fort Hood, Texas, and the 519th Military Police Battalion from Fort Polk, Louisiana, who deployed during the summer of 1996 remained as part of the stabilization force.
The 401st Military Police Company deployed in January 2002 to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to serve as the headquarters element for Joint Task Force 160. They were replaced in May 2002 by personnel from the 43rd Military Police Brigade from the Rhode Island National Guard. The 401st Military Police Company had previsouly deployed to Cuba when it had been involved in operations with a previous JTF-160 (Operation Sea Signal) from June through November 1994 in response to a Haitian refugees crisis.
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