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HomeNews716th Military Police Battalion hold Change of Command Ceremony

716th Military Police Battalion hold Change of Command Ceremony

Written by Megan Locke, Courier staff
The Fort Campbell Courier

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division716th Military Police BattalionFort Campbell, KY – Lieutenant Col. David G. Thompson took command of the 716th Military Police Battalion from Col. Ignatius M. Dolata Jr. outside of the 101st Airborne Division headquarters Tuesday.

Thompson served at Fort Campbell previously, as the Deputy Provost Marshall and the 716th MPs S-3. Prior to becoming the new Peacekeeper 6, he served as the Senior Military Police Observer/Trainer for the Battle Command Training Program at Fort Leavenworth, KS. Other previous duty stations include Hanau, Germany; Fort Bragg, NC; and Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

716th Military Police Battalion Change of Command Ceremony. (Photo by Megan Locke, Courier)
716th Military Police Battalion Change of Command Ceremony. (Photo by Megan Locke, Courier)

After an inspection of the companies by both the incoming and outgoing commanders, Col. Chad B. McRee spoke to those in attendance about both Soldiers. McRee commands the 16th Military Police Brigade, Fort Bragg, NC, which oversees the 716th MPs.

McRee presided over the tradition of transferring responsibility to the new battalion commander.

“The 716th is known throughout our MP Corps, and certainly our Army, as a highly competent, highly decorated and courageous unit,” he said. “The 716th sets a standard of excellence in just about everything they do.”

Several 716th MP companies will again return to combat soon, while one company is deployed currently to Iraq.

“Over the course of these past two years, you’ve trained, you’ve deployed and you’ve even lost comrades, but you’re faith has never wavered,” McRee said to the Soldiers in formation. “Your love for each other has never faltered, and your willingness to embrace one another has been so powerful.”

Lieutenant Col. David G. Thompson receives the 716th Military Police colors in the battalion’s change of command ceremony outside of 101st Airborne Division Headquarters Tuesday. (Photo by Megan Locke, Courier)
Lieutenant Col. David G. Thompson receives the 716th Military Police colors in the battalion’s change of command ceremony outside of 101st Airborne Division Headquarters Tuesday. (Photo by Megan Locke, Courier)

Dolata became the battalion’s commander in May 2009, and he has spent 11 of his 22-year career at Fort Campbell. Dolata’s next assignment takes him to the Army War College at Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Barracks.

In a brief address, Dolata thanked the people who helped advance the mission of the 716th MPs, including company commanders and 1st Sergeants.

“Your leadership produced the best MP Company in the 16th Military Police Brigade, the 18th Airborne Corps, FORSCOM and the U.S. Army for two years running,” he said.

“You deployed and redeployed three MP companies as well as 32 military working dog teams in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan … I could easily address accolade after accolade, but what impressed me the most was your genuine love for our Soldiers and their Families.”

While Dolata looks forward to the next chapter of his career, he will miss the installation that became a home for his Family, which includes wife, Robin, and daughters, Nechelle, Melina and Cierra.

“Our children have grown up here, and we’ve become a part of both the military and civilian communities,” Dolata explained. “… It’s been an honor to command the most decorated battalion in the MP Corps Regiment.”

Within the past two years, the 716th MPs trained for combat, provided law enforcement support to the Fort Campbell community and much more. With Dolata’s leadership, the 716th MPs rose to the challenges faced at home and abroad.

“Mike Dolata is tough, and he’s a demanding commander,” McRee said. “He’s a standard bearer of the first order.”

Thompson comes back to a battalion he served with a decade ago. His experience will be “invaluable” to the Fort Campbell Soldiers under his command, McRee said.

“Today is a very exciting day for me and my Family,” Thompson concluded. “Having spent a large part of my career with the 16th, and the majority of my field grade time here at Campbell, I can tell you that it is great to be home,” Thompson said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this battalion that is filled with tough, disciplined, professional Soldiers like the ones standing before us today.”

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