FARGO, N.D. — Every job in the military has a set group of tasks that it uses to build on. This month, the North Dakota Army National Guard’s 191st Military Police Company got back to basics with riot control training, 9mm pistol qualification and drivers’ training.
Sgt. Kory Leach, of Fargo, N.D., was in charge of overseeing the 9mm range.
“The goal for this training was to aid those in need of some fine tuning with the weapon,” Leach said, “and to give a refresher course to those that may not have used the weapon in a while.”
Though Leach has fired the weapon many times, he says even he can “get a little rusty.”
“I love firing not only this weapon but a weapon of any kind,” Leach said, “but cleaning them after use is another story.”
Sgt. Ronnie Garza, of Fargo, was in charge of the riot control training. He said he loves doing the training because it allows him to see how comfortable a person is being physical.
“We use everything we have as a non-lethal weapon to help protect us, even our shields,” Garza said.
The two main training items used were the riot control shield and the baton.
Sgt. Nathan Kron, of Enderlin, N.D., led drivers’ training on the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle this weekend.
“We spent a lot of time driving up and down the same stretch of road because it’s what we did over there,” Kron said of the unit’s deployment to Iraq. He wanted to stress to the Soldiers that it can be easy to fall into a routine, which can be dangerous.
“(Seeing the) same thing every day, you can get complacent and don’t notice things that usually you would have picked out,” he said.
The Operations section of the 191st Military Police Company has an important job in the company, as well. It’s led by Master Sgt. Dean Richter, of Bismarck, N.D., and Master Sgt. Daryl Stevahn, of Mandan, N.D. Stevahn worked a similar job during the unit’s deployment in 2008.
“We do a lot more than just keep track of Soldiers,” Richter said. “We also track equipment, like vehicles, weapons and other sensitive items.”
Other responsibilities include making strip maps to help Soldiers with directions and checking the forecast and providing road information to the Soldiers. They work closely with all sections in the unit to help aid in getting Soldiers through training with the supplies and support they need.
The Mess Section of operations, which prepares meals for the Soldiers, also was in full swing this past weekend. Sgt. 1stt Class Bryce Scovill, of West Fargo, N.D., has been cooking for almost 15 years and doesn’t plan on changing jobs anytime soon.
“When I was a staff sergeant, I spent a lot of my time just cooking, but after my promotion last year I find myself doing more of the planning for what we will be cooking,” Scovill said.
The different sections of the 191st Military Police Company work together to accomplish a series of missions and training in a relatively short period of time each month.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,500 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about a dozen North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas while more than 4,000 remain in the state for emergency response and national defense. For every 10,000 citizens in North Dakota, 65 serve in the North Dakota National Guard, a rate that’s more than four times the national average.