Military News

Friday, May 08, 2015

Military policeman lives to serve others

by Tech. Sgt. Raymond Mills
JBER Public Affairs

5/7/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The desire to lead and help others has always come naturally to Sgt. Caleb Morrison, traffic collision investigator with the 545th Military Police Detachment on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

As a prior construction worker, Morrison maintained a seasonal work schedule, but needed a more stable job to provide for his wife and four children. As a solution, his wife suggested he enlist.

"My wife actually suggested I join the U.S. Army," Morrison said. "It was a surprise, as I wasn't expecting that."

After some thought and consideration, Morrison took a cue from his older brother, who was a civilian police officer. In 2008, just shy of his 31st birthday, he enlisted in the Army as a military policeman.

After completing Basic Combat Training, Morrison attended the Military Police Basic and Advanced Individual Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

"Basic and advanced individual training wasn't quite as hard as I thought it would be, but one of the benefits of being an older guy is that my drill sergeants realized that I was older than most of them, so most of the time I didn't get all the crappy details, and they treated me with a level of respect that was commensurate with my age," Morrison said. Obviously life experience plays a big part of it, and when it comes to specific duties I am sometimes selected because of my maturity level and experience."

Although he has a few years on his peers, Morrison doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Morrison was selected to attend several additional military schools, like special reaction training, protective services training, antiterrorism evasive driver training, master fitness trainer, and traffic collision investigation courses.

Military policemen may encounter a variety of volatile situations that must be resolved, sometimes without immediate backup.

Morrison faced one such incident when he responded to a domestic violence call.

"An individual equipped with firearms was threatening to kill his wife and children, and thankfully we were able to get there in time to prevent that," Morrison said. "That was the best and worst day at the same time, because it could have gotten worse, but it ended well."

Responding to such incidents can take an emotional toll.

Soldiers work in teams, and MPs are no different. Every Soldier has a battle buddy they can count on, whether for professional or emotional support.

"I have a great detachment that I work with," Morrison said. "Unfortunately I don't get to see lot of them because we work shift work, which is a downfall but we have a great support group here." 

Nowadays, Morrison spends most days conducting routine duties or training fellow Soldiers and Airmen.

Morrison said working with the Air Force on a joint installation has its own unique challenges. For instance, the forms are different, which means MPs must learn Air Force practices as part of the joint mission.

"I had never worked with the Air Force before, so it's a unique opportunity," Morrison said. "They have a lot of great guys over there, and I enjoy working with them. Being stationed at a joint base definitely has its challenges, but I can see a bright future with it so far."

Morrison said he reenlisted to be stationed at JBER and loves it here.

"At one point, I thought about separating from the Army and coming back as a civilian law enforcement counterpart, but I decided against that and want to make the military a career," he said.

Morrison remains dedicated to the mission and people he serves.

"I like being a resource people can rely on, who's there 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Morrison said. "Anytime somebody picks up that phone, or waves you down, there is always someone there that can assist them with whatever their need is. It's very rewarding to me to be that person who can assist in a time of need."

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