Alabama Guardsman Online Magazine
Request a Guard Speaker
Photos and Videos
National Guard unit cases colors
Soldiers reassigned throughout
Story and photo by Maj. Andrew J. Richardson
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Current and former members of the Alabama National Guard’s
217th Military Police Company gathered at Fort Taylor Hardin,
Montgomery, Alabama, Jan. 7, 2017, to formerly case the colors of the unit.
Routine changes in force structure led to the reorganization
of the unit within the Army. The 217th
began service in the Alabama National Guard in 1953 as the 131st Medical
Holding Company. The company has gone
through multiple redesignations through the years, and has supported many
defense support to civil authorities missions within the state and multiple
overseas operations, most recently Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2015-2016.
“This is a special day for the Soldiers who are here and
those who have served before,” said Lt. Col. Robert Collins, commander of the
231st Military Police Battalion, the 217th’s higher
command. Collins went on to praise all
of the work that Soldiers of the 217th have done over the years,
especially in their activations for war and emergency response. “When called upon, the 217th
answered the call and did what it needed to do,” he said.
The majority of the Soldiers of the 217th are
transferring to other positions in the Alabama Army National Guard for which
they are qualified. “It shows a big
commitment for 162 of 169 Soldiers of the 217th to stay in the
Guard,” said 1st Lt. Andrew Fielding, commander of the 217th. “It’s great to see the great wealth of
knowledge and experience spread throughout the state.”
The company has been based in Prattville for many years,
along with the 231st Military Police Battalion. The armory is currently being renovated, and,
when complete, will still be home to the 231st.
As Fielding prepared to ceremonially case the unit colors,
he said it had been a great honor and privilege to be the last commander of the
Collins closed his remarks by recognizing all the former and
current unit members and what they have accomplished over the years. He simply said, “Good job, Soldiers.”
Photo: Spc. Jonathan Timbes of the 217th Military Police Company, bears the colors of the company for the last time at a casing of the colors ceremony at Fort Taylor Hardin, Montgomery, Alabama, Jan. 7, 2017. Timbes served in the company for 10 years, including two overseas deployments.