972nd Military Police Company

History of the 972nd
Military Police Company

The 972nd Military Police Company was organized 10 May 1787 as the Gloucester Artillery, Battalion of Artillery, 1st Brigade, 2nd Division and saw brief action against a British landing party during the War of 1812. The unit was called into federal service on 18 April 1861 as Company G, 8th Infantry and left Boston for Washington, DC to protect the Capital. The company briefly served in Annapolis and Washington, then guarded communications lines between Baltimore and Washington, and was mustered out 1 August 1861. Organized as Company C, 23nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a three-year volunteer unit, the unit fought in campaigns in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia and in the battles of Cold Harbor and Petersburg. Company G next mustered into service during the Spanish American War in May 1898, serving as occupation troops in Havana, Cuba before demobilizing in April 1899.

Company G was mustered into service in June 1916 for five months of duty along the Mexican border. In July 1917, it mobilized for service in World War I; most of its personnel were transferred to the 104th Infantry. The small cadre that remained was re-designated as Company G, 5th Pioneer Infantry in 1918. The unit was reorganized in 1920 as Battery A, 102nd Field Artillery and was mobilized in January 1941 just prior to World War II. While at Camp Edwards in February 1942, it was re-designated as Battery A, 211th Field Artillery Battalion and fought in three campaigns in the European Theater of Operations. Battery A reorganized in January 1947 and was re-designated in 1959 as Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 102nd Artillery. In 1974, it moved to Lexington after being stationed in Gloucester for 187 years. The unit was re-designated as the 972nd Military Police Company in 1975. The 972nd moved to Newton in 1980 and was mobilized in November 1990 for service in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm where it served in three campaigns in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The 972nd was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation for its exemplary duty and released in May 1991. In 1994, the 972nd moved to Melrose.

After 11 September 2001, the 972nd provided security at Logan Airport in support of Operation Noble Eagle from the fall 2001 through spring 2002. In June 2002, it was mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with duty in Uzbekistan and Pakistan where it provided security at US installations. The 972nd returned to state status in December 2003 and changed station to Camp Curtis Guild in 2005. The 972nd mobilized again in July 2007 for duty in Iraq where the unit provided motorcade escort, residential security, and quick reaction force capability to Iraq’s most senior officials including the President, Prime Minister, two Vice Presidents, Speaker of the Council of Representatives, and all former Prime Ministers as well as visiting dignitaries to include the French Foreign Minister. The unit also collaborated closely with the U.S. Secret Service to provided motorcade escort and personal security to Vice President Richard Cheney during his March 2008 visit to Baghdad, earned a 2nd Meritorious Unit Citation for its combat performance, and was later released from federal service in July 2008. The 972nd continued to perform State Active Duty missions through 2011 and was mobilized again in June 2012 for duty in Qatar where it protected a critical site and provided protective security for numerous generals and government officials. The unit was released from federal service in May 2013.