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NEWS | May 23, 2023

U.S. Army Reserve holds last iteration of 'Guardian Shield'

By Senior Airman Matt Porter 87th Air Base Wing

U.S. Army Support Activity Fort Dix recently hosted the U.S. Army Reserve 200th Military Police Command’s annual exercise, Guardian Shield, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

This iteration of Guardian Shield will also be the last, with the first having occurred in 2010 at Charlotte, N.C. Each iteration brings three Criminal Investigation Division Battalions together with one appointed as the executive agent each year. In FY24 and beyond, CID Special Agents will conduct their annual training in various CID field offices assisting them in their mission.

All attendees are CID Special Agents or in the process of becoming CID Special Agents. Their civilian careers are also diverse with a number of agents serving as federal, state, and local officers.

“CID is made up of professional, federal law enforcement officers who investigate felony crimes,” U.S. Army Maj. Sean Fay, 733 Military Police Battalion training officer. “Typically CID Special Agents are in suits and plain clothes as they conduct their investigations. Military Police officers are uniformed officers who may perform traffic duties on base, law and order policing, or detainee and detention operations abroad.”

Annual trainings like GS23 are essential to mission success not only for classroom and weapons qualifications, but also for agents to network and leverage experience from multiple law enforcement backgrounds.

“When CID detachments deploy, often in support of the Protective Services Mission, multiple detachments may send soldiers to support that mission,” said Fay. “Bringing CID Agents together allows them to network and connect with other agents they'll work with in the future, building a bond and creating a dialogue of best shared practices. Utilizing their civilian gained law enforcement skills when teaching classes also elevates other agents’ skill sets.”

Overseas deployments are commonplace for CID agents, who bring a vital and necessary skill set to contested environments.

“When deployed overseas in warfighting areas, agents report to the Commander of that base,” said Fay. “While there, they’ll investigate the same felony and drug-related crimes as they would stateside. That has been a big mission for CID over the years like the protective services mission, and will remain so going forward.”

Experiences like these are what set CID apart from its strictly civilian counterparts at the state and federal levels. Law Enforcement looking for an opportunity to serve their country are afforded one through this career path with the U.S. Army Military Police.

“From a CID standpoint, if a civilian law enforcement officer has investigative experience with their current agency, then joining the U.S. Army Reserves to become a CID Special Agent may be ideal if they are looking to serve. It's not a standard process like other special duties for military MOS's, but if approved, it can provide them with a unique law enforcement experience and career path.”

Hosting GS23 at ASA Fort Dix, the U.S. Army Reserve’s premiere training installation, allowed for a swift transition from a classroom environment to the field where training could then be applied in realistic scenarios.

“One of our subordinate units, the 348th Military Police Detachment, is located on JB MDL,” said Fay. “Their ability to help us coordinate GS23 was exceptionally helpful. JB MDL has facilities that allow us to maximize training time and minimize travel. We were able to stay in a fairly compact area to perform our mission.”

“While at ASA Fort Dix the 200th MP Command utilized classrooms, dining facilities, barracks, firearm ranges, and an urban operations training area for multiple crime scene exercises.

According to Fay, “We have a small footprint and unique mission, so not a lot of extra services are needed, but those that were utilized helped us accomplish the training as expeditiously as possible.”