First Teamís Finest
Distinctive Unit Designation
545th Military Police Company
A Pictorial History
As of June 21, 2014
Anyone who has ever served with the 545th Military Police Company or the 1st Cavalry Division is very aware of the Distinctive Unit Designation for this highly decorated Military Police Unit. Even many U.S. Military Personnel in other branches of the armed forces are aware of this designation. Some have questioned as to when and where this designation originated or if it even ever existed at all.
All Military Police personnel who ever served in the unit (the writer of this document included) will confirm that this saying or motto or designation has been in use as long as any MP can remember and will defend the use of the term ďFirst Teamís FinestĒ adamantly!
Unfortunately, there are those within the military who do not recognize the use or even the existence of this unit designation at all and therefore I humbly submit the following pages of documentation and photographic evidence as proof positive of this unit designation.
In addition to what you read or see in the following pages, there is a lot of additional information out there and hopefully anyone reading this document will forward any additional evidence of this term to me for inclusion in future updates of this publication.
We will begin this document with an autographed photo from the Provost Marshal General of the U.S. Army, BG Rodney L. Johnson, who as a young Captain commanded the 545th Military Police Company at Fort Hood, Texas in the 1980ís
Exactly when or where the term was first in use is in question, but we do know for certain that General Douglas MacArthur and MG Chase used this term frequently during the end of WW II and the occupation of Japan at Camp Drake.
On of the MPís who served during this time frame has provided a memo with confirmation of the use of this term and you can view this document on the following pages.
Although we have no photo available, the writer of this document has been informed by SGT Harold Lehman who also served with the 545th MP Company at Camp Drake, Japan that there was a large sign in the Day Room of the 545th MP Company that had the Unit Motto painted on it Ė ďFirst Teamís FinestĒ. SGT Lehman was a member of our unit association until his demise on June 9, 2006
At Camp Crawford, Japan the term was also in frequent use as shown by this email from CPL Floyd Schuhrke who served with the 545th MP Company at this location.
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2007 12:32 AM
Subject: "FIRST TEAMS FINEST"
I Floyd Schuhrke was a member of the 545 MILITARY POLICE COMPANY from
May 1954 to April 1957. During my time with the 545 MP CO at Camp
Crawford Hokkido, Japan, ten or so of us new MPs were sent to the day room for
a welcome by our company commander, Capt Eugene Carson. In his welcome talk
he stated that we were with the FINEST MILITARY POLICE OUTFIT in the Army
and referred to it as the "FIRST TEAMS FINEST" and something to be proud of.
At the entrance of the day room was a sign about five by four feet with
the words 545 MILITARY POLICE COMPANY "FIRST TEAMS FINEST"
Under that was the 1st CAVALRY DIVISION insignia.
We also had praises from other senior officers as ďFIST TEAMS FINEST"
One of which I remember was LT COL RICHARD BARRELL.
So as I have stated that the term ďFIRST TEAMS FINESTĒ was used to thank us
for the job that we were doing as MILITARY POLICEMAN.
FLOYD SCHUHRKE RA 17378238
CPL, 545 MILITARY POLICE COMPANY
While in Korea, the use of the term ďFirst Teamís FinestĒ by the 545th was very much in use and in plain view for all to see!
LTC George D. Ish, Provost Marshal, 1st Cavalry Division in Korea with the unit designation sewn over his Cav patch on his MP Brassard 1960
SFC Mann, Physical Security NCO in the 545th MP Company at Camp Custer with his First Teamís Finest Brassard in Korea 1963
Here are two 545th MPís at Camp Custer with their First Teamís Finest Brassards in 1963
CPL Schoff and SGT McMaines in the Mess Hall at Camp Custer, Korea with their First Teamís Finest Brassards 1963
This is a photo of an actual 1st Cav MP Brassard that was worn by MSG (ret) Robert Goble in the 545th MP Company at Camp Custer, Korea. This brassard is presently located in the MP Museum at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. You will note the term ďFirst Teamís FinestĒ above the Cav Patch
Bob Hope was even made a member of the First Teamís Finest in Korea
Here is a copy of an annual historical report written by CPT Seng in Korea with the term First Teamís Finest clearly seen in its contents
This photo of the MP Station just outside the main gate at Camp Custer clearly shows the motto ďFirst Teamís FinestĒ on the roof
The writer of this document commanded the 545th MP Company in Vietnam and I can personally attest to the fact that the unit was referred to as the First Teamís Finest by all units in the 1st Cavalry Division and all division staff officers during my tenure as commander.
This sign was painted at Fort Benning, Georgia and carried with the unit to An Khe, Vietnam where it was proudly displayed at that location as shown in this photo.
Here is the same sign displayed at the entrance to the company area at Phouc Vinh, Vietnam. That is SGT Tom Nunn standing next to the sign. Tom is a member of our unit association
Here is a photo of the Commanders jeep in Phouc Vinh, Vietnam and you can plainly see the term First Teamís Finest on the spare tire cover. What you canís see are the MP Green seat covers which also have the Cav patch and the unit designation in MP Gold on them as well
This sign was located in front of the Orderly Room in Phouc Vinh, RVN at least during the commands of CPT Dillard, CPT Reinert and CPT West
This photo of the 545th MP Co Orderly Room at An Khe clearly shows the motto on the sign to the left of the entrance to the tent 1967
During Desert Storm the 545th moved so many times and so quickly that there was no time to make up or post a sign, but the following documentation will verify the use of the term First Teamís Finest during that conflict.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom there is also ample evidence of the use of the term ďFirst Teamís FinestĒ as seen here below
This sign is presently located in the MP Corps Museum at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, but was proudly posted in front of the orderly room in Baghdad, Iraq as seen in the next photo
CPT Matt Mularoni, Commander and 1SG Jody George, First Sergeant, 545th MP Co, 1st Cav Div standing in front of the Orderly Room in Baghdad
Art Work seen on 545th MP co vehicles and signs and documents in Iraq during OIF
At Fort Hood, Texas there is also substantial evidence of the use of the term First Teamís finest as seen in the following photos and documents
Note the sign behind CPT Swengros (Commander, 545th MP Co) as well as the sign on the orderly room door that both indicate ďFirst Teamís FinestĒ at Fort Hood 1988
This Certificate of Achievement signed by LTC Henry P. Land, the Division Provost Marshal clearly indicates the unit motto as well 1983
Here is CPT Cantrell, CO, 545th MP Co taking the unit on a morning run at Fort Hood all wearing their First Teamís Finest T Shirts as seen in the next photo 1998
Then there are numerous mementos presented to members of the 545th MP Company with our unit designation on them as seen here above
Then of course we have the Challenge Coins issued by the various commanders that all clearly indicate the unit motto as seen in these photos
This coin was issued by CPT Cantrell
This coin issued by CPT Townsend
This coin issued by CPT Reinert of the unit association
Last but not least is this photo of GEN Peter W. Chiarelli who commanded the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq when the 545th MP Co was still with that unit and who is presently the Army Vice Chief of Staff.
All of the artifacts, documents and photos in this pictorial history have been sent to the MP Museum and are on file at that location. Copies of this pictorial history have been sent to the MP Museum, 1st Cav Museum and the Institute of Heraldry.
Anyone having additional information or photos pertaining to this topic please send copies to CPT Sam Reinert, 545th MP Co Association
CPT MP USAR (Ret)
545th Military Police Company Association
626 1/2 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA
(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX