HOHENFELS, Germany (8/24/2012) - At the age of 17, while his
friends in Lexington, S.C. spent their summer in flip flops and
board shorts, one young high school student was carrying a heavy
rucksack, low crawling under the sweltering sun in full gear, and
waking up to face drill sergeants barking orders.
Army Sgt. Travis W. Floyd, a military policeman in the 132nd
Military Police Company and Army Sgt. Anthony M. Hobbs, an MP for
the 615th Military Police Company, brief their replacements during a
military police escort outside Grafenwoehr's Troop Medical Center on
August 23, 2012. Floyd, a native of Lexington, S.C., is learning how
to apply his skills to real police calls by working alongside Hobbs.
The 132nd is preparing themselves for any potential situations they
may face during their deployment to Kosovo with the 218th Maneuver
Enhancement Brigade. Photo by Army Sgt. Angela Parady
Most soldiers who successfully complete Basic Combat Training
move directly to their Advanced Individual Training. Instead, this
fresh-faced teenager returned home to complete his senior year of
high school. While everyone else tried to figure out what they would
do after graduation, Floyd readied himself to return for Military
Police School the following summer.
Now 21 years old, Sgt.
Travis W. Floyd is preparing to deploy with his platoon from the
132nd Military Police Company with the 218th Maneuver Enhancement
Brigade to Kosovo in support of the United Nations ongoing
Floyd completed the training
requirements to be a military policeman and is studying criminal
justice at the University of South Carolina. After he completes his
degree there, he plans to make the transition from National Guard to
active Army. In the meantime, he will be learning the ropes during
the upcoming deployment, which will be his first.
Many National Guard soldiers are able to use the training
they receive in the military to help them advance their
day-to-day lifestyles. Not Floyd.
“I want to work my
way up through the military world,” he said. “ I am not
trying to build a better resume for the civilian world or
“Both my grandpas and my uncle were all
military men,” said Floyd. “I grew up around the lifestyle.
I decided that this was what I wanted to do from a very
young age. I can't even remember when I decided that this
was what I wanted.”
“My grandpa was very proud of me
when I joined the National Guard,” he said. “He was active
duty Army during WWII. When he came back he joined the Guard
and helped start a unit in McCormick, South Carolina where
he lived. He served as the first commander there, so he was
very proud of me for joining.”
Floyd has been with
the 218th for four years. This deployment will be the
longest time he has ever been away from home. It will also
be the first time he has been so far away from his family,
and his twin brother. Floyd is finding ways to deal with the
distance and different time zones.
“I've been using
calling cards here,” he said. “When we get to Kosovo, I will
set up Skype, and there is always Facebook. It's a lot
different from when my grandpas were serving and you had to
wait for letters to get back and forth. The experience I am
getting, it is worth it.”
Most Soldiers enlist after
they are 18 years old. To enlist earlier, Floyd had to have
his parents' permission. At first the young man wanted to
pursue infantry training, but his parents were weary of
their son's safety and were not ready to see him sent away
to war. He negotiated to specialize as a military policeman,
it still made them nervous, but they agreed to sign the
papers, he said.
“They didn't want me to go, but
they do support me. They know that this is what I want to
do. I have already told them that I want to deploy again
when I get back, and they weren't exactly happy about it.
But they are proud of me for what I am doing.”
said the experience of being an MP during this deployment
will be beneficial in other military professions he is
interested in, primarily Special Forces operations, and
Floyd is training alongside Sgt. Anthony
M. Hobbs, an MP from Indianapolis, Ind., stationed with the
615th Military Police Company, Grafenwoehr, Germany. Hobbs
is Floyd's training partner here.
environment lets Floyd work with an experienced MP to handle
real life situations.
“I am learning a lot here,”
said Floyd. “I am able to partake in the activities. I am
his partner here. Instead of just watching what is going on
I am able to help him out, actually step in and help. Much
better than standing back and just watching.”
and Floyd are already near the Troop Medical Center when the
call comes in to relieve two MP's waiting for a medical
helicopter. The MP's never leave the scene of an ongoing
incident unless properly relieved, even if their shift is
over, said Floyd.
The MP's were providing security
for the transport of a child who needed immediate medical
attention from a hospital located off post. According to
Hobbs, this is part of the routine procedures in place for
medical emergencies, whether by helicopter or ground
transport in ambulance.
“We aid in situations where
life and limb are in danger,” said Hobbs. “This is one of
those instances where we were requested for support and we
will do everything we can to provide the necessary security
to ensure that this child receives the treatment he needs.”
Floyd isn't certain what the environment in Kosovo will
be like for him and his fellow MP's, but with the training
he is receiving here with the 615th and the training
received stateside, he feels confident that they will be
able to represent their unit and South Carolina as
professional, well trained, and fully competent to handle
By Army Sgt. Angela Parady
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