‘Who you callin’ pig?’
Sgt. Erik Thurman,
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs:
The 93rd Military Police Battalion hosted a “Pig Bowl” at Fort Bliss’ Kelly Park Sept. 26 as part of a weeklong celebration marking the 71st anniversary of the Military Police Corps.
The MP Corps was established 71 years earlier to the day; though military police officers can trace their roots back more than 200 years to the time of the Revolutionary War. In celebration of that lineage, military police from units across Fort Bliss brought their family members and coworkers out for a day in the park for barbecue, sports and camaraderie.
Events of this type are typically referred to as organizational days by other units. But the humorously renamed “Pig Bowl” was more than just an organizational day. Such events usually involve just one company or perhaps a higher echelon unit, but, instead, the 93rd MP Bn. invited all MPs and law enforcement officers from across Fort Bliss, regardless of what unit they are in. And many heard the call.
“It builds esprit de corps,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Lamb, senior enlisted adviser to the commander of the 93rd MP Bn. “It gives the 93rd MP Battalion and Team Bliss a chance to say ‘we appreciate what you do.’ Because MPs work very hard, you know. Everybody else gets four-day weekends. My MPs always work 365 days a year. Its 24-hours-a-day that we have MPs working.”
As the Pig Bowl raged on, a football game erupted to full swing in one corner of Kelly Park while Soldiers from different units or companies competed in a Humvee push, where each team pushed a tactical vehicle from a start line to a finish line in a race. A heated basketball team moved up and down several courts. Even a game of tug-of-war settled arguments over which unit was toughest. The whole circuit came to a close with a guidon relay race, which involved company commanders racing their company’s guidon up and down a short stretch to prove who was boss. And though for a while it looked like the 202nd MP Company might have taken the gold, the 591st MP Co. pulled ahead and won that bragging right.
Pig Bowlers took a break from the festivities and enjoyed a lunch, centerpieced around a full-sized roasted pig made special by Mo’z Bar-B-Que, a popular barbecue restaurant located on Fred Wilson Avenue in El Paso. Once pig bowlers had their fill, leaders from many companies volunteered to auction-off their pride and take a pie in the face to raise money for their unit’s family readiness groups.
Capt. Thomas Dixon, commander of the 202nd MP Co., 93rd MP Bn., explained why events like the Pig Bowl are so important.
“During deployments, Soldiers don’t have to worry about what’s going on back here or the safety of their families because we’re here to protect them,” he said. “This is our way of breaking our Soldiers loose, getting them out here to compete against each other in friendly competition to show which unit’s the best, even though we know it’s the 202nd, and basically to just build that teamwork and camaraderie throughout the battalion.”
Dixon explained that the Pig Bowl gave MPs a chance to relax and be the people they are without worrying about the added pressures of being the example for what is expected of Soldiers. Because with Soldiers who are not MPs, they are often able to return from deployments and begin the tough mission of preparing for the next deployment, but with MPs, the mission doesn’t stop just because they have safely made it home. It continues, business as usual.
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