Capt. Adam VonAllmen, incoming commander of the Missouri National Guard's 1138th Military Police Company, holds the guidon for the unit at a formal assumption of command ceremony in West Plains, Mo., Feb. 2, 2013. Also participating is 1st Sgt. Raymond Edison (right); outgoing 1138th commander Capt. Monte Davault and Lt. Col. Rodney Ginter, commander of the 205th Military Police Battalion. (Ann Keyes/Missouri National Guard)
By Ann Keyes
WEST PLAINS, Mo. - Soldiers with the Missouri National Guard's 1138th Military Police Company welcomed a new commander while simultaneously honoring the exiting officer who ushered them through multiple, stateside emergency missions during his leadership.
Capt. Monte Davault, of Springfield, serving with the West Plains-based unit for seven years, offered thanks to his former troops after the unit's leadership passed to Capt. Adam VonAllmen.
"I can't believe my company command time is already over. It seems like just yesterday I assumed command," said Davault, who has held the position since late 2010.
During Davault's reign as commander, he led the unit during a time span that saw the Guard respond to repeated state emergency missions, including a winter blizzard and widespread flooding and the Joplin tornado in spring. Time and again, before during and after the tumultuous year that was 2011, the military police company, including its detachment in Springfield, was tasked with a job.
"Every where we have ever gone, you have out-performed everybody's expectations," said Davault, recalling annual training in South Dakota, filling sandbags during a 2008 St. Louis state emergency and detainee operations in Iraq the year after that.
"Any success I've had in my career, I owe it directly to each and every one of you. Thank you very much for giving me everything you had. Thank you very much for serving your country," Davault said.
VonAllmen, a graduate of Cabool High School, lives in West Plains. Formally pinning on captain just minutes before assuming command of the unit, VonAllmen previously served with the Missouri Guard's 203rd Engineer Battalion, 1137th Military Police Company and 205th Military Police Battalion.
"I have wanted to be the commander of the 1138th since I took my commission in 2008," said VonAllmen, who began his military career as an enlisted Soldier in the company.
"The Soldiers in this unit have always been a cohesive, supportive group who motivated me to learn more, train harder and not be satisfied with doing an 'okay' job. Now, I am proud to come back and help instill those character traits in others," VonAllmen said.
VonAllmen foresees no major changes with his leadership, he said, while giving props to Davault.
"Capt. Davault has set a high standard for me to follow. I have heard nothing but good things about him from his enlisted leadership. That is the true mark of a wise and fair commander," said VonAllmen.
"I have total respect for him," said Sgt. Tim Bridges of the outgoing commander. "You know where you stand with him. He's straight-up; he's straight-forward."
"He's a no-nonsense guy. He's fair and consistent," added Staff Sgt. Adrian Hopper, who deployed stateside with Davault to battle ice storms and hurricanes in addition to the 2011 disasters.
Davault will now serve as assistant operations officer for the Missouri Army National Guard's 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, based in Kansas City.
"It's a privilege to be here and wish Capt. Davault the best and to thank him for the efforts and the time he served as commander," said Lt. Col. Rodney Ginter, commander of the 205th Military Police Battalion, the unit's higher command.
As he addressed his military police company for the final time, Davault acknowledged his wife and daughters.
"It seems like every time we have a big life event, I ship out with the military," said Davault, who left for basic training 30 days after marrying Christi.
"My oldest daughter, Mia, she was just five months old when I shipped out for five months of officer training. We were blessed with my youngest daughter, Claudia, in 2009; she was actually five weeks old when I shipped out for Iraq. Christi has supported every step I've made in the military. I don't have to worry about the home front. She's got that handled," Davault said.
Prior to the assumption of command ceremony, Davault and the company posed for photos outside the Guard armory in West Plains. Good-natured ribbing punctuated the opportunity, along with a few last words from the outgoing commander.
"I'll always be a member of the 1138th at heart," said Davault.
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