in uniform are making the rounds of Monroe County bars and nightclubs,
but these particular Soldiers won’t be joining in on the party. They
are from the 181st Infantry Brigade’s new “courtesy patrol” program, and
they are stopping by to make sure their fellow Soldiers have a safe and
Maj. Robert R. Frias (left) and
Staff Sgt. Jorje Talavera, both mobilized Soldiers with the 2nd,
411th Regiment of the 181st Infantry Brigade, review the
brigade’s Courtesy Patrol Standing Operating Procedure before
going out on duty. (Photo by Master Sgt. Jerome M. DeBarge)
181st Infantry Brigade trains Soldiers who are heading to Afghanistan or
Iraq. Many of its Soldiers are recently returned from deployment, or
have been called to active duty from homes far away from Fort McCoy.
Thus, many of them are new to Monroe County.
courtesy patrols, which began in November, are staffed with senior
noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and officers from the 181st, using a
rotating roster. Patrols visit random establishments and perform spot
checks. These experienced leaders are not performing a law-enforcement
role. Courtesy patrols help Soldiers find a safe ride back to Fort McCoy
when necessary, provide a convenient way for barkeepers to share any
questions or concerns arising from Soldiers patronizing their
establishments, and serve to remind Soldiers that the Army expects the
highest standards when they are visiting the local community. As Col.
Michael Todd, the commander of the 181st, said, “The Army has an
investment in our Soldiers, an investment the Army cannot afford to
lose” through misconduct or injury.
emphasized the primary responsibility for making the right choice still
lies with each Soldier. “The courtesy patrol is a mentorship, a friendly
reminder so a Soldier will act prudently,” Todd said. “It is our
Soldiers taking care of their own, guiding them so they will be safe.”
(Story submitted by Installation Legal Office.)