Story and photos by
Sgt. Marcus Fichtl
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The 8th Military Police “Watchdog” Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, celebrated the accomplishments of one command team and welcomed another during a change of command ceremony at Hamilton Field, here, July 27.
The brigade bid farewell to Col. La’Tonya Lynn, outgoing commander, 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC, as well as to Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Sivak, outgoing senior enlisted leader, 8th MP Bde., 8th TSC. Taking their places are Col. Mark Jackson, incoming commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Woodring, incoming senior enlisted advisor.
Lynn took command of the brigade two years ago, with Sivak joining her several months later. At that time, the pair joined a brigade still resetting from a deployment to Iraq while finding its place in Hawaii after reflagging from Korea in 2006.
During Lynn’s tenure, the unit focused on a series of missions and tasks to establish itself in Hawaii and the Pacific.
Also during this time, a reorganization placed the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Directorate of Emergency Services under the brigade, which provides strategic guidance for law enforcement, fire and emergency health service members and civilians serving the 90,000-strong U.S. Army-Hawaii community.
The brigade’s reach shifted from the shores of Hawaii toward the vast Pacific as the unit provided guidance and oversight to MP battalions in Alaska, Japan and Korea, in addition to the battalion in Hawaii.
In her speech, Lynn described the “ohana” the brigade had built in Hawaii, primarily in the North Shore. The unit’s companies partnered with elementary schools in Waialua, Haleiwa, Kahuku and Sunset Beach, and the brigade represented the Army in neighborhood board meetings on the North Shore, as well.
Just as the unit provided mentorship to Hawaii’s children, it also trained, competed and formed a cooperative relationship with law enforcement entities in Hawaii, which culminated with a council with the Honolulu Police Department to better tackle issues affecting Hawaii’s communities, both civilian and military.
Under the guidance of Lynn and Sivak, the unit displayed its strength in leadership on the battlefield, preparing multiple units for worldwide deployments to ongoing contingency operations and humanitarian assistance missions.
The headquarters also displayed its ability to deploy and lead during Warpath exercises and exercises with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.
The high rate of operations rested on Sivak and his wife, Suna, to provide for the welfare of the Soldiers and families.
According to Maj. Gen. Stephen Lyons, commander, 8th TSC, this task perfectly fit a professional leader such as Sivak, who placed Soldiers and their families first.
Sivak’s next assignment will be as the senior enlisted leader of the 16th MP Bde. (Airborne), at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Lynn will be the military liaison at the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
“From today on when people see the 8th MP Bde., hear the 8th MP Bde., and feel the might of the 8th MP Bde., they will say, those are the Watchdogs … Military Police, sustainers, protectors — warriors of Hawaii, defenders of the Pacific,” Lynn said, ushering in the brigade’s new leadership.
Jackson last served as provost marshal general of the Army and commander, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
Woodring previously served as provost marshal sergeant major, Operational Protection Directorate, U.S. Army-Pacific.