Soldiers of the 91st Military Police Battalion welcomed their new commander as the unit’s colors were passed to Lt. Col. Anthony Howell during a change of command ceremony June 18 on Division Hill at Fort Drum. Howell also serves as director of the Fort Drum Directorate of Emergency Services. Members of the Fort Drum law enforcement community also bade farewell to outgoing commander Lt. Col. Matthew LeBlanc, who is retiring after 26 years of service and returning to his home state of Minnesota. (Photos by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
91st Military Police Battalion welcomes new commander
Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (June 21, 2021) – The 91st Military Police Battalion and Fort Drum law enforcement community welcomed Lt. Col. Anthony Howell as the new battalion commander and Directorate of Emergency Services director during a change of command ceremony June 18 on Division Hill.
Howell had served as deputy commander for the 89th Military Police Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas, before taking the mantle of leadership at Fort Drum.
Other assignments include staff synchronization and division operations officer at the Pentagon, and battalion executive officer and operations officer, 716th Military Police Battalion, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Howell deployed three times to Iraq between 2005 and 2010 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“I fully understand and appreciate the duty of not only of being in charge of maintaining an MP battalion – ready to deploy in defense of this nation – but also the safety and security of Fort Drum, and all of those who live, work and play here,” Howell said. “It is a deeply personal duty, and I do not take it lightly. To the leaders and Soldiers of the 91st MP Battalion: your reputation as a rock-steady, professional organization has been validated and surpassed in my observations over the last couple of weeks. I am honored to be part of the Mountain Guardian family.”
Officiating the ceremony was Col. Jon Myers, 16th Military Police Brigade commander, who welcomed Howell and his family to the Mountain Guardian battalion and commended outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Matthew LeBlanc, for his leadership.
Myers said that, under LeBlanc’s leadership, the 91st MP Battalion earned formal recognition by the Army as the “Mountain Guardians” and continued to send military police elements and military working dog teams worldwide.
“Matt increased operational readiness across the Mountain Guardian battalion each and every day,” Myers said. “At the same time, Matt took time to teach, coach and mentor lieutenants and company commanders on what readiness truly means. That is Matt’s real legacy as he now transitions out of the Army: a generation of Mountain Guardians who understand what it takes to lead Soldiers and prepare those Soldiers for largescale combat operations.”
LeBlanc will retire after 26 years of service and will return with his family to his home state of Minnesota.
“It has been my distinct honor to serve alongside the Mountain Guardians of the 91st and the DES,” he said. “I’ve had the pleasure to witness firsthand some of the most professional individuals I have had the honor of serving with.”