202nd MP Group welcomes new commander

Story by Angelika Lantz
21st TSC Public Affairs

It’s been a week of official functions and ceremonies for the 202nd Military Police Group (Criminal Investigations Division).

After a recent move from Heidelberg’s Stem Kaserne to Kleber Kaserne in Kaiserslautern, they dedicated their new building Aug. 10 by naming it the Brig. Gen. David Stem Investigation Building. 

A day later, the unit’s Soldiers, friends and families gathered again to bid a fond farewell to the outgoing commander and his wife while also welcoming the new leader and his family at a change of command ceremony at the sports field on Daenner Kaserne.  

Col. Dan McElroy assumed command of the 202nd MP Group (CID) from Col. Jeffery Harris, who spent the past two years leading it. 

Colonel Harris spoke of how important the command and its staff have become to him and his wife, Sarah. 

“Walking away is very hard, but I want you to know that this command over the past 25 months has been the highlight of my career,” he said. “The tightness of this unit and the camaraderie it displays is what I will judge all future and past units by. Sarah and I will miss you all.”

He said the past two years have not been easy for anyone in the 202nd MP Group since the unit had initially been slated for elimination because of the drawdown and the ongoing transformation process. Yet, as circumstances changed, so did the fate of the 202nd.

“Brig. Gen. Rodney L. Johnson was quick to realize that standing down the group may not be the right answer. Our focus shifted to preservation and, in fact, growth in command and control to allow us to deploy the 5th MP Battalion and remain a viable command and control element in this third of the world,” he said.
Colonel Harris also remarked on the importance of having exceptional staff.

“Whatever I have asked, you have executed – a staff of mostly civilians with a spattering of military. Every single civilian on the 202nd team chose to uproot families to move from the Heidelberg area to Kleber Kaserne. A hundred percent of our employees chose to stay on the team. That is team I am proud to have been on,” he said.

Colonel Harris’ next assignment is as the III Corps Provost Marshal at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Like Colonel Harris, Colonel McElroy and his wife, Norma, have lived in Germany during previous assignments. They lived in Mannheim while Colonel McElroy served as the deputy provost marshal at the U.S. Army, Europe just as few years ago. Most recently, Colonel McElroy served as the senior adviser and mentor to the Afghan chief of general staff.