By Army Sgt. Philip Klein
Special to American Forces Press Service
Iraq, Aug. 25, 2008 - Members of the successful "Sons of Iraq" citizen security program started the transition from neighborhood guardians to full-fledged members of the Iraqi security forces here Aug. 22. Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers with the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team and 300th Military Police Company evaluated applicants and job packets for the would-be members of the national Police.
The applicants took suitability and physical fitness tests, had their identification verified and underwent medical screening.
"Once we assemble the packets, they are sent through Iraqi channels to be vetted," Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Smith, a squad leader with the 300th MP Company and a native of Dunnellon, Fla., explained. "If they are approved and deemed appropriate candidates, the applicants will receive a class date and will attend the Iraqi Police Academy for approximately four weeks."
After training, the recruits will graduate as members of the Iraqi National Police and will be assigned to a duty station in their home district.
"It's good to see the local population wanting to step up and get involved, and it will help us get out of here faster for them to take the point," said Army Staff Sgt. John Plossick, a squad leader with the 4th Infantry Division's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, and a native of Columbia, S.C.
For Miqdam Hasan Mihihsim, a Sons of Iraq member from Shaab in Baghdad's Adhamiyah district, his family and his country motivated him to become a national police officer.
"It's an honorable job to serve our nation as an Iraqi, but the salary will also help me support my family and will guarantee my family's future," he said.
(Army Sgt. Philip Klein serves in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team.)