From the Commanding General

12/14/2014  |  Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, Commanding General, 108th Training Command (IET)
From the Commanding General

As many of you are aware, we have selected the next 108th Training Command (IET) Command Sergeant Major. Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Riti has a history of great leadership as a command sergeant major. Since 1998 he has served consistently as a command sergeant major for three battalions, three brigades and the 3d Iraqi Army Division. He also served a one year tour in Djibouti as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and two CONUS based mobilizations. He was a drill sergeant and was the command sergeant major for three units within the 98th Training Division, so he has experience with us. In his civilian role, he is the Captain and Commander of the Westchester County New York Department of Corrections Training Unit, responsible for in service training of 950 correction officers, supervisors, and administrative personnel. He coordinates and conducts training for the Department’s Emergency Service Unit in weapons, chemical agents, and tactical operations.

The Change of Responsibility Ceremony was held 15 November. We bid a fond farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Rocci Derezza and his wife Connie at Fort Campbell, Kentucky that day. Derezza has been my steadfast battle buddy for the past year and has provided tremendous support as well as seen extensive change within the command over the last three years. When we look back at his accomplishments, it is apparent that he has truly led from the front, at the tip of the spear, and made tremendous contributions.

He served in this extremely critical position during a time of immense transformation and budget cuts for the 108th Training Command. He ensured that a force of 8,000 personnel received expert training and could execute any mission, no matter how difficult. Derezza worked tirelessly to ensure greater visibility across the command for the Drill Sergeant Candidates capabilities, resulting in the first ever promotion policy change to allow E4’s to be promoted upon graduation from the Drill Sergeant School, and the first ever 11B select objective for promotion. His leadership and stewardship with the United States Drill Sergeant School forged a lasting and sustainable relationship. The first ever combined Active and Reserve school was established and is recognized as a model for other Training Schools to follow as a best practice across the Army. His inspirational leadership left a permanent impression on everyone fortunate enough to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him. Regardless of when or where he was, officers, noncommissioned officers and enlisted Soldiers always followed his lead and sought his advice. He will be truly missed as he goes off to the IRR to await any other opportunities that the Army may have for him.

Please welcome Riti to the unit and give him all the support you gave to Derezza as he takes the command to the next step.

Lastly, I wish to address a new initiative that requires every Soldier in this commands’ attention.  Readiness continues to be a priority and challenge to both USARC and the 108th Training Command. Therefore, we are focusing our efforts to improve our readiness metrics across the command. The journey during this initiative is exciting and unique in that everyone, let me repeat myself; everyone has a role that will contribute to our success. The name of the initiative is   “ALL IN!” FIRST IN TRAINING, otherwise known as “ALL IN, F.I.T.”  

This readiness initiative is designed to focus on improvement in specific readiness metrics during specific quarters. During this time, I plan to personally visit each division in order emphasize the importance of readiness. I want to hear the success stories and recognize those commands as well individuals that are contributing to making the 108th ready.

This initiative will only be successful if we approach it with a collective effort. My staff will provide tools, resources and personal coaching. Commanders are responsible for results. However, the biggest piece, the effort, must come from you, each individual Soldier. It starts with your commitment, followed by your mind, ending with action, resulting in improvement.

If every Soldier is “ALL IN”, there is no doubt that the 108th will rise to the top and lead the way in readiness while providing the best support to TRADOC that we can.  

I’m ALL IN! First In Training!”

Have a terrific and safe holiday season and enjoy some well-deserved rest and quality Family time.

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