From the Commanding General
07/18/2016 | By Maj. Gen. Mark T. McQueen Commanding General, 108th Training Command (IET) Team 108th
From the Commanding General
This past quarter has been an exceptional one for the entire Command. As a recap: we bid farewell to Brig. Gen. Christian upon completion of a remarkable command tour and welcomed Brig. Gen. Bassford as the new Commanding General, 95th Training Division; we saw a RIP-TOA for Task Force Marshall under the leadership of the 98th Division; we witnessed the 108th birthday of the Army Reserve and the 100th anniversary of the ROTC program; executed the Strategic Planning Update Review with command Teams from all 10 Brigades and higher; over 50 drill sergeants graduated in the past 3 classes many with distinguished and honor graduate status; we conducted our Command Best Warrior Competition where Sgt. 1st Class Mueller and Spc. Bundy not only won the competition for the Command, but competed and won the USARC Best Warrior Competition; we saw Sgt. 1st Class Derrick on the cover of the Army Times representing the finest NCO Corps in the Army-Drill Sergeants; and we deployed another 20 Soldiers to support the MOI-MAG mission in Saudi Arabia.
I cannot stress enough the imperative of getting after the four pillars of readiness for our Command: Combat Readiness, Soldier Readiness, Family Readiness and Safety Readiness.
All of these accomplishments were achieved while simultaneously addressing the arming of 41 Stand Alone Facilities; training nearly 300 leaders in the new medical profile system; increasing the medical readiness of the command from third worst in USARC to the third best in USARC; initiated Task Force Wolf in support of Cadet Command’s Cadet summer training program; and reinvigorated Family Readiness Programs and Safety Readiness-two of the four pillars of readiness within the Command.
These and a myriad of other accomplishments were not only singularly outstanding, but speak to the collective professionalism of every Soldier, Civilian and Family member within the Command. And yet there is much more to do!
As a Command, we must double down on increasing our first pillar of Command readiness called “Combat readiness”-specifically the production of Drill Sergeants and Faculty. Currently we are lagging behind last year’s production rate by nearly forty drill sergeants and yet we have over 200 viable drill sergeant candidates in the pipeline. It’s imperative our leaders at every level engage to make these professionals ready for the Drill Sergeant Academy sooner rather than later. To be clear, there is no shortage of funds or quotas to send our ready drill sergeant candidates. We also must increase our faculty who have completed the Faculty Instructor Course. We need this in order to improve the future of our officer corps.
Additionally, while we have significantly improved our medical readiness, we have not yet achieved the Army’s standard for medical readiness. Moreover, we must continue to press the attack on the second pillar of our Command’s readiness-specifically Soldier Readiness. Every available dollar within the Command will be expended to enhance our Soldier readiness. As I’ve shared before, I expect leaders (read as Sergeants and above) to maintain their individual Soldier readiness as “green”, and help our lower enlisted Soldiers to learn how to maintain their readiness.
Team, I cannot stress enough the imperative of getting after the four pillars of readiness for our Command: Combat Readiness, Soldier Readiness, Family Readiness and Safety Readiness. These four areas require our maximum effort and allocation of resources. We should not be wasting time or money doing things which do not directly improve these four areas.
In closing, we have on the horizon a significant number of challenges to include an increased demand signal for drill sergeants to support the Army’s Training Centers; execution of a robust engagement with Cadet Summer Training where some 9000 cadets will be trained; conversion to a new USR and medical profile system; potential mobilization of some 160 Soldiers for CONUS and OCONUS missions and reforming of the Command; and exercising discipline within our logistics arena throughout the Command.
I’m confident we can do these missions and others that will come down the pike. There is no more professional organization than the 108th Training Command. As Ricky Bobby said in Talladega Nights, “if you#8217;re not first, you#8217;re last.” Let’s prove ourselves first in the four domains of readiness. First in Training! Army Strong.
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