10/23/2017 | By Maj. Gen. Mark T. McQueen Commanding General, 108th Training Command (IET)
From the Commanding General
My assessment of the Command to date is we have done well in a myriad of areas. We have accomplished every one of our FY17 assigned missions. Throughout the year, we supported the training of over 100,000 Active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers at each of the four Army Training Centers; we were at Ft Knox training over 9000 cadets; we increased our Soldier readiness metrics to one of the highest levels in years; and we continued to produce world class Drill Sergeants and instructors that routinely excel being recognized as leaders within their class. Additionally, we have catapulted the Command’s safety readiness posture and are on the cusp of having nearly half of the Command being awarded the Army Safety streamer.
The accomplishments noted above were all done while simultaneously transitioning the Command through reformation. This was a significant undertaking noting over 6000 of our Soldiers were touched by reformation, and we deactivated two Brigades and 19 Battalions. Difficult task to be sure. You can be proud of the fact that the Soldiers most impacted by the deactivation maintained the highest levels of professionalism and brought honor to the lineage of those formations.
So we are moving in the right direction. We are on the right azimuth, but there is much more to do. And now, more than at any other time in recent history, our Nation and indeed our Army needs us ALL to do more...much more. As you are aware, the Army is rapidly increasing its strength. As such, the Army has mobilized one of our Battalions and 8 of our companies to Ft Leonard Wood. This is just the start as we are already doing the necessary planning for another 250 Griffon Soldiers to mobilize in the near future.
With this in mind, and building on the significant accomplishments of last year, we must double down on our readiness. As such, the azimuth we are on is one we will continue but the pace will accelerate. I expect every Soldier within the 108th Training Command to achieve MOSQ, accomplish their PME, achieve “green” status in your Soldier readiness metrics, and complete the Army Accident Avoidance Course. Doing so will get after the pillars of readiness and leader development that I mentioned earlier which insure our readiness, and indeed our relevance to the United States Army.
The one pillar which I believe we must also do much better in is our Family Readiness. We had some moments of brilliance and movement through attendance of the Family Programs University, but since then there hasn’t been much progress. We must do differently. We must invest in our Families. We must train and prepare them for their service and support to you, our Soldiers. Just as you expect the Army to train and equip you to do your job, likewise we must train and equip our Families. The vast resources of the Army are at their disposal and yet most don’t know it’s available or how to access them. We owe it to our Families to train and educate them so they can be ready and resilient in their support of your service to the Army.
General Odinero said it best, “the strength of our Nation is our Army; the strength of our Army is our Soldiers; the strength of our Soldiers is our Families. That’s what makes us Army Strong! Our Families are our strength and indeed the reason we serve. Let’s better serve our Families by helping to train them.
I anticipate TY2018 will be one of the most challenging and demanding years in the history of the 108th. The mission loads will be greater than we’ve seen in decades. Get ready in all four pillars and continue to build our leaders. Doing so will assure the 108th Training Command upholds its motto: “First in Training.”