From the Commanding General

05/22/2019  |  By Maj. Gen. Kate Leahy Commanding General, 108th Training Command (IET)
From the Commanding General
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Greetings Griffon Team!

For this edition of The Griffon I decided to share a few of my thoughts about the importance of the mission we perform as a team, and how much our Army and our nation are depending on us to be ready – individually and collectively. I’ll discuss readiness in the context of current global threats, while also reflecting on the great Soldiers who came before us, as we recognize the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion this year.

Readiness matters because we live in world where global threats to security are widespread. Annually, the heads of our U.S. intelligence agencies testify in front on the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss global threats to U.S. national security. This year’s testimony occurred on January 29th, and was followed a few days later, on February 6th, by testimony from the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats. The Annual Worldwide Threats briefing provided by DNI Coats is unclassified, and provides the American public with insights into the usually secret world of U.S. Intelligence. A few of the major points made this year included the following:

  • China and Russia are more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s, and the relationship is likely to strengthen in the coming year as some of their interests and threat perceptions converge.
  • As China and Russia seek to expand their global influence, they are eroding once well-established security norms and increasing the risk of regional conflicts, particularly in the Middle East and East Asia.
  • Sunni Violent Extremists Global jihadists threaten local and regional US interests. Some of these groups will remain intent on striking the US homeland. Prominent jihadist ideologues and media platforms continue to call for and justify efforts to attack the US homeland.
  • ISIS very likely will continue to pursue external attacks from Iraq and Syria against regional and Western adversaries, including the United States.

As I read the Intelligence Community’s Assessment, I was struck by the number of threats to our national security which exist. It reinforces the necessity for our Army Reserve to be ready when called upon. For the Soldiers of the 108th Training Command, that means being ready to perform our mission to train recruits in Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training, One Station Unit Training, and Reserve Officer Training programs. To be ready as a Team to perform this mission, we must first be personally ready – MOS-qualified, Drill Sergeant and Instructor qualified, medically ready, and physical fit. Our Families must be ready too -- prepared for us to be mobilized and away from home for a period of time while we perform our mission. I ask you to take a few minutes and reflect on this. Are you ready? Have done everything you can now to ensure your Family is ready too? Professionals prepare for contingencies; that’s who we are, and that’s what our country’s counting on us to do.

The publication of this Griffon edition will likely coincide with Memorial Day and the recognition ceremonies planned to honor all Veterans. This year is particularly significant, as it marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of Allied troops landing on five beaches in Normandy, on June 6, 1944.

Operation D-Day was the largest seaborne invasion in history, and marked the start of the liberation of Western Europe. I know on this Memorial Day I’ll be thinking about those amazing World War II veterans, the fact they were ready when our nation needed them, and the hardships they endured. I’ll also be thinking about all of the brave men and women in uniform who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and the Gold Star Families to whom we owe a debt of gratitude which we can never adequately repay. I will also be thinking about each of you, remarkable Warrior-Citizens. Thank you for your selfless service.

To our Griffon Team Civilians, I sincerely appreciate your continued devoted commitment to our mission; to our Griffon Family Members, thank you for supporting your Soldier and making his or her service possible.

First in Training!

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