From the Commanding General

Team Griffon,

This edition of the Griffon provides an extraordinary opportunity for us to do an azimuth check on where we are and where we are going. For the past two years, the 108th Training Command’s priority has been READINESS. There have been incredible strides in improving our overall readiness in a number of areas. As you know, we focused on the four pillars of readiness: combat readiness; Soldier readiness; Family readiness; and safety readiness. Additionally, the four pillars of readiness were built upon a foundation of Leader readiness.

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From the Command Sergeant Major

One of the biggest regrets I have is that I don’t have the opportunity to visit every one of the outstanding Soldiers within the 108th Training Command. With all the conferences, Senior Enlisted Leadership Counsels, competitions, Boards, meetings and summits I’m required to attend, there just isn’t enough time and for that I apologize. MG McQueen and I do as many Battlefield Circulation visits as we’re able to fit into our schedules but still don’t get the opportunity to meet each and every one of you. We know you’re doing outstanding things and accomplishing a lot and for that we commend you. Just today I visited with Soldiers from the 95th Division who are mobilized at FLW and are assigned to the 2/48. CSM Stanley, the new Post CSM for FLW could not stop bragging about the magnificent job the Soldiers are doing and how our USAR Drill SGTs are without a doubt some of the finest Drill SGTs he’s ever seen. 

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Echo Mission Helps Train Ft. Jackson Recruits

Coral-red dust billows up and rests on several brand-new pairs of brown leather boots as a crowd of new recruits at Fort Jackson, S.C. shuffle into a formation on the Omaha Beach team live-fire range. Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Gilbert Dillard Jr., a senior drill sergeant attached to B. Co., 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment at Fort Jackson, barks orders and the recruits respond with an abrupt sharpness they would not have known just a few weeks earlier.

Dillard is an Army Reserve Soldier from F. Co. 1st Batallion 321st Infantry Regiment out of Lumberton, N.C., and is currently on active duty as a drill sergeant. From his demeanor and his command of the formation, he exudes confidence and commands the attention of the privates as only a drill sergeant with years of experience can. He is a member of a team of Army Reserve drill sergeants serving in support of the Army Reserve’s Echo Mission during summer 2017 at Fort Jackson.

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‘The Tip of the Spear’

Someone once said, starting from the beginning is always best. In the beginning there were Drill Sergeants. The Drill Sergeants came to greet us at the bus. As young Soldiers, we were anxious to meet our new friends. Soon, frankly very soon, we realized they were not our friends. They were our Drill Sergeants. Lesson learned! There is a world of difference. Drill Sergeants are groomed to Coach, Mentor and Train young Soldiers, and sometime not so young Soldiers.

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The Force of the Future

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — The Army Reserve held its 2017 Best Warrior Competition (BWC) here over the course of six days, June 11-17.

20 of the most promising warriors from the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) met at Ft. Bragg to vie for the title of best Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) and enlisted Soldier of the Year. Soldiers volunteered to compete regionally, within their respective commands, and those winners moved forward to compete here in the annual USARC BWC. Competitors Sgt. Michael Hughes with the 2-377th and Spc. Robert Lee Davis Jr. with 1-415th Alpha Company, represented the 95th Training Division (IET) and the 108th Training Command (IET).

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Female DS Team Up With ‘Girls Who Rule the World’

THE ROCK RANCH, Ga. — Nestled on the shores of a lake, just off a rural Georgia highway is the Rock Ranch. It’s here the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation hosts one of its “Girls Who Rule the World” mentoring camp. It’s also where, this year, you will find Drill Sergeants Kate-treena Orellana and Candice Beebe, with 3rd Battalion, 485th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), 108th Training Command (IET).

Designed to enhance the development of young girls, the camp provides a forum highlighting positive self-image, responsible conduct and respect for self and others. To help accomplish this, the foundation reaches out to local community leaders, Soldiers and role models to provide mentoring.

Staff Sgt. Orellana and Sgt. Beebe are two of those strong female mentors.

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108th Summer Training

Across the 108th Training Command (IET) Drill Sergeants, Instructors, Soldiers, Leaders were doing their job to support our mission “First in Training.” The 104th Training Command (LT) could be found at West Point and Fort Knox primarily, showing Cadets what right looks like and influencing the leaders of the future. The 95th and 98th Training Divisions were scattered across Ft. Benning, Fort Sill, Fort Jackson, Fort Leonard Wood, and places in between as they influenced Basic Trainees and were the first example of NCO leadership for these young (and some not so young) recruits, turning citizens into Soldiers. Regardless of the mission, regardless of the location, Griffons, Timberwolves, Iroquois, and Mighty Men of Mertz went out and met the mission head on. Without the dedication and support of these hard working Soldiers and support staff, there would be fewer trainees influenced, fewer Cadets molded into leaders, fewer Soldiers in our ranks. Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do!

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Follow the Leader: Cadets Learn What’s Right

FORT KNOX, Ky. — The annual Cadet Basic Camp Course held during the summer at Fort Knox is based on leadership development and situational exercise to push the Army’s future leaders to their physical and mental limits while challenging them to discover their true leadership potential. Newly implemented, Cadets now receive hands on training by the Army’s most talented and promising one percent, Army Drill Sergeants.

The assistance of Drill Sergeants with the new summer training for Cadets introduces Cadets to their first NCO leadership. They quickly learn from day one of training what is expected of them and see leadership at first hand.

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A New Star for the 108th Training Command

Courtesy Story

NAS PENSACOLA, Fla. — Aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, Col (P) Mark E. Black was promoted to Brigadier General during a ceremony hosted by Maj. Gen. Mark T. McQueen, Commanding General, 108th Training Command (IET), on July 22.

Having previously served as the Chief of Staff for the Training Command, Black will now assume the duties as the Deputy Commanding General for the Command.

After completing the Oath of Office, Black remarked “it is an incredible privilege to be able to lead our great soldiers. As an Army, we ultimately have only one mission ... to fight and win our nation’s wars. I stand here before you today, feeling very humble, very honored, and extremely blessed, to have been given the opportunity to continue serve.”

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From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

In February 2017, we were called upon to send a battalion headquarters and seven companies of Drill Sergeants to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to support the increase in the Army’s end strength. When the President went on television, just a few weeks earlier, and signed the order to increase the overall size of the Army, we knew that it was only a matter of time until the Army would turn to the 108th Training Command to make it happen. There was no one else that the Army could turn to, and sure enough, the mission came our way.

We were given a little over three months from the time that we received our mission, to putting the first Soldiers in place at Fort Leonard Wood. In Army Reserve terms, three months is incredibly short notice. Most reserve units who are called on to go on active duty have much more lead time than that. We didn’t get that sort of time to plan and prepare, but our entire team responded magnificently and made the mission happen.

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From the 95th Command Sergeant Major

Today, is another historic day as the Soldiers of the 95th Division continue to achieve the many missions assigned to the Division and Army Reserve. Currently, we have Soldiers deployed both overseas and stateside. These soldiers have the great responsibility to train and develop future forces that will not only meet the challenges today but adapt to defeat challenges yet unknown today.

Soldiers must train to be fully capable to make the many decisions needed for success in the accomplishment of the mission. The “Iron Men of Mentz” continue that training today. While visiting Soldiers of the Victory Division as they learned new skills as they underwent transition training to become both 31B at Fort Hunter Liggett and 12B at Fort Leonard Wood, the attitude of our Drill Sergeants was astonishing as they underwent the transition to Military Police and Combat Engineers.

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Devoted Chaplain Supports Trainees

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain (Maj.) Christopher Laughlin, a 108th Training Command chaplain, understands the influence chaplains have on Soldiers.

Laughlin’s own experiences in childhood, basic training and advanced individual training laid a foundation to prepare him to be a devoted Army Reserve chaplain today.

“I believe that God called me to this,” said Laughlin, a well-spoken husband with bushy eyebrows and a kind smile. “That call has been reaffirmed for me in a number of ways in the last 15 years or so I’ve been in the Army.”

Laughlin grew up in Audubon, New Jersey, a small town near Philadelphia. There are three Medal of Honor recipients who graduated from the same high school as Laughlin.

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Wounded Warrior Adapts and Overcomes

CHICAGO, Ill. — Approximately 265 athletes and over 500 families rallied in Chicago from 30 June through 8 July to participate in the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games.

The DoD Warrior Games is an annual Paralympics-style event designed to showcase the resilient spirit of our wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans from all branches of the military. Service members and veterans from the United Kingdom Armed Forces and the Australian Defense Force also participated in this year’s Games.

These athletes are active-duty or veterans that suffer from upper-body, lower-body and spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injuries; visual impairment; serious illnesses; and post-traumatic stress but have learned to use adaptive sports and other adaptive reconditioning activities to assist in their overall rehabilitation to overcome the challenge associated with their new condition.

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Fort Leonard Wood Welcomes a New Basic Combat Training Battalion

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment participated in four time-honored traditions all in one ceremony on Gammon Field on June 16.

Col. Daryl O. Hood, commander of the 3rd Chemical Brigade, presided over the patching ceremony, Assumption of Responsibility, Assumption of Command and the Activation ceremony of the 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment.

This is the first time many could recall being part of a ceremony that had combined all these components into one ceremony.

“You have the leadership’s trust and confidence. You are now a part of our team, our team of teams, and we will help execute the Army’s End Strength Increase initiative,” Hood said during his remarks.

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From the 98th Training Division (IET) Commander

Are you ready? Iroquois Warriors are you ready to fight tonight? Command Teams are your formations ready to fight tonight? As you read article, the Iroquois Division is decisively engaged at Army Training Centers Fort Benning and Fort Jackson, conducting Infantry One Station Unit Training, Cavalry One Station Unit Training, Basic Combat Training, Chaplin BOLC, Navy Individual Augmentee Combat Training, and preparing for next Summer Surge. As demanding as this might seem, the Army is calling upon us to do more. However, the only way we can respond to that call is by being ready — ready to fight tonight.

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98th Training Division Drill Sergeants Become First Few Female Infantry School Graduates

Two female drill sergeants from the 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training) earned their blue shoulder cords and made history by becoming the first two female Army Reserve Soldiers to complete Infantry School at Camp Shelby, Miss.

The Soldiers, Sgt. Michelle Alvarado and Sgt. Candice Beebe, both drill sergeants with 3rd Battalion, 485th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), 108th Training Command (IET), completed the two-week course this past summer.

Even though the Army lifted the ban on women serving in the Infantry and Armor Branches in 2016, neither Army Reserve Soldier expected the opportunity to come so soon.

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98th Training Division (IET) Inactivates 8 Units

The 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training) ceremonially inactivated eight U.S. Army Reserve units at Fort Benning, Georgia on July 8, 2017.

The inactivation’s, which were part of a command-wide restructure and realignment to help maintain and increase readiness, included one brigade and seven battalions. They included 3rd Brigade out of Salem, Virginia; 2nd Battalion, 321st Regiment out of Miami, Florida; 1st Battalion, 378th Regiment out of Lafayette, Louisiana; 4th Battalion, 518th Regiment out of Montgomery, Alabama; 1st Battalion, 323rd Regiment out of Cary, North Carolina; 1st Battalion, 518th Regiment out of Asheville, North Carolina; 3rd Battalion, 321st Regiment out of Fort Jackson, South Carolina; and 1st Battalion, 317th Regiment out of Suffolk, Virginia.

A number of the long-standing units dated back as far as 1917 and included thousands of Soldiers who have served from World War I to Afghanistan. The other units contributed to the Army in significant ways as well by training thousands of Soldiers processing through Basic Combat Training.

“These units have risen to every challenge given to them,” said Brig. Gen. Miles A. Davis, the commanding general of the 98th Training Division (IET) who presided over the ceremony. “I commend the Soldiers and families, past and present, of these units for their hard work, commitment to excellence and service to our great Nation.”

As the unit colors were slowly cased across the formation, portions of their history were announced to the civilians, Soldiers and veterans in attendance at the parade field that morning.

Soldiers of the 321st Regiment, which was constituted in August 1917, are recorded as being part of the force that sailed to France in August 1918, and quickly rotated into the front line defenses. In October of that same year, they repelled a major German raid, supported by artillery and flamethrower teams, killing eleven attackers in the process.

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Soldiers Compete in Timberwolf Challenge

Over 90 U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from 4/518th Training Support Company, 1st Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), 108th Training Command (IET), competed in the Timberwolf Challenge in May at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.

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JOB WELL DONE!

To all the Soldiers and leaders within the 104th Division, it’s been my honor and privilege to serve with you the last three years. It is hard to believe that this time has come and gone so quickly. I would like to briefly highlight your accomplishments during this period.

When I took command of the 104th in September of 2014 we had no Drill Sergeants (DS), no Cadet Command AGR Professors of Military Science (PMS) and Assistant Professors of Military Science (APMS), had SROTC Adjunct Faculty in approximately 70 schools, and we had 14 Battalions in the Division. We were lagging in Soldier Readiness, and there was a need to improve processes and procedures across the Division. Regardless the changes we faced, you got our Soldiers ready, provided superior support to the mission, and took care of Soldiers, Civilians, and Family Members.

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Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Edwards Assumes Command of 104th Division (LT)

Brigadier General Joseph A. Edwards II assumed command of the 104th Division (Leader Training) on September 2nd, 2017. He is responsible for the Army Reserve’s support to United States Army Cadet Command and the United States Military Academy for future officer training. The Division is comprised of two Brigades with 14 Battalions geographical dispersed across the United States.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Brigadier General Edwards is a 1989 graduate of Mount Gilead High School and a Distinguished Military Graduate and George Marshall awardee from the University of Rio Grande (Honors Program) in Rio Grande, Ohio where he received his BS in Business Administration. Brigadier General Edwards began his military career on May 16th, 1993 when he commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Regular Army.

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New Cadets Learn from the best in the Army Reserve

Approximately 2,200 new officer cadets are attending Cadet Basic Training (CBT) at the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, N.Y., this summer. Aug. 4, 2017, a company of 125 new Soldiers were given weapons familiarization courses with the M240B machine gun, M136 AT4 light anti-armor weapon, M203 grenade launcher, and M18A1 Claymore mine. While the institution they are attending is an Active Army installation, many of the instructors at CBT are Army Reserve Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion of the 304th Infantry Regiment, 104th Training Division (Leader Training), 108th Training command, from Saco, Maine.

For over 30 years the 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment’s mission has revolved around instructing new cadets during their annual training in the summer.

“Day to day this is our main mission here,” says Sergeant 1st Class Jason Sirois, a senior training non-commissioned officer (NCO) with the 3/304th Infantry Regiment. “Throughout the year we train our team up to complete this mission on our drill weekends.”

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Task Force Wolf Instructors Assist Individual Movement Training During Cadet Initial Entry Training, CST16

“He said ‘set.’ it’s your turn to move, right?”

A Cadet nods.

“My weapon’s on safe, cover me while I move!”

The Cadet rushes forward, hits the mud in the prone. Transitioning into the kneeling position he throws a grenade.

In low-visibility with a continuous drizzle, eyes and rifle muzzles are alert and down-range.

Cadets perform low-crawl, high-crawl, three to five-second rushes, and grenade employment on the Individual Movement Techniques (IMT) lane in Hand Grenade Assault Course Training at Christensen Range during Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET).

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U.S. Army Reserve Soldier Leads the Way

Hi-yah! An Army Reserve Soldier teaches incoming cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York to always karate chop the safety on the M240B machine gun. This ensures it is in the fire position before Soldiers charge the handle back and fire the weapon.

This is just a fraction of what Army Reserve Sgt. Gregory Girard from the 3rd Battalion of the 304th Infantry Regiment (U.S. Military Academy), 104th Training Division (Leadership Training), 108th Training Command from Saco, Maine imparts to 

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Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey and Distinguished Visitors from the 108th Training Command

FORT KNOX, Ky., — Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey, Chief of the Army Reserve and Commanding General of the United States Army Reserve Command, visited the 104th Training Division’s Task Force Wolf, at Cadet Summer Training (CST) 2017, where he drove home the importance of being Ready Soldiers in a tactical environment but also reminisced about what he went through as a Cadet 40 years ago. “This is a special place,” he said, as he set out to convey to the next generation the importance of the Army’s mission – and the Army Reserve’s contribution.

Luckey wasted no time jumping in and performing the tasks required of Cadets. At the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Committee, Luckey along with the 108th Training Command Team of Maj. Gen. Mark McQueen and Command Sergeant Major Robert Riti and other senior leaders from the 95th and 104th Training Divisions donned their masks and headed straight for the gas chamber with a group of Cadets to demonstrate confidence in their equipment. 4-414th REGT (CST) CBRN Officer and Non-commissioned Officer in Charge, Captain Hudlun and Sergeant First Class Maple, led the group through seven key CBRN tasks and the latest CBRN technology being utilized on the modern battlefield.

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Family Programs Youth Track Combats Teen Stress

Army Reserve teens face unique challenges. Not only are there the usual stressors of school, peer pressure, and the physical and emotional changes that come with growing up, there are also the added stressors of having a military parent. Some of these additional stressors include long separations, missed birthdays and holidays, and the feeling of isolation within the school and community as most Army Reserve Families do not live near a military installation. Friends and peers may not understand how difficult it can be when a parent is half-way around the world and in harm’s way.

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52-Year-Old Drill Sergeant Inspires Millennials “@” TF Wolf

Fort Knox, Ky. — “YES DRILL SERGEANT, MOVING DRILL SERGEANT,” echoed throughout the Cadet Summer Training Basic Course Obstacle Course as the first 104th Division Drill Sergeants motivated and pushed Cadets on 13 July 2017 as part of Task Force Wolf.

This was not just any obstacle course. This is the same course where the iconic movie “Stripes” starring Bill Murray was filmed in 1981 about a bunch of misfit recruits in the Army that found a way to shine at the last minute in Basic Training in an unconventional way. Never seen it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3iKjxv89cM will allow you to enjoy the brief video of how NOT to run an obstacle course!

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Around the Command

U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Maj. Danny Molina Promoted to Command Sergeant Major

U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Maj. Danny Molina was promoted to the rank of Command Sergeant Major and promptly congratulated by his children at the U.S. Army Reserve Center at Fort Benning, Georgia on July 8, 2017. Molina said his goal was to reach the rank of command sergeant major by the time he had 20 years in service and before the age of 40. As of his date of rank of May 15, 2017, he accomplished his goal in 19 years and 9 months of service and at 38 years old. Molina, who has served in various positions at the 98th Training Division for over 15 years, will now serve in Puerto Rico where he will be the command sergeant major for 1st Battalion, 389th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division. In that role, he will be the command sergeant major for 98th Training Division Soldiers in both Puerto Rico and Florida.

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104th Division (LT) UMT Workshop: Shoulder-To-Shoulder

REFORMATION

The word reformed is a verb. It is action based. The definition of “reformed” is to make changes in (something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it. No matter the context, reformation or the concept of change is hard. It is done to focus on priorities, focused on the mission, and focused to use resources efficiently.

During our own Reformation, we discovered that chaplains would no longer be at battalion level units. Chaplain support would be centralized at brigade and higher. The change would have impact not only for the organization but also for individual Soldiers and their families.

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Suicide Prevention

September 2017 was National Suicide Prevention Month.

On August 1-3, 2017 the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans affairs held a Suicide Prevention Conference in Denver Colorado which focused on the prevention of Suicides across both Departments. The theme of this year’s conference was “#Be There – It Takes a Community.”

During the conference, experts in the field of suicide prevention collaborated and cross-trained to share and disseminate the latest suicide prevention information. The DOD and VA have found that a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention including all stakeholders such as line leader involvement, peer interaction, and appropriate clinical care is vital to preventing suicide.

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The Stigma of Mental Health

This past summer, Madalyn Parker gained notoriety when she tweeted an email from her boss supporting Parker’s decision to focus on her mental health. In it, Ben Congleton, her company’s Chief Executive Officer said “You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.” Tens of thousands of people retweeted her story in support and the resulting conversations reached all the way into America’s executive board rooms.

Why does one woman’s personal courage resonate so deeply with society? There has been an outpouring of support and similar stories of hope in response to Parker’s tweet. In most cases however, a fear of marginalization or harassment from co-workers and supervisors emerged as a common factor, although all agreed this attitude is changing.

The Army Reserve leads this cultural shift and recognizes that mental health is aligned with readiness and building cohesive units. Suicide awareness training provided annually serves to provide information for recognition of warning signs and intervention techniques. At all levels, personnel are tasked with creating an environment that reduces the stigma associated with seeking help for behavioral health issues.

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Anonymous Group Chat Sessions Offer Male Military Sex Assault Victims New Support

Sexual assault prevention and outreach is a major focus in the Defense Department, and a new anonymous chat tool called Safe Helproom is specifically helping military men who have experienced unwanted sexual contact.

The perception of sexual assault in pop culture can lead many to believe that it is a crime that only affects women. The reality, though, is that men are assaulted, too. This misperception makes it a trauma that’s extremely hard for men to open up about. Men who have experienced sexual assault don’t often share their experiences with others, and may be reluctant to access support to help themselves.

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108th Griffon Assoc. Continues to March

The 108th Griffon Association continues to support the 108th Training Command and other military service related organizations in an outstanding manner. To do this, funds must be raised from several sources to support the many areas of commitment.

The most significant event is the annual golf tournament held each year at the Pine Island Country club near Charlotte, N.C. Preceded by considerable behind the scenes coordination and detailed planning, this event has continually succeeded in providing a large part of the resources necessary to fulfill the Griffon mission.

This year (2017) was no exception. On 25 September, 23 teams consisting of 92 golfers including retired service members, numerous civilian partners, and current military gathered for a full day of golf, fun, and comradeship. As always, the 282nd Army Band voluntarily provided spirited music to energize the day along with welcoming greetings by the tournament organizers, MG (Ret) Charles (Skip) McCartney and 1SG (Ret) Bruce McGinnis.

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ALL THE AWESOME ONE HOLIDAY SEASON CAN HOLD

As if Universal Orlando Resort’s existing theme parks, entertainment complex, and hotels didn’t already provide more than enough to amaze and excite beyond the most wild expectations, they’ve recently opened a third spectacular park – Universal’s Volcano Bay™ – a water theme park like none other in the world where guests can enjoy the thrills and relaxation of a true tropical paradise. It all just adds to Universal’s roster of exhilarating rides at its other two legendary parks, Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ and Universal Studios™. It’s the only place in the world where you can experience two lands of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, join the battle with the TRANSFORMERS™, swing high above the streets with Spider-Man or escape a hungry T. rex in Jurassic Park™. 

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Make Hendersonville Your ‘Home for the Holidays’

As the fall leaves fade and give way to the holiday season let Hendersonville become your Hometown during the Holiday season. Come “Home for the Holidays” and enjoy the holidays with small town charm, sprinkled with excitement for the entire family. Call today for a calendar of events to plan your visit.

The unique stores along Main Street are decked out with Christmas decorations for the season. Large wreaths with big red bows hang from streetlights, along with twinkling lights and decorations in the planters that line the serpentine street.

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Christmas at the Library Celebration

One look at the 40-foot cross on the front of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., and you know that this place is different. Billy Graham ¬– whose more than 70-year ministry has reached millions through Crusades, television, radio and Internet – followed God’s call to preach the Gospel. The Library that bears his name gives visitors a glimpse into the history behind the personal and public life of the world-famous pastor and ambassador to world leaders.

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What’s the ‘Northern Neck?’

This history-laden peninsula between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers has impact. Impact because of the Washington and Lee families who settled here, built homes, farmed tobacco, and raised families who grew up to chart the course of our nation’s development. Impact that predates John Smith’s 1608 explorations when the Virginia Indians encountered Smith’s shallop, or sailing barge, in the Northern Neck’s numerous navigable creeks and along the rivers. Early impact that started about 35 million years ago when the Chesapeake Impact Crater was formed by a hit from a mountain-sized meteorite off the coast of Virginia to create the Chesapeake Bay.

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FALL COLOR SENSORY OVERLOAD

When visiting Lake Kaweah, Three Rivers, and Sequoia National Park in the Fall, prepare for a sensory overload! Yes, here in Central California, we really do experience a “changing of the leaves.”!

Multi-colored liquid amber and bright red Chinese pistache line the banks of our meandering snow-melt rivers and dot our low-lying Foothills. Golden aspen shine in high-elevation Mineral King and the dogwood turn rosy/gold/pink/salmon/orange in mid-elevation Giant Forest. However, most folks are unaware that Central California also enjoys the largest Mediterranean climate on planet Earth! As a result, we not only experience a changing of the leaves, but also our first precious rains and snow — which turn our foothills a Spring-like green and dot them with wildflowers! It’s a bit like experiencing multiple seasons in a single season!

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Oh No - Mother Nature Played Favorites!

Throughout Washington County in southwestern Utah, She created three separate ecosystems that collide within two different major physiographic provinces. You’ll find valleys, mesas, plateaus, mountains, faults and ridges – all in an area where mountain bikers can ride slick rock, single track, desert trails and endless roads within minutes of a vibrant metropolitan area.

Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association (DMBTA) has partnered with the area BLM on a trail building blitz. The partnership has added 23 miles of high quality single track to the 250 miles that already exist in Washington County.

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Best Time of Year to Visit Alabama Gulf Coast

Warm weather, sugar-white sand, fresh Gulf seafood and a plethora of festivals and events make fall one of the best times of year for a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Seafood is king on Alabama’s beaches, and during the fall, the destination celebrates their favorite menu items at various foodie festivals and events. Kicking off the season is the annual National Shrimp Festival (Oct. 12-15), one of the destination’s most highly-anticipated events of the year. Held at the public beach in Gulf Shores this festival attracts over 250,000 people every year, serves up to 200 pounds of fresh Gulf shrimp each day and hosts an array of local and regional arts and crafts vendors.

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Make Your Holiday Memories at Georgia’s Lanier Islands

For countless families throughout the Southeast for the last quarter of a century, Georgia’s Lanier Islands has served as a cherished part of their holiday traditions. Ever since the Magical Nights of Lights first debuted on November 20, 1993, it has been a source of joy and wonder for children of all ages — adding a little more holiday magic with each passing year. This year, the lakeside destination invites families from the Peach State and beyond to drive through seven miles of twinkling holiday light displays that wind throughout the scenic resort. Representing lasting holiday memories in the making, the 25th Anniversary of Magical Nights of Lights at Lanier Islands is open nightly from Nov. 17, 2017 through Jan. 3, 2018.

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Visit Pocono Mountains

Adventurous, authentic, and natural, visit the Pocono Mountains for an easy access and affordable trip. The Pocono Mountains Region is nestled in Northeastern Pennsylvania only 90 minutes west from New York City and 90 minutes north of Philadelphia.

Visit the Pocono Environmental Education Center — Where Learning Comes Naturally! The Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) is the perfect place for learning, exploring, getting away and connecting. PEEC is the education partner of the National Park Service in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm is where history comes alive as period-dressed “family” members share their daily routine of chores and crafts on a 19th century Pennsylvania German farmstead.

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The Hunt is on in Bradford County

Bradford, the 43rd county created by the Commonwealth, was named in honor of William Bradford, the second attorney general of the United States. With 37 townships totaling over l, 100 square miles,Bradford is ranked as the third largest county in the commonwealth. Its size and geography offer some of the best hunting and trapping opportunities in the state.

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Glascow Barren

South Central Kentucky Cultural Center

Located one block from downtown Glasgow, the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center is dedicated to telling the story of the people, places and events that make up the geographic area of Kentucky known as the “Barrens”—Metcalfe, Allen, Hart and Monroe Counties, as well as Barren County. If history is of interest to you, this is the place to visit!

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Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum

A visit to Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is an opportunity to walk in the steps of the heroes of our country who have served in the military. The museum includes three historic vessels of the U.S. Navy that served from World War II through the Cold War, as well as a Cold War Submarine Memorial, the Medal of Honor Museum, and an expansive 2.5-acre Vietnam Experience exhibit that highlights the heroes of the Vietnam War.

The centerpiece of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is the mighty USS Yorktown CV-10, the nation’s tenth aircraft carrier. The Yorktown began her service in 1943 and served valiantly in World War II earning 11 battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation.

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Explore IOWA

Greater Fort Dodge/Webster County

Greater Fort Dodge/Webster County is located in North Central Iowa. Global leaders, such as Cargill, Poet, Nestle, Silgan, Valero and Elanco, choose to invest and continue to grow in the region as well as home grown companies like C&S Products, Josephson Manufacturing and Decker Trucklines. There are boundless employment opportunities in our community.

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Fort Madison: The Place Where Iowa Began

Fort Madison, with an estimated population of over 11,000, is located along the Mississippi River in the southeast corner of Iowa. Situated between bluffs along one of the widest portions of the river, it shares the County Seat with Keokuk, making Lee County the only county in Iowa with two seats of government.

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Homeschooling as a Blessing Stability Amidst Change

You scan your new living room as you watch the movers bringing box after box in the door. “This one is so much smaller than my last,” you think silently. You walk towards the kids’ new rooms, dodging boxes and bubble wrap as you go. You find them dutifully setting up their beds, making this new space as familiar as possible. And you breathe a sigh of gratitude and of concern knowing that this new duty station will bring with it much of the same, despite it being so new to you. 

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The Griffon Vol. 41.3 (Fall 2017)

The Griffon Vol. 41.3 (Fall 2017)
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The 108th Training Command got its start as part of an elaborate deception prior to Operation Overlord, the D-Day Invasion of France in World War II. The Division was a "phantom" division created on paper and assigned to the First United States Army Group under the command of General George Patton. We were the original Institutional Training (IT) Division and remain one of seven training divisions for the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard. The Griffon is in its 30th publishing year as an award-winning authorized publication written in the interest of the men and women of the 108th Training Command.

  • The Griffon is written and published quarterly in the interest of the 108th National Training Command. It is shipped directly to member's homes and to Training Command bases throughout the U.S.
  • The Griffon is regularly recognized by the Pentagon with their highest rating of Four Stars as one of the largest and most informative authorized publications in the Army.
  • Our members use The Griffon for prescreened, approved resources and opportunities for themselves and their families.
  • The Griffon is required reading material with a message straight from the General.