From the Commanding General

108th Training Command Teammates,

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit The Veteran’s Coffee Shop in Mooresville, N.C.  During the visit, I was honored to be able to meet nearly 200 Veterans, the oldest being 95 years old and the youngest was 23.  All services were represented with men and women wearing hats, vests, and pins denoting their time of service to our Nation.  The Coffee Shop was not only a place to gather, have a cup of Joe and to share stories, but more it was an amazing living museum dating back 243 years.  It was an incredible experience for me to walk among living legends who have passed the torch of service to each of us

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The Last Article

This is the last article I will be writing as your CSM and as the CSM of the 108th Training Command, the greatest command in the US Army. My tenure and military career will end on 15 July 2018. I will be retiring after forty years of continuous service and I’m proud to say, I enjoyed every bit of it and would do anything to do it all over again. I’m constantly asked if I’m happy to be retiring and I can honestly say “No”! I will definitely miss the outstanding, professional and courageous men and women I had the honor and privilege to serve with over the last four decades. The men and women who stood ready to answer the nation’s call at a moment’s notice and without question or compromise.  There is no question about it that we have the greatest and most incredible NCO corps in the world. We have amazing officers that truly understand the meaning of leading from the front and our formations are filled with the bravest Soldiers out of any one of the armed forces or any country around the world. But with that said, there is always room for improvement.

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108th Soldiers find camaraderie, training in competition

Two Soldiers from the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training) competed side by side with 34 other Soldiers from commands throughout the world at the U.S. Army Reserve Command’s Best Warrior Competition in Fort Bragg, North Carolina June 10-15.

Through the week-long competition that included everything from rappelling out of a helicopter to standing before a military board, the two Soldiers found camaraderie and training to be their main takeaways.

Spc. Darren O’Dell, the 104th Training Division Soldier of the Year who also claimed the 108th Training Command (IET) SoY title, said he found the USARC-level competition to be motivating on many levels.

“It was extremely challenging, both mentally and physically,” said the 21-year-old petroleum supply specialist with Detachment 3, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 398th Regiment, 104th Training Division. “But at the exact same time, it was equally rewarding. I learned a lot, and it was an honor to be asked to do this.”

As each Soldier in the competition was representing their command as the Soldier or Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, O’Dell said he gave it his all at every event. When it came to basic rifle marksmanship, warfighter drills and the military board, the 104th/108th Soldier of the Year said he felt pretty comfortable.

“Those things I know like the back of my hand. So I had no problem with them. I went in thinking, OK, I got this,” said O’Dell.

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Seven Army Reserve commands combine Best Warrior Competitions at Fort Knox

Seven U.S. Army Reserve commands tested their Soldiers in a Best Warrior Competition at Fort Knox, Kentucky, April 9-13. The five-day, 10-event competition assessed more than 40 Citizen-Soldiers from across the United States to select each command’s Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. Each champion will compete in the U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in June.

Traditionally, the Fort Knox Army Reserve commands (84th Training Command, Army Reserve Aviation Command, and Army Reserve Careers Division) hold their Best Warrior Competitions together. However, this year they coordinated with four other commands (108th Training Command [Initial Entry Training], 88th Readiness Division, 81st Readiness Division, and the Military Intelligence Readiness Command) to pool resources, be more efficient, and offer a better competition. “We made an even better improvement on training opportunities than we had in the past,” said Command Sgt. Maj. JamesPeter Matthews, the command sergeant major for the Army Reserve Aviation Command.

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Behind the Lens – Ghost Writers tell the story

A good story keeps the reader’s interest. A great story makes the reader feel or act. Regardless of the format—pictures, videos or articles—stories have the power to freeze time and capture a moment of history that can never be recreated.

Sure, an event may be reoccurring, but the factors can never be all the same. Take the U.S. Army Reserve Command’s Best Warrior Competition (USARC BWC). It has occurred every year since 2007. Yet, every year is different. There are different competitors, different events and different locations. Each year, two winners are announced: a Soldier of the Year and a Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. That fact is the same. However, the stories about the Warriors are never the same...and neither are the people who write them.

Covering this year’s USARC BWC, is a team of 11 Soldiers from the 372nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (MPAD) out of Nashville, Tennessee. Made up of photo/print journalists, broadcasters and public affairs officers, the MPAD has the mission of documenting the week-long competition that features more than 35 Soldiers from seven Geographic Commands and 22 Functional Commands. The annual competition’s high operational tempo makes gathering stories a challenge. A challenge is just what Soldiers need to make themselves better though, said the unit’s leading NCO, 1st Sgt. Ryan Matson.  “If everyone [challenges themselves] individually—and from what I have seen, they have—while still being a team player and helping your buddy,...we all win in the end.”

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‘Yes We Can, Yes We Do’

WEST POINT, NY - The difference between success and failure is a team that is guided by great leadership. In the Army, in order for a platoon of Soldiers to be successful, the role of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) holds great value. 

An NCOs’ mission is to fulfill what the Army calls the “backbone” of the Army.  This means that as an NCO, one must take honor in leading, and investing in, the success of Soldiers following their guidance.

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 3rd Training Battalion, 304th Regiment, 104th Training Division (IET) from Saco, Maine., did just that during the 2018 Sandhurst Competition at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point.

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U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers: Always on the Trail

Soldiers from across the U.S. Army Reserve bring a unique set of skills to the Army; they not only serve their country but they also have a civilian lifestyle and occupations that mirror their military skills.

Military training of Army Reserve Soldiers is often received once a month on the weekend. However, these “Weekend Warriors” are always ready to respond to the call of duty.

Army Reserve Sgt 1st Class Brain Hazzard, Staff Sgt. Karlston Wilson and Staff Sgt. Randy Pittman, 98th Training Division (IET) are prime examples of Citizen Soldiers.

Each Soldier has served more than a decade in the Army Reserve and all have civilian jobs that correlate with their military occupational specialties (MOS).

As a combat medic (68W) with the 343rd Ground Ambulance Company, Hazzard used his military skill set to help land his job as a bio medical technician for General Electric.

“Because of my military training and experiences, I was able to get this position, a lot of what you learn as a 68W I use daily at my job,” said Hazzard.

While many Reserve Soldiers use training received for their MOS to find jobs in the civilian sector, the opposite is true as they use their civilian education to perform and excel in military ranks.

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Forever Family

Although there are many reasons people choose to adopt a child, one of the most compelling can be simply because a parent believes that saving a child from growing up without the benefits of a supportive, loving family is reason enough.

Sgt. 1st Class Eric Schenck, Senior Religious Affairs Non-Commissioned Officer at the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training), and his wife Adrienne have chosen adoption in expanding their family. A grounded and religious Army Reserve family of five, the Schencks have a deep love for children and feel they are answering the call to be a forever family to an orphan.

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From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

The 95th Division has a long and rich history. It is most famous for its role in World War II, where “The Iron Men of Metz” earned their nickname, defeating heavy German resistance to capture the fortress city of Metz as part of the Allied push into Germany in 1944.  Subsequent fighting to secure crossings of the Saar River and helping to defeat the Ruhr Pocket and to capture Hamm and Dortmund, only added to the Division’s legacy. Those of us who serve in the Division today are honored and proud to follow in the footsteps of the Soldiers who fought so hard, and so successfully, in this effort.

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Snowy 6 Mile Bug Line Trail Ruck

It’s summer now, but snow was still on the ground in April when Bravo Company 1/334 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) conducted another epic march during Battle Assembly. This year the Company rucked six miles on the historic Bug Line trail in Menomonee Falls. The Bug Line is a decommissioned rail line which once hauled limestone from two quarries to the main train line.

Today the Bug Line is a part of the Waukesha park system which uses it for running, bicycling and pet walking and Soldiers spent the morning sharing the trail with the local citizens.

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2-48th Dragoons Host Change of Command

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The transition of power from one commander to another has been a tradition in the United States Army for 243 years. The Dragoons, 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment are of no exception to this tradition.

On May 24, 2018, Army Reserve Lt. Col. John D. Watson, passed command of 2nd Battalion to U.S. Army Lt. Col. Shawn D. Sumter during ceremony at Gammon Field.

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From the 98th Training Division (IET) Commander

 

 

 

Over this last quarter, I have had the opportunity to visit four separate battalions (3-330IN, 1-321IN, 3-323IN, and Task Force Marshall) conducting training outside of their respective Reserve Centers (Ruck March, M203, M4, M9, etc,...) and want to pass along some of my observations:

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From the Command Sergeant Major

I have been a proud Warrior of the 98th Iroquois Division since April 15, 2018. I have been given my priorities by the 108th Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Mark Mcqueen, and the 98th Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Miles Davis.  I have moved out to execute my lines of efforts (LOE) that include the four pillars of Readiness: 1. Combat Readiness 2. Soldier Readiness 3. Family Readiness and 4. Safety Readiness.

As the CG and I circulate around the Division and engage individuals and units in the four pillars of readiness, we see the 98th Warriors making great strides in all areas.

However, the CG and I still need your help! We need you to ensure you and your unit are combat ready and ready to deploy tonight! We need you to ensure that you, and your team, take care of not only your Soldiers, but the Soldiers’ and DA civilians’ families as well. We need you to be a safe in all that you do and ensure those all around you are safe in all they do too. 

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Army Reserve Soldier takes command of Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course at Fort Benning

FORT BENNING, Ga. — U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Andrew V. Burns, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), just accomplished something no Reserve Soldier has done in more than 30 years—he took command of an Active Duty Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course (IBOLC).

The Soldiers of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment welcomed Burns as their incoming commander and bid farewell to their outgoing commander, U.S. Army Capt. Dan R. Apsley, during a Change of Command Ceremony at Fort Benning on April 25.

After the passing of the colors, the battalion commander, U.S. Army Lt. Col. James Zanella, explained just how much Apsley had done while in command.

“He’s contributed greatly to the success of the battalion accomplishing its mission to prepare its platoon leaders to fight, win and survive on the battlefields of tomorrow.”

Between restructuring a land navigation training map and essentially running 11 classes worth of platoon situation training lanes (STX) and urban operation lanes, Apsley made the Soldiers better prepared for their time outside of Bravo Company, according Zanella, a native of Memphis, Tennessee.

“Reaper Company ensured we produced infantry platoon leaders for the total Army,” explained the battalion commander.

The training Bravo Company puts their IBOLC students through is not easy. However, what we do here makes a difference, explained Zanella when he mentioned speaking to some of the recent IBOLC graduates.

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1BDE Family Day

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The warrior within: Strong will fuels female Soldier toward new path

(Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part series on Justine Bottorff. For part 1, visit https://www.army.mil/article/202048)

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -— Staff Sgt. Justine Bottorff keeps a picture of a broken porcelain bowl on her phone. The text underneath reads “kintsukuroi,” or the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold, effectively making the bowl more beautiful. Bottorff imagined the bowl as a metaphor for her life circumstances after returning from her deployments.

“You don’t stay broken because something bad happened to you,” Bottorff said.

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Challenge and Triumph

Fort Custer Training Center, Mich. – It has been said that with great challenge comes great triumph, and for U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers of the 3-330th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 98th Training Division, (Initial Entry Training), these words have never resonated truer.

As part of the 3-330th Infantry Regiment’s June Battle Assembly and Field Training Exercise, Soldiers had the opportunity to compete in the Battalion’s annual Best Warrior Competition. Participants in the event vied for a chance to go on and represent the Battalion in the Division Best Warrior Competition (BWC) being held in March of 2019.

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Honor, Integrity On and Off the Trail

When most people think of drill sergeants, they think of disciplined instructors, intimidating stares and squared-away, by-the-book Soldiers. While these rigid images may all be true, it is only one side of the iconic job in today’s Army Reserve.

Drill sergeants in the Army Reserve have to be tough and disciplined to transform civilians into Soldiers in short periods of time. So the hard exterior is just a requirement of the mission. However, there is a lot more behind those stern-faced Soldiers. For many drill sergeants, patriotic passion, personal drive and depth of character push them to excel in the demanding role that helps shape the Army of tomorrow. 

Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Louis Rodriguez, a senior drill sergeant with Bravo Troop, 2nd Squadron (Cavalry One Station Unit Training), 415th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), signed up to become a Citizen-Soldier drill sergeant because of the events of September 11, 2001.

“I specifically came back into the military to become an Army Reserve drill sergeant,” said the Sacramento, California native who had served on active duty from 1987 to 1992.  “I was in the recruiter’s office that same week...put me back in.”

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Meaningful training enhances readiness at Fort Jackson

Despite the hot, humid temperatures, Soldiers covered in sand dust made last one charge to complete their latest intense mission. Working in teams and representing their individual companies, the Soldiers had one last push to attempt to reach their objective.

At stake: The coveted Commander’s Cup. But beyond the temporary glory and bragging rights, the ramifications are much greater. These Soldiers are responsible for training future force of the US Army, the US Army Reserve and the Army National Guard.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 321st Infantry Regiment, commanded by Lt. Colonel Lisa C. Hendrick, participated in the annual Field Training Exercise (FTX) to hone their skill sets, to build comradery and to prepare them for their primary mission: leading recruits through Initial Entry Training.

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Change of Responsibility 1BDE

 

 

 

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Change of Command 2BDE

 

 

 

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Change of Command 3BDE

Soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division, bid farewell to their commander, Col. Russell J. Bonaccorso Jr., and welcomed his successor, Col. Chris Chang, at a Change of Command Ceremony at Niagara Falls, New York June 1.

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Good Change

“Change,” is a word I’ve been contemplating for a few months. Often times, when we think of change, it carries a negative connotation.  However, change is part of life, something that we’ve all have experienced and something that is inevitable especially in any organization. For most, change is uncomfortable and may bring disruption. However, I believe change is good and the manner in which we look at change is important.

At the 104th, change has been part of its history and change allowed and continues to allow us to make positive impacts in our Army. I recently had the privilege to write a letter to a World War II Timberwolf Veteran, and thank him for his service to our country. This gentleman’s service with the 555th AAA Battalion, contributed greatly to the success of the Timberwolf Division and played a significant role in the liberation of the concentration camp Nordhausen, the Battle of the Bulge, and other strategic operations during World War II. It was because of the many brave Soldiers like him that we can look back and reflect on the rich history of the 104th Division, the United States Army, our Nation, and the reason we enjoy liberty and live in freedom today.

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Strengthening Ties, Strengthening Soldiers

FT. MEADE, Md. — NCOs from the 2nd Battalion, 317th Regiment acted as instructors and supervisors for the 335th Signal Command Best Warrior Competition from April 14-19. The Drill Sergeants from 2-317th included Sgt.1st Class Christopher Spencer, Sgt. 1st Class Gene Lilly, and Sergeant Leslie Wertz. Master Sgt. Anthony Childs also assisted as an advisor and supervisor for the event. Major events for the competition included the Army Physical Fitness Test, an obstacle course, land navigation, M4 rifle qualification, M9 pistol qualification, and a 10-mile ruck march.

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Timberwolves Give Back to the Community

This past 2017 winter season the members of the 3-414th CST, 104th Training Division (LT), took it upon themselves to offer the community their time, labor, and cheer. During the December Battle Assembly a group of 20 Soldiers spurred on by the dedication of Staff Sgt.. Yavan Harper volunteered at the Tacoma, Washington Rescue Mission (https://www.trm.org/). 

Staff Sgt.. Harper has a long standing history of volunteering within the community and presented the idea to her fellow Soldier’s and her Command to incorporate the Army Values on a much more personal platform within their immediate community.  The idea was met with an outpouring of support.  Soldiers were volunteering with great sincerity and in great numbers, but because of the restraints of the facility the number of participants was limited. 

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392nd Stays Sharp

In April, Drill Sergeants and NCOs from the 2-317th Regiment supported annual weapons qualification ranges at Ft. Pickett, Virginia and Fort Meade, Maryland.

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If it ain’t ‘rainin’

CAMP RILEA, Or. — Cadets from the University of Portland and Soldiers from B Co, 3-414th Cadet Summer Training (CST) Battalion, 1st Brigade, 104th Division came together at Camp Rilea, Oregon from April 13-15, 2018, for a field training exercise (FTX). The three-day FTX provided an opportunity for both parties to complete weapons qualifications as well as affording the Cadets valuable training focusing on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defense, individual movement techniques (IMT), First Aid, and company level patrolling.

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Answering the Call

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Tasked with hosting an annual Best Warrior Competition, the 4-399th Battalion set to establish obstacles and testing parameters for the competition held on March 23-24.  Out of the dew of a cold, crisp Thursday morning would emerge four willing participants to answer the call.  The purpose of the competition affords participants the opportunity to show others their technical proficiencies in Soldier tasks and further exude the Army Values for which they live to embody.

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Camaraderie Through Training

For their April 2018 Battle Assembly, 2-319th Cadet Summer Training Battalion, out of Salem, VA, conducted an FTX weekend.  The FTX was conducted from 6-8 April at Fort Pickett, VA where 140 motivated individuals honed their warrior skills.

The unit took advantage of the long weekend to conduct an abundance of training including mission related training, leader development tasks, and team building activities.  The key events of the weekend were weapons qualification, preparatory training for the Battalion’s annual mission to support Cadet Summer Training, out brief of a Command Climate survey, and the weekend was closed out with the Timberwolf Games.

Weapons qualification was performed Friday afternoon using paper targets.  Although pop up targets are generally preferred, use of the paper target range did confer a certain benefit to the unit which allowed it to execute all of the key tasks planned in the 3 day weekend.  Because M16 zeroing, M16 qualification and M9 qualification could all be completed at the same 25 meter range, all qualification was completed by dusk Friday evening leaving the remainder of the weekend to be used for other scheduled activities.  The Nightfighters were able to qualify over 115 Soldiers on the M-16 and M-9 weapons system.

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Col. Hansen takes command

Aurora, Co. — Col. Malcom Walker relinquished command of the 1st Brigade (PD), 104th Training Division (LT) to Col. Jens Hansen during a ceremony at Buckley AFB on May 19th.  1st Brigade consists of five battalions located across the United States and carries the responsibility of providing instructors and support to the Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky in partnership with the U.S. Cadet Command.

A farewell dinner conducted the night prior to the change of command ceremony allowed colleagues and guests to toast Col. Walker’s success and wish him a bright future in his next stage of career progression. 

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4-413th (SROTC) Battalion Conducts Successful Readiness Training Exercise

FORT FISHER, NC — Over the course of five days in May, 28 Soldiers from the 4-413th (SROTC) Battalion gathered at Fort Fisher, NC to conduct a regional Readiness Training Exercise. During the event, Soldiers completed annual training requirements in addition to extracurricular activities only afforded at historic sites such as Fort Fisher.

The 4-413th (SROTC) Battalion falls under the 1st Brigade, 104th Division (LT), and has Soldiers spread across the several states, the majority of them east of the Mississippi River. That diversity makes opportunities for the members of the team to meet face to face few and far in between but Fort Fisher was one of those rare occasions.

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Lt. Col. Reginald T. Eggleston Takes Command of the 4-413th (SROTC)

FORT KNOX, Ky. — On Saturday, June 9th Lt. Col. Reginald T. Eggleston officially took command of the 4-413th (SROTC) Battalion. During an intimate ceremony held in Palma Hall, Lt. Col. Eggleston and interim Commander Maj. Matthew E. Naparstek were joined by the 104th Division, 1st Brigade Commander Col. Jens Hansen.

Outgoing commander, Maj. Naparstek, kept his remarks brief, but acknowledging he had been surrounded by people fully supporting the unit’s mission which helped in achieving its goals. 

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Around the Command

Greetings from the 108th Training Command Inspector General (IG) office. Our Office is in the Command Headquarters located at 1330 Westover Rd., Charlotte, NC 28205. Your 108th IG team includes LTC(P) Jason Weaver (Command IG), LTC Serena Ravenell (Deputy Command IG), Mr. Derek Holmes, MAJ James Payne, MAJ Brian Vincent, MSG Gladys Alamolozada, and MSG Megan Upperman.  You can contact us at 704-342-5141. 

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Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

Recently, SFC Alexander Wellman (1-304), SFC Jeremy Anderson (1-320), and SSG Shawn Thacker (1-320) completed the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, Train for Trainers (ASIST T4T) course developed by LivingWorks, Inc.

The ASIST T4T course is 5 days of intensive Suicide Intervention training which qualifies graduates to give the two day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course to others.

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Deploy or Get Out Policy Unveiled

Pentagon planners have released a sobering statistic: Up to 14% of the force is non-deployable.  More than a third of that number can be linked to late medical and dental exams and missing immunizations. 

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Recruiting Initiative

Six Army Reserve Drill Sergeants were recently selected from across the 108th Training Command (IET) to spearhead a nationwide Drill Sergeant recruiting initiative.  These six Drill Sergeant will be traveling to Army installations across the United States to partner with the local Reserve Component Career Counselors (RCCC).  In a combined effort with the RCCC, our Drill Sergeants will brief transitioning Active Component Soldiers on the benefits of becoming a Drill Sergeant in the Army Reserve. 

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8th Annual Golf Tournament Sept. 24th 2018

The 108th Griffon Association is living up to its original charter for its members with an active and engaging spring of 2018.

One of these functions is to hold an annual picnic for members of the 108th Griffon Association.  Current active soldiers in 108th Training Command units and their families can also attend with just a small fee for lunch. This past May 5, the association held its annual picnic at the Latta Plantation and Mecklenburg County Park about 10 miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina.

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How Technology is Making Homeschooling More Accessible

Evolution of homeschooling

Parents and students who want to opt for the alternate mode of learning need to know a good deal about the modern homeschooling before getting into it.

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Dragons, Mermaid and Fairies, Oh My!

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is back celebrating 25 years of cheers. Introduced in 1994, the Carolina Renaissance Festival is now one of the largest renaissance- themed events in the country and one of the largest attractions in the Carolinas. Nearly 200,000 attendees are expected to time travel to the village during its eight-weekend season, held Saturdays and Sundays, September 29 through November 18.

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Apple Country Memories in Hendersonville

When you visit Hendersonville, North Carolina, an apple becomes much more than a tasty snack. Apple season in this Blue Ridge Mountain town means walking through rows of apple trees in the middle of an orchard, picking fruit straight from the branch, taking in mountain views that stretch far beyond the farm and making memories as a family.

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Billy Graham Library Brings Inspiration to Guests

On February 21, 2018, Rev. Billy Graham passed from this world into eternity. While his personal ministry was completed, his legacy of sharing the Gospel continues through the Billy Graham Library.

Reminiscent of Billy Graham’s upbringing on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Charlotte, the Billy Graham Library building is styled after a dairy barn, and his restored boyhood home is just a short walk from the main Library building. The entrance to the Library is in the shape of a cross, a visual reminder to visitors that it is only through the Cross of Christ that we can enter into a relationship with God.

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Find Adventure in the Town of Mount Pleasant

Whether you like to set back and relax with the sun on your shoulders or you prefer to work up a sweat, there’s something for everyone this summer in the Town of Mount Pleasant. There’s no denying that Lowcountry summers are steamy, but when the heat index rises, Mount Pleasant comes alive.

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Take Your Family Vacation to The Next Level at Universal Orlando Resort™

Family vacations aren’t just a time to escape the everyday routine and connect with loved ones. A family vacation should be an opportunity to enjoy sights and sounds and tastes you’ve never experienced before. From uniquely themed thrill rides to one-of-a-kind restaurants to spectacular hotels that put you within steps away from all the fun, Universal Orlando Resort™ is a family vacation that takes your family to new levels of excitement.

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Fall in Love (Again) on Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Stroll hand-in-hand along the sugar-white sand as you reconnect with your partner, and observe the vibrant colors of the sunset as it dances off the water. Fall is the perfect time to visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach because of the abundance of activities and events, and the weather is perfect, too.

Flavors and Sounds of Fall

Sample more than 150 tantalizing fine wines from around the world, sip and savor craft beer from regional breweries, taste a variety of distilled choices ranging from infused vodka to single malt whiskey, and enjoy tastings and demos of delicious food by the Gulf Coast’s top chefs at The Wharf Uncorked September 13-15.

Stroll the beach-side grounds and listen to live music, admire beautiful arts and crafts, and enjoy great seafood favorites including crab cakes, conch fritters, lobster, and of course, cajun pistols at the 47th Annual National Shrimp Festival October 11-14.

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Reunite and Make Memories in Mesquite

Your service to our country takes you all around the world, granting you the opporturnity to make life-long friends and have unforgettable experiences.

Along with these opportunities comes constant change and adjustment, so it is natural to lose touch. Mesquite, Texas is the perfect place to reunite with old friends you met throughout your journey.

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What Can’t You Do in Llano?

Hunting

Llano is nationally known as the “Deer Capital of Texas” and hosts many  hunters seeking the abundance of white-tailed deer in the fall and winter  seasons. The Llano Chamber of Commerce hosts a Hunters’ Welcome each  Friday before deer season opens. 

Fishing

Year-round fishing in the picturesque Llano River and surrounding  Highland Lakes makes Llano a sportsman’s dream destination. Usually the  best time to fish the Llano River for bass is October and November when the  fish are most active. The Guadalupe bass is only found in the Texas Hill  Country and offers great sport for fly casters. 

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Sevierville’s New Fall Driving Tour Has the Best View of All: Your Own!

For a few glorious weeks, autumn crowns the Smoky Mountains with spectacular color. It’s a sight well worth traveling to see – especially when you take a few roads less traveled. This year, consider an alternative scenic drive with plenty of foliage along the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Drive

Peak season for leaf viewing is typically mid-October through mid-November. For those seeking a fall experience they’ve not enjoyed before, Sevierville’s two fall foliage self-driving tours offer little known points of interest and beautiful views. Sevierville’s Middle Prong Fall Driving Tour winds its way through the Smoky Mountain foothills after beginning at the iconic Dolly Parton statue in historic downtown Sevierville.

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Chattanooga: Civil War, Tennessee Whiskey and Music Galore!

Chattanooga is a gateway to Tennessee and is nestled along the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River and surrounded by the spectacular scenic beauty of Lookout Mountain and the Cumberland Plateau.  You will enjoy a newly revitalized riverfront city, first class attractions, great Southern hospitality, rich Civil War history, outdoor adventures and locally owned restaurants & cafes, a thriving music scene with plenty of annual festivals and events that offer year-round fun. 

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, Travel USA

Welcome Home Veterans Celebration

Clarksville, Tennessee is a community that appreciates veterans. The city borders the Fort Campbell Army Post, so appreciating military service is simply the way of life for both residents and businesses. Beyond the ingrained respect that happens daily, this community publicly shows its support annually–in a big way–with a five-day Welcome Home Veterans Celebration.

In 2018, Clarksville will host its fourth annual Welcome Home Veterans Celebration September 12-16. Multiple activities will take place to celebrate and honor veterans, with an emphasis on Vietnam veterans.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, Travel USA

The Griffon Vol. 42.2 (Summer 2018)

The Griffon Vol. 42.2 (Summer 2018)
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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.