From the Commanding General

It’s been a wild ride for my first six months here at the 108th Training Command (IET). We’ve endured a global pandemic, prepared for the possibility of deployment, employed response teams and adjusted to the new “normal” of virtual Battle Assemblies and socially distant training. I have to tell you, I have been so proud of the Soldiers, Civilians and Families of the 108th.

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Winning Matters!

Why is mission command so important? Of the many things we learn from facing the Corona virus, the importance of Mission Command must be number one. This is a version of what we will face as military leaders in a future war and, in reality, is similar to what we have faced in every war. We were required to deal with uncertainty in a rapidly changing environment. America’s Army Reserve became a focal point as we stood up medical teams and support organizations to respond to the crisis. All levels of command within the 98th responded in anticipation of a future mobilization to reduce the backlog of basic combat training at both Fort Benning and Jackson.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, From the 98th Training Division (IET) Commander

They Call Her Senior

When most people think about drill sergeants, they think of Basic Combat Training. But where do those drill sergeants come from? To mold new drill sergeants, experienced drill sergeants must train and mentor noncommissioned officers to replace them. Like any other military school, there must be one lead instructor for those developing the new drill sergeants to report to.

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321st Drill Sergeants Take on a New Kind of Trainee

Photos by Sgt. Ian Valley and Spec. Jon Cortez
345th Public Affairs Detachment

Drill sergeants from the 1-321st Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training) were given a unique opportunity to step away from Basic Combat Training to lead a different type of trainee.

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‘Fanelli Finesse’ Leads to Dream Job

People who are passionate about cars undoubtedly know the MotorTrend Television show, Bitchin’ Rides. Capt. Frank Fanelli of the 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training) certainly did as a “self-taught hot rod builder and pinstriper” on YouTube. In fact, the U.S. Army Reserve Soldier watched the show often as a form of education, he just never dreamed he’d work there. But after competing in a televised special, Bitchin’ Boot Camp, Fanelli won just that—a job at Kindig-it Design in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

Since the last Griffon, all of our lives have changed dramatically. None of us expected all of the changes our society and world have made in order to deal with Covid-19. The complete effects of the Coronavirus pandemic are not yet known, but it is pretty safe to say that there will be lasting effects that change our future operations and daily way of life. I am confident we will certainly get through it and prevail. Many of the changes we were forced to make will positively impact our society as we recover from the pandemic, such as increased internet and broadband capabilities and the ability to order curbside and have home delivery from many more businesses than before the pandemic. As we turn the tide and begin the recovery, what are our responsibilities as Soldiers?

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Enhance Decision Making: Understand Risk

Leading large organizations is challenging, especially in uncertain times. Leaders are looked upon to make the right decision at the right time and it is paramount to consider risk and its potential impacts on the organization’s ability to accomplish the mission. Risk management is a critical and challenging issue where leaders must develop an understanding of the ambiguous current environment by implementing risk management into the decision-making processes in an effort to identify future hazards.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, From the 104th Training Division (LT)Commander

From the 104th Command Sergeant Major

Greetings Timberwolves,

Hope this message finds all of you and your families doing well. New challenges arose this year with the pandemic that spread across the world. It changed the way we think as a unit, an Army and a Nation. Flexibility and adaptability is what we do as Soldiers. The majority of Americans look up to you. This country depends on us. We give Americans a sense of security that they would be lost without. In saying that, our missions, our annual trainings and our battle assemblies have all went through changes this past year.

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Volunteerism: A Way to GSD

New York City is only 800 miles away from Fort Knox, Kentucky,, but during this pandemic, it seems like another world. According to Maj. Michael Nguyen, every night in NYC is dead silent, a quiet broken only by helicopters and sirens. Soldiers are sometimes seen on the streets in the daylight. Maj. Nguyen explains how the military has assisted NYC with medical support and food distribution, and advises that the best thing people can do for the city is to stay home, and if they have to go out, always wear a mask.

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Strong Relationships with Army Reserve Career Division and Reserve Component Career Counselors Keep Ranks Full

Imagine, or recall, being a 32-year-old Active Duty Captain. Your initial commitment to the Army is complete. You served 10 years in the Army leading Platoons, serving as the XO, and eventually leading a Company. You deployed once, or once too many times. You realize you want to spend more time with your family, or you want to start a family.

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What is the Best Warrior Competition?

What is the Best Warrior Competition? It’s a question I struggled finding the right words to accurately depict, but I think the best answer I could conjure up was honor, everything that goes into it from the competitors to the cadre represents something so much larger than ourselves. We come together from across the United States to put our skills as Soldiers to the test, but we aren’t setting out to honor ourselves. We honor the flag on our shoulder and the patch over our hearts.

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COVID-19: A Change in Mission

Coronavirus is changing the way we work, socialize, train, and live. The novel coronavirus swiftly spread throughout the world and has changed our daily lives and the way we interact. In the last few months, we have all had to hurdle unprecedented challenges that we never imagined we would encounter. As cities shut down and shelter in place orders were initiated, social distancing, mask wearing, continuous hand washing, constant disinfecting and quarantine would become the new normal.

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Virtual Battle Assemblies: Is this the New Normal?

Recently, the world has been ravished by a new threat. This threat has changed each individual’s daily interaction. In fact as many of us are aware, it has changed corporate and even military interactions. How has the Army and specifically the Army Reserve accommodated these new behaviors and social norms? Well, the Army Reserve answered this question by asking another question, “Can Soldiers accomplish their readiness task on their own and without direct oversight?” In response, the Virtual Battle Assembly was created.

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A Great Public Servant

From the center of Texas to the heart of southwest Minnesota farmland and then to the Pacific Northwest-- with detours through Kentucky, Mississippi, Saudi Arabia and Iraq—retiring 104th Division (LT) Deputy Command Judge Advocate Maj. Fred Inman has been, and continues to be, a classic American putting public service before himself throughout his career.

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Leaders of the Pack: 104th Training Division (LT) 2020 Best Warrior Competition winners

The 104th Division (LT) Best Warrior Competition (BWC) took place this year at Fort Knox, KY from March 5-7. The following competitors won the title of Soldier of the Year (SOY), NCO of the Year (NSOY) or Drill Sergeant of the Year (DSOY) for their respective brigades:

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UC Berkeley Dean Appoints SROTC Instructors to Assistant Adjunct Professor

Maj. Dan Morse, Maj. Jennifer Nam, and Maj. Ben Raphael were appointed to the position of Assistant Adjunct Professor by the University of California at Berkeley after completing several evaluation board requirements this academic year. These officers serve in the 4-414th Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (SROTC), a unit that supports university ROTC programs with Reserve instructors to supplement the school’s active duty cadre. The 4-414th (SROTC) assigned them to Berkeley as Assistant Professors of Military Science; however, Berkeley is unique in that it does not recognize SROTC instructors until they have been boarded by the Military Officers’ Education Committee (MOEC).

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Mount Up! Appomattox Courthouse Staff Ride

Pfc. Cloyse Eldridge
USARC, Salem, Virginia

The Officers of the 2nd Battalion, 319th Regiment (Cadet Summer Training), 1ST Brigade and its subordinate companies conducted a staff ride at Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park during their March Battle Assembly. This historically significant park is ideally located for this activity, roughly between the three geographic locations of the battalion and its subordinate companies.

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Cadets Thrive with Great NCO Leadership: NCOs Thrive in 4-414th SROTC

Recall back to when you first entered the Army.

Who showed you what “right” looks like? Who taught you how to pack your ruck or fix your uniform? Who taught you how to shoot or march? Who could you always count on for direction and answers?

Chances are it was a Noncommissioned Officer (NCO), correct?

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A Message to the Class of 2020

On May 23, 2020, I spoke to the senior class of 2020 during our virtual graduation. I serve as the Superintendent of Schools in the Geary County Schools USD475 school district. Over 300 students and their parents/guardians have been impacted by the effects of COVID19 along with the rest of the world. In my message I stressed the need to learn from the mistakes of others, serve your community, and fight through the desire to set limitations on opportunities and your life. Below is a version of the speech delivered to the seniors at Junction City High School, Junction City, Kansas.

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Learn, Practice, Train and Adapt: An Approach to SVBA

For many of us, Soldier Virtual Battle Assembly (SVBA) is a new concept that has temporarily become the new normal in order to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. A concept that seemed foreign to the Army Reserve is now the way we conduct training.

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13 Scholarships awarded by Griffon Association

There is no question the Covid-19 pandemic has had an overwhelming effect on many parts of American society and organizations. The effect on the 108th Griffon Association is no exception.

Event Cancellations

Several of our events have had to be cancelled. The annual membership picnic is one of them. The other is the annual golf tournament which is our main source of revenue to fund the various activities of the association.

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Our Beaches Are Ready for You This Fall

The sugar-white sand beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are excited to welcome you back for another fall getaway. Whether you’re traveling with your families, your significant other or a group of old friends, Alabama’s shores offer the perfect escape.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Smoky Mountain Getaways

Wide open spaces and get-back-to-nature activities make the Smoky Mountains a great destination year-round. In Sevierville, each season is packed with something unique to see and do, from fall driving tours to holiday lights and even spring and summer fun in the sun.

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Get Some R&R at Universal Orlando Resort

You’ve earned your leave and then some. You want to make every second with your family count. Now more than ever. That’s where Universal Orlando Resort comes in. There’s a whole universe for you to explore with three theme parks—Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay water theme park—a range of hotels including a brand new one (more on that later) and so much more.

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Autumn Adventures Abound in Hendersonville, NC

Hendersonville, North Carolina, has long been a place of escape. The Blue Ridge Mountain town boasts a temperate climate and abundant forests, streams and scenic vistas that allow visitors to disconnect from daily worries and reconnect with nature.

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Adventure Calls! Find Fall Family Fun in the Heart of North Carolina

Smack in the center of North Carolina, you will find Asheboro, Seagrove, Randleman, and other cute small towns. An hour and a half west of Raleigh, you will not have to worry about crowds or afternoon traffic, here. You can chill and drive our country roads in pursuit of high-flying fun, adventure, ziplines, the great outdoors, wild animals, and more.

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Lots of Outdoor Fun in Fredericksburg, VA

Fall in the city of Fredericksburg is a timeless experience. As the leaves change, their bright orange hues reflect in the Rappahannock River’s glassy surface, and crisp breezes carry the ever-present smell of seasonal specials from downtown’s restaurants. Even in a socially distant world, the city is a worthwhile is a destination.

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Discovering the Military Sites of Northern Virginia — Exploring a Path Where Few Tread

At the root of all military tourism, it is arguable, is the desire to understand better the life and times of those who serve.

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The Griffon 44.2 Summer 2020

The Griffon 44.2 Summer 2020
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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.