From the Commanding General

Recently, Command Sgt. Maj. Riti and I attended the Army Professional Forum (APF).  In attendance was our Army’s senior leadership and command teams.  The APF was an extraordinary opportunity to discuss our Army and the bedrock principle which makes our profession, and indeed our Army, the greatest force the world has ever seen in the history of the world.  It is the foundational principle of trust.

As the Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Mark Milley articulated, we are America’s Army: indivisible and that we have a contract with America.  Our contract with the American people rests in the notion that they trust us to be the ready and relevant force to answer their call when needed.  Moreover, they trust us with their sons and daughters to insure we do everything to train and equip them to be America’s force for decisive land power.

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From the Command Sergeant Major

I always try to figure out what I want to write about in the next Griffon. This time it’s easy because Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Moeller of the 108th Training Command (IET) recently won the Best Warrior Competition for the entire Army.

Earlier this month he was honored at the AUSA annual meeting in Washington, DC where he was recognized for ‘being the best of the best’.

Competition is not easy and you have to be mentally and physically ready to compete among the best warriors the Army and Army Reserve has to offer. It was an honor for him to stand beside Sgt. Maj. of the Army, Dan Dailey and Command Sgt. Maj. Wills as he accepted this prestigious award.

The 108th Training Command also commends Sgt. Ryan Moldovan for being selected as the Drill Sergeant of the Year.

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From the Command Chief Warrant Officer

On November 10, 2016, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, I had the privilege to welcome 25 school trained Adjutant General Warrant Officers to the Warrant Officer cohort, as their graduation guest speaker. 

These Warrant Officers completed the eight week course and are now prepared to return to the Army, United States Army Reserve, and National Guard to do great things for their units and commands.

Upon their day of graduation, they are now qualified in the grade they serve, and the way they proceed will shape their careers for years to come.  I entrust all Technical Warrant Officers to recognize their enlisted roots when it comes to mentorship, recruitment, and retention of our Soldiers.

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From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

The 95th Division that we have all known for the last few years is transforming into something new. We are shifting to a new structure and gaining some new missions. Some of our battalions will be folding the colors and fading away into history. We will be gaining new battalions with no previous ties to the 95th. Throughout it all, however, our focus on providing top-quality Drill Sergeants to support training at Army Training Centers remains unchanged, as does our commitment to excellence.

These changes are the result of a process called “Reformation.” Reformation is the Army Reserve’s way of reallocating its structure to support multiple competing priorities worldwide.

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From the 98th Training Division (IET) Commander

To the Soldiers, Families and Civilians of the 98th Training Division, I want thank each and every one of you for the warm welcome you extended to me and my Family during the Promotion Ceremony and Assumption of Command. We were so humbled by the efforts you took to ensure our smooth transition and welcome us back into the Iroquois family.  It is truly an honor and privilege to once again a part of the 98th Training Division – I couldn’t have asked for a better assignment! 

By the time this issue is out you should have all seen the updated Division Mission and Vision Statements, my Command Philosophy, and the “98th Division Road to War”, so I’ll simply highlight some key points.

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98th Training Division (IET) Welcomes New Commander

September 11th is a day of remembrance for many, but for one Army Reserve Soldier, it is now also a day of honor and new beginnings.

In front of family, friends, Soldiers and mentors, Col. Miles A. Davis, a resident of Livonia, Michigan, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and assumed command of the 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), in two separate ceremonies Sept. 11, 2016, at Fort Benning’s National Infantry Museum.

Davis, an Infantry officer who is known as a decisive leader, focused on readiness and stood out among his peers, said Maj. Gen. Mark T. McQueen, commander of the 108th Training Command (IET), who presided over the ceremonies.

“This is atypical for a newly minted brigadier general to be placed in command, but knowing Miles’ record, it is clear why the Secretary of the Army recommended Miles’ promotion to the president of the United States.”

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From the 104th Command Sergeant Major

As the 108th Training Command begins FY17 with a great deal of uncertainty implementing Reformation, the 104th Division is leaning forward to minimize the impact of significant changes to its structure and mission.  This entails analyzing and strategizing how to best deal with both current and impending challenges and issues pertaining to personnel and training readiness, structure, command, and other relevant issues.  In early November we implemented the first step in this plan by holding two workshops to prepare, train, and collaborate with key personnel across the Division.

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BCT overcomes fears and builds confidence

Army Basic Combat Training transforms civilians to Soldiers from day one. It embodies the definition of a Soldier. BCT instills discipline, self-confidence, teamwork and the Warrior Ethos. For 43 years Fort Jackson, the largest of the four BCT locations in TRADOC, has given Soldiers their first taste of life in the Army, across the world. This life-changing experience is one no Soldier will ever forget.

BCT provides Soldiers with the opportunity to overcome their fears and build confidence over a course of 10 weeks. During training, Soldiers are tested physically and mentally both in and out of the classroom. Training events such as the Confidence Course unifies Soldiers by working as a team.

“I think the most challenging obstacle (during the Confidence course) is the Skyscraper because it tackles their (Soldiers) fear of heights and you have to be a team to accomplish it. You can’t accomplish it by yourself,” said Staff Sgt. Elease Jones, Army Drill Sergeant, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment.

The 12 to 13-hour training days can be exhausting, but motivating and supporting each other throughout is key.

Drill Sergeants motivate Soldiers with ‘tough love’ encouraging them to push through no matter how challenging an obstacle is. “We instill the motto ‘one team, one fight.’

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Drill Sergeants Hit the Trail

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — There is an age-old phrase coined by drill sergeants; on the trail. Referring to the time a drill sergeant serves pushing troops, its origins spur from the frontier days of the Old West when cowboys journeyed from California to Colorado driving cattle.

For a drill sergeant in one of the Army’s four basic combat training centers, the process of transforming civilians into Soldiers is a journey in itself. That journey begins at the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy.

On Dec. 7, 92 noncommissioned officers from the Army and Army Reserve marched down the aisle proudly donning the most well-known symbol of a drill sergeant; the coveted Drill Sergeant hat.

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Reserve Soldiers Welcome New Commander at Niagara Falls

Under the mist of Niagara Falls, New York, Army Reserve Soldiers from 4th Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), welcomed their new commander, Col. Russell Bonaccorso, during a change of command ceremony on Sept. 10, 2016.

Bonaccorso, who leaves the position of Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer for the State of Connecticut, takes command of the Army Reserve brigade that includes Soldiers in eight states.

The outgoing commander, Col. William Vaughn, leaves the brigade after three years and moves to his next position as the Chief of Staff for the 200th Military Police Command.

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108th hosts leadership summit

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Maj. Gen. Mark McQueen the Commander of the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training) and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Ritti hosted a leadership summit at their unit’s headquarters Sept. 17. Attending the leadership summit were the previous command teams of the 108th Training Command (IET), some of which led the unit when it was still a division.

Major organizational changes have been mandated for the Army Reserve, affecting command teams at every level and the thousands of Soldiers and civilian employees they lead. While the Army and the Army Reserve remain involved in critical missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan, new missions requiring their unique capabilities are always evolving, requiring Soldiers with the dynamic skill sets to accomplish those missions. More importantly, they require the drill sergeants capable of training those Soldiers to accomplish those new missions while simultaneously ensuring their mastery of the basics. 

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108th Training Command bids farewell to seven of its own

Charlotte, N.C. — Seven Soldiers were honored for their many years of service during a retirement ceremony held by the 108th Training Command (IET) on Nov. 5 in the Westin Hotel’s Providence Ballroom in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Soldiers honored in the ceremony were Col. Kenneth G. Holly, Col. Douglas L. Joiner, Lt. Col. Tina Peck, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Karen Kay as well as Master Sergeants Richard Gamble, Charlene Lynch and Sgt.1st Class Jamie Q. Porter

Maj. Gen. Mark T. McQueen, the Commanding General of the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training) began his remarks after greeting all present by describing the steadfast commitment these Soldiers have honored in serving their country.

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The American Dream

Throughout its 240-year history, the United States has been known as the Great American Melting Pot.

With a diverse population of more than 320 million, its citizens represent just about every nation and culture on the planet, its Military is no different. 

Soldiers serving with the Army and Army Reserve are no different. While coming from many different walks of life, they may sound and appear different, the reality is that they’re all the same.

They share a great love for this Nation and take pride in their service. With the prospect of a brighter future always forefront in their minds, the common thread that bonds them all is the pursuit of their American dream.

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The Unbreakable Tiger

U.S. Army 1st Lt. William Funchess watched from the other bank as Chinese soldiers approached the river, undressed and swam across naked, holding weapons and clothes over their heads. Once they hit his side of the river, they shook the freezing water off their skin, dressed, and ran into the forest – one after the other after the other. Thousands of them.

It was Nov. 4, 1950. When Funchess radioed the brass back at headquarters to tell them what he had seen, they told him he was mistaken. There were no Chinese soldiers in North Korea.

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Band of Brothers

FORT HARRISON, Mont. — Warriors met in the Midwest for training. Three months prior to the meeting, these Warriors were pitted against each other in the U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition.

Emerging as winners from the 2016 USAR BWC, stood Sgt. 1st Class Joshua A. Moeller and Spc. Michael S. Orozco, Noncommissioned Officer of the Year and Soldier of the Year respectively, as well as the NCO of the Year runner-up, Sgt. 1st Class Robert D. Jones and the Soldier of the Year runner-up, Spc. Carlo Deldonno.

These Warriors, now slated to represent the U.S. Army Reserve at the Department of Army level BWC later this year began their train-up for the competition in Montana, not as competitors, but as a newly formed band of brothers.

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Sgt. 1st Class Moeller Named 2016 Army Best Warrior NCO of the Year

WASHINGTON — For the second year in a row, a U.S. Army Reserve noncommissioned officer was named the 2016 Army Best Warrior NCO of the Year.

Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Moeller, the 2016 U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior winner in May, competed at the Army-level competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, Sept. 26-30, besting nine other NCOs from across the Army.

The announcement was made Oct. 3 during the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.

Moeller follows in the U.S. Army Reserve footsteps of Staff Sgt. Andrew Fink, the 2015 Army NCO winner. He also joins the company of Sgt. 1st Class Jason Manella, the 2013 Army NCO winner, and Spc. David Obray, the 2008 Army Soldier of the Year.

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Living “what right looks like”

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Sgt.1st Class Jason Scott’s face looked calm and focused as he looked straight ahead. While it has been a long, arduous three days with one more to go, he showed no signs of stopping as he continued to run the 12 laps that made up the final portion of an extended version of the Army Physical Fitness Test. Already, Scott, along with his fellow drill sergeants and platoon sergeants have been pushed to their physical and mental limits during the Army’s annual Drill Sergeant and Platoon Sergeant of the Year competition.

The APFT is administered to all Soldiers of both the active component and Army Reserve twice a year. The test consists of push-ups and sit-ups, both of which they are given two minutes to complete, and the run portion is 2 miles. Drill Sergeants, however, are not only required to hold themselves to the highest standards, they do so with a collective passion. They understand that they are directly responsible for leading America’s newest Soldiers by example from day one of Basic Combat Training.

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Answering the call to excellence

Fort Jackson, S.C. — Early in the morning on Sept. 9, a day which started cool and humid. A lone figure, dressed in his combat uniform, lugging a large rucksack and weapon climbed the short, steep hill in front of the Drill Sergeant Academy’s barracks. He proceeded to the running track that stands between the barracks and the academy.

Sprinting almost the entire lap, he crossed the finish line having completed the final event of the TRADOC drill sergeant/platoon sergeant of the year competition. Looking at his appearance, Sgt. Ryan Moldovan of Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 390th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 98th Training Division, 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training) seemed capable of going further despite being drenched in sweat.

If one looked at him without knowing what he had just done, it would be difficult to believe he just crossed the finish line of a 12-mile road march which began well before the light of day; and ahead of his peers.

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Drill Sergeants, AIT Platoon Sergeant of Year Winners Announced

After four days of difficult competition, the 15 NCOs vying to become the 2016 Drill Sergeant and AIT Platoon Sergeant of the Year were called into the Bowen Room of the Drill Sergeant School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for the announcement of the winners.

The toll the competition had taken was obvious, as many limped in to take their spots, walking delicately to avoid blisters and burns on their sore feet. They were pained and tired, but still standing proud.

Then the announcement came. Sgt. 1st Class Martin Delaney, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, was named the 2016 Drill Sergeant of the Year. Sgt. Ryan Moldovan, 98th Training Division, was named 2016 Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year. Staff Sgt. Brandon Laspe, Panama City, Florida, was named Advanced Individual Training Platoon Sergeant of the Year.

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Facing adversity: a Soldier’s journey

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere,” - Frank A. Clark

Facing adversity is a part of life. Reginald Des’Ravines, or Reggie as he goes by can attest to that. On Oct. 27 his years’ worth of dedication, hard work and sleepless nights, all paid off when he received a ‘Dream day’ experience he will never forget.

The start of his day began with multiple surprises at Johnson and Wales University; including a VIP shopping experience at Sur La Table, an exclusive interview with WCNC NBC news, and the opportunity to prepare a menu and serve distinguished guests alongside Chef Greg Zanitsch at the Fig Tree Restaurant, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I was totally surprised by this (dream day experience),” said Reggie who had no idea of the all the love, support and recognition he would receive, “Its’ definitely motivated me.”

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‘Shock and awe’ sets the tone for Soldiers in Basic Combat Training

‘Rapid dominance’ was a concept adapted as doctrine first authored by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade of the United States’ National Defense University in 1996.

Simply put, it’s a means of affecting the resolve of your adversary by imposing your will in a rapid system of ‘shock and awe.’

Having proven effective in 2003’s combat operations in Iraq, today it is widely used as a means of setting the tone for Soldiers early on in the cycle throughout the U.S. Army’s Basic Combat Training posts.

For drill sergeants from the Army and Army Reserve picking up Soldiers for the first day of basic combat training, Aug. 19, with Company F, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment the process is simple – let the Soldiers know early and often that they are here to train.

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Felicia Jones – Not Your Average Teen

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. — Lt. Gen. Charles Luckey, United States Army Reserve commanding general, recently stated in a letter about Family Appreciation Month that “over the past 15 years, our Families have demonstrated relentless patriotism in some of the most challenging circumstances in our recent past.”

Felicia Jones is no exception.

On first impression, she is shy, quiet, and demure. Her mannerisms and reserved smile make it obvious that she does not like to bring attention to herself. But don’t let that quiet exterior fool you. Felicia is intelligent, competitive, caring, and recently graduated with a 4.58 Grade Point Average from Annie Wright Upper School in Tacoma, Washington, with a Bi-Lingual International Baccalaureate diploma.

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More than a decoration

A hush fell on the crowd as the chaplain delivered an opening prayer. Church bells rang in the distance.

An array of mixed emotions filled the air at the seventh annual, Wreaths Across America event, at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain, North Carolina, Dec. 17.

Laughter, tears, and wonderful stories were told as volunteers laid 2,300 wreaths on the graves of fallen service members.

For one Soldier, Master Sgt. Jeffery Wyatt, 1st Battalion, 518th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), this day was more than placing a wreath on a service member’s grave, he placed a wreath on his father’s grave.

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Panthers and service members go head to head in virtual challenge

Tension filled the air as service members anxiously awaited the arrival of NFL players into Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

As the players walked in a wave of silence rushed over the crowd and the football players were quickly engulfed by service members, handshakes and selfies.

Panther’s mascot, Sir Purr, glided in on a hoverboard, cruising through the Grid Iron Club while high fiving the service members.

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Rubicon challenges command teams at Fort Jackson

Just as Julius Caesar passed the point of no return during his fateful crossing of the Rubicon River in 49 B.C., so too did the leadership of the 193rd Infantry Brigade located on Fort Jackson, South Carolina. 

Twenty-six command teams consisting of company commanders, first sergeants, and chaplains throughout the 193rd challenged themselves physically and mentally on Dec. 8-9 during the 2016 Rubicon Command Team Exercise.

The purpose of the exercise according to the event’s organizer, Sgt. Maj. Michael Kelly, 193rd Infantry Brigade operations sergeant major, was to “exercise the leadership and combat skills of the company command teams throughout the brigade while at the same time building esprit de corps among the different groups.”

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Tee Time

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It was high noon when the golfers started loading their clubs.

Some giving their equipment a final inspection, while others squeezed in one last practice swing.

Piling onto their carts, they sped off quickly to make the shotgun start; it was tee time.

On Oct. 24, members of the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training), Veterans and family members came together to take part in the 6th annual Griffon Association Golf Tournament at the Pine Island Golf Club.

Some looking the part, wearing bright golf attire similar to that of Rickie Fowler.

While enjoying the spirit of the game, they gave it their all.

“We had fun,” said Lanny Smith, Logistics Management Specialist for the 108th Training Command (IET). “I really enjoyed it. I used to play a lot of golf, but I haven’t played a lot recently. I enjoy playing. I’m not good, but I have a good time.”

“This is my second year playing in the tournament,” said Smith. “This is the first time in three years that I’ve played because I was deployed. I just haven’t had the opportunity. Time just didn’t work out where I could go anymore.”

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Victory Tower: The First Step

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Victory Tower on Fort Jackson is one of many required training events that new Soldiers have to pass in order to graduate basic training. Victory Tower is also the first of many trying tasks that will test Soldiers endurance, will and courage. The privates of Foxtrot Company 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment faced Victory Tower Aug. 23, 2016, as part of their journey to become the next batch of Soldiers ready to serve in the United States Army.

Foxtrot Company 1-34 Infantry Regiment serves a unique purpose in the Army. The drill sergeants that train the Soldiers there are a mixture of Active Duty and Reserve Soldiers. That fact does not change the training that the Soldiers receive.

The purpose of Victory Tower is twofold. First, it shows the Soldiers that they can overcome their fears and start to live the Army Values, specifically personal courage. Second, it is the first time that the drill sergeants get to see the Soldiers deal with stress and fear and how they react to it. This allows the drill sergeants to see that the Soldiers are committed and willing to continue with their training.

Army Drill Sergeant, Staff Sgt. Desirae Delarosa said, “It’s something that they probably would not have done if they didn’t join the Army.”

Victory Tower is not without its failures. Many Soldiers freeze when they step over the ledge of the 40 foot tower. There are those that are visibly shaken as they start their decent, others that are timid and unsure of their footing, and finally those that fall. For every failure, however, there is a success story that follows. All the Soldiers of Foxtrot Company, through stumbles and falls were able to make it down the wall, succeeding like every Soldier that had come before them.

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Repeating Day One of Basic Training

FORT CUSTER TRAINING CENTER, Mich. — Soldiers rarely forget their first day of Basic Training. As a matter of fact, most Soldiers tend to have vivid memories of multiple drill sergeants barking out orders creating a fog of confusion and stress.

Remembering that day does not necessarily mean Soldiers want to relive it though. However, that is just what some Army Reserve Soldiers of 3/330th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training) got to do multiple times Nov. 5, 2016, at the Fort Custer Training Center in Augusta, Michigan.

Reliving day-one of basic training multiple times in one day was the task of several leaders from across the regiment and part of a competition-like event during the 3/330th Infantry Regiment’s battle training assembly weekend. 

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Army Reserve Drill Sergeants — I’ve Got Your Back

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Drill sergeants of the 1st Battalion, 518th Regiment,  98th Training Division, are currently in charge of 214 recruits as they conduct a cycle of basic combat training in support of the Foxtrot Company mission from Aug. 10 – Oct. 27, 2016, as part of the U.S. Army Reserve.

The Foxtrot Company mission is a combined effort by the active duty army and army reserve drill sergeants to enhance capabilities and exchange experience between the two components. The mission is simple, extra recruits are diverted to form another company and dubbed ‘Foxtrot Company’ due to it being the next unit in the naming scheme. Army Reserve drill sergeants work hand in hand with a select few active duty drill sergeants to maintain continuity as the reserve drill sergeants rotate every phase.

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SHARP Best Practices

The origination of the Sexual Harassment/Assault and Response Program (SHARP) has been in existence since September 2008. As one of the Army and Army Reserve’s top priorities, the program has tried to be innovative in various ways to connect with all and continue to put SHARP at the forefront. A tasker was created for all commands to communicate their SHARP best practices.

The 108th Training Command’s (IET) SHARP Program has several best practices. One of them strives to engage a multidisciplinary approach to engage and inform all members. This “integrated approach is required to address the complex problem of sexual assault and a unified effort across commands based on clear and consistent messaging is essential.”

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Around the Command

Appalachian State University Cadets Receive Training, Mentorship

Hickory, N.C. — The 3rd Battalion, 518th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) hosted Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from Appalachian State University to provide training, mentorship, and assistance in preparation for the cadets’ upcoming ROTC competition known as Ranger Challenge.

The Ranger Challenge competition evaluates teams of university cadets across the nation through a series of rigorous physical and mental tasks. 

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Army Advantage Eventually Rewards Aviator

Sometimes it takes time to apply those unique military skills in a civilian job. For James Hasburgh, it took more than a decade. Nevertheless, his experience keeping tanks and trucks rolling as an Army fuel and electrical specialist ultimately proved valuable for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations.

His benefits, however, began immediately.

Hasburgh, an air interdiction agent, is a CBP helicopter instructor and his arrival was a long but adventurous journey. instructor.

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Ball State Supports Soldier-Students Through Peer Tutoring, Study Sessions

During his first year as assistant director of financial aid and scholarships for veterans’ affairs at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, Michael Black began to acquaint himself thoroughly with its many student support services. His goal? To help student veterans achieve their goals — “in any way possible.”

Black found that for his many online students, these services were available electronically.

In this interview, Black and Jim Mills, assistant director of Ball State’s Learning Center, talk about the importance of using peer tutoring, study skills strategies, and supplemental study sessions that are available.

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10 Tips for Military Veterans to Succeed in College

Military veterans have an incredible financial benefit from their military service in the Post 9/11 GI Bill, college and university grants, and other forms of financial aid. The GI Bill gives military veterans a strong financial incentive to attend and to complete higher education. Employers view military service combined with a four-year college degree immediately following service as the foundation of an ideal employee for any company or industry.

Without doubt, there is a strong culture shock following military service, especially deployed combat service, and returning to the quiet and reflective settings of a university set on developing an appreciation of intellectual perspectives and in-depth study of things great and small. For military veterans, the over-focus on the differences of a college setting against a military environment misses what a college is supposed to be. A college is an institution that brings together a diverse group of people to create a setting of intellectual rigor, respect, discovery, and, ultimately, understanding and growth of what the world has been, is, and can be. College should be a focus on intellectual growth, research, discovery and understanding. It must not be a focus solely on differences or lack thereof.

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Hike to a Waterfall! Raft the Kaweah River! Race in a Bathtub!

It’s time to get active, and shake off those wintertime blues. Take a hike to gorgeous Tokopah Falls. Experience Levels 1-4 and sometimes Level 5, white water rafting on the Kaweah River. Build a boat out of an old cast-iron bathtub, and race it across Lake Kaweah. Soak up the rays of the sun, and find comfort in a beautiful and natural setting. Enjoy these activities and more when you visit Three Rivers, Lake Kaweah and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in the winter and early spring.

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Visit Patriot’s Point USS Yorktown

The USS Yorktown (CV-10) was the 10th aircraft carrier to serve in the United States Navy. Under construction as Bon Homme Richard, this new Essex-class carrier was renamed Yorktown in honor of Yorktown (CV-5), sunk at the epic Battle of Midway. After being built in an amazing 16 ½ months at Newport News, Virginia, Yorktown was commissioned on April 15, 1943. The ship participated significantly in the Pacific Offensive that began in late 1943 and ended with the defeat of Japan in 1945. Yorktown received the Presidential Unit Citation and earned 11 battle stars for service in World War II. Much of the Academy Award-winning (1944) documentary “The Fighting Lady” was filmed aboard her.

In the 1950s, YORKTOWN was modernized to operate jet aircraft as an attack carrier (CVA). In 1957, she was re-designated an anti-submarine aircraft carrier (CVS), and would later earn 5 battle stars for service off Vietnam from 1965 to 1968. In December of 1968, the ship recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts and capsule after their historic trip around the moon. YORKTOWN was decommissioned two years later in 1970 and placed in reserve.

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Hendersonville: Rich in Beauty and Culture

Enjoy the hospitality of the Hendersonville, traditionally known for its gentle climate, beautiful scenery, richness in culture and history, ample recreational facilities, and friendly people. Hendersonville is located in Western North Carolina, 22 miles south of Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a plateau with an altitude of 2200 feet above sea level. 

Hendersonville is ideally located for exploring town and country with varied attractions, festivals, cultural and recreational activities, historical sites, golf courses, family activities, a historic downtown with unique shops, excellent restaurants and quality antique stores.

Henderson County offers many diverse attractions, all within an easy walk or quick drive from downtown, including the Henderson County Farmers Curb Market, Jump Off Rock scenic overlook, Historic Johnson Farm, Holmes Educational State Forest, the waterfalls in DuPont State Recreational Forest, the Western North Carolina Air Museum and the Historic Hendersonville Train Depot. 

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They Keep Upping the Awesome at Universal Orlando Resort

When your theme parks are known as the cutting edge of immersive entertainment, you have to keep that edge sharp. Not content to glory in past achievements (Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ won Trip Advisor’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Theme Park in 2015 and 2016) Universal just keeps adding to the awesome and upping the wow factor.

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Charm, Beaches and Southern Hospitality

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a blend of charming, oak-lined streets and luxury casino resorts. It’s a getaway with something for everyone, including 26 miles of beaches, barrier islands that can be reached by ferry or charter boat, and abundant waterways perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing and more. If you’re searching for a spot that’s off the beaten path, you won’t be disappointed with a region known for its southern hospitality, fresh seafood and renowned museums.

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Discover a New Branson

Let’s consider your ideas about Branson for a moment. Unless you have been there very recently, you’ll be surprised. Not that the stereotype — country music shows, family entertainment, lots of folks enjoying the Ozark Mountains — is off base. In fact, “faith, flag and family” remain Branson visitor staples.

It’s just that this image only tells a fraction of the story. Many visit for the live entertainment shows — from the Presleys’ family theatre, which celebrates 50 years in 2017, to the huge hit, “Million Dollar Quartet,” which is signed to a five-year run at Welk Resorts.

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Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

Tioga County in north central Pennsylvania is home to Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon. This 47-mile long gorge is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and rafting are just a few of the activities you can experience.

The 62-mile Pine Creek Rail Trail starts just north of Wellsboro and travels south to Jersey Shore traveling through the gorge on a trail with a two percent grade over its entire length. Bicycle rental and shuttle service make it easy for you to discover so much beauty along its span.

If you’re interested in learning about the history of the area, a guided horse-drawn covered wagon ride is a great option. Experience travel like the pioneers but with modern comforts like padded seats and rubber tires. You’ll hear stories of the past and present while enjoying the flora and fauna of this National Natural Landmark.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Southwest Virginia:

There’s a distinct beauty to each of the four seasons in Southwest Virginia. Normally moderate temperatures make winter an equally enjoyable time of year.

Abundance of Outdoor Recreation

With almost 60,000 acres of public lands, the Wytheville area is a fabulous location to find a variety of year-round recreational opportunities. Even as the weather grows colder and the foliage leaves the trees, the beauty of the area can be seen in a blanket of white or the unhindered views on a clear, crisp morning. 

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

The Griffon Vol. 40.3 (Winter 2017)

The Griffon Vol. 40.3 (Winter 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.