From the Commanding General

Greetings Griffon Team! I’m thrilled to have my first opportunity to communicate with you through this exceptional magazine, The Griffon. On 15 October 2018 I was assigned as the 108th Training Command’s Commanding General, and a few days later was honored to have CSM Priest officially welcome me to the command in a patching ceremony at our headquarters in Charlotte. 

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From the Command Sergeant Major

To be given special trust and confidence to serve as a leader in the United States Army is an honor and privilege. I am humbled to “get to be” the Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the 108th Training Command (IET). It is with great responsibility and passion that I serve and represent the Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians and Families within our command. I look forward to serving with each of you and appreciate the opportunity to share a few of my operational principles and framework.

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Recruiting Their Own

Army Drill Sergeants train, mentor, and mold the United States’ future warriors, and getting the best qualified, most motivated Drill Sergeants is essential. That is where the 108th Training Command (IET) Army Reserve Drill Sergeant Recruiting Team comes into play.

Based out of the 108th Training Command headquarters, the Recruiting Team is formed of existing Drill Sergeants from across the Divisions, the command career counselor, and several members of the Human Resources section.

There are multiple ways the team ensures they get the best candidate. The team follows leads, shares their stories and contacts Soldiers at transitions points and different events identifying possible interested personnel to share the 108th TC mission with. Then the team works together to conduct phone interviews, background screenings and record reviews ensuring interested Soldiers qualify as candidates.

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AUSA Warrior Corner

With the 108th Training Command (IET) partnered with U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training (USACIMT) to support the mission to turn approximately 150,000 Civilians into Soldiers, the recruiting mission becomes paramount to the ability to build a a lethal, ready, combat ready force with an appropriate leader to led ratio. Critical to that mission are the Drill Sergeants and Instructors of the 95th, 98th and 104th Training Divisions.

Recently, several of our top Drill Sergeants joined 95th Training Division Commander, Brig. General Andrew Bassford and members of the 108th Training Command recruiting team at the annual AUSA (Association of the United States Army) Conference in Washington, D.C. to represent the command and their mission.

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From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

When I took command of the 95th Division almost three years ago, I told everyone that I was the most fortunate person in the entire Army Reserve. The years since then have unquestionably proven how true that statement was. My time with the Soldiers of the 95th Division has been successful and rewarding beyond all expectations!

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Spring Calls for a Little R&R in Gulf Shores

Enjoy spring in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Warmer temperatures, lots of sunshine, turquoise blue waters and care-free days are waiting for you on Alabama’s white-sand beaches. Spring also brings a variety of renowned events for all interests and ages.

Pick up a one-of-a-kind masterpiece to add to your art collection, experience local culture as the Poarch Creek Indians perform colorful tribal dances, and savor delicious Gulf Coast seafood at Ballyhoo on March 2.

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From the 95th Command Sergeant Major

My, how time flies when you are having fun! It seems like just yesterday when then Brig. Gen. Christian extended me the offer to serve as the 95th Division Command Sergeant Major. Of course I accepted the position. The distinct honor and privilege to serve as the Division CSM of such a highly regarded unit was overwhelming. To be a part of Iron Men of Metz again led to many rewarding experiences, as the Iron Men of Metz continued to set high marks and do the undoable.

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Honoring Those Who Serve(d)

The ground was frozen but the campfire crackled with heat as competitors and spectators gathered in the early morning dawn for the 4th annual Ruck and Run in Republic, Missouri, November 10, 2018.

Sgt. 1st Class George Fuller, a drill sergeant with Bravo company, 1- 354th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET) currently on orders in Washington D.C. as the Army liaison for combat and non combat injured from overseas, Is the creator, organizer and race director for this annual event.

Fuller found himself increasingly concerned with the commercialization of Veterans day and Memorial day as well as the loss of honor and respect he perceived.

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Equal Opportunity Officer Retires with over 33 Years of Service

On October 21 at the 95th Division Memorial located in the 95th Training Division (IET) Headquarters building, Lt. Col. Michael D. Eckart retired from the United States Army Reserve after serving more than 33 years.

Many Soldiers, family members, friends and former members of the division filled Snow Hall to honor the retiree.

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MUTA 8 Done Right

CAMP RAVENNA, Ohio — Soldiers and Drill Sergeants of the 1st Battalion, 390th Regiment (1-390th), 3rd BDE, 95th Division have spent the “inter-months” between Fiscal Year Basic Combat Training mission cycles honing their skills to support 1st Engineer Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. A key component of that preparation has been the capstone Multiple Unit Training Assembly 8 (4 day) field training exercise held at Camp Ravenna, Ohio in May 2018. The battalion uses lessons learned provided by 1st Engineer Brigade during the last FY17 BCT mission cycle and nested company battle assemblies to culminate in a focus on perishable combat engineer tasks and team building. The 1-390th’s capstone field exercise ensured an internal stamp of excellence before releasing its Drill Sergeants to Fort Leonard Wood this summer and is now its benchmark for future Drill Sergeant pre-mission certification.

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From the 98th Training Division (IET) Commander

Iroquois Warriors, as you read this article, our Division is decisively engaged at the Army Training Centers in Fort Benning and Fort Jackson. Our drill sergeants are conducting Infantry One Station Unit Training, Cavalry One Station Unit Training, Basic Combat Training, Chaplin Basic Officer Leader Course, and Navy Individual Augmentee Combat Training. Meanwhile, they are also preparing for the Infantry OSUT expansion and implementation of the new Army Combat Fitness Test. With this high OPTEMPO, I want to take a moment to reflect on this past year - a year that has been filled with many firsts - a year in the Band of Excellence.

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Keeping the Memory Alive

It all started in 2001 when Professor John Weiss, Cornell University, approached the Ithaca Police Department with a request to borrow a weapon.

The professor was inquiring if the department had, or knew of a civilian who had, an M-1 Garand he could borrow to help his teach his students about military history.

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2/417th, 3rd Brigade Kicks Off ‘Best Company’ Competition

This was no ordinary Battle Assembly Training weekend at Fort Dix, New Jersey for the 2/417th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training). Sure, the four-day BTA was unusual in that it started on a Saturday and ended on a Tuesday. However, it was so much more than that. Lt. Col. Matthew Darcangelo, who assumed command of the battalion in May, offered a challenge to battalion staff and company leadership alike. Tapping into the experience and skillset of the plans and operations section, Darcangelo set in motion his vision for some friendly competition among the companies: the battalion’s inaugural Best Company Competition for the soon-to-be coveted Mohegan Warrior Trophy.

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4th Battalion, 323rd Regiment Drill Sergeant Receives Fort Jackson Command Coin

On a cool November morning, rain was rolling in on Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry, 193rd Brigade—a Basic Training Company at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The trainees were in the end stages of Blue Phase and were nearing a victorious completion of the first chapter of their soldiering careers. And yet being so close, only days away in fact, the young recruits were weary.

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STRAIGHT SHOOTER

While most people look forward to seeing the Olympic Games every couple of years, one U.S. Army Reserve Soldier is looking to do more than watch the games, she wants to compete in them.

Staff Sgt. Sandra Uptagrafft, a medical logistic specialist with Bravo Company, 4/518th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), is actively on the mission to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic Team, specifically to compete in both the Women’s 10m Air Pistol and Women’s 25m Sport Pistol events.

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GRATITUDE

We recently experienced the cheer of the holidays and the conclusion of another year. For me, this time of year is always special. This time of the year offers me an opportunity to spend time with my Family, enjoy our favorite dishes, and express our gratitude to each other and the many blessings we have received. In the spirit of gratitude and the meaning it has to my life, I want to thank every single Soldier of the 104th for their hard work and dedication. Gratitude is defined as, “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” 

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From the 104th Command Sergeant Major

As my first article to the Griffon after being selected as the 104th DIV CSM in July of this past year, I want to personally thank BG Edwards and CSM Priest for giving me this opportunity to serve the Timberwolf Soldiers. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of an organization that has such an honorable and historical lineage. A reflection of one’s career tells me that I wouldn’t be here without the support of my Family, Leaders, and Soldiers who all played a significant part in my development. Thank you for always pushing me to do better and be better.

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Around the Command

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Campus Report: Fall Semester Draws to a Close

The continuous cycle of academia cruises by at a pace that many of us seem to hardly be able to keep up with. Quarters and semesters slip right through the cracks of time with the only audience giving them any attention being that of students and staff. ROTC is no exception to the rule. It is too easy for us to get so caught up with the hustle and bustle of our every day lives, that we tend to forget the awesome things that are taking place at the college campuses across the U.S.

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Meet Your Family Readiness Group

On behalf of the 4-413th SROTC Battalion Family Readiness Group (FRG), we’d like to introduce ourselves, share some important information, and ask for your ideas as we plan for 2019.

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Inspector General

What does the IG Assistance function entail?

Assistance is the process of receiving, inquiring into, and responding to complaints or requests for information presented to an Inspector General. Anyone, regardless of status, may make a complaint or request for information to any Army Inspector General concerning matters of Army interest affecting health, welfare, and/ or personal readiness. As the commander’s representative, IG’s role is to resolve issues within the limits of the IG system by enforcing standards and regulations.

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108th Griffon Association, Inc.

Your 108th Griffon Association continues to serve the command with a varied of support activities. To fund this support, the annual golf tournament was held on 24 September, 2018, at the Pine Lakes Country Club near Charlotte, North Carolina. After a full day of golf, eating and socializing, $12,824.49 was raised. This amount will be put to good use for the command and to varied veteran organizations. The 2019 tournament is scheduled for 30 September at the same location. There is plenty of time for all interested to either play golf or to contribute as a sponsor. It is hoped that maximum attendance and contributions will result.

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Nine Tips to Improve Your School Transition

It’s the letter that military families can dread. Just as they get acclimated to their latest post and develop roots in the community, the orders come from headquarters that it is time to pack up and move to another base, across, or sometimes out of the country.

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Online Degree Options with Placement Rates That Will Put You to Work

If you’re investing time and money in an online bachelor’s degree that syncs with your military life, do the homework before you enroll.

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TDP Helps Maintain Overall Health, Dental Readiness

Research increasingly shows connections between good oral health and one’s overall wellbeing.

This information is changing the way dentists and physicians view and treat oral conditions such as gum disease, which can contribute to an array of health problems including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease and other chronic conditions.

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Panama City Beach for Your Fun Getaway

Panama City Beach (www.visitpanamacitybeach.com) is located in Bay County, Fla., in the Northwest part of the state. The destination is best known for its more than 27 miles of white sand beaches edging emerald-green waters where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge. With an average 320 days of sunshine annually, the region has long been favored by travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings for families, couples, groups and adventure-seekers.

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Aim Higher For Your Next Vacation

When it’s time for a family vacation you want to make it the best it can be. Universal Orlando Resort™ makes planning it easy with three incredible theme parks, spectacular hotels and a mind-blowing nighttime entertainment complex that offer a complete vacation destination with everything you need for an epic time together. Now Universal is showing its appreciation to service members with a special four days for the price of one ticket offer available at your participating ITT/LTS Office*.

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World of Speed Presents Mario Andretti: Racing Royalty

With 80-100 vintage and historic race cars, motorcycles, and hydroplanes always on display, World of Speed Motorsports Museum is a must-see destination for racing enthusiasts of all types. Located in Wilsonville, Oregon, just 20 minutes south of Portland in the scenic Willamette Valley, the Museum is filled with exhibits and interactive activities that provide hours of fun for the whole family.

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Taste the Best of Hendersonville at Cider, Wine and Dine Weekend

In Hendersonville, North Carolina, apples reign supreme. A ride along back roads outside of town reveals slopes covered in orchards. Cool nights in summer and bright, sunny days in winter, provide ideal growing conditions for apple trees. This time of year, delicate pink and white blooms blanket branches, containing the hope of a big harvest this fall.

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National Army Museum Marches to Completion

The National Museum of the United States Army is rapidly taking shape at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Since ground was broken in 2016, Museum construction has charged ahead at a quick clip — now over 90% complete and set to open in 2020.

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Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Headlines Sevierville’s 15th Annual Bloomin’ BBQ and Bluegrass Festival

The iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, will headline Sevierville’s 15th Annual Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will take the stage at Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass on Saturday, May 18, 2019 beginning at 8 p.m.

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Chattanooga: Trolley Tours, Street Parties, Music Festivals and More

Chattanooga is the Gateway to Tennessee and is nestled along the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River and surrounded by the spectacular scenic beauty of the mountains and the Cumberland Plateau.

You will enjoy a newly revitalized green riverfront city, first class attractions, great Southern hospitality, rich Native American and Civil War history, outdoor adventures and locally owned restaurants and cafes, a thriving arts and music scene with plenty of annual festivals and events that offer year-round fun.

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Cedar Hill Features the Best Hiking in DFW

If you’re looking for some great hiking near Dallas, there are some excellent options in Cedar Hill. Whether you want a shorter stroll to enjoy the natural beauty or something longer and more challenging, hiking trails in Cedar Hill are abundant. We’ve got a list of the top ones right here, so you can choose the one you like the best or try them all.

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The Griffon Issue 42.4 Winter 2019

The Griffon Issue 42.4 Winter 2019
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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.