From the Commanding General

Greetings Griffon Team!

I hope you rang in 2020 in style, and got some well-deserved down-time over the holiday period. So, we’re in the calendar year 2020, which caused me to think of the fact that we commonly use the term 20/20 in regard to visual acuity, to mean that a person possesses “perfect” vision. If we had perfect vision regarding the future, it would surely be a lot easier to predict the threats which might confront our nation, and prepare our Army accordingly. So, without perfect future vision, what can and should we be focused on?

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, From the Commanding General

What is Your Legacy?

In Simon Sinek’s book “The Infinite Game” he contrasts the idea of infinite and finite games as it relates to organizational operational philosophy and culture. Although I am not a fan of the term game as it relates to the Army; in the context of the book’s central idea it is an effective metaphor. The United States Army is in fact an infinite game, meaning the organization will outlive each of us and continue to grow with no established finish line or time horizon. In contrast a Soldier’s career, assignments, firefights, even operational campaigns are finite games within the infinite game of the United States Army. The finite game has a start and ending...

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, From the Command Sergeant Major

The Making of a Drill Sergeant

(This is part three of a three-part story.)

Watching the Army recruits run to their designated location, the drill sergeant could feel the tension, the excitement, the anticipation. The only question now was, who was more excited—her or the trainees?

Drill Sergeant Alycia Perkins is a new Drill Sergeant. In fact, she has only been ‘on the trail’ for a few weeks and everything is new and exhilarating to this U.S. Army Reserve Drill Sergeant. Fresh out of the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy, this young noncommissioned officer is full of the latest knowledge and knows all the regulations, training goals and safety protocols. She had worked extremely hard on earning her Drill Sergeant hat and badge, and now, here she stood before a group of civilians she had helped transform into Soldiers. They were just days away from graduating from U.S. Army Basic Combat Training, and Perkins could not be more proud.

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Soldier Records, Data Correctness and the Future of Army Human Resources Records Management

Soldier records management is a critical component of Army Human Resources. Accurate records ensure Soldiers are paid properly, promoted on time, and marketable when broadening and developmental assignments are available.

One of the most valuable documents in every Soldier’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF)/Army Military Human Resources Record (AMHRR) is the Record Brief. In the past, this document had multiple versions and form numbers. Now, the Automated Record Brief (ARB) has replaced the Officer Record Brief (ORB), Enlisted Record Brief (ERB), Personnel Qualification Record (DA Form 2A/B) and the DA Form 2-1 as the single source document for promotion boards and other Personnel Actions Guide (PAG) items.

In addition, the ARB and its accuracy will be crucial for a seamless transition to the Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army (IPPS-A). Currently slated for a Q3 FY 2021 launch, IPPS-A will bring Army HR into the 21st century, updating many of our current procedures for the first time in half a century.

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Hero of the Game

It was a scary moment at the Ft. Custer Training Center, Augusta, Michigan, when a Cadet fell approximately 31’ from the “Tough One” obstacle during a joint exercise between Cadets from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Army ROTC.

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From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

In November, our very own 95th Division Association traveled to France to take part in some key commemorations. As many of you know our Division played a critical role in the liberation of France during World War II, and this year marks the 75th anniversary. The 95th Infantry Division consisted of approximately 14,000 Soldiers. After being called to active duty they deployed in August of 1944 to France where they liberated more than 439 towns and cities during their nearly 12 month deployment including Dortmund, which was Germany’s ninth largest city. The 95th Division is credited with killing or wounding 15,276 German soldiers and capturing 31,988. Eliminating 47,264 German soldiers came at extreme costs with the 95th Division suffering 6,591 casualties—almost half the Division. Every five years, the association, led by Major General (Retired) James Archer—former commanding general of the 95th Training Division (IET)—along with current and past members of the Division travel to France to help honor the brave service members that fought battles in Metz and the Lorraine region.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

A Lasting Legacy

Drill Sergeants leave an indelible mark on the Soldiers whom they train. Being a Drill Sergeant is a unique assignment, not found anywhere else in the Army.

So, why do Drill Sergeants do what they do? To answer that question, I traveled to 3RD Brigade, 95TH Division’s annual Drill Sergeant Validation Exercise (VALEX) held at Fort McCoy, WI from 23-27 October 2019 and interviewed Drill Sergeants from across the brigade’s footprint, which spans across the United States. The VALEX is designed to prepare candidates for the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy and ensure they are ready to take on one of the greatest challenges in the U.S. military.

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TWO UNIFORMS, ONE MISSION

Similarities in the two jobs abound. “I get to positively motivate, educate and interact with people from different areas.” Trooper Grauzer said, “Every experience is a learning opportunity, and I go to places I never thought I would go. Both jobs have a chain of command with rules and regulations to follow. I have to multitask, be proactive and physically and mentally ready for the unexpected.”

A DPS trooper for nine years, he investigates vehicular crashes and works traffic enforcement and criminal investigations anywhere in Texas.

 

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Are You ENGAGEd?

Earlier this year, the 95th Training Division and 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command hosted an ENGAGE T4T (Train the Trainer) and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) update workshop.

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From the 98th Training Division (IET) Commander

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET). I had a great trip meeting the staff, gaining a better understanding of the unique challenges faced by the brigade, and meeting with the 98th Alumni Association at their monthly luncheon.

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

Preparing for the Army Combat Fitness Test

One Company from the 1st Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, headquartered in Londonderry, NH, is making its mark preparing their Soldiers for the upcoming Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). On September 7th, C Co (Comanche), out of Saco, Maine, conducted a Grader ACFT certification for 12 Soldiers from Comanche and HHD, 1-304th. Comanche’s Master Fitness Trainer and NCOIC ACFT Master Grader Instructor, Sgt. 1st Class Roy, led the certification, delivering in-depth instruction both before and after the 12 participants underwent the ACFT.

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98th Training Division Alumni Association Luncheon

In late November, Brig. Gen. Tony Wright traveled to New York. After meeting with 3rd Brigade leaders in Buffalo, the Commanding General had the opportunity to meet with the 98th Training Division Alumni Association at their monthly luncheon in Rochester, New York. Brig. Gen. Wright not only greeted the active group of veterans, but gave them a status of the Division briefing.

The alumni association includes Soldiers from all ranks across the 98th Training Division, but also is also a welcome group to a number of veterans from other units and services across the Department of Defense.

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I Am An Ironman

140.6 miles. I AM AN IRONMAN. Ten months ago I committed myself to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and then run a full marathon, back to back to back. I could write a book on the things I’ve learned about myself in those 10 months. From the day I plunked down the $800 entry fee to hearing my name as I crossed the finish line, “John Lloyd Luecke – ‘you are an IRONMAN.’” It is truly a testament to one’s focus, grit, and intestinal fortitude to achieve the IRONMAN challenge. I’ve run marathons; I’ve rode centuries, and I’ve swam over a mile. Each of those individually tasks were extreme undertakings that required a high level of commitment and training. Then put them back to back... Unfathomable. Sometimes you just have to take the leap, and have faith in your ability.

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Task Force Marshall Holds NCO Induction Ceremony

Task Force Marshall leaders welcomed new sergeants into the Noncommissioned Officer Corps during an NCO Induction Ceremony in Eastover, South Carolina on November 19, 2019.

An NCO Induction Ceremony is a ceremonial tradition that is separate from the promotion itself and serves as a rite of passage for those Soldiers joining the ranks of the professional Noncommissioned Officer Corps, according to the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).

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A New Year Brings Hope and Change, but Never Forget the Past

As 2020 kicks off, Soldiers, veterans and families across the 98th Training Division (IET) are inevitably looking forward. The new year brings hope and plans and resolutions. However, every great leader knows, the best path to future success is to ensure the past is remembered.

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Leadership in Uncertain Times

It’s nearly impossible to escape the changes in our society and in our daily lives. Our Army is no different. Uncertainty seems to be everywhere (leadership and organizational change, new ACFT, budget unpredictability, etc.). Leaders in all levels of our organization are not exempt or immune from volatile changes. And though the Army has employed and adopted strategies, doctrines, and models to assist leaders with mapping the known and unknowns in uncertain environments (AAR’s, risk management, etc..), leaders must continue to lead in uncertain times.

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

Battle Buddies Matter

Humans are social animals. Even the staunchest introvert craves some communal interaction from time to time. Innately, we seek to learn from, compete with, and care for others. So it comes as no surprise that embedded in Army culture is the ideology better known as the “Buddy System.” Merriam Webster defines the buddy system as “an arrangement in which two individuals are paired (as for mutual safety in a hazardous situation).

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‘Money Matters’

As a Soldier and leader for over 30 years I am constantly asked about the benefits of serving this nation. Many of these questions come from young adults deciding on their future or from Soldiers considering their options when re-enlisting or deciding to leave the Service. There are a number of reasons and benefits for serving to include protecting your country’s liberty and freedom, improving yourself and learning new skills, and giving back to a country that has given us so much.

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Rappelling for the Illini

FORT KNOX, Ky. 4-399th CST Battalion conducted a rappelling demonstration in support of Military Appreciation events at the University of Illinois.

The University of Illinois Army ROTC is comprised of nearly one hundred Cadets seeking to earn a commission as an officer in the United States Army. One important event to the University as well as its ROTC program remains the Military Appreciation Day football game which was held November 2, 2019 with over fifteen events during the game day celebration at Memorial Stadium.

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Sharpened Steel Improves Leadership, Training

ARMU | Sept. 19, 2019

Fort Knox, Ky. — Soldiers of the 2-397th (104th Training Division) conducted a Leader Training event called Sharpened Steel at Fort Knox to hone skills necessary to Soldiers and leaders. The Hatchet Battalion successfully completed two Excellence In Competition events with several Soldiers earning permanent awards for their superior performance.

Holding both pistol and rifle versions of Service Conditions (Combat) Excellence In Competition events at Fort Knox, the pistol event resulted in one Soldier being awarded the EIC Bronze Pistol badge and the rifle event had two Soldiers achieving the distinction. This was the first time the Hatchet Battalion held either event and their command reports a heightened Soldier interest growing as a result.

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Santa Comes to the 3-304th

The Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD) and Bravo Company, 3-304th in Saco, Maine recently celebrated the holidays with a celebration for Soldiers and their Families organized by the Soldier Family Readiness Group (SFRG). The event was well attended with nearly 130 Soldiers and their Families joining the celebration along with the 3-304th’s Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Andrew Craven. Longhorn Steakhouse in Auburn, Maine donated the feast for the party which featured steak tips and chicken along with side dishes of potatoes, broccoli and rolls. Additionally, spaghetti and sauce were provided by Paula Cummins, SFRG Treasurer.

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You Can Call Me Chaplain

One of the oldest branches in the US Army is interestingly, a group of noncombatants; the Chaplain Corps, officially recognized on July 29, 1775. The US military not only recognized the importance of Chaplaincy from the very beginning, but continues to build and equip the Chaplain corps, which is the largest in the world. There are close to three thousand Chaplains serving in the three components of the US Army.

What is a Chaplain? What does a Chaplain do? This article is to answer these questions, and hopefully one will better understand the role of a Chaplain

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SROTC Battalions Launch Talented Reserve Officiers

Every year, as Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets graduate and commission as second lieutenants all across the country, they take up their first billets in America’s Active Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. These first years shape not only their decision to serve a full 20 year career, but the future quality of the Army.

For active duty 2nd Lieutenants, a robust number of current websites, installation resources, and full-time Army personnel stand ready to guide them through the onboarding process. For National Guard Lieutenants, installation resources are usually within a day’s drive.

For 2nd lieutenants commissioning into the US Army Reserve, especially those joining an out of state unit, the process of finding a unit and onboarding can seem daunting. How does a graduating Cadet apply for a Reserve position before they even have their civilian job lined up? How does the Reserve accessions process differ from the Active Duty process? Even learning about a Reserve career can be difficult, since most personnel staffing ROTC Programs are from the Active Duty and National Guard Components.

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Three Rs and an M:

In 2018, 1-398 Basic Combat Training faced multiple challenging issues.  One of the last battalions in the 108th for readiness, recruiting was non-existent, retention was worse, and morale was dismal.  These facts were backed up by the 104th Monthly Unit Report Card (MURC).  1-398 was second from the bottom in the division for readiness.  The 2018 Command Climate Survey indicated dismal morale, as well as multiple SHARP and EO issues.  Many Soldiers hated their jobs, their unit, or both.  Non-participant and unsatisfactory participant numbers were high, and Soldiers were requesting transfers out of the unit in droves.

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Community Outreach and Fall Family Day

Soldiers and families of Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 398th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 104th Division (LT) came together on October 20th for a community outreach event at Energy Lake Campground in Cadiz, KY and celebrated family day afterwards.

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104th Division (LT), Headquarters and Headquarters Company’s ‘Dynamic Duo,’

Interview By Sgt. 1st Class Darleen G. Adkins, Public Affairs NCO 104th Division (LT)

They came together as a team in June of 2018 and 1st Sgt. Carrie Kavanaugh and Maj. Zachary Abrams have been a collaborative, complementary force ever since. Although their paths have been divergent on their way to this position, their foundations and ideologies are remarkably similar.

Born in Oxford, Nebraska and growing up in Beaver City, Kavanaugh lived in a city of just over 600, graduating High School with a tri-county combined class of 47, while Abrams was born and raised in the “big city” of Tucson, Arizona and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Both Soldiers however, had family members that went before them in military service, with Kavanaugh loving the military from a young age and Abrams deciding while he was in high school to follow in his brother’s footsteps.

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AROUND THE COMMAND

DS of the Cycle

Congratulations to F Co (comprised of a rotation of all 3-323 Drill Sergeants and Command Teams) on their selection by 1/34 INF REGT (BCT) on Ft. Jackson as honor company of the cycle. They earned numerous BN streamers to include APFT and inspections. F Co company had the highest APFT average for the cycle. Our Drill Sergeant, Staff Sgt. Davis was selected as DS of the cycle. Our Supply Sergeant SSG Kanipe was selected as cadre of the cycle.

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108th Griffon Association 2019 Update

The year 2019 has been an eventful and gratifying one for the 108th Griffon Association. Much has been accomplished. Most satisfying was financial assistance to a Soldier of a 108th Tng Cmd unit, who was injured in a training accident, with a subsequent delay in the INCAP pay determination, which resulted in a family financial crisis. The Association provided him and his family with several thousand dollars in grants to sustain them until the military relief was implemented.

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Military Special Operations Skills That Drive Success and Innovation Through Engaged Teams

People inside and outside the military are constantly fascinated with Special Operations Forces (SOF). People love the high-tech equipment, silent weapons, dangerous scenarios, and thrilling missions. Any military force can have great weapons, great equipment, and great physical fitness and remain unsuccessful.

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Chasing the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab in Kent County, Maryland

Grab those wooden mallets because it’s time to chase down the delicate, sweet seafood flavor of the Chesapeake Bay blue crab, and in Kent County, on Maryland’s Upper Eastern Shore, the supply is plentiful and the tradition of celebrating the season is lively.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Deploy Your Family to Universal Orlando Resort

Pulse-pounding thrill rides. Unforgettable entertainment. Exceptional dining. Breathtaking hotels. Looking to kick off the year with a vacation filled with non-stop awesome? Gather up the family and fall in for maneuvers at Universal Orlando Resort. Here you’ll find three spectacular theme parks with enough thrills and excitement to please every member of your unit – especially your school-aged troops.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Panama City Beach offers ‘Stay It Forward’ Voluntourism Opportunity

Home to 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches, emerald green waters, 320 days of sunshine annually and a year-round calendar of exciting events, Panama City Beach is beloved by travelers of all types seeking an affordable beach vacation. The destination has something for everyone, from voluntourism seekers, eco-adventurers, adrenaline chasers and foodies to couples and families looking to make lasting memories.

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Spring Ahead to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Immerse yourself in the experiences found on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Along its 32 miles of sugar-white sand beaches, you’ll find pristine turquoise Gulf waters, families basking in the sun and playing in the sand as well as unique attractions, delectable dining and sweet Southern hospitality. In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach every day is made up of magical moments that your family will treasure.

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Toast Time Together in Hendersonville’s Crest of the Blue Ridge Wine Region

The popular mountain getaway of Hendersonville, North Carolina — long known for its apple orchards and charming downtown — has emerged as a hot spot for wine enthusiasts. The surrounding Blue Ridge Mountain countryside provides a peaceful oasis to sip quality wines while taking in long-range views.

Surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest and minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Hendersonville beckons travelers looking to disconnect from daily worries and reconnect with each other and the natural world.

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Discover Something New in the Smoky Mountains

Whether this will be your first visit to the Smokies or you’ve visited every year since you were a child, you’re sure to discover something new in Sevierville this summer – and create family memories to treasure.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Franklin County is Family Fun

Just north of the Mason Dixon Line, close to the midpoint of the Great Appalachian Valley, is Franklin County PA. It is home to history, arts and architecture, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods and the warm hospitality of communities like Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro. With four-seasons of family-fun and outdoor recreation, Franklin County getaways refresh and energize.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

 

The Griffon Issue 43.4 Winter 2020

The Griffon Issue 43.4 Winter 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.