From the Commanding General...

I had the opportunity at the end of July to attend the United States Army War College graduation at Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Carlisle Barracks is one of our nation’s oldest military installations and the home of U.S. Army War College since 1951. On that hot summer morning as I watched the graduation and a sea of proud families, parents and loved ones, fellow classmates and senior officers. I recalled my two years of study there. We had 301 officers; about 15 seminar groups as I remember, each about 20 officers in size. My “seminar group” produced 6 general officers out of the 18 classmates that comprised the group. I still reach out and maintain contact with these folks.

But I nearly quit... which would have changed my career. I was a battalion commander for the 15th Psychological Operations Battalion when I was accepted into U.S. Army War College, Class of 2001. The Kosovo Air Campaign was just coming to a conclusion. Over 1,000 aircraft operating mainly from bases in Italy and aircraft carriers stationed in the Adriatic were bombing and shelling the stuffings out of the Serbs occupying Kosovo. The 15th PSYOP Battalion was one of many units identified to mobilize and deploy as part of the initial NATO Ground Force that would enter into Kosovo. Read More »

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From the 95th Division Commander...

Having recently joined the team at the 95th Training Division, it is certainly an honor to have this opportunity to be part of a strong, dedicated, and historic line of great soldiers and officers. The endeavors of this division from the past and the present continues to show absolute professionalism and highest character against enormous challenges in support of our nation’s defense. This division remains an integral part in protecting our American way of life – liberty, security, and freedom – in a time when a majority of countries in our global community remain in the yoke of non-democratic and ruthless leaders. Being a part of this division – wearing the uniform of a U.S. Soldier – and taking the fight to the enemy is no easy task in a world of complexity and volatility. The American flag on our shoulder sleeve reminds me that the American “experiment” is not without the loss of life on distant foreign shores. Across multiple generations in our history, their legacy lives because our Constitution and the Republic remains strong today.

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From the Command Sergeant Major...

August 6, 2011: Chinook crash kills thirty Soldiers in Afghanistan.

I want to express my thoughts and deepest regards to all of the families of the casualties of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past many years. But at this particular time would like to specifically extend my condolences to the Families of those brave warriors that went down in that Chinook in Afghanistan.

Many of you know my tenure clock is rapidly counting down and my time with the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training) will be coming to an end between the time you read this and November. Contrary to popular belief I will not be retiring as this old Soldier still has some fight left in him. If I do not find another sergeant major assignment I will go in to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and see if I find something from there. Hopefully the new command sergeant major of the 108th will have been announced by the time you read this.

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Driscoll takes command of 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET)

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Col. Paul Driscoll assumed command of 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) from Col. Andrew Bassford on July 17, at the James McWorther Reserve Center at Ft. Jackson, S.C.

Brig. Gen. Dwayne Edwards, commanding general, 98th Training Division (IET) served as reviewing officer at the ceremony and Lt. Col. Donald Campbell, executive officer, 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) served as Commander of the Troops.

 “While command truly is a privilege it is accompanied by deep responsibilities. Command just like all other forms of leadership is a challenge. It requires living the Army values every day and living them especially when it’s hardest,” said Edwards.

Drisoll served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, 108th Training Command (IET) headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., prior to assuming command.

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Timberwolves welcome a new alpha

JOINT BASE LEWIS - McCHORD, Wash. — “Without a future, history has no meaning.” With those words Brig. Gen. Daniel L. York relinquished command of the 104th Training Division (Leader Training) Timberwolves to Col. Kurt Hardin in a ceremony June 4, at the Staff Sgt. Coby G. Schwab Reserve Center.

The Timberwolves, along with more than a hundred guests honored Chief of Staff and incoming commander Hardin as he accepted the colors from reviewing officer and commander of the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training), Maj.  Gen.  Robert P. Stall. 

“Being a commander is one of the toughest, and yet at the same time, one of the most rewarding jobs in the military,” Stall said. “The commander is responsible for all that happens and all that doesn’t happen.”

Stall continued on to challenge the Timberwolves to “reflect the very best in our nation by training the Soldiers that will defeat the enemies of freedom and the proponents of terror” and reminded them that “together we are, and always will be, Army Strong.”

York has served in the 104th Training Division for the past 12 years, and has been the commander for the past 34 months. He is leaving to take charge of the 86th Training Division, Ft. McCoy, Wis.

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Hardin promoted to Brig. General

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Col. Kurt A. Hardin, 104th Training Division (Leader Training), was promoted to brigadier general by Maj. Gen. Robert P. Stall, commanding general, 108th Training Command (IET) during the 108th Full Time Conference held at Columbia, S.C. on August 2, 2011.

“I think it was appropriate to have this promotion ceremony done here at the full time conference because when I look out at the audience here you’re the glue that holds the Army Reserve together,” said Hardin. “You’re the continuity, because as leaders we couldn’t do it without you.”

Hardin assumed command of the 104th Training Division (LT) on June 4, 2011. He joined the 104th Division (IT) in October 2001 where he served as the battalion commander of the 3-414th and most recently served as the chief of staff.

When asked what it takes to become a general officer Hardin said hard work, luck and determination. “I was fortunate enough to have good folks and Soldiers who supported me and gave me good advice and sometimes cleaned up messes I created when I didn’t take their advice.”

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Mobilization Mission Complete

Fort Sill, Okla. — On April 1, the “Night Fighters” of 1st Battalion, 414th Infantry, 95th Training Division, 108th Training Command (IET) cased their battalion colors, formally marking the end of their 1-year mission at Fort Sill, Okla., in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  The casing ceremony concluded the 95th Division’s 3-year involvement with the 108th Training Command’s mission that began in 2008 with the arrival of 1st Battalion, 355th Infantry from Round Rock, Texas.  In 2009, 3rd Battalion, 378th Infantry from Norman, Okla., replaced the 1-355th with 1-414th assuming control in April 2010. 

The 1-414th is part of 2nd Brigade, 95th Division (IET), located in Vancouver, Wash.  The 1-414th mobilized in April 2010 from its battalion headquarters in Eugene, Ore.  Their mission was to train Initial Entry Training Soldiers in support of the 434th Field Artillery Brigade, Fires Center of Excellence (FCOE).

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108th holds Best Warrior Competition

COLUMBIA, S.C. —The 108th Training Command held the final round of the Best Warrior Competition May 14, 2011 at the Weems Baskin Track Facility at the University of South Carolina and the Columbia Marriott.

The competition was held to determine which non-commissioned officer and junior enlisted Soldier in the command would move on to compete against the best across the U.S. Army Reserve.

“Every division under the 108th Training Command has had their own competitions to identify the best NCO and the best Soldier to compete in the command-wide competition,” said Sgt. Maj. James McCarty, operations sergeant major with the 108th Training Command’s G-3 section.

These competitions included a 10-kilometer road march, weapons qualification, and a night and day land navigation course.

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108th Drill Sergeant, Armed and Ready

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — He is up in the wee hours of the morning with the rising sun. He is a devoted husband, a loving father and a dedicated Soldier. He is constantly preparing and training for battle, just like any other Soldier. Physical fitness is his top priority in the Army and in his own life. So when the lights go down and the curtains rise, he reaches for his weapon of choice and puts on his uniform: protein shakes and a Speedo!

Well, this is not your average kind of battle and Staff Sgt. Alfred Rocha from the 108th Training Command (IET) Drill Sergeant School, is not your average Soldier. He is a drill sergeant who trains both Soldiers and recruits for the Army and also a bodybuilder and personal fitness trainer.

In his spare time, he is most likely to be in the gym working out. He knows what it is like to wake up at 4:30 just to take in his first meal of the day. “You have to up your proteins and even at times your carbs. You’re eating seven to nine meals a day,” he said. “You’re drinking maybe two gallons of water a day.” Afterwards, he may head off to the track to run just one of his two 45-minute jogs for the day.

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Luncheon recognized employers for support of Guard, Reserve soldiers

FORT KNOX, Ky. — The members of a mobilized Army Reserve unit - the 2nd Squadron, 398th Cavalry Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET) hosted an Employer Support for Guard and Reserve (ESGR) luncheon May 17.

The Squadron conducts Cavalry One Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Fort Knox in support of the 194th Armored Brigade’s mission to create 19D Cavalry Scouts while the brigade transfers its active Cavalry OSUT units to Fort Benning, Ga., in accordance with the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative.

Employers of the 2-398th’s cadre traveled to Fort Knox from southern Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio, as well as various regions of Kentucky.  The visitors enjoyed a luncheon at the Leaders Club while receiving a brief overview of the duties their employees perform while mobilized at Fort Knox. This allowed the employers to have a better perspective on their Citizen/Soldiers’ duties, and help them understand how the employers play a vital role in today’s Army. Read More »

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From the Office of Family Programs...

The 108th Training Command Family Program staff has been so successful in supporting our military Families and Soldiers that I wanted to share a few success stories with you. Read More »

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2-415th Drill Sergeants Conduct JROTC Leadership Camp

DUBLIN, Calif. — For five days between April 13th and 17th, 328 Junior ROTC cadets from across northern California learned the true meaning of the cadence, “Everywhere I go, there’s a drill sergeant there.”  This taste of Army life was provided courtesy of a contingent of drill sergeants from the 2nd Battalion, 415th Regiment, 95th Division, 108th Training Command (IET).

Every spring, select northern California schools choose their best and brightest JROTC cadets and send them to a Junior Cadet Leadership Camp. This year the camp was held at Parks Reserve Forces Training Area in Dublin, Calif. As the Cadets descended on Parks from as far away as 300 miles, it was easy to see there was a slight twist from past years. That twist came in the form of 12 drill sergeants, each taking an assigned school and stepping in to move the cadets to and from training locations and to provide motivation in the way only drill sergeants can. 

While many of the cadets were shocked by the appearance of the drill sergeants during the opening formation, even the JROTC cadre were shocked when immediately following the formation, the drill sergeants moved the cadets out for an impromptu four-mile road march.

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Walker awarded second Purple Heart

CHARLOTTE, NC — After nearly six years and paperwork delays U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick (NC) pinned a second Purple Heart award onto the chest of Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Walker’s dress blue uniform on June 24, at the 108th Training Command (IET) headquarters.

The Purple Heart is awarded to Soldiers that have been wounded or killed while serving our country during war; it is specifically a combat decoration. It was established by George Washington, on August 7, 1782, during the Revolutionary War.

In September 2005, Walker was leading a convoy southbound from Camp Taji on Route Senators heading to Baghdad, Iraq when they encountered heavy traffic at a bridge. As the convoy commander he made the decision to cross the median and drive into traffic, the machine gunner in the turret used hand and arms signals to direct traffic away from the convoy.

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Gray wins Distinguished Honor Graduate title

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — As a new class of drill sergeants graduate from the USAR Drill Sergeant School, one Soldier stood out among the rest and graduated with highest honors.

Staff Sgt. Heather Gray, C Co 1/390th Regiment, 98th Training Division (IET), was identified as the Distinguished Honor Graduate for Class 003-11 (Option 5) here, May 7th, 2011.

Gray was recognized for her outstanding academic performance as well as her outstanding performance on the Army Physical Fitness Test.  Among other qualities, which set her apart from her peers, included her ability to lead and help others to succeed.
“Probably the main reason I became a Drill Sergeant is to train people in a manner that instills confidence and pride,” said the 23-year-old from Rochester, N.Y.  “My main goal [at Drill Sergeant School] was to succeed and see that my peers succeeded.”

She did help her peers out as much as she could.  When it came to academic knowledge of what it takes to be a drill sergeant, Gray would spend hours of her off time creating study guides for her classmates so they could all benefit from what she learned. 

“You could be a Soldier that is outstanding and exceeds the standards, but unless other people are exceeding as well, you’re not doing what you are supposed to be doing as a soldier, said Gray.”

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Palmer wins Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Staff Sgt. Andrew Palmer, Charlie Co., 3-518th, 98th Training Division (IET) based out of Hickory, N.C. was named 2011 Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year and Staff Sgt. John Heslin, representing the active component from Ft. Benning, Ga. was named 2011 Drill Sergeant of the Year, at the Solomon Center, here on June 17.    

Both drill sergeants were awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, deputy commander of  Initial Military Training, and an engraved leadership saber for their achievement was presented by Staff Sgt. Melissa Solomon, 2010 Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year and Staff Sgt. Timothy Sarvis, 2010 Drill Sergeant of the Year.

Palmer and Heslin will spend one year at Training and Doctrine Command headquarters at Ft. Eustis, Virginia, advising Longo and Sgt. Maj. John Calpena, Sgt. Maj. of Initial Military Training, on drill sergeant issues.

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Warrior Forge merges experience with potential

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from campuses across the country have descended upon Joint Base Lewis-McChord for Warrior Forge 2011, and 104th Training Division Soldiers are ready for the challenge.

“Warrior Forge gives our Soldiers a chance to come out and be trainers,” explained Capt. John Garrison, 3rd Brigade, 4th Battalion, 518th Regiment, 104th Training Division (LT), 108th Training Command (IET).  “Training from scratch and getting out doing our job.  That promotes feelings of pride in oneself, unit and team.”

Garrison is the officer in charge of the grenade lane at Warrior Forge, and for him, this exercise is a culmination of over 70 hours of instructor prep as well as an additional two site visits and reconnaissance missions conducted here from his home station in Alabama.

Five platoons per day roll through the lanes, and the lane is active eight hours a day for 36 days. That doesn’t count the two hours of set-up in the morning and the one hour of clean-up at night.

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Honor graduate reflects on first year as Drill Sergeant

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — With the combination of movie images and the horror stories of old, it would seem reasonable to assume all Army drill sergeants are rough around the edges and only out to cause pain. That just isn’t the case these days. With the new generation of smart, technologically savvy Soldiers, drill sergeants are finding the in-your-face approach does not work as well as it once did.

Sgt. Amber Jones, a drill sergeant with the 3rd Battalion, 518th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division, and a native of Clifton Park, N.Y., uses her passion for leading Soldiers and love for the Army to take a different approach to train her new Soldiers during basic training.

After she was the honor graduate from Drill Sergeant School Class #006-10 (Option 5) at Ft. Jackson, S.C., Jones has been working hard, training new Soldiers and was selected for the Drill Sergeant Exhibitor Program (DSEP).

“I ended up with a reputation for making Soldiers cry during my first class cycle,” said Jones.

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Golf tournament to raise funds for family assistance

The 108th Griffon Association is alive and well and growing under the leadership of former commander Maj. Gen. Charles (Skip) McCartney. Many activities and programs now exist and more are planned for the benefit of all members of the 108th Training Command — which includes the 95th Training Division, 104th Training Division, and 98th Training Division. Read More »

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Soldiers Gold Mine

G1 Nugget

ADPAAS Awareness

WHAT is ADPAAS? ADPAAS stands for Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System. It is the official web-based system used by the US Army to account for its personnel in the event of a major natural or man-made disaster (example: hurricane, terrorist attack, tsunami, etc). ADPAAS allows you to report your current location, to update emergency personal contact information, and to request assistance (especially if you had to evacuate far away from your home or place of work).

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Chaplains Corner

As I sit to write this, my final article, I cannot believe how quickly the past three years have gone by. But then again, I cannot believe how quickly these last nine years in the Army have gone by or for that matter the years since becoming a husband and father and the list goes on. I have been so blessed to be a part of the 108th Training Command Family and now I am going to USARC as the Lord has opened that door.

My thoughts move back and forth between what has been and what is yet to come. Then I am reminded of another man who had a far more pressing end to one aspect of his life while anticipating his future. That man is the apostle Paul who wrote in the book of 2 Timothy his final letter before being executed as a Christian. What is amazing to me is that even though Paul, jailed in a cold prison with very little to show for his earthly material life makes this amazing statement in chapter  4 verses 6 through 8, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

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Teaching mathematics as a language —  What gets lost in the translation?

The cry is heard all across the nation, and probably around the world. You will hear it in every math classroom, every tutoring session, and every home school class. It generally begins in August or September, continues all through the school year, and frustrates students, parents, and instructors alike. “But what do they want us to do?” “Do we just work them?” “I don’t understand the instructions.” “This stuff is Greek to me!” Read More »

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Personal significance and legacy — a high value higher education

An often-unnoticed opportunity is spread across the United States in a system of higher education that is centered on the Word of God – a collection of almost 100 colleges and universities accredited through the Association of Biblical Higher Education. They’re located from Hawaii to Maine, Alaska to Puerto Rico; in urban centers and beautiful countryside settings. They offer an exciting array of programs of study and can be experienced through traditional on-campus settings, on-line delivery systems, or dynamic combinations of on-line and face-to-face classes.

The roots of this system of education reach back over 2,000 years to Christ’s own mentoring of his disciples. Today, these institutions include both old, historic centers of learning and newly emerging schools with a dynamic vision for world impact. Altogether, they offer a remarkable cadre of faculty who are not only thought leaders in their disciplines of study, but also highly effective practitioners who have made substantial contributions to communities around the world. Their hallmark is the preparation of alumni who lead lives of significance and world-class legacy. How does this happen?

Institutions within the Biblical higher education movement offer a unique approach to graduate and post-graduate education that includes three distinctive values.

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The making of a new nurse

Healthcare reform will change nurses’ roles, responsibilities and education according to report.

A report by the Institute of Medicine says the nursing profession must evolve significantly to deliver on promises made in the Affordable Care Act of 2010, and expectations for nursing education must change as well to ensure nurses are up to the challenge. Military-trained medical personnel make up a significant portion of the nursing workforce, so how and where providers earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are quickly becoming important decisions for the healthcare system as a whole.

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How to get hired in 80 days or less

Federal hiring is getting faster and smarter as agencies set sights on an 80-days-to-hire target.

One year after President Obama’s executive order to overhaul the federal government’s hiring system, many agencies are making steady and measurable progress towards the goal of reducing federal hiring times to 80 days or less. This is music to the ears of graduates holding advanced management degrees, like the popular Master of Public Administration, which is highly sought after in the federal workforce.

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From the farm to the cloud

With serious cyber security measures in tow, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture becomes first major federal agency to embrace cloud computing.

More than 120,000 U.S. government employees are moving to the cloud thanks to the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to abandon its in-house e-mail, calendar and communication servers in Exchange (pun intended) for external services provided by Microsoft.

With the move, the USDA becomes the first cabinet-level government agency to embrace off-site, third-party server storage, otherwise known as cloud computing. The department will use Microsoft’s Exchange Online services for calendar management, messaging, document collaboration, Web conferencing and more to help link its 120,000+ employees across 5,000 different offices in more than 100 countries. The USDA previously employed more than 20 different messaging and collaboration systems among its workers.

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The ‘Golden’ tastes of Arkansas

Growing up in Oklahoma, U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Chris Golden rarely ventured across the Arkansas state line. He’d merely passed through a few times on his way to somewhere else. So in 2007, when he was stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, he wasn’t sure if he would like “The Natural State.”

“When I first drove into Arkansas on my way to the base, I really paid attention for the first time,” said Golden. “The tall trees, winding roads, rivers and hills were pretty impressive.” A life-long hunter and outdoorsman, he decided to explore the state.

His first adventure was to Pinnacle Mountain State Park with his now-wife Christine. They took their dogs and hiked to the top of the mountain. “Seeing that for the first time was just gorgeous,” he said. “I probably kept that picture as the wallpaper on my phone for months.”

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Cedar City in Utah —

Cedar City, Utah has earned the distinction of being Festival City, USA due to the incredible theatrical and cultural offerings, like the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Neil Simon Festival, Utah Summer Games and the Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival. Cedar City was recently selected by Where To Retire Magazine as one of their “Top Five Places To Retire.”

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Military R&R in Bryan-College Station

As a community known for honoring the military and those who have served our country, Bryan-College Station offers a worthy spot for rest and relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Because Bryan-College Station is conveniently located between Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, an event-filled trip to Aggieland can be made within a day. It is home to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and Texas A&M University, two institutions that hold a special fondness and respect for the military.

One of the top attractions in Texas, The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, highlights the major stepping stones taken by President George H.W. Bush throughout his life, as well as milestones and important events in United States history that occurred during his lifetime.

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Great R&R at Three Rivers and Sequoia National Park

Relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy year-round outdoor recreation under the gaze of mighty 2,000 to 3,000 year old sequoias towering over Pacific dogwood that glow in lovely autumn shades of pink, gold and orange at their feet.

Native black bears are so focused on finding acorns that they don’t even see you as you wind your way through the Generals Highway and on into Giant Forest. Observe the bears in their natural state as they forage among golden oak trees, giant sequoias, and giant sugar pine in preparation for their winter sleep. Read More »

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Find adventure in Charleston

Fall is a great time to explore the South! Families of all interests will find so much to experience in Charleston, South Carolina. Each year, Charleston is consistently rated amongst the country’s top travel destinations. Here, you’ll discover scenic beaches, a historic downtown, plantations and many other attractions, beautiful park lands and much more! 

The History and Attractions

Charleston is renowned for its history. Founded in 1670, this colonial port city brings in tourists from around the globe interested in learning about its past and enjoying its architecture, award-winning restaurants, quality shopping, parks and more. Must-sees downtown include Battery and Waterfront parks, the market, Marion Square, King Street, Rainbow Row, and perhaps a historic home or two. While you are here, don’t forget to tour sites such as Fort Sumter, Charles Towne Landing, Battery Park, Patriot’s Point in Mount Pleasant, and many of the area’s historic plantations.

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Your fate awaits at Universal Orlando Halloween Horror

They say, “To wait for luck is the same as waiting for death.”  Are you waiting for Luck?

You are captivated by an intense desire to tempt fate. Your heart races. Your nails dig into your thigh. The taste of blood is on your tongue as you bite down on your lip. Your eyes shift wildly as you contemplate the risk. Desire seduces you ... and you forget that the House always wins.

Luck will run out as you are consumed by Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 21. People from around the globe will be haunted by “the country’s best Halloween event” (Amusement Today) beginning Sept. 23 at Universal Studios Florida. For 25 nights, screams will fill the darkness as guests discover their fate.

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Wet ‘n Wild: ‘share the rush’

The waterpark with more themed thrill rides and multi-person rides.


The concept of the modern waterpark was created in Orlando at Wet ‘n Wild. Through the years, they’ve learned what guests truly enjoy and look for in their waterpark adventure. That’s why they’ve created more multi-person rides than any other waterpark around. You can “share the rush” together with family or friends, with up to four riders in some tubes on the swirling, churning, slides and drops. Or go-it-alone and meet the challenge of the “Bomb Bay” where the floor drops out from under you before an almost vertical free fall.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, wild, rides, waterpark, wet, travel, orlando wet, modern waterpark, with family

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure launches new show:

Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, Pirate’s Dinner Adventure has launched its first new show since it opened in 2006, The Curse of Poseidon’s Treasure.

The show starts as Miss Katherine Eriksson, the founding archeologist of Treasure Bay takes guests on a tour of the ancient seaport with the help of her amusing assistant Freddy.  Read More »

Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, adventure, dinner, treasure, curse, dinner adventure, new show, adventure launches, pirate’s dinner

Colonial Williamsburg — Be part of the story

Imagine taking your family on a trip back in time. Not only to stroll past historic buildings, but to become immersed in history by engaging and interacting with real, live people portraying people of the past, and teaching history through the demonstrations, reenactments, and stories of our struggles to become Americans. Colonial Williamsburg offers visitors unique opportunities to discover 18th-century life in colonial Virginia. By visiting this beautifully restored 18th-century town, you have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the roots of American independence.

From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg was the political, social and cultural capital of Great Britain’s largest, wealthiest, and most populous colony. The Hall of the House of Burgesses at the Capitol echoes with the voices of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other Virginia leaders who debated the issues of freedom and liberty for Virginians.

Stores, shops, and taverns along Duke of Gloucester Street bustle with activity. Stop in at the Pasteur and Galt Apothecary Shop and learn about the latest 18th-century healthcare techniques. At the Golden Ball Silversmith Shop, watch skilled craftspeople turn bars of silver into goblets, pitchers, and other exquisite objects. The silversmith is one of nearly two dozen trades that demonstrate the daily work of many 18th-century working Americans. At the Courthouse, you might be invited to be a witness, defendant, or judge in a re-creation of a court case from the 1700s. And while you are there, don’t forget to have your picture taken in the stocks or pillory!


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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, colonial, historic, williamsburg, story, 18th century, historic area, colonial williamsburg, gloucester street, peyton randolph, duke gloucester, visitor center

Plan a grand adventure in Tioga County, PA

Tioga County is home to Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon. Surrounded by 165,000 acres of the state forest, the Gorge is a truly pristine area to visit. Outdoor activities abound: horseback riding, canoeing, rafting, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, fishing, hunting and more!

Cyclists love the Pine Creek Rail Trail voted one of the “10 great places to take a bike tour” by USA Today. This 62 plus-mile long trail, with a two percent grade over its entire length, travels through the Gorge. The trail is a hard-packed gravel surface available to hikers and bikers with a section just for the equestrians. For a taste of the frontier, take a comfortable two-hour covered wagon ride with padded seats, rubber tires and shock absorbers as you enjoy the flora and fauna and learn the heritage of the Pine Creek Gorge.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, county, tioga, gorge, trail, creek, tioga county, grand canyon, adventure tioga, grand adventure, canoeing rafting, horseback riding, activities abound, visit outdoor

Discover fall in Jefferson County

Discover it All – The Fall in Jefferson County, West Virginia (Wild and Wonderful) including many fine events as listed below:

Charles Town Heritage Festival and Washington Homes Tour — Both on Sept. 18, 2011. Street festival including 225th birthday party for Charles Town and appearance of founder Charles Washington.  All day.  Tour of Washington Homes includes the opening of Happy Retreat, Claymount Court, Bellair and Harewood, all homes belonging to the Washington family. This is the only day of the year these homes are open for tours.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, charles, fall, washington, charles town, jefferson county, west virginia, washington homes, heritage festival, town heritage, discover fall

Visit Top of West Virginia

Visit the Top of West Virginia, City of Weirton for a weekend get-a-way or your R&R time. There are great places to stay to receive that hometown hospitality. The City of Weirton is just 20 minutes from Pittsburgh International Airport. Listed below are a few sites to get you started. Visit for everything Top of West Virginia has to offer.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, bridge, memorial, pittsburgh, weirton, west virginia, top west, homer laughlin, city weirton, veterans memorial, memorial bridge, international airport, pittsburgh international

The Griffon Vol. 35.3 (Fall 2011)

The Griffon Vol. 35.3 (Fall 2011)
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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.