From the Commanding General

There are two areas that I’d like to talk about this quarter that I need your help with. The first is drill sergeant strength. The Army Reserve is in a strength crisis and at the 108th we are also in a crisis as it applies to qualified drill sergeants. As a result, I have made changes at the unit level within the 95th and 98th Divisions in hopes that we get our 500+ drill sergeant candidates to the Drill Sergeant School in accordance with regulatory guidance and policy.

First, company commanders will not be selected unless they can remain in position for at least two years. First Sergeants will not remain in position longer than three years and will have an X-ray identifier which means they are, or have been, a drill sergeant. All training NCO positions will be filled with an NCO with an X-ray identifier as well. I realize that some of you use this position to cover your Soldiers undergoing the MEB process. Double slotting is authorized but at least one of the Soldiers filling it will possess the identifier. The reason for these changes is to ensure company leadership understand and push the drill sergeant packet, as well as the prep program.

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It’s Our Turn- Meet Team RWB

While you may know us as an organization that focuses on fitness, we aren’t simply building strong bodies.
Team RWB is about building strong communities. We understand that engaging and connecting with veterans is often the most critical step to accessing resources, finding new ways to lead, and ultimately making a smooth transition.

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Dean College School of Continuing Studies Now Offering Certificate in Cybersecurity Studies

With an ever increasing dependence on technology to support our daily personal, business and national security activities, cybercrimes have dramatically increased over the past decade, exposing sensitive information and imposing a huge cost on our economy. To address this rapidly growing area of concern, many institutions of higher education have developed programs focused on educating students in areas of cybersecurity including functional IT, strategy, risk assessment and response for the purposes of combating all forms of cybercrime and ensuring our national security is protected from computer based threats. 

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From the Command Sergeant Major

While writing this article, my tenure as the 108th Training Command (IET) command sergeant major (CSM) is just about complete.

This is the time to say goodbye to all the 108th Training Command Soldiers.

I want to thank all the CSMs, NCOs, Soldiers, Officers, and Army civilians of the 108th Training Command, the 95th, 98th and the 104th Divisions for their cooperation and hard work on several accomplishments over the last few years. Among these accomplishments: the 108th Training Command was granted an exception to policy for E-4’s to attend the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School (USADSS) and to be promoted to E-5. This involved a couple of years of hard work by the 108th G-1 section with Mr. Rick Cornellier and Mr. Peter Stewart leading the way. The 108th Training Command was also granted an exception to policy for the promotion of E-6 combat arms Soldiers to E-7 as long as they were Drill Sergeant qualified. Again, the 108th Training Command G-1 section led the way.

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Warrant Officer 101: Answers to the top 4 questions

Who Are Warrant Officers?

By short definition, a warrant officer is a commissioned officer who is a highly specialized expert and trainer in a career field (Warrant Officer Military Occupational Specialty (WOMOS)). Predominantly, warrant officers are single-specialty officers with career tracks that progress within their field – unlike O-grade commissioned officers who focus on increased levels of command and staff duty positions for professional and career advancement. However, warrant officers can hold command and staff duty positions. For this reason, although warrant officers move forward within a continuum of learning where they gain technical proficiency by way of professional military education; they should also seek broadening assignments to further develop as leaders and gain proficiencies outside their WOMOS. A broadening assignment is generally considered a branch immaterial duty position. Warrant officers represent 2.5% of the Total Army and 15.3% of the Army’s Officer Corps.

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Reserve Drill Sergeants Exemplify the Professional NCO

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Grass still wet from the morning dew, thick fog hovering over the ground, the darkness of the night fighting against the rising sun, a line of drill sergeant’s march out in perfect precision. Once reaching the physical training pit, they immediately assume their grading positions to administer the record Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) for Cadets attending Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) during Cadet Summer Training (CST) held at Fort Knox, Ky.

The cadets were silently watching the noncommissioned officers with their distinguishing hats set up for a morning that will greatly affect their future prospects.

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FTX for 3rd Bn, 415th Regt., 95th Training Division (IET)

YAKIMA, Wash. — The 3rd Bn, 415thRegt., 95th Training Division (IET), held its annual Field Training Exercise (FTX) on 15-18 May 2014 at the Yakima Training Center in Yakima, Wash.

Seventy-three Soldiers from the battalion’s five companies attended the training. The goal of the event was to maintain and polish drill sergeant skills while training fellow Soldiers to perform basic combat skills.

Events included evaluating a casualty, MEDEVAC (9 line), loading and clearing both a M249 and M240B, NBC training, night firing and land navigation. The battalion also conducted a four-mile tactical ruck march.

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70th Anniversary of D-Day Honors WWII Veterans

BEDFORD, Va. — In a special ceremony, at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., the 70th Anniversary of D-Day was held to honor WWII Veterans that supported and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France in 1944. During the opening ceremonies there were several flyovers to include a P-51, C47 and a parachute jump by the Golden Knights.

The 95th Training Division (IET) was also on hand to assist the WWII Veterans upon their arrival and to help with any additional services as needed, such as handing out water to the Veterans.

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Combatives Tournament

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — The 98th Training Division (IET) hosted a multi-service, multi component combatives tournament at the Griffith Field House and Fitness Center here June 7-8.

Army, Air Force and Marines participated in this multi-service event that featured service members from the reserve, National Guard and active components.

“When the military goes to war, it goes to war together. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines all work together to complete our mission. This combatives tournament is a representation of our military and how all the services and components work together,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Carrie Cieslak, the 98th Training Division Combative Academy command sergeant major.

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Starting Over

How a wounded Army mechanic landed a good civilian job 15 days before his ETS. 

When Donate Johnson was hired by Sunbelt Rentals - a provider of specialized heavy equipment to every niche of the construction and industrial marketplace - he relied on two crucial military skills: understanding the chain of command and finding information...

Read the article from G.I. Jobs Magazine below.

Or go to: http://careersatsunbeltrentals.com/military-recruitment/

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Leadership Visits Task Force Wolf Soldiers

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Rocci DeRezza, command sergeant major, 108th Training Command (IET), visited Soldiers from their subordinate units supporting Cadet Summer Training (CST) at Fort Knox, Ky. Purser and DeRezza spent two days visiting the various training sites 104th Training Division Soldiers operate at CST.

The visiting command team observed training and interacted with Soldiers and Cadets at the Land Navigation, First Aid, Team Development, Army Physical Fitness Test and Rappel Tower/ Confidence Courses. Throughout the summer the USAR will provide approximately 2,000 Soldiers as Cadre or support elements for CST.

>The 108th Training Command’s mission is to provide professionally trained and ready drill sergeants, instructors, Leader Trainers, and Command and Control experts to conduct Initial Military Training and Foreign Military Training.

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Drill Sergeant Candidate Validation

FORT A.P. HILL, Va. — The 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), recently employed a way to streamline the Drill Sergeant Candidate Validation (DSCV) process for overall mission success. This streamlined DSCV process was implemented during the 3rd Brigades annual FTX in April 2014. By incorporating the DSCV into the FTX, the brigade both prevented the loss of additional resources required to plan a later event for the DSCV process and also provided much needed support to candidates throughout the packet building process.

Incorporating the validation process into the FTX required specific planning and organization in order to monitor all candidates. One critical component for this event involved combining all brigade and division command sergeant major meetings.

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Air Force 242nd Combat Communication Squadron Trains

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — Drill Sergeants from Charlie Company, 3-415th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET), reached out and assisted their Air Force brethren in meeting some of their new training requirements.

The 242nd Combat Communication Squadron recently had a change of mission. Now they are required to have the same basic skill sets as the Air Support Operations Center (ASOC) and the Airspace Control System (ACS) units that they support and are imbedded with during deployments.

The 242nd mission will provide tactical and deployable communication for any unit across the globe. They are part of the 194 Regional Support Wing assigned to Fairchild AFB. Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Knutson, and Company Commander, Capt. Chuck Parsons of the 242nd, requested the help of the 3-415th to train their airmen for success in their new mission.

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Best Warrior Competition at Fort Buchanan

FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico — The 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve in Puerto Rico conducted their Best Warrior Competition from 23 thru 27April.Thirteen Soldiers competed to be selected as the best NCO or Junior Enlisted Soldier.

Each Soldier was tested in different areas such as the Army Physical Fitness Test, written essay and exam to include the following topics: Soldiers and NCO Creed, Equal Opportunity, SHARP, Land Navigation, Military History and Military Traditions. There was also a Land Navigation and road march Event, Weapons Qualification and Modern Army Combatives.

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Passion Drives Training at Echo Mission

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — “I love to teach, I love to teach!” exclaimed Army Reserve Drill Sergeant, Sgt 1st Class Kelsie Hagan, Echo Company, 1/518th Basic Combat Training (BCT) Battalion.

Hagan, currently serving his extended combat training (ECT) at Fort Jackson, S.C., became a drill sergeant in 2002 and says “if you are going to put on the hat, then this [Echo Mission] is what you want to do.”

“When you make the decision to become a drill sergeant, you make the decision to train Soldiers!”

Echo Mission, held year round here at Fort Jackson, is an opportunity for Army Reserve Drill Sergeants to work side by side with their Active Component counterparts doing what drill sergeants do best- train Soldiers.

Because of a shortage of Active Duty Drill Sergeants as well as the need to field a fifth company at the 1/13th Infantry BCT, Army Reserve Drill Sergeants gladly accept the challenge to augment “Echo” Company. The result is a fine mix of Reserve Component instructors supported by a few Active duty component Soldiers to provide continuity.

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Maj. Gen. Lesniak visits Task Force Wolf Soldiers

FORT KNOX, Ky. — U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Glenn Lesniak, deputy commanding general (support), U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC), visited Task Force Wolf Soldiers who are supporting Cadet Summer Training (CST) at Fort Knox, Ky. Lesniak visited multiple training sites and discussed USARC’s top principles June 23.

Lesniak observed training and interacted with Soldiers and Cadets at the Basic Rifle Marksmanship range, First Aid Course, and the bath and laundry site.

The United States Army Reserve will provide approximately 2,000 Soldiers as cadre or support elements throughout the summer for CST. This is the first year both Leader Development and Assessment Course, previously held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and Leader Training Course, are being held together. The two courses, which make up CST, are now co-located at Fort Knox.

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SAFETY: 1-320th Soldiers Assist Crash Victim

WEST VIRGINIA — A local woman from the Clay County, West Virginia area is thanking her lucky stars that she received help from six Army Reserve Soldiers who came upon her crashed vehicle on Friday, July 11. Soldiers from the 1-320th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 98th Division in Abingdon, Va., were traveling from their unit in Charleston, W.Va., eastbound on Interstate-79 en route to Camp Dawson when Staff Sgt. Brian Click came upon an accident scene and immediately stopped to assist.

Click saw the vehicle was totaled and the woman was badly injured and in need of assistance. He began the lifesaving steps of checking the female driver for responsiveness upon reaching the vehicle. As the victim was unresponsive, Click performed CPR, which resulted in her regaining consciousness.

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3rd Battalion, 339th Regiment, 4th Brigade Provides Training Support to Army Reserve Legal Command

FORT MCCOY, Wis. — Drill Sergeant Instructors from 3rd Battalion, 339th Regiment, 4th Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET), provided support to the Army Reserve Legal Command with an exercise conducted May 3-10, 2014. The Legal Command Task Force included 178 Soldiers from legal operations detachments (LOD) from across the country. Approximately 90% of the LOD Soldiers were lawyers, ranging in rank from lieutenant to colonel, and 10% were the paralegals and administrative enlisted Soldiers.

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Back to Our Roots

FORT BENNING, Ga. — At this year’s annual training, 3rd Battalion, 330th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET) went back to its roots. The battalion sent five rotations, the first of which left in late May, to Fort Benning, Ga., to complete its stated mission – augment the 198th Infantry Brigade with quality and qualified infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT) Drill Sergeants.

Each rotation consisted of 12 drill sergeants for which the 198th Infantry Brigade, the brigade which oversees all OSUT training on Fort Benning, was desperately waiting. Each rotation began with a mission brief from Col. Timmons, the198th Brigade Commander. From there, the drill sergeants were dispersed to various battalions and companies where they were needed the most.

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Greetings and Salutations Iron Men of Metz

It is hard to believe it has been a little over six months since assuming command. In that short time there have already been many changes that will shape the division in the coming years. Increased fiscal constraints, realignment of mission plans and a renewed emphasis on professional training requirements are chief among these changes. Over the last few weeks the Division, Brigade and Battalion Command Teams have worked diligently to place a laser focus on ensuring Soldiers in our formations identify and lock in Professional Military Training for FY15 and, where possible, complete Annual Training support. Key to our collective success will be securing those courses now and getting ATRRS reservations.

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

Physical Readiness Enhancement Training (PRET)

FORT MCCOY, Wis.— Two companies of drill sergeants and support personnel descended upon Fort McCoy, Wis., as cadre for the Army Reserve’s 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Physical Readiness Enhancement Training (PRET) Camp, June 14-26.

For them physical fitness is more than a program, it’s a lifestyle.

The drill sergeants, part of the 95th Training Division’s 2-330th Infantry (OSUT) Battalion out of Forest Park, Ill., gave instructions on a wide variety of topics ranging from stretching and injury prevention, to proper diet.

Army Reserve Drill Sgt., Staff Sgt. Alexander Mercado, said the PRET program is a new concept designed to help Soldiers that are injured, recovering from an injury or have strayed from a regular physical fitness regimen. This program enables them to change their dietary habits and the way they live before they incorporate physical fitness (PT) into their daily lives.

“We need to get them to change their eating and sleeping habits first, before we do anything else. If we don’t the PT is just going to go out the window,” Mercado said.

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Close Quarters Combat (CQB)

LATHROP, Calif. — Success in the urban environment, especially during close-quarters combat, can hinge on a Soldier’s ability to recognize and adapt to a fast-changing situation. The plan may have been created days before, but during a frantic firefight, at dusk, on a narrow street, the smallest detail can force a change in strategy.

Some Soldiers compare it to soccer or rugby, on the basis that there are no timeouts, no rest breaks and no safe zones. Sometimes the only course of action for a Soldier is to react and fall back on the training that was given them.

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Honor Flight Bluegrass

The first Honor Flight flew May 21, 2005 with six small planes flying 12 WWII Veterans, departing out of Springfield, Ohio. In 2006, with a waiting list of Veterans expanding rapidly, the Honor Flight transitioned to commercial airline carriers to accommodate the maximum number of Veterans as possible.

Partnering with Honor Air in Hendersonville, N.C. and Hero Flight in Provo, Utah, the “Honor Flight Network” was formed. The Honor Flight Network is aggressively expanding their programs to other cities across the nation.

Honor Flight Bluegrass Chapter is one of the newest hubs of the Honor Flight Network created to honor America’s Honored Veterans for their service and sacrifices. The Bluegrass Chapter serves Veterans in the Bluegrass Region and Southern Indiana.

Since 2008 Honor Flight Bluegrass Chapter has transported 1,375 WWII Veterans. Top priority is given to the senior Honored Veterans – World War II survivors along with those other Honored Veterans that may be terminally ill, those with too few tomorrows.

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Never Forget

Americans, whether in uniform or not, should remember the deaths of our fellow countrymen. Fallen Soldiers have paid for our freedom with their lives. Their sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance, which is why Memorial Day is so important.

“This year we memorialize 239 years and 62 military actions that claimed 1.2 million lives,” said Maj. Gen. Leslie A. Purser, commander, 108th Training Command (IET), Charlotte, N.C. “By honoring them we preserve their memory, their service, and their sacrifice.”

The program was spearheaded by Shronda Eason, Survivor Outreach Services staff member, 108th Training Command (IET), Charlotte, N.C.

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Maj. Gen. Lennon Visits Logistical Support Soldiers

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Maj. Gen. Peter Lennon, commanding general, 377th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC), visited logistical support Soldiers from his subordinate units supporting Cadet Summer Training (CST) July 10 at Fort Knox, Ky.

The 377th TSC is providing quartermaster support for CST 2014. This is the first year the Army Reserve, more specifically subordinate units of the 377th TSC, is supporting the training in this capacity. “The need for these services is much larger than we envisioned,” said Col. Rob Humphrey, senior reserve advisor, Cadet Command.

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General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award Winners

The General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award recognizes Company Grade Officers who demonstrate the ideals for which General MacArthur stood-Duty, Honor, Country-and promotes and sustains effective Junior Officer Leadership in the Army.

“Duty, Honor, Country — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”
— General MacArthur’s Thayer Award Speech — Duty, Honor, Country (1962)

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Charlie Co, 3-415th Trains Idaho National Guard Soldiers

SANDPOINT, Idaho — On a frigid Saturday in March 2014, drill sergeants from Charlie Company, 3-415th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET), conducted a combatives refresher training to over 100 Soldiers from the 145th Brigade Support Battalion.

The mission of the Idaho National Guard 145th Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) is to support their brigade in all classes of supply and logistic.

The idea for the combined training event was developed due to the 145th BSB having difficulty in the past finding trained combative instructors to meet their yearly training requirements.

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Task Force Beast Completes Air Advisor Academy

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — Soldiers of Task Force Beast completed the Air Advisory Academy at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL) on June 19, 2014. The four-day academy, hosted by the Air Force’s 37th Training Wing, provided rigorous and relevant training on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to assess, train, advise, assist, and equip the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP).

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Patriot Brigade Transitions Leadership during COC

FORT KNOX, Ky. — The 3rd “Patriot” Brigade (Professional Development), 104th Training Division (LT) held their Change of Command Ceremony, July 11 on Brooks Field, Fort Knox, Ky. The Change of Command (COC) is a time honored tradition that symbolizes leadership transition of an organization through the passing of the colors from the outgoing to incoming commander.

Col. Richard Farnsworth replaced Col. Andrew Nord in an event hosted by Brig. Gen. Kurt Hardin, commanding general, 104th Training Division (LT). The ceremony included a Color Guard of Patriot Brigade Soldiers and leadership from the brigade’s seven subordinate battalions representing their respective units with Colors.

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Task Force Wolf Howls during Cadet Summer Training

FORT KNOX, Ky. — The 104th Training Division (LT) has a rich history. Task Force Wolf, which is primarily composed of 104th Soldiers and augmented with other specialty Reserve units, intends to stay true to its heritage throughout this summer at Fort Knox, Ky. Outside its headquarters building, the Task Force proudly posts a newly-made guidon. Although new, the guidon reflects the unit’s roots. Its dark green background still represents where the division’s home base is located-the northwest, and the alert and vocal timberwolf making its presence known.

“The Soldiers of Task Force Wolf come from all over the country and from various subordinate units, but we are all part of the pack and charged with a very important mission— to train and mentor the future officers of the Army.

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New Purpose for Former Norman Army Reserve Center

NORMAN, Okla. — On April 18, 2014, the former Joe Smalley Army Reserve Center, 1507 West Lindsey Street, Norman, Okla., was officially opened as the City of Norman Investigations Center (NIC). The opening is the culmination of a five-year process which began in 2009, when the Army Reserve moved out of the Smalley Center and into the Norman Armed Forces Reserve Center on Thunderbird Drive.

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Army Reserve Cooks Get Back on the Line

FORT KNOX, Ky. — United States Army Reserve food service specialists from different units across the country came together to make up the food service team of Task Force Wolf at Fort Knox, Ky., to support Cadet Summer Training (CST). The 17 Reserve cooks, augmented by approximately 40 active duty cooks, will operate two different dining facilities throughout the summer to nourish and sustain more than 11,000 Soldiers, Cadets, and Cadre present for CST.

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Drill Sergeant 50th Anniversary

In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Program - TRADOC will host several events Sept. 12 at the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School: outdoor social with catered dinner, various vendors, and static displays. All past and present drill sergeants are asked to bring their campaign hats to the social for a mass formation photo, followed by a cake-cutting ceremony.

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Chaplains Corner

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On July 11, 2014, a total of 16 Soldiers from the 108th Training Command HQ attended the Military Appreciation Luncheon at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C. The following were Soldier’s reflections and comments on this event.

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Soldiers Gold Mine

G1 Nugget

IDT Travel Reimbursement Program

The basics

  • Maximum collection is $300.00 each Battle Assembly (BA)
  • BA duty performance must be performed at a Soldier’s assigned duty location
  • Maximum number of BA’s reimbursable is twelve (12) each Fiscal Year. This is based on the assumption that a Soldier will perform 12 MUTA 4’s in a Fiscal Year. Performing a MUTA 2, a MUTA 6, etc., will not increase or decrease the authorized amount reimbursable, which is $300 per BA weekend.
  • Soldiers can be reimbursed for an RST, but the duty MUST be performed at the assigned duty location
  • The DTS Local Voucher date should be the BA date
  • Soldiers can collect for TY 13 but mileage is reimbursed based upon actual gas expenses instead of the mileage rate
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Do you want to be a Unit Public Affairs Representative?

As the 108th Training Command (IET) continues to grow, it will be difficult for the Public Affairs Staff to visit each brigade, battalion and company to cover news events. Public Affairs is the responsibility of commanders and Soldiers alike.

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WO Highlight

What is the likelihood that the 108th Training Command’s most recent WOCS graduate – a commissioned Warrant Officer for a period of three weeks – lives in the Little Rock area and works as an instructor at the PEC? Warrant Officer Candice Wilson was my WOMET shadow for a Senior WO Leadership Forum in Little Rock. She is a bright, energetic, young WO who provided valuable insight to senior WO leadership. Following are her comments:

“I was elated to be asked to join the USAR Command Chief Warrant Officer (CCWO) meeting. As a newly appointed warrant officer, I felt a tremendous sense of pride to be in a room filled with command chief warrant officers that wanted to make a difference.

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108th Griffon Association Continues to March

The 108th Griffon Assoc. again fulfilled one of its many objectives which is to provide an opportunity for present and past members of the 108th Training Cmd. to gather in an informal setting to renew old friendships and to develop new ones.

This past 31 May gathering was at the Cowpens National Battlefield. Over 40 past and present members gathered to include three former 108th Tng. Commanders (Maj. Gen. Charles “Skip” McCartney, Maj. Gen. B. K. Sutton, and Maj. Gen. George Goldsmith) along with the present commander Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser. Three former Division Command Sergeant Majors, (Command Sgt. Maj. George Chapman, Command Sgt. Maj. Bob Nash, and Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Payne) were also in attendance.

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Honey I'e Got Orders

As a military wife, some of the words I have come to dread are “Honey, I’ve got orders.” Orders mean that chaos is imminent. You suddenly notice all of the clutter that has accumulated over the years and you are determined to clear it out before the packing process begins. Additionally, there are appointments to make, movers to schedule, and the seemingly endless tasks of clearing and out-processing. Don’t forget the research. Where is the new duty station? Is on-post housing nice? Is it big enough? Is there a wait list? Where are the commissary and the exchange?

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Making a Difference for Veterans

Alorica’s executive team has always had passion and commitment to hire those who were willing to sacrifice their lives for our country. The AloriCares initiative was created three years ago as a work-at-home disabled veterans’ program for a telecommunications’ client. After thoughtful review, this initiative has transformed into more than a jobs’ program.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, MILITARY TRANSITION RESOURCES

Changing Jobs? Roll Your 401(k) Into an IRA

Content provided courtesy of USAA.

During the hustle and bustle of a job change, it’s easy to forget about the money you’ve contributed to your 401(k). “Saving for retirement is a lifelong commitment,” says Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner J.J. Montanaro. “When you change jobs, remembering to take care of past investments is part of the commitment.”

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The Joys of Predeployment

(Editor's Note: Jen is a military spouse from Blue Star Families and contributes as a guest blogger to their free e-book, “Everyone Serves: A Handbook for Family and Friends of Service Members During Pre-Deployment, Deployment and Reintegration.”)
You know what is harder and more stressful than deployment? PRE-DEPLOYMENT.

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The Way Forward: Connecting Military Talent with American Businesses

In March 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched Hiring Our Heroes to connect our nation’s military veterans and spouses with meaningful employment opportunities. On paper, that mandate may seem simple, but the jobs situation facing veterans and spouses in 2011 was anything but. That year, post-9/11 veterans — men and women who had raised their right hand to serve during the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan — were returning home to 12 percent unemployment. Those under the age of 25 faced more than double that rate at 30 percent. Every one in four of their spouses was also unemployed.

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Worries melt away on Alabama beaches

Picture a perfect day at the beach — blue skies, a gentle breeze and turquoise waters lapping at the shore of a sugar-white sand beach. A fall vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast delivers.

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Hey Battle, Have You Considered Civic Engagement?

In 2012, the Corporation for National and Community Service reported that one in four adults living in the United States donated their time to an organization through volunteerism. This insight shows that volunteerism is an essential activity for millions of people, nation-wide. Organizations such as The Mission Continues would argue that volunteerism and civic engagement can facilitate the healing process for post 9/11 veterans.
Becoming more civically engaged is the name of the game. Civic engagement done well creates a sense of community amongst its participants. The late social worker Sherry Arnstein claims that that there are three ways that we become more civically engaged. Using the idea of a blood drive can showcase this.

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Relevant Tags: Grifon, Military Transitions

Find your island on The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel

Think southwest Florida and imagine blue skies and warm Gulf waters. Think sunshine, white-sand beaches and uninhabited islands. Think fashionable boutique and outlet shopping. Think of days spent spotting dolphins and searching for shells. Imagine evenings spent enjoying delicious seafood and watching sunsets. Find your island on The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel.

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BIG things afoot at Universal Orlando Resort

The changes happening at Universal Orlando® Resort are nothing short of phenomenal. Some are calling them “groundbreaking.” Others take it even further and use the phrase “game-changing.” However you term it, it’s big.

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Wet ‘n Wild opens ‘Aqua Drag Racer’ attraction

Wet ‘n Wild Orlando has opened its newest attraction, the Aqua Drag Racer™ — a family-friendly, four lane racing attraction. It’s expected to be the tallest and fastest water-based racing attraction of its kind in Florida, aimed at providing thrill seekers with an experience unlike any other.

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Discover Fall Wonders in Historic Hendersonville

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

Scenic Leaf Season

Bask in the bounty of the fall apple harvest amidst the scenic beauty of the historic Hendersonville area. As you plan your fall mountain get-away, your window of opportunity is larger than you think. The peak leaf color season lasts from early October to mid-November depending on where you are. No matter what week of leaf season you arrive, peak fall color is somewhere close by. The western North Carolina mountains provide a variety of elevations, from the highest peaks to the warm, gently rolling foothills. 

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21st Season for Renaissance Festival

The Renaissance Festival is a 16th century European style art and entertainment festival combining outdoor theater, circus entertainment, arts and crafts marketplace, a jousting tournament, a feast fit for royalty, and much more. The 21st annual season opens in the fall Saturdays and Sundays, from October 4th to November 23rd, 2014.

The Carolina Renaissance Festival was introduced in 1994 with six acres of exhibits, attractions and entertainment. The event has grown into a 20-acre theme park filled with charming cottages and castles, kitchens and pubs, and a most unusual collection of people powered rides and games of skill — all nestled in 325 acres of pristine woodlands just north of Charlotte, N.C.

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Kings Mountain’s music, art and history at Gateway Festival

This year’s Gateway Festival will bring “Music, Muskets & Merriment” to downtown Kings Mountain, North Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 11. This daylong fall festival — from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — celebrates Kings Mountain being designated by the National Park Service as the “Gateway City” to all three area parks. This community-wide event will showcase the music, art, culture and the history of Kings Mountain where visitors can easily move around to all venues and connect to parking by riding one of the free, escorted Gateway shuttles which runs continuously during the festival.

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Three Rivers, Lake Kaweah and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks — Military Friendly with Terrific R&R<

Relax, rejuvenate and enjoy year-round outdoor recreation under the gaze of mighty 2,000 to 3,000 year old sequoias in Sequoia National Park as they tower over Pacific dogwood that glow in lovely autumn shades of pink, gold and orange. Our native black bears are so focused on finding acorns that they don’t even see you. They climb the highest branches of golden oaks, while you wind your way down below along the Generals Highway and on into Giant Forest.

Enjoy the early nip in the air, as you hike the Lakes Trail leading to crystal clear high elevation lakes, then take the highway back into Three Rivers, and watch the sun set over beautiful Lake Kaweah. Gaze in awe at our amazing dark skies, with the Milky Way extending over us like a lovely sparkling scarf.

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Berkeley County, The Heart of the American South

Looking for a relaxing but educational vacation? Berkeley County, South Carolina offers it all. Just minutes from downtown Charleston and one and on-half hours from Myrtle Beach, Berkeley County prides itself on its reputation of being one of the great nature getaways for the next generation!

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Visit Rock City and Ruby Falls in Tennessee

Thousands of visitors are attracted by Lookout Mountain’s rich human history and majestic scenery, but far more come to experience the attractions that have never lost their ability to enchant, amaze and inform. People return again and again to visit their favorite sites against the ever-changing seasonal backdrop of Lookout Mountain. Still others return, bringing children, and grandchildren, to experience the thrill of discovery through the eyes of a child.

The journey into the caverns at Ruby Falls is like no other. At 1,120 feet below the summit of Lookout Mountain is the deepest commercial cavern in the United States, the tallest underground waterfall open to the public and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Southwest Virginia’s Premiere Motorcycle Trail - The Claw of the Dragon

It would be a challenge for motorcycle riders to find a more beautiful driving trail than the scenic back roads of Southwest Virginia. Looping through the Blue Ridge Mountain range, The Claw of the Dragon is becoming one of the most popular destinations in the South for motorcycle enthusiasts.

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Orange County rich in U.S. history

Long on fun but just a short drive away, Orange County, Virginia offers many unique ways to get away, whether you are looking for adventure or just to relax. Nestled in the piedmont region of Virginia, visitors to Orange County find themselves on a surprising adventure that combines historic sites, scenic wine country and a range of festivals and fairs with outdoor action like fishing, horseback-riding, skydiving and more.

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From the Commanding General
From the Commanding General

By Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser | 09/23/2014

There are two areas that I’d like to talk about this quarter that I need your help with. The first is drill sergeant strength. The Army Reserve is in a strength crisis and at the 108th we are also in a crisis as it applies to qualified drill sergeants. As a result, I have made changes at the unit level within the 95th and 98th Divisions in hopes that we get our 500+ drill sergeant candidates to the Drill Sergeant School in accordance with regulatory guidance and policy. First, company commanders will not be selected unless they can remain in position for at least two years. First Sergeants will not remain in position longer than three ... Read More...

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It’s Our Turn- Meet Team RWB
It’s Our Turn- Meet Team RWB

Blayne Smith | 10/07/2014

While you may know us as an organization that focuses on fitness, we aren’t simply building strong bodies. Team RWB is about building strong communities. We understand that engaging and connecting with veterans is often the most critical step to accessing resources, finding new ways to lead, and ultimately making a smooth transition. Read More...

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Dean College School of Continuing Studies Now Offering Certificate in Cybersecurity Studies

| 10/25/2015

With an ever increasing dependence on technology to support our daily personal, business and national security activities, cybercrimes have dramatically increased over the past decade, exposing sensitive information and imposing a huge cost on our economy. To address this rapidly growing area of concern, many institutions of higher education have developed programs focused on educating students in areas of cybersecurity including functional IT, strategy, risk assessment and response for the purposes of combating all forms of cybercrime and ensuring our national security is protected from computer based threats.  Read More...

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From the Command Sergeant Major
From the Command Sergeant Major

By Command Sgt. Maj. Rocci R. DeRezza | 09/23/2014

While writing this article, my tenure as the 108th Training Command (IET) command sergeant major (CSM) is just about complete. This is the time to say goodbye to all the 108th Training Command Soldiers. I want to thank all the CSMs, NCOs, Soldiers, Officers, and Army civilians of the 108th Training Command, the 95th, 98th and the 104th Divisions for their cooperation and hard work on several accomplishments over the last few years. Among these accomplishments: the 108th Training Command was granted an exception to policy for E-4’s to attend the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School (USADSS) and to be promoted to E-5. This involved a coup... Read More...

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Warrant Officer 101: Answers to the top 4 questions
Warrant Officer 101: Answers to the top 4 questions

| 09/23/2014

Who Are Warrant Officers? By short definition, a warrant officer is a commissioned officer who is a highly specialized expert and trainer in a career field (Warrant Officer Military Occupational Specialty (WOMOS)). Predominantly, warrant officers are single-specialty officers with career tracks that progress within their field – unlike O-grade commissioned officers who focus on increased levels of command and staff duty positions for professional and career advancement. However, warrant officers can hold command and staff duty positions. For this reason, although warrant officers move forward within a continuum of learning where they ... Read More...

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Reserve Drill Sergeants Exemplify the Professional NCO
Reserve Drill Sergeants Exemplify the Professional NCO

By Staff Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti | 09/23/2014

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Grass still wet from the morning dew, thick fog hovering over the ground, the darkness of the night fighting against the rising sun, a line of drill sergeant’s march out in perfect precision. Once reaching the physical training pit, they immediately assume their grading positions to administer the record Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) for Cadets attending Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) during Cadet Summer Training (CST) held at Fort Knox, Ky. The cadets were silently watching the noncommissioned officers with their distinguishing hats set up for a morning that will greatly affect their future prosp... Read More...

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The Griffon Vol. 38.3 (Fall 2014)

The Griffon Vol. 38.3 (Fall 2014)
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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.