George Washington University

From the Commanding General

To all the exceptional Soldiers and leaders within the 108th Training Command, it’s been my honor and privilege to serve with you over the last two years. My tenure is up and I am headed to an assignment with the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASA/MRA) .....think Army Reserve Policy at the Department of Army level.

Throughout the past two years, I have been continually amazed and humbled by the expertise I have seen in the units within the 108th. Our drill sergeants and ROTC Cadre are totally motivating to me and inspirational to the new recruits and cadets they train. The compliments I have received from the most senior levels of our Army about your professionalism, expertise and character have been overwhelming and made me so proud to be part of this unit.

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From the Command Sergeant Major

It’s always good to start off with something positive and it doesn’t get any better than being the command sergeant major of the greatest command in the U.S. Army. Since I’ve been assigned to the 108th Training Command I’ve observed our Soldiers performing their assigned missions with great proficiency.

I’ve also received many comments commending our drill sergeants and the work they’re doing at every one of the Army Training Centers, Task Force Marshall, the CRC and their contributions at Task Force Wolf where they train cadets to become tomorrow’s leaders as officers in this great Army of ours. Long arduous hours, technical and tactical proficiency and patience are just a few requirements of wearing the Brown Round. No Soldier joins our formation without their stamp of approval.

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Striving for Excellence

When I attended the Warrant Officer Candidate School, I was in the Purple Class. Our class motto was, “Purple Eagles striving for excellence, Sir!” The motto became one of the fundamental building blocks of my career.

Striving for excellence is different than striving for perfection. It’s good to strive for perfection, but perfection generally pertains to one area or one thing and seems to have an end state – the stopping point of when you believe you have reached the point of perfection. Except that perfection is never really achieved. Perfection isn’t lasting. What is perfect today may not apply tomorrow. There will be someone who comes along behind you to perfect what you thought you perfected. I really can’t say that I have seen forms of the word “perfect” in any motto.

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Survivability is Key at Chaplain Basic

FORT JACKSON, S.C. ­— In April of 1775 a cleric from New England named William Emerson ministered to the minutemen at the Battle of Concord on the North Bridge, thus officially becoming the first chaplain of the Revolutionary War.

A few months later on July 29, the Chaplain Corps was formally recognized by the Continental Congress at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Today, more than 3,000 Army chaplains, representing 140 different religious organizations, serve as religious leaders to Soldiers and their Families, in peacetime and in combat.

Though their role as chaplain distinguishes them from combatants, nearly 300 members of the centuries old corps have lost their lives in combat to date. With the primary goal of the Army being to fight and win the nation’s wars; the goal of the chaplain is to provide spiritual ministry to the troops.

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Familiar Faces Carry the Load for the 104th

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Observe a training mission run by the 104th Training Division’s 3rd Bn., 321st Inf. Regt. and  you’ll see a couple of familiar faces at the forefront of just about every class.

Those ‘go-to’ guys are none other than Staff Sgt. Jim Ott, and Army Reserve Drill Sergeant, Staff Sgt. William Adsitt: two seasoned Veterans in the unit, well versed in just about every Army Warrior Task imaginable, from basic rifle marksmanship to chemical and biological weapons defense.

“Today we are supporting the 12th Legal Operations Detachment, but next month you will find us teaching at the Chaplain School,” said Ott, who has been training chaplain candidates in the Basic Officer Leaders Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina since 2008.

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From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

Time passes quickly in uniform. As I write this, I am approaching my thirty-fourth year of service to our great Nation and the eighteen-month mark as commanding general. It is appropriate to take a knee for a moment and reflect on where we are and where we are headed. First, I am deeply honored to serve as your commander and I appreciate the tremendous work done by those who wear the Iron Men of Metz shoulder patch and all who support the Soldiers and civilian employees of our formation.

Second, we cannot lose sight of the mission of this organization amidst the noise of our day-to-day efforts. Our enduring mission is preparing America’s sons and daughters to be Soldiers who can think critically in the absence of orders, have the skills needed to accomplish the task at hand and possess the warrior ethos to close with and destroy the enemy wherever and whenever they can be found, in close combat if necessary.

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Army Reserve to Support Cadet Summer Training

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Reserve Soldiers from all across the United States are working throughout the summer in support of the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Nearly 9,000 cadets and 5,000 cadre will be at Fort Knox during the CST making this the biggest Army training exercise in the continental United States, said Brig. Gen. Darrell Guthrie, deputy commanding general of the CST and commanding general of the 104th Training Division (LT).

Of the nearly 5,000 cadre attending the event throughout the summer, 1,579 are Reserve Soldiers.

“The Reserve Soldiers that come here are absolutely critical to the success of cadet summer training,” said Guthrie.

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CONUS Replacement Center Soldier Wins Soldier of the Year

FORT HOOD, Texas — A CONUS Replacement Center Soldier competed and won the First Army Division West Soldier of the Year competition here May 26-29, 2015.

After four days of physical and mental tests that measured the strength of the Division West’s best, Spc. Allante Gay, a Soldier assigned to the CONUS Replacement Center Soldier, Fort Bliss, Texas, won first place in the E-4 and below category the division’s Best Warrior Competition.

The competition consisted of the Army Physical Fitness Test, a written exam, individual weapons qualification, an obstacle course, a 12-mile foot march, combative drills, day and night land navigation, and an appearance before a senior enlisted review board.

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Training Command Ramps Up for Mission to Middle East

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ­— In his written statement to the National Commission on the Future of the Army, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, chief of Army Reserve, said, “In an era of persistent conflict and global engagement, with multiple strategically imperative operations ongoing around the globe, protecting and defending the national security interests of the United States requires the full engagement of the Total Army – Active, Army Reserve and Army National Guard.”

Realizing this vision, Talley recently tapped into the 108th Training Command (IET) ­— one of only five training and exercise commands in the Army’s Total Force, all of which lie in the Army Reserve - to support a joint training mission to the Middle East under the direction of U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM.

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Army Reserve Sits at Front Door of the Future Force

WEST POINT, N.Y. — Whether you know it or not, everyone in the Army has been influenced by an Army Reserve Soldier at some point in their career.

Army Reserve Soldiers are your cooks, transportation and supply.

They’re also your drill sergeants, platoon sergeants and instructors and they sit at the front door of the Army.

Nowhere is that truer than at the Cadet Summer Training mission for the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

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Joint Service Summit: Instructors Find Inspiration at Summit

The different services call them different things -- drill instructors, drill sergeants, training instructors, recruit division commanders.

Their purpose, however, is the same -- to take young men and women off the streets and, in a matter of weeks, turn them into effective Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.

Last Friday, the Army Drill Sergeant Academy on Fort Jackson offered the first Drill Instructor/Drill Sergeant, Joint Service Summit to share knowledge and improve training across the armed forces.

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Alpha Company, 1-354th Conducts Training Support

CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. ­— Alpha Company 1st Battalion, 354th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), conducted mission support for the 384th Military Police Battalion out of Fort Wayne, Indiana, May 7-10, 2015, at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Camp Atterbury is a training base of the Indiana National Guard near Edinburgh, Indiana.

The 384th Military Police Battalion’s mission was to qualify Soldiers on primary assigned weapons to include M9 and M4, as well as to provide initial introductory training and qualification on the M1200, M203, M2 and M249 individual and platoon weapon systems.

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Sgt. Tyree Brown: The Cycle of Leadership

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Sgt. Tyree Brown of A Company, 3rd Battalion, 354th Regiment, 104th Training Division (LT), Bell, California, is spending his summer instructing cadets in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense (CBRN).

Brown is an Army Reserve Soldier. Even though his annual training is spent here, he serves his community as well as his country at his regular job in Los Angeles as a police officer. A Veteran of Operation Baton Rouge, Brown joined the police department after leaving active duty, but not before joining the Army Reserve. “I didn’t want to leave. It was like I was leaving my brothers behind,” Brown said of his active duty comrades. “[However] I met some more new friends. I love the unit that I’m in.”

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Leaders Past and Present Build Leaders of the Future

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Thousands of Reserve and active duty officers, noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted Soldiers assembled at Fort Knox for the second time since the program moved from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to execute the largest annual leader training event in the Army; Cadet Summer Training.

Beginning around mid-May and continuing to the end of summer, approximately 5000 cadre of Soldiers assigned to U.S. Army Cadet Command, as well as active duty and reserve Soldiers, come out to support the training, said Lt. Col. Joshua Gillen, 8th Brigade, Reserve Officer Training Course (ROTC), U.S. Army Cadet Command and the professor of Military Sciences at California Polytechnic State University. He is also this years’ Deputy Chief of Staff for CST, a position held by a different field grade officer each year.   

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West Point Welcomes Future Cadets on R-Day

WEST POINT, N.Y. — In 2014, close to 21 million students enrolled in the more than 5,000 undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States.

Of that, only 4,591 attend a renowned school over looking the Hudson River in New York.

A school so prestigious that Forbes magazine voted it the 23rd top school in the country.

A school so acclaimed that then General of the Army, Omar Bradley, in his 1978 Founder’s Day speech said, “For 176 years the Long Gray Line has met the needs of our changing society while remaining an impregnable bastion of those ideals upon which our country was founded.”

That school is the United States Military Academy at West Point.

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Technology Keeps Family Tradition Alive at Army Oath of Enlistment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Twenty-five years ago, in January of 1990, Capt. Maurica Jones administered the oath of enlistment to her son, Joshua, at a small Military Entrance Processing Station in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Today, June 19, 2015, Joshua, now a captain with the Army Reserve assigned to the 108th Training Command (IET) in Charlotte, North Carolina, returned the favor.

“So help me God.” And with four simple words, Joshua’s son, Danny, joined a long list of McClures to enlist into military service. He also becomes the third generation of the Family to be sworn in with a parent presiding over the oath.

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Drill Sergeants Hope to Show Leadership Skills

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Only the cream of the crop rise to the top of their trade. For Army drill sergeants and Advanced Individual Training platoon sergeants, the apex of their crafts is to become drill sergeant leader or platoon sergeant leader.

Assessment and selection of DSLs and PSLs took place Tuesday and Wednesday, with open interviews at the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy on Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

When selected, the new leaders will be tasked with training Soldiers going through the academy. The semiannual selection process consists of an interview and a physical fitness test in which the noncommissioned officers must pass each event with a score of 70 or higher.

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Training Command Launches Company Level Leader Development Program

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Capt. Cavan Winn received notification through his battalion commander that he was nominated to represent his unit in a Leader Development Program initiative at the 108th Training Command (IET) in Charlotte, North Carolina. His commander explained that he would shadow Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, commanding general, 108th Training Command (IET), which would afford him an opportunity to receive mentorship in a way that doesn’t happen very often.

The program Winn participated in extends an opportunity for company grade officers to spend an entire battle assembly with the commanding general. The junior leader participates in a full weekend of activities including physical training, battle rhythm events, ceremonies and much more.

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Current and Former 108th Command Soldiers Give Back to Their Community by Performing Military Honors

HUMBOLDT COUNTY — One of the greatest aspects of service in today’s modern Army Reserve is that the citizen Soldier feels connected to his community and the community feels connected to the Soldier through that service. Yet merely being a Troop Program Unit member is just one aspect of the strength that Reserve Soldiers from the 108th Training Command (IET) bring to their jobs and the towns and cities they live in.

I live in a very far flung region of Northern California, a full five hours north of the City of San Francisco. Census figures indicate that we have over 11,000 Veterans out of a population of 134,000. Wanting to do more in my community to honor Veterans, I joined a group called the Mad River Community Veteran’s Honor Guard. Community Honor Guards are authorized by Federal law, and through connections with VFW posts are loaned ceremonial M1 rifles by the Army for the purpose of conducting military honors for Veterans who have passed.

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Obituary

HAMPTON, Va. — Major Tracey Leigh Frink, U.S. Army Reserve, 108th Training Command (IET), Public Affairs, age 35, passed away at home on Friday, August 7, 2015. She was a graduate of Christopher Newport University and an 18-year Veteran with the U.S. Army.

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Picture in Heartbreak

ARLINGTON, Va. — I noticed her in my peripheral vision as I was lying in the grass trying to get a meaningful photograph of all the “60s” etched into the backs of the gravestones. She wore a wide-brimmed hat and khaki pants that made her look like a gardener, not a Gold Star Mother tending to her son’s grave. I kind of wanted to register the sight of her sitting on her knees gently fussing with her careful arrangement around his headstone as just that and move on. Section 60 is a holy place, after all, and the thought of approaching a stranger there is daunting. Should you, or shouldn’t you? This was my third time there and I never had - but something about her caught me.

I was on the tail end of a two-week stint at Fort Belvoir as a photojournalist with the U.S. Army Reserve. My officer in charge had given me the morning to go into Washington D.C., and get stock photos of whatever I could for the new USAR website. In an effort to maximize my time I decided to go in uniform and visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at sunrise, using my camera timer to get shots of myself there to make them relevant to the Army.

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Sgt. Michael Beck: Teaching Confidence to Future Leaders

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Sgt. Michael Beck of B Company, 2nd Battalion, 399th Training Support Regiment, 104th Training Division (LT), is one of about 4,800 Army Reserve Soldiers spending their summer here training Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets.

Fort Knox is hosting around 8,500 cadets coming from universities all over the country. Each one must go through the rappel tower and confidence course. Beck, of Texarkana, Arkansas, is one of the instructors teaching the cadets how to rappel down a 65-foot tower.

“This is nothing like any other assignment I’ve been on,” said Beck, a veteran of two tours in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to instill the wisdom that I’ve learned.”

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History: Cadets Train for Leadership at Fort Knox

FORT KNOX, Ky. ­— Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets from colleges all over the United States have gathered at Fort Knox, Kentucky, for annual Cadet Summer Training (CST).

The concept of ROTC in the United States began with the establishment of land-grant colleges by the Merrill Act of 1862. This act required these schools include military tactics as part of their curriculum. The most prominent of these early programs was found at Vermont’s Norwich University. The American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy was founded by West Point graduate Capt. Alden Partridge, who promoted the idea of the “Citizen Soldier.” This concept led to the formations of both Reserve and National Guard units with regimented training to replace local militia forces.

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Support Drive For Homeless Veterans

SALEM, Va. — On May 20th, the 2nd/319th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 104th Training Division (LT), concluded a support drive for homeless Veterans at the VA Medical Center located in Salem, Virginia.

The Salem VA Medical Center is the primary support center for 26 counties in southwestern Virginia. A few weeks prior, the Salem VA Center contacted the battalion to help raise awareness for their annual “2K Walk and Roll” drive to collect basic necessities for local homeless Veterans.

The Soldiers of the 2nd/319th Battalion responded by voluntarily donating over 150 clothing items and basic toiletries. This accounted for the single largest group donation received at the event and was recognized by the VA Center’s Director as an incredible show of support.

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Reserve Instructors Breathe New Life into Fort Knox Range

FORT KNOX, Ky. ­— The once-green expanse of rolling hills, trimmed to the Command Sgt. Major’s 2-inch standard, has seen better days. For decades, platoons of Soldiers firing small arms weapons and batteries of tanks and howitzers firing their main guns did so on Fort Knox’s perfectly maintained grounds, as wave after wave of training brigades cycled through the iconic Army post.

Enter sequester.

By July 2014, Fort Knox saw a reduction in its total workforce from more than 21,000 Soldiers and civilians to just under 18,000. In fiscal year 2016, the Army estimates the reduction of another $14.5 million to the Fort Knox maintenance budget alone.

Despite those reductions and conditions, maintaining a trained and ready force is a continued priority for the Army – and the mission of the Soldiers of the 1/334 Training Support Battalion, 104th Training Division (LT), out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Upstate South Carolina Experts Pool Talents, Knowledge for Combat Veterans

GREENVILLE, S.C. ­— Clemson University researchers are teaming with Greenville Hospital System (GHS) doctors, Upstate Warrior Solution and Veterans Administration professionals to advance an innovative collaboration on bringing peace and stability to the lives of Combat Veterans.

The struggle of today’s Combat Veteran to assimilate back into civilian life has been well documented, but this collaboration, “Coming Home: Key Transitions for Warriors and Families” harnesses the collective brain power of experts to help find answers to those challenges.

Health care professionals and researchers address topics ranging from recreational therapy to using blood pressure as part of a post traumatic stress disorder prevention strategy, and powerful first-hand testimony to the mental and physical tolls of war by Combat Veterans.

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Iacovelli Comes Back to 2-98th as Commander

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Col. Stephen Iacovelli takes command of the 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), during a ceremony Saturday at Victory Field. Iacovelli had commanded the brigade’s 3rd Battalion, 323rd Infantry Regiment before leaving to be the deputy chief of staff for intelligence at the 416th Theater Engineer Command.

Taking command of the brigade in which he had served as a battalion commander kept him awake for a few nights, Iacovelli said.

“I slept few hours the past few days thinking about what this means,” Iacovelli said Saturday, after taking command of 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division from Col. Jed Schaertl in a ceremony on Fort Jackson’s Victory Field.

Iacovelli, who entered the Army in 1984 as a private, said it was “nice to be back at the 2-98th” and was aiming for his command to be “predictable.” Such predictability would make it easier to solve problems as they occurred, he said.

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Reserve Soldier Honored for His Contributions to Law Enforcement and His Community

MINT HILL, N.C. — In 2014, 117 law enforcement officers lost their lives in the line of duty.

On average, one law enforcement officer is killed every 58 hours.

Dedicated on October 15, 1991, in Washington D.C., the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was built to honor the more than 20,000 officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect since the first recorded death of a police officer in 1791.

For the past three years, during National Police week, 1st Sgt. Michael Gainey, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, has gone above and beyond his duties as a Reserve Soldier by organizing an event in honor of those fallen brave men and women of the noble, but increasingly criticized profession.

Gainey, a 12-year veteran officer with the Mint Hill Police Department, first organized a 5K run and walk called Soles-2-Remember in 2013, in an effort to raise awareness in the local community.

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Legal Operations Supported by the Timberwolves

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — On another warm sunny day, the 104th Training Division (LT) started early, preparing the range for the 12th Legal Operations Detachment located on Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The 104th Timberwolves were there to support the LOD in weapons PMI, zero and qualification of M16s and M9s.

Staff Sgt. John Pompey, 3/321st, 104th Training Division (LT), said, “We are range control, detail and support the ranges by setting them up for units that come out here. We run the range; everything from setting up the targets, loading and distributing ammo, safeties and getting everyone on line. Today we are supporting the 12th LOD. I have enjoyed my job for 16 years now and love it. I was active duty at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, prior to this.”

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Preserving Veterans’ Stories for the Ages

CLEMSON, S.C. — Expect to be impressed when you meet a Marine, but when that Marine is a 95 year-old Pearl Harbor survivor who challenges you to a pull-up contest, prepare to be blown away.

This is one of many things Clemson University student Will Hines of Spartanburg has learned in conducting the Veterans Project, an ongoing undergraduate research project to collect and preserve the personal accounts of American War Veterans so that future generations can hear those stories directly from the men and women who lived them.

Former Marine Staff Sgt. Robert A. Henderson’s story begins in Hawaii on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, as a plane with a perplexing paint job thunders overhead “close enough that I could have thrown a rock and hit it” toward a row of U.S. Naval ships docked in the harbor, he said.

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Army Family Honors Patriots

BALTIMORE, Md. — With the 70th anniversary of the official surrender of the German Army during World War II just days away on May 7, one Army Family decided to pay tribute to Veterans from our greatest generation by greeting them as they disembarked a plane on an Honor Flight.

On Saturday morning, May 2, 2015, Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, 108th Training Command (IET) commanding general, and her daughter, Capt. Jennifer Purser, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command Company Commander, welcomed Veterans at the Baltimore-Washington International airport from coastal Georgia and Tallahassee, Florida.

Those Veterans from the Vietnam, Korean and World War II eras were there on a one day trip to enjoy the monuments and memorials throughout our nation’s capital built in their honor.

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Battalion Conducts Fort Jackson Army Training Center Support Mission

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Seven Soldiers from 3-321st (TSB), 104th Training Division (LT), are conducting a 22-day annual training mission in support of the Fort Jackson Special Troops Battalion (FJ STB). As part of the Army Training Center Training Support Mission, Soldiers are serving in various roles to support Basic Combat Training, as well as general administrative support to the Army Training Center. 

Flexibility and a positive attitude are the keys to success for this mission. This is the third iteration of the training support mission this fiscal year for the battalion and each mission is different. Despite preparation and planning months in advance, the FJ STB’s support requirements change based on the size of the BCT classes, active duty personnel shortages, as well as additional support missions in which the STB requires our Soldiers’ support.

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Stultz Honored at Commissioning Ceremony

By Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton
108th Training Command (IET) Public Affairs

DAVIDSON, N.C. — The list of inductees into the University of North Carolina-Charlotte’s ROTC Hall of Fame includes: a former mayor and entrepreneur, John Belk,  he 54th U.S. Secretary of State and Rhodes scholar, Dean Rusk and a former journalist and CEO of a major publication company, James Batten.

Add former chief of the Army Reserve, retired Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, to that list.

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Changing Responsibility for the Timberwolves

FORT KNOX, Ky. — The 104th Training Division (LT) Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Darrell J. Guthrie, hosted a change of responsibility ceremony 13 June 2015 at the General George Patton Museum, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Command Sgt. Maj. Juan M. Loera Jr. relinquished responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Peter T. Trotter.

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Unit Ministry Team Cadet Training

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Chaplain (Maj.) Todd Wolf, 104th Training Division (LT) Division Chaplain, conducts role play training with the Unit Ministry Team’s Cadets during the two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training at Cadet Summer Training 15, Fort Knox, Kentucky.

ASIST is a standardized two-day, two-trainer, workshop designed for members of all care giving groups. The emphasis is on teaching suicide first-aid to help a person at risk stay safe and seek further help as needed.

Participants learn to use a suicide intervention model to identify persons with thoughts of suicide, seek a shared understanding of reasons for dying and living, develop a safe plan based on a review of risk, be prepared to do follow-up and become involved in suicide-safer community networks.

Graduated skill development is achieved through mini-lectures, facilitated discussions, group simulations and role plays. Workshop content is prepared to accommodate a wide variety of caregiver participants.

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Remain Calm, All is Well

Charlotte, N.C. —  “It’s just like Kevin Bacon said in Animal House, ‘remain calm, all is well,” said Col. Robert Ashby, Deputy Chief of Staff, G5, 108th Training Command (IET).

“There’s no reason for units to have a mass exodus. We are doing everything we can, especially for instructors and drill sergeants, to ensure those Soldiers have a position.”

That’s the message 108th leadership wants to convey as the command barrels forward towards Headquarters Standardization and Reformation.

In 2012, the 108th along with every other command within the Army Reserve, from 2-star level to brigade, was alerted by Army Reserve Command that they would be required to cut current force structure levels 10 percent by fiscal year 2017 through reformation and further that the headquarters elements would be standardized by18 October, 2015.

In 2013, that warning became a reality with the official order. And so planning was initiated by the 108th G5 to ensure the process went as smoothly with as little disruption to the Soldiers on the ground as possible.

“There’s no reason for units to have a mass exodus. We are doing everything we can, especially for instructors and drill sergeants, to ensure those Soldiers have a position.”

That’s the message 108th leadership wants to convey as the command barrels forward towards Headquarters Standardization and Reformation.

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Soldiers Gold Mine

Equal Opportunity

After reading that we have officially added a new observance to the military calendar, I reflected on some of the growth of the military as it pertains to Equal Opportunities. Although black Army Air Corps units entered the war fairly early, black infantrymen did not see combat until nearly the end of it. Out of necessity, black and white Americans fought together for the first time during the Battle of the Bulge in Europe late in 1944. Studies conducted after the war confirmed that maintaining separate sets of military organizations and facilities for blacks and whites were inefficient, wasteful and counterproductive to the mission. On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order declaring that there shall be equal treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This became a protective class.

The Women’s Services Integration Act of 1948 allowed women in all branches of the military. In 1976, the first female cadets entered West Point and the other service academies. The important contributions made by women in uniform during the Gulf War, which I also participated in and saw firsthand as I had a female commander in an ordnance company, led to a re-evaluation of the combat restrictions on females. In 1993, the ban against women serving aboard Navy warships and flying combat aircraft were lifted. My current division commander is female and she has done an exceptional job of leading troops within her division.

We have come a long way since March 11, 1778, when Lt. Gotthold Frederick Enslin became the first documented service member to be dismissed from the U.S. military for homosexuality. Under an order from General George Washington which states “abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes,” Enslin is drummed out of the Continental Army after being found guilty of sodomy. On November 30, 2010, The Department of Defense released a report concluding that the repeal of the ban on gays in the armed forces would have a minimal negative impact on the military’s effectiveness. Since that report the House of Representatives voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by passing bill H.R. 2965. President Barack Obama later signed the repeal into law. The formal repeal will not begin until 60 days after the President, Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify in writing that the military is sufficiently prepared for the change. In his message the President said “Today’s achievement is a tribute to all the patriots who fought and marched for change; to Members of Congress, from both parties, who voted for repeal; to our civilian and military leaders who ensured a smooth transition; and to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform who showed that they were ready to move forward together, as one team, to meet the missions we ask of them.”

We have come a long way and I am proud to say I have witnessed the positive effects our Equal Opportunity policies have had on the military and our communities alike.             

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66th Reunion of Iron Men of Metz Scheduled

Oklahoma City, Okla. — The 66th Reunion of the Iron Men of Metz is scheduled for Nov. 19 until Nov. 22, 2015, in Columbus, Georgia.

The reunion promises to be exciting for its guests. Planners have coordinated a terrific line-up of events and 95th Soldiers will have the opportunity to meet, mingle and renew old friendships in the hospitality room throughout the affair.

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Drill Sergeant Identification Badge

Prior to 1958, the badge was a regimental crest with a maroon background. In 1958, it was adopted as the training center’s crest and the background was changed to green. All qualified drill sergeants wear the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge. Each element of the badge has a specific meaning.

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Monument to be Dedicated at National Infantry Museum

FORT BENNING, Ga. — A monument honoring the 95th Division will be dedicated on November 21, 2015, at the National Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

The monument is currently under construction with an estimated completion date of November 1, 2015. The 95th Infantry Division Association is planning its 66th Reunion at Fort Benning in order to conduct a Dedication Ceremony for the monument at the NIM’s ‘Walk of Honor’ Memorial Park.

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Do You Want to be a Unit Public Affairs Representative?

As the 108th Training Command (IET) reduces its structure, 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.

The PAO can assist with the Unit Public Affairs Program (UPAR), which allows a Soldier to be the additional eyes and ears for your unit and the PAO. By volunteering you will assume the duties of UPAR as an additional duty. 

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108th Griffon Association Supports Soldiers and Families

By the time you read this, the 108th Griffon Association will have had its annual golf tournament at the Pine Lakes Country Club near Charlotte, N.C. This is the associations major fund raising event which determines the level of support that can be funneled directly back to all components of the 108th Training Command.

Recently, most of this support has been in the form of scholarships for post secondary education to active members of the command including dependants, up to and including grandchildren.  Those awarded earlier this year involved all major components of the command.  Applications for scholarships to be presented are found on the association’s website at www.108thgriffonassoc.com, and are now being accepted for the 2016-2017 academic year.

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Have an Adventure in Jefferson Parish

Looking for an adventure? One with a heap of history, a hearty helping of nature, and a whole lot of culture all blended with fun? Jefferson Parish Louisiana, neighboring New Orleans, is a sprawling 60 miles from the shores of Lake Pontchartrain to the sandy beaches of Grand Isle. It’s a diverse community boasting some of the nation’s best historic districts, cuisine, nature trails, shopping, and unique bayou and marsh adventures. Established in 1825, the parish is named for Thomas Jefferson, commemorating his role in purchasing the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803.

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A Fall Drive in the Mountains

The grandeur of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is at its finest when the leaves turn in the fall. During that time, many visitors seek the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and foothills to avoid traffic jams and discover other points of interest. An alternative route with plenty of foliage, interesting attractions, and photo opportunities as well as pockets of local history begins in Sevierville:

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Fall in Love with McKinney: Your Perfect Relaxation Destination

If you’re looking for a place to unwind, enjoy some live music, the outdoors and a little taste of hometown Texas, you owe yourself a trip to McKinney. Just 30 miles north of Dallas and 50 miles south of the Red River, McKinney offers visitors a comfortable and quaint place for a fun weekend getaway with that special someone, friends or the family.

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Cedar Hill - Where Opportunities Grow Naturally

Opportunities grow naturally in Cedar Hill with easy connections in the North Texas region. Located 20 minutes from downtown Dallas and 40 minutes from downtown Fort Worth with multiple connections to the rest of the DFW Metroplex; a 30 minute drive will take you to DFW International Airport or Dallas Love Field. For executive air travel, Dallas Executive Airport is only 15 minutes away. BNSF rail serves the Cedar Hill Business Park as well as other available sites in the City.

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Fall fun on Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Love is in the air year-round on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The 32 miles of sugar-white sand beaches, turquoise waters and vibrant atmosphere make this area the ideal romantic getaway location for couples.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach provide a variety of wonderful accommodations. Couples can enjoy grand resorts or colorful, private beach side houses. Many of these accommodations offer indoor and outdoor pools, spas, lazy rivers and special rates during different times of the year.

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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, and 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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Share the Rush at Wet ‘n Wild Orlando

Wet ‘n Wild, Orlando’s premier waterpark, sets the standard for more exciting high-speed, seriously twisted, multi-person adventures than any other waterpark in Central Florida.

It is the perfect waterpark adventure for families with thrill-seekers of all ages. Accelerate full speed as you race head-to-head down four parallel racing lanes towards the checkered flag on the Aqua Drag Racer™. Experience a deep space adventure that’s light years from ordinary on The Black Hole™: The Next Generation.

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Autumn Excitement at Universal Orlando ®

Pulse-pounding thrill rides

One-of-a-kind entertainment

Halloween horror movie excitement

Unforgettable dining

Spectacular resort hotels

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Get the Elvis Experience in Tupelo

Located in the foothills of Northeast Mississippi, Tupelo is the epicenter of America’s music, where, in 1935, the world’s greatest entertainer was born in a two-room shotgun shack. The gospel tunes he sang in his boyhood church, the soulful blues that he heard coming from the juke joints in the Shakerag district, and the country music that he listened to on the radio from his front porch, enabled Elvis Presley to blend the sounds and deliver what we all know as Rock ‘N Roll to the masses.

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Let the Adventure Begin in the North Carolina Smokies

Enjoy stunning views, fun filled outdoor activities, family attractions and more. Located between Asheville, North Carolina and Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg Tennessee, Maggie Valley and Waynesville are a short trip to everywhere.  If you were thinking about viewing spectacular fall colors or skiing in the mountains this winter, come and make some memories “smack dab” in the middle of the North Carolina Smokies.  It’s easy, it’s fun and there is plenty to see and do.

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Hendersonville, NC ­— Life’s Playground

Hidden away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hendersonville offers cool mountains and warm southern hospitality. 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.

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

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Carolina Renaissance Festival Returns —

When searching for signs of autumn’s arrival one need look no further than the return of the annual Carolina Renaissance Festival.  As sure as the changing color of the leaves, for eight consecutive weekends in October and November the Carolina Renaissance Festival brings a big dose of cheer, trumpet fanfare, clashing armor and giant roasted turkey legs.

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Take Your Family On An Adventure!

Quality family time is essential and what better way to get some great family togetherness than to go on an adventure!

Georgia has the largest adventure park in the world, along with a very cool nature conservancy. Only 45 minutes from Atlanta’s Hartsfield airport, Historic Banning Mills and the Screaming Eagle Zip Line Canopy tours is an official adventure park and nature conservancy with two Guinness World Records.

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ALASKA CRUISE VACATION

Alaska is hot! A record two million visitors traveled to Alaska last year. Studies have shown that Alaska rates in the top five cruise vacations!  Visiting Alaska is all about the wildlife and adventure, whether its spotting orca whales, caribou, bald eagles, moose or grizzly bears. The best way to experience Alaska is two ways: one, through a seven night Alaska cruise; or two, through a nine-21 night Alaska cruise tour. Both exciting vacations offer the best in-depth look into the untamed and beautiful state. Alaska is considered America’s unspoiled “last frontier.”

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Wytheville — There’s a Beauty to the Heritage

Since the beginning of our nation, the Wytheville area has been rolling out a unique brand of hospitality to visitors. As a community on the Great Road to the West, it was a frequented stopping point. Two hundred years later, two major north-south arteries, Interstates 77 and 81, crossed their routes in the town of 9,000 and made Wytheville a transportation hub of the East Coast.

But the town’s true success can be measured by the vast number of people from generation to generation who return to the community each year to stay a few hours, a few days, and some, for the rest of their lives. It’s a welcoming spirit that just makes the visitors want to stay.

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Why Military Veterans and Spouses Should Pursue Franchising

Starting a new career is an overwhelming experience, but it can be especially daunting for those who are transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce. Franchising has become a popular career path for those in the armed forces because the military skills attained translate well into franchise ownership. While many wait to open their franchise until their commitment terms out, a lucrative option is to open a franchise while still serving, but having a spouse run the day-to-day operations. This option is beneficial for both the spouse and the veteran.

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The Griffon Vol. 39.3 (Fall 2015)

The Griffon Vol. 39.3 (Fall 2015)
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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.