Postured for the future

A recurring theme of many of my columns over the past three years have been to discuss the rationale of unit transformations, impacts of realignments on our force structure, as well as how operations in the Army Reserve have changed and expanded missions of our Basic Combat Training, training support and ROTC units.  We are preparing to make the last major force structure changes which will reduce the number of our BCT battalions from 46 to 40, but which will retain all of our company structure, resulting in the remaining BCT battalions adding a sixth BCT company and necessitating some company realignments and adjustments to battalion geographic footprints.  I want to reiterate that no Drill Sergeant positions will be eliminated through this process, but after three years of  being on notice of the need to increase qualified Drill Sergeant strength, successful units will remain and others will “go where we can grow” to sustain our force.

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With decade of changes we begin anew

Welcome to 2010 and to a new decade. Does it seem like it’s been ten years since Y2K and the prediction the world would come to a grinding halt? Well, it has been 10 years and there have been a number of changes and challenges in the past decade, some good and some not so good and with the New Year the only constant is change.

The Bad was the terrorist attacks on our country on September 11, 2001. Since then our lives, for those of us who serve in uniform and especially the Reserve and National Guard, have been changed forever. We are no longer the old strategic reserve force sitting on the bench, waiting to be called, but never getting into the game. Since 9-11 will have been part of the starting team. The current up-tempo operations would be impossible to sustain without the support of reserve forces.

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From the desk of the Chief Executive Officer…

I hope you and your families had a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.  We are looking at firming up the location of our annual Full-Time Staff (FTS) Conference. We will announce the location of the conference soon. It will be a great opportunity for us to do some FTS networking and team building among our three divisions and brigade FTS while simultaneously providing our new commanding general with a warm FTS welcome. 

We will push attendees as far down as fiscally possibly but will certainly include all division and brigade FTS, at a minimum.  As we get closer to the event, we will distribute a formal email and operation order detailing the specifics.  I can not tell you how much I appreciate the hard work you all put in day in and day out in support of our Soldiers, families and the command group.

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Warrant Officer challenges, issues 2010

It is with great excitement that I begin my new position as Command Chief Warrant Officer of the 108th Training Command.  The journey has been very challenging but very rewarding.  I envisioned this moment many times and wondered what it would feel like to be in CW5 Gary Williams’ shoes.  I read his column and appreciated the excellent job he did in mentoring Soldiers and taking care of their needs during his tenure as Command Chief.  I know this will be the best time in my entire career as a Soldier and Warrant Officer.  There are many things I hope to accomplish as I grasp the enormous job before me.  I want to touch base with all the Warrant Officers within the 108th Training Command and let them know who I am and what I stand for as I accomplish this mission.  I want to know their problems and improve communication.   

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Training for war at Fort Hunter Liggett

It’s the biggest Army Reserve base and the eighth largest in the entire Army with more than 165,000 acres of rolling hills, mountains, forests and rivers.  With warm winters and temperatures rising to 115 degrees during summers, Fort Hunter Liggett offers an ideal location for training warriors headed to war.

Established in 2005, the U.S. Army Support Training Center trains Combat Support (CS) and Combat Services Support (CSS) units.  It is home for the Army Reserve’s Regional Training Center-West where 108th drill sergeants conduct pre-mobilization training, allowing units to get the combat training they need, deploy quicker and get more “boots on the ground” time during deployments, say officials.  Reserve officials say the RTC concept was developed from lessons learned by leaders who witnessed flaws in mobilizations during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

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Commentary: Soldiers share bond with All-American athletes

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Jan. 9, 2010) — The 10th anniversary of Saturday’s Army All-American Bowl actually kicked off last week with a number of events that included a skills challenge, where Soldiers tested their football skills against the all-star players.

You may not think that U.S. Army Soldiers and high school football players would have a lot in common, but this year’s bowl showed that they may be more similar than it seems. 

Soldiers are taught discipline, courage, teamwork and selfless service when they do their everyday jobs. By the same token, these players are taught the benefits of camaraderie and sacrifice for their team which relates directly to the Soldiers’ mentality.

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Soldiers Gold Mine

 

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Glimpses from the Command

Sgt. Niya Carr holds her son, Shawn, as he meets Santa (Master Sgt. Dreu Mischaud, G-1, 108th Training Command ) during a Christmas party held for military children at the training command headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. sponsored by VFW Post 948.  Photo by Victoria L. White, 108th Training Command (IET) Public Affairs.

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Soldiers feel the ‘HEAT’ during Combat Readiness Training

According to the Combat Readiness Center, there have been nearly 300 Humvee rollover accidents resulting in 110 Soldier fatalities and numerous injuries in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Soldiers of the 1/354th, 1st Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET) recently learned how to react to a vehicle rollover during Humvee Egress Assistance Training (HEAT) at Camp Gruber, Okla. The HEAT training, held in triple-digit temperatures in July, was done in conjunction with the unit’s annual weapons qualification range. For many Soldiers of the unit, it was their first encounter with the training system.

HEAT came into existence in 2005 after several Soldiers were injured or died after rollover accidents. Because it would be impractical and unsafe to roll an actual vehicle for training purposes, the HEAT was designed as a mechanism to allow Soldiers to experience the effects of a roll without the dangers.  

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Accountability of operations:  Every leader’s business

As commanders and managers, we strive to achieve the command’s missions and goals. We must also provide accountability for our operations. 

In order to succeed, we must continually assess and evaluate the internal control structure for which we are in charge.  This is to assure commanders that the internal control structure of the organization is well designed and operated, providing reasonable assurances that the unit’s missions are being achieved.  In particular, commanders and managers must continue to examine their internal controls to determine unit performance, how it may be improved and the degree to which it helps identify and address major risks for fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement.

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Task Force Marshall trains Warriors

We have taken “scenarios from real life,” lessons learned and after action reports to create training for the Navy personnel coming through Task Force Marshall said Master Sgt. Joseph Cruz, training non-commissioned officer in charge, as he explains the process of preparing some of the Sailors for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, here at Ft. Jackson, S.C.

As the training NCO, Cruz has been responsible for the unique training provided by the 171st Training Brigade. The brigade is training as part of the 98th Training Division of the 108th Training Command headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.  He explained that Task Force Marshall has trained about 15,200 Sailors and 5,200 Soldiers since its inception in 2004.

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Appearance and reality

Let’s face it. We all look at the outward appearance. I think very few would want to argue the case that Britney Spears or Paris Hilton have made it to the top based on talent alone. We live in a culture that values certain physical characteristics and rewards those who are blessed with them, either through good fortune in the genetic lottery or through the skill of the plastic surgeon.

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Operation Tribute to Freedom features Cathey

The term “brothers in arms” is typically used to describe the fellow Soldiers in one’s unit, those who share the same uniform, with the same American flag on the shoulder. For Col. Tom Cathey, the term is more expansive. He considers the Iraqi soldiers he trained and led in battle to be fellow brothers in arms; a sentiment that was demonstrated through his heroic actions during his deployment when he came to the aid of 10 Iraqi soldiers trapped under insurgent fire.

Cathey recalls that April 10, 2007 seemed like any other day for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. As part of a Military Transition Team, he and his Soldiers were serving as military advisors to an Iraqi Army Division, and together, the team had been responsible for completing numerous cordon and search missions to locate insurgents and explosives throughout Baghdad, Iraq. After being in theater for more than nine months, Cathey and his unit had seen considerable security improvements as a result of their efforts.

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95th Training Division (IET) Soldiers head to Afghanistan

Family and friends bade farewell to Detachment 61 Soldiers at a ceremony at Fort Polk, La on Jan. 20, 2010. The Soldiers had been there since October 2009 training under the 162nd Infantry Brigade. They will now deploy to Afghanistan where they will serve as combat advisors to the Afghan National Army (ANA).

Detachment 61’s deployment marks the seventh rotation of Soldiers from the 95th Training Division (IET) to support what Brig. Gen. Roger Duff, division commander, said was an enduring mission. 95th Division Soldiers began deploying to Afghanistan in 2005 when two detachments were sent to assist the ANA. One detachment was responsible for establishing a Drill Sergeant School, and the other served as an embedded training team.

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Lt. Gen. Stultz shares his insight and vision at Camp Taji

Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, Chief of the U.S. Army Reserve, visited Soldiers at Camp Taji, Iraq on Christmas day where he held an informal town hall meeting to discuss his insight and vision for the future direction of the Reserve along with proposed legislation for Reservist benefits. 

 

Stultz, who served in the 108th Training Command (IET), covered topics such as professional development and the need to recruit the right Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) in the right geographical areas.  “The Army Reserve will not return to a force that just performs battle assemblies one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer,” he said, adding  that reforms to the personnel management system and retaining quality Soldiers are crucial goals for the Army Reserve. 

Stultz discussed improving retirement benefits for Army Reserve Soldiers who perform increased and frequent deployments that result in long family separations just as active duty counterparts do.  “Retirement benefits should be increased for both Reserve and Guard members,” Stultz told an enthusiastic crowd.

 

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Soldiers participate in Operation: Back to School

CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Members of the 96th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), helped give back to the children of Iraq when they visited a local Taji school to distribute supply kits as part of Operation: Back to School. More than 40 members of the brigade, including Col. C.J. Read, commander of the 96th SBDE, and a resident of Layton, Utah, and Command Sgt. Maj. Vicki Briggs, senior enlisted advisor to the 96th, from Roy, Utah, helped distribute the supplies to nearly 300 children.

Soldiers at Camp Taji have distributed almost 5,000 kits to local children as part of the program. The kits are assembled using donations from churches, civic organizations, and private citizens. “Basically ever since the war started, Soldiers saw a need out there in the civilian populace with the Iraqis, to be able to give back,” said Read. “They realized that we have so much, and we come from a great nation that does have a lot.”

Read said he sees the heavy involvement of the Iraqi army as a positive sign in the road towards turning the country back over to the people of Iraq. Iraqi army soldiers not only provided security for the event, but were also the people handing over supply kits to the schoolchildren.

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Family Care Plan update (AR 600-20)

AR 600-20 (Army Command Policy) has recently been revised with important changes involving Family Care Plans. A Family Care Plan should assist Soldiers in providing for the care of their family members while the Soldier is away from home due to military requirements including during annual training, regularly scheduled battle assemblies or deployment. Soldiers must arrange for the care of their family members in order to be available and able to perform duty at all times without interference of family responsibilities. Soldiers will be counseled on voluntary and involuntary separation whenever parenthood interferes with military responsibilities.

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All Soldiers are required to have the yearly standard influenza vaccine.

The vaccine can be provided to you by your personal physician, local pharmacy  both at your cost or thru Logistics Health International using a voucher created by your unit at no cost to you.

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Original Iron Men revisit the Battle of Metz

The Battle

 Sixty years ago in the picturesque rolling hills of northern France, snow blanketed the countryside as November invited a bitterly cold winter. The residents of Lorraine were continuing to live in fear and duress under the rule of Nazi Germany as they had for the previous four years. The German soldiers were dug deeply into their defensive positions, confident in their ability to repel the American liberating forces.

 

Meanwhile, U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers of the 95th Infantry Division were mobilized and busy rehearsing battle plans to free the French from their captors. They conducted exercises specifically intended to prepare them for the fight of their lives.

In early August 1944, 95th Division Soldiers set sail from the shores of the United States, arriving in the United Kingdom in just over a week. This marked the first time 95th Soldiers would fight a war on foreign soil. For weeks they gathered equipment and made their way east to the Lorraine region. Their focus: break through the fortified walls of the French city of Metz which had been constructed and reinforced by generations of German soldiers.

 

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Leading, teaching by example

It’s all about the kids for Sgt. Randy Jones of the 3-518th in Hickory, N.C. 

 

At 40 years-old, he enlisted in the Army Reserve after a 20-year absence in December 2008.  At the age of 41, he not only graduated from Drill Sergeant School—he was the Distinguished Honor Graduate at Fort Knox this past December. 

“The only thing I set out to do was set a good example for my kids at school,” the high school teacher says.  “I didn’t go to Drill Sergeant School with the goal of being the top graduate, I just did the best I could.  It was really hard, but I had the best time with that group of people, the camaraderie and fellowship is unmatched.”

 

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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. The PAO is kicking off the Unit Public Affairs Program (UPAR), which will allow any 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.  The Public Affairs Office will hold training sessions and workshops during battle assembly (BA) to meet, train, and certify you as an UPAR.

Do you enjoy taking pictures? You can be the historian for your unit. As a Unit Public Affairs Representative (UPAR) you will take pictures of newsworthy events and submit them along with stories to the 108th Training Command PAO for review and possible submission in the 108th Training Command publication, “The Griffon” and 108th Training Command Website.

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108th Soldiers place in the annual Army Ten-Miler

Three drill sergeants from the 108th Training Command (IET) made up half of the winning team in the Reserve Mixed division at the annual Army Ten-Miler race in Washington, D.C. in October. 

Up to 30,000 runners from all military branches and civilians compete each year in this prestigious event that begins and ends at the Pentagon, passing by the Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and other D.C. landmarks. Sgt. 1st Class James Davis, Staff Sgt. Wendy King and Staff Sgt. Arthur Odgers, all currently mobilized at Fort Hunter-Liggett, Calif., joined more than 21,000 entrants this year to compete in various categories to win the coveted first-place title.  Qualifications were held at Fort Hunter-Liggett to select the top six finishers for the “Howling Coyotes” team to represent the training base in the Army Ten-Miler. 

Odgers finished the ten-mile race in 1:13:48; King finished at 1:16:21 and Davis finished 1:17:23 respectively. “We also beat the mens’ division Reserve team,” Davis said.  “The closest team to us was 20 minutes behind us.”

This is the first time all three have competed in an Army marathon competition, though Davis and King regularly compete in nonmilitary races. A veteran runner, Davis began running competitively at 18 years-old and has won numerous trophies. “You can apply the discipline for running to going into battle,” he said, “so I try to compete at least once a month.”  

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Paratroopers continue to sustain Haiti relief effort

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 29, 2010) — Eight pallets of medical supplies left Fort Bragg, N.C., last night for the Haiti relief effort, and the post continues to send containers of water and rations to be air-dropped onto the island.

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2010 Census: especially important to Military Families

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 25, 2010) — With about $400 billion a year in federal funds at stake, the 2010 Census may prove especially important for the thousands of Army Families who have relocated since 2000 as a result of Base Realignment and Closure, said a 2010 Census media specialist.

 

The larger the concentration of families in and around the installations that have experienced growth, the larger the support system has to be to accommodate them, said Robert Crockett, also a retired Army sergeant first class.

In addition to being a “snapshot of America,” the Census is a device by which federal funds are returned to the states and congressional seats are distributed to accommodate state’s changing needs, he said.

Military Families living in areas that have experienced significant growth may see the direct and indirect benefits of their participation in the Census through, for example, larger schools, hospitals, roads, housing for elderly, and job training. States that have grown in population since 2000 could also gain congressional seats after the 2010 Census, said Crockett.

 

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Army invites 14,000 IRR Soldiers to readiness musters in 2010

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 21, 2010) — The Army kicks off another year of readiness musters, Jan. 23, for some 14,000 Soldiers in the Individual Ready Reserve.

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Executive Order bans texting while driving for federal employees

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — In an executive order issued Oct. 1, President Barack Obama banned federal employees from text messaging while behind the wheel on government business.

 

Text messaging, or “texting,” encompasses more than simply sending a text message via a handheld communication device. It also includes reading from any handheld or other electronic device, including for the purpose of SMS texting, e-mailing, instant messaging, obtaining navigational information, or “engaging in any other form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication,” the order said.

The order defines driving as “operating a motor vehicle on an active roadway with the motor running.” This includes the time the vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign or other cause.

 

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Army chapels raising funds for Haiti relief

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 22, 2010) — Across the Army, Soldiers and families are donating funds to the Haiti relief effort by passing the collection basket during chapel services.

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Volunteers lay 15,000 wreaths at Arlington Cemetery

ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service, Dec. 15, 2009) — Volunteers placed some 15,000 wreaths on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery, Dec. 12, as part of a tradition that has continued now for 18 years.

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Army to increase medevac support, add new CAB, more UAVs

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 7, 2010) — The Army’s top operations officer said yesterday that not only will the Army add a new combat aviation brigade to the warfight, it will also increase the number of aircraft in medical evacuation companies.

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Army Reserve seeks to ‘balance the force’ with seasoned Soldiers

ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service, Dec. 14, 2009) -- The Army Reserve has increased its ranks by 20,000 and continues to meet its recruiting goals, but there are some gaps that remain unfilled in mid-level ranks and different specialties.

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Secretary of Army sets acquisition reform, outreach as priorities

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 6, 2009) — Secretary of the Army John McHugh gave Pentagon staffers a “preliminary report” today after his first three months in office, asking them to continue supporting Soldier and Family programs, focus more on Congressional outreach and continue acquisition reform.

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Army to end Stop Loss and pay retroactive Stop Loss special pay

The Army will phase out “stop-loss” which mandates that Soldiers remain in the military beyond their service obligation by March, 2011.  Army Reserve units mobilized after 1 August 2009 are no longer subject to stop loss policy. The Army National Guard ceased stop loss policy on 1 September 2009.

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MyCAA Program for Military spouses

As the mother of five children from ages three to 17, Lorena Howell’s household is frequently a whirlwind of activity. Gregarious and personable, she’s “the neighborhood mom” and on any given day the Howell household is filled with neighborhood kids enjoying playtime or meals with the Howell children. With so much activity going on with this dedicated, stay-at- home mom, you’d think furthering her education would be close to impossible. But, thanks to the MYCAA program for military spouses, Lorena Howell is making improvements on her resume while being available each day for her family.

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5 reasons why YOU should consider online education

With the growing popularity of distance education, online learning is rapidly becoming a convenient option for those seeking to earn a college degree, brush up on a skill-set, as well as those contemplating a career change. Currently, online students make up almost 22 percent of total students enrolled in post-secondary education nationwide. 

 

But, you may be wondering if online education is the right choice for you. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why you should seriously consider earning your undergraduate or graduate degree online.

Convenience & Flexibility

Adult students with families and career commitments, also called non-traditional students, are enrolling in online degree programs because they find it easier to balance work, family and school. You may not have time to sit in the classroom and listen to a lecture, but with online learning, you can study and attend class when it is convenient for you, not when it is convenient for the institution. In addition, a majority of online programs allow you to work at your own pace, and some do not have any required log-in times. 

 

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FAQ on online college education

What sort of programs or courses can I study online?

When you are looking for online college programs, you will find a broad selection of course offerings. From Education to Tourism courses and everything in between, you can study at home through online courses. The programs that are offered are usually academic in nature and do not have any lab or field work involved. Typical examples are English language and Literature, Business, Law, Management, Computer and Mathematics courses.

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Medical readiness training exercises provide a win-win situation

Humanitarian assistance exercises have long been a key component of the efforts of U.S. military forces stationed around the world – offering aid to impoverished areas and allowing troops to practice the execution of various types of operations.  

 One example of this can be seen in United States Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) area of responsibility, where personnel have been conducting medical readiness training exercises, also known as MEDRETEs, for nearly 20 years.

Part of SOUTHCOM’s efforts to promote security and stability across the Americas, MEDRETEs, which are regularly held across Central America and the Caribbean, have proven imperative to enhancing U.S. relations throughout the region while providing military medical personnel with the skills they’ll need during a real-life mission.

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Effective home schooling is like good military strategy

Lt. Colonel Bushue (SAC) taught me a valuable life lesson: identify what you want to do, assess options, make a plan, outline your steps to get there, obtain needed resources, and focus on daily priorities that lead to goal achievement.  That is the strategy for most successful military operations.  An effective home school program follows a similar prescription. Without a clearly defined home school plan, life can quickly “turn south,” especially with teenagers.

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Traditional home school curriculum—still the best

Many home-schooling families have difficulty knowing which curriculum is best. It might help to make this decision if you consider the differences between traditional and progressive education.

 

Traditional education emphasizes academic excellence and character training. It is called “traditional” because it was founded on the same distinctively Christian traditions that American schools were originally founded on.

Secular, or progressive, curriculums teach children to think humanistically, to believe that man is at the center of everything. John Dewey developed this approach in the late 1800s and based his ideas on evolution, experimental psychology, and child-centered classrooms.

 

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Explore the ‘Great Outdoors’ at Walt Disney World Resort

Gardening gurus at Walt Disney World Resort have worked for months on end to design, craft, grow and perfect whimsical character topiaries debuting March 3 at the 17th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. When opening day arrives, Disney guests will discover a garden of floral delights the moment they enter the park.

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Tour Veterans Memorial Wall and Park

With moderate temperatures year round, it’s always a great time to visit Jacksonville. Discover the heart of the city and endless stretches of wide, pristine beaches, while exploring the region’s unique shopping, numerous dining options and warm Southern hospitality. Take advantage of the numerous festivals throughout the spring and summer, explore lush nature preserves on foot, bike, kayak or Segway, unwind with a luxurious spa treatment or enjoy world-class art and culture.

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Strong ties to the Military for two centuries

From its fresh water lakes, creeks and rivers to its forested interior, Clay County has maintained much of its natural beauty over the past one 150 years, offering a relaxing alternative for both residents and travelers wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life.

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Wet ‘n Wild started the Wave Park

As noted in Aquatic International’s History of Aquatics article, Wet ‘n Wild – Orlando is “the world’s first complete waterpark.”.

 

Throughout its existence, waterparks across America have tried to replicate the quality service, innovative ideas and world-class rides that thrill-seekers of all ages have come to know and love.

Wet ‘n Wild is known for putting unique twists into its rides, separating the experience from that of your run of the mill water park. Hypnotizing water thrills await as you and your friends encounter a splashing dose of group therapy on Wet ‘n Wild’s unique BRAIN WASH. Experience THE BLACK HOLE: The Next Generation again for the first time, with all-new pulsating lights, sounds and dynamic visual effects.

 

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Be a pirate and bond with friends and family

Who doesn’t want to live the pirate’s life — if only for one night? At every show at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure in Orlando, more than 100 guests are invited to don costumes and participate in the piratical fun. Renowned as “the world’s most interactive dinner show experience,” Pirate’s Dinner Adventure is a place where life-long memories are made.

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Universal Orlando Resort brings you The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Universal Orlando Resort, together with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, has revealed the details about the incredible scope of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This highly anticipated land will open in spring 2010.

Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters — and faithful to the visual landscapes of the films — The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure will provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience complete with multiple attractions, shops and a signature eating establishment. This completely immersive environment will transcend generations and bring the wonder and magic of the Harry Potter books and films to life. 

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Ocean City — world famous boardwalk, beaches, golf

Ocean City, Maryland welcomes you to an island renowned for its 10 miles of white-sand beaches, world-famous Boardwalk, spectacular championship golf courses, wonderful accommodations, superb dining, boating, bay and deep-sea fishing, nature tours, water sports, art galleries, museums, and antique and outlet shopping.

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Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival

Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival welcomes visitors every year with whiffs of barbecue and other delicious foods, sounds of fiddles and original and creative arts and crafts in and amongst the old homestead buildings throughout the terraced woods under the pine tree canopy. The amphitheater in Dogwood Hollow features bluegrass bands, gospel quartets, and dance teams.

Over 40 old-timers resurrect pioneer ways: dipping candles, carving decoys (in fact, one carver is a member of the prestigious Ward Foundation in Delaware) and knobbits, building fishing rods, weaving chairseats with cornshucks, making baskets, building dulcimers and brooms, tatting, cutting silhouettes, tinsmithing and more. Childrens’ activities include storytelling, farm animals, hayrides, horseback rides and a magician-ventriloquist.

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Newell Lodge — a slice of true country living

Horseback riding, fishing, relaxing, sunrise, horseshoes, volleyball, swinging in the oak trees, reading a good book, sunset — this is Newell Lodge.

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Helicopter has three war tour

Visitors to the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia, can say hello to a Super Jolly Green Giant that weighs over 30,000 pounds. Capable of flying in total darkness and finding its way into and out of hostile territory, the giant is a 38-year-old MH-53 special operations helicopter that has been around the world from Thailand to Europe to Iraq and has seen combat action in three wars.  

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North Myrtle Beach, SC...it stays with you

Carefully nestled between the soft golden sands of the Atlantic Ocean and the winding rivers that precede it, lies beautiful North Myrtle Beach, SC. Discover the vacation spot where pure bliss and total relaxation are interchangeable with days filled with adventure and the idea on no commitments. It’s time to discover for yourself why our area is known as one of America’s top family travel destinations.

Over the years, North Myrtle Beach has welcomed thousands of our service men and women for some much needed R and R with family and friends. The area offers an array of affordable accommodations and a host of year-round local events and attractions to please every member of the family.

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Discover Berkeley County, the ‘emerging new south’

Re-Defining Adventure

If you’re looking for the “Southern Jewel” everyone is talking about, you’ve finally found it. Berkeley County, South Carolina, located just minutes from downtown Charleston and 90 minutes from Myrtle Beach, is cradled in what is quickly becoming known as the “emerging new south.” 

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Fun for the whole Family — visit Charleston

Summer is right around the corner, and now is the time to start planning your next family vacation. Looking for a beach destination within driving distance? Make Charleston your choice for family fun. Here, you’ll discover scenic beaches, historic downtown, and a county park system that provides hours of recreation through waterparks, beach parks, fishing piers, camping and marsh-front vacation cottages.

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North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast — come and play

Feel free to meander any which way you please. Special delights lay in every direction on southeastern North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast, including Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach.

To map this peninsula, tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Fear River, imagine a conch shell. Exciting city lights spiral its wide top. Pristine waters curl all the way down to its narrow tip. Throughout, alluring communities are so close together — no more than 25 minutes apart and a short drive away — it’s easy to explore them all.

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Runaway Canyon waterslide now open

Guests visiting Wilderness at the Smokies Resort in Sevierville, Tenn. this year will be able to experience the rush of dropping nearly 60-feet on the resort’s newest attraction, Runaway Canyon. Located in the Wild WaterDome Indoor Waterpark, Runaway Canyon is a five-story high enclosed waterslide measuring more than 450 feet.

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Spring flourishes at Front Royal

Outdoor events and activities blossom each spring in Front Royal, Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley.   Just a short, scenic drive from our Nation’s Capital will bring you back to a place where you can relax and connect with family and friends and watch nature return to life.

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2010 Virginia International Tattoo

Each spring, the Virginia Arts Festival welcomes performers from around the world to stages throughout historic southeastern Virginia. And each year, the most spectacular event in the Festival is the Virginia International Tattoo.

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Hill Country Paradise

Kerrville is truly a Hill Country paradise. The accommodations are first-rate, the scenery is majestic and the people are friendly. We are located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, where sparkling spring fed creeks meander through the rugged terrain and rolling hills of the Guadalupe River Valley. 

The Guadalupe River along with our mild climate provides the opportunity to enjoy many outdoor pursuits. Every season in Kerrville offers an array of activities. With an event-filled calendar and our relaxing Hill Country setting, you’ll see how easy it is to... Lose your heart to the hills.

Great Birding

The Texas Hill Country is a bird watcher’s paradise for both the number of species and the rare birds sighted here. Kerr and Real counties are the best areas to see all four of these rare and endangered species:

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Visit the W.H. Stark House

Located in the southeast corner of Texas on the border of Louisiana, Orange is home to a variety of world-class cultural experiences. From award-winning theater shows to community festivals, historical homes to premier museums, Orange has something for everyone - all with that small-town charm that makes Orange so unique.

W.H. Stark House

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Dutch name, Texan heart

Harlingen’s “Dutch Name, Texan Heart” is open to receive you at its Valley International Airport, hotels, and restaurants. Harlingen, TX has unique attractions with an American downtown full of antiques and boutiques, outdoor nature trail-where parrots and sub-tropical birds rule, and heroes are made and celebrated at the Iwo Jima Memorial and Marine Military Academy. Your senses will come alive as you taste Mexican bakeries, enjoy our famous free Blues on the Hill concerts, feel our pleasant sub-tropical breeze and see our Texas Highways featured Mural Trail.

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The Griffon Vol. 34.1 (Spring 2010)

The Griffon Vol. 34.1 (Spring 2010)
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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.