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From the Commanding General...

The only thing that is constant is change. 2012 will be the year of many changes... everything from an overhaul of the defense budget to new faces in leadership positions at the very top of our Army. As the Army prioritizes what is important for the future of this Republic, Command Sgt. Maj. Derezza and I have been traveling to our divisions and brigades and I am often asked what the command’s priorities are. I have given my intent on this to many audiences but wanted to formalize them in order of importance here to remove any confusion.

The first is, to shape the force. Both Gen. Rodriguez and Lt. Gen. Stultz continue to emphasize how critical this is to the future of our Army. For the 108th Training Command, this means the recruiting and retaining of quality junior and mid-grade officers, warrant officers and noncommissioned officers.

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From the Command Sergeant Major...

While we still have troops in Afghanistan and many missions across the United States, it’s time that we refit, retrain, and prepare for the next war which history tells us will come. In 2012, we are going to see some changes to the U.S. Army Reserve.

As we wind down from the war in Iraq we began to see a trend to get the Army back to the basics. Preparation for deployments and training for war has left little time for teaching basic Army values. It’s time to focus on the Army basics such as things we were taught in basic training, NCO leadership, NCOES and making sure we are physically fit so we can be well prepared for the next conflict.

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Legacy Remains After Afghan National Army Mission Ends

It was a Thanksgiving weekend with all the usual traditions . . . family getting together for turkey with trimmings and giving thanks. And on November 27, the extended family—the Army family, gathered to give a warm send-off to Soldiers of Det. 10, 3/334, 4th Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET) during a deployment ceremony.

So what started out as an article about Soldiers deploying turned into a look back at the mission and reflect upon challenges and successes the various detachments had during their tours in Afghanistan.

The legacy started in May 2005 with a request for forces to mentor and advise the ANA drill sergeants as they conducted Basic Warrior Training (BWT) at the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC).

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Twenty-Three Seconds to Bad

So you think you’re bad, huh? You’ve walked around the reserve center with a chip on your shoulder. You’ve been overheard saying that if you ever entered an MMA [mixed martial arts] competition, they would ask you to take it easy on your opposition because you’ve outclassed them with your extensive set of skills, which appear to have no limits.

And you further astonished all who were within earshot when you had the audacity to utter a boastful verbal barrage that if you showed up, there wouldn’t be anyone standing due to the magnitude of your “sheer awesomeness.”

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New Building, New Commander

VANCOUVER, Wash. — On a unique day that comes once every one hundred years, 11-11-11, the 2d Brigade, 95th Training Division (Initial Entry Training) cut the ribbon to its new building and passed the unit colors to a new commander in separate ceremonies.

Veteran’s Day was chosen as the day for festivities by brigade Commander, Col. William M. Snyder, who felt there no day more fitting.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

In an early afternoon ceremony, Snyder cut the ribbon to commemorate the official opening of the new Vancouver Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC). He was joined in the ribbon cutting by U.S. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler from Southwest Washington’s 3rd District, Vancouver City Mayor Timothy D. Leavitt, Maj. Gen. Glenn J. Lesniak, commanding general of the 88th Regional Support Command, and Col. Daniel R. Kern, representative for the Washington National Guard Adjutant General.

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US Army Staff Sgt. Luis Badillo

BAMYAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan — When the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan command went searching last year for a volunteer to help advise the Afghan National Police, they didn’t just find the right man for the job, they found Staff Sgt. Luis Badillo.

The 34-year old U.S. Army reservist from Schenectady, N.Y., is a 10-year veteran of the New York State Police, a combat veteran with a tour in Iraq, and a Dari speaker who enjoys joking around with Afghans in their native language. Currently assigned to the Bamyan Training Center in Bamyan province, Badillo applies lessons he’s learned as a police officer to mentor his Afghan instructors and recruit trainees. His job is critical.

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Regional Support Command-East Personnel Give Back to Local Bamyan Orphans

BAMYAN, Afghanistan — Two New York Soldiers from Regional Support Command – East light up the faces of local Bamyan orphans during a visit at the Bamyan orphanage, Dec. 14.

Capt. James DeCann, from Hamlin, N.Y. and Staff Sgt. Luis Badillo, from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Bamyan Regional Training Center advisors, dropped off 13 boxes of school supplies, snacks and clothes to 63 local Afghan boys and girls.

The two Soldiers were greeted at the front entrance by some of the orphans who helped carry the boxes of goodies inside to their dining area.

DeCann and Badillo opened up the boxes and layed the contents on the table for distribution.

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Forging Warriors

LAWTON, Okla. — Cadets at Cameron University got a leg up on their warrior skills training in November when trainers from Detachment 1, 1/379th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division (Leader Training) arrived on campus.

The detachment has been serving on the first-aid committee at the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) at Fort Lewis, Wash. for the past few years and set the round-robin of first-aid tasks at Cameron in motion as a way to hone their trainer skills.

Capt. Jeffrey White, detachment commander, said, “The goal was to give trainers an opportunity to train actual cadets and give cadets an opportunity to see what they’re going to be facing at LDAC.”

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Wreaths Across America

FORT MILL, S.C.— On December 10th, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Patterson, a Soldier assigned to the 108th Training Command (IET), participated in the Wreaths Across America ceremony. The event was celebrated at Fort Mill Veteran’s Park for the first time. The park was dedicated on August 20, 2011, and permanently features a World War I statue, engraved granite benches, Wall of Honor and eight flag poles honoring the flags of the United States, State of South Carolina, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and Prisoners of Foreign Wars.

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Drill Sergeants Spread Holiday Cheer

HICKORY, N.C. — On December 3, 2011, more than 40 Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 518th Regiment, 108th Training Command (IET) made a visit to the Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, N.C., to visit with patients, sing carols, pass out stuffed animals, and help spread holiday cheer through the hospital.

This is the second year Soldiers from 3/518th have visited Frye, and according to Sgt. 1st Class Michael Gainey, it should be an annual event.

“Hickory has been very supportive of the Reserve Center,” said Gainey, first sergeant of B Co., and a resident of Charlotte. “It’s nice to show our appreciation and be seen in the community.”

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108th Training Command (IET) Holds Change of Responsibility Ceremony

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 108th Training Command (IET) welcomed a new command sergeant major in a change of responsibility ceremony held Nov. 20 at the Center City Hilton in Charlotte. Command Sgt. Maj. Rocci DeRezza will serve as the senior enlisted advisor to the command.

The change of responsibility ceremony is a military tradition, held when a senior non-commissioned officer leaves a position of leadership and a new NCO takes his place.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be in the United States Army Reserve,” said Maj. Gen. Robert P. Stall, commanding general of the 108th Training Command. “I couldn’t be prouder to be your commander, and I couldn’t be prouder than to be here today to say goodbye to one great warrior, and say hello to another.”

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A Game of Speed, Skill and Strength

SPOKANE, Wash. — Sgt. Ryan Hamilton, a drill sergeant with Alpha Co. 3/415th in Spokane, Wash. was part of Central Washington University’s Rugby Sevens team which participated in the 2011 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship June 4-5, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Hamilton joined the Army in 2002, attending Basic Training at Fort Jackson, S.C., before moving onto Fort Sam Houston to attend the Healthcare Specialist Course. After successfully completing airborne school, Hamilton’s first permanent duty assignment was with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., with whom he deployed to Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2004.

Hamilton began his rugby career in 2005 at Fort Bragg, N.C., after an instructor at the Primary Leadership Development Course told him about the base’s rugby team. Hamilton developed a love for the game and continued to play on teams in San Antonio, Texas, and Tacoma, Wash. where he served as team captain and club secretary. 

Hamilton played at the 7’s National All Star Championship Tournament for the combined services team which included players from all four military branches. In 2007 Hamilton was selected to the All Army team.

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Obama Welcomes Soldiers Home from Iraq

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Army News Service, Dec. 14, 2011) — President Barack Obama spoke today to Soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., welcoming many back who had just returned from Iraq and lauding an end to the nine-year-long war there.

“You — the incredible men and women of Fort Bragg — have been there every step of the way, serving with honor, sacrificing greatly, from the first waves of the invasion to some of the last troops to come home,” Obama said. “So, as your commander-in-chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I’m proud to finally say these two words, and I know your families agree -- welcome home.”

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2X Citizen - Randy Ridenour

Name, Rank and Unit:

Randy Ridenour, Chaplain (Maj.), 1st Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET)

Military Occupation:


Civilian Occupation:

University Philosophy Professor

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2X Citizen - Gina R. Nieto

Name, Rank and Unit:

Gina R. Nieto, SSG, E Co, 1/415th, 2/95th DIV, El Paso, TX

Military Occupation:

Drill Sergeant

Civilian Occupation:

Advanced Leaders Course — Common Core Distributed Learning (ALC-CC DL) Facilitator

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Former Command Chief’s Journey to Deployment

After 35 years of Army Reserve service, I was selected by the 108th Training Command (IET) as the Command Chief Warrant Officer. This was my greatest accomplishment and final one, I thought, as I went to the very first Warrant Officer Summit at Ft Rucker, Ala.

At the airport terminal on my way home, I was thinking....but speaking out loud. I was also sitting next to CW5 Jeffery DeWijn, 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) (ESC) Command Chief. I said, “My only regret in all these years is that I did not have a chance to deploy just one time”. As a full time technician (dual status), I stayed in the rear completing Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) packets and all other issues pertaining to mobilization.

After approval from the 108th Command, I’m on the battle roster to deploy with the 4th ESC to Afghanistan, OEF 10-11.

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From the 108th Deputy Commanding General...

I happened to catch a radio interview with Tom Petty the other day. At the time I tuned in, he was talking about standards and discipline. Really, he was. And that got me thinking. Most of all I was thinking how strange it was to hear a rock and roller talk about something other than sex, drugs and, you know, their favorite guitar.

Around since the late 1970s, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ longevity is due in large part to their team work, disciplined approach to their craft and uncompromising commitment to quality music. During the interview, Petty described how easy it is for musicians to lose their way. He said a lack of discipline can lead to the downfall of a rock and roll musician and the band he’s in. The Heartbreakers hold each other to higher standards than do most musicians. Petty demands precision and precision results in excellence, both in the quality of their music and their on stage performances.

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Elliott Promoted to Brigadier General

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Allan Wade Elliott, deputy commanding general of the 108th Training Command (IET), was officially promoted to brigadier general Nov. 19, 2011 at the Hilton hotel downtown here.

The Saturday promotion ceremony was hosted by Maj. Gen. Robert P. Stall, commander of the 108th Training Command (IET).

Stall said he was happy Elliott was chosen to be promoted and he looked forward to working with him as he took on many more responsibilities as a general officer.

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From the 95th Division Commander...

To my fellow Soldiers and warriors of the 95th Training Division, welcome to the new year – trusting that everyone took time with family and friends over the holidays. Looks like 2012 is certainly going to bring exciting challenges and opportunities as we move through multiple minefields of ambiguity and uncertainty in these times we find ourselves as members of the Army Reserve. Regardless of the times, I remain confident that the Soldiers in this division continue to operate to standard in all assigned missions and taskings despite what comes our way.

As you are most likely aware, wartime missions that were in motion for the division prior to the new year were drastically reduced in terms of absolute requirements on the battlefield. Mobilized Soldiers were sent home with little notice while others received new missions that were never discussed prior to execution.

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From the 95th Division Command Sergeant Major...

Recently joining the 95th Training Division (IET) I want to express my thanks to those who have placed their trust and confidence in me as a leader: Maj.Gen. Stall, Brig. Gen. Royalty, Command Sgt. Maj. Payne, Command Sgt. Maj. DeRezza and Command Sgt. Maj. Don Smith.

It’s an honor to be part of such a great team of officers, non commissioned officers, and Soldiers. Our unit history speaks for itself; renowned for its fierce fighting from the battlefields of Metz during World War II where the unit earned the nickname “Iron Men of Metz” to more recent deployments to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Our Soldiers answered the call to ensure the freedom of not only those nations, but, to protect the liberty, security and freedom that we as Americans enjoy. The 95th Division has always been prepared to fulfill its obligations as a fighting force.

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Greetings to all from the Great Northwest!

I appreciate the opportunity to share with you all a little about the good things our Timber Wolf Soldiers are doing for the 108th Training command.

We at the 104th Division (LT) are unique from out sister divisions in the sense we are not drill sergeants. We are, however, instructors. Where our sister divisions are specifically engaged in Initial Entry Training, we are engaged in Leader Training, hence the LT after our division title.

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From the 98th Training Division Command Sergeant Major

I can’t believe it has been one year since I became the command sergeant major of the 98th Training Division (IET). Selected as the Division Command Sergeant Major has been petty intense and fulfilling.

In the past year I have traveled throughout the division and talked to Soldiers about their missions and families. I am pleased to report that our Soldiers are motivated and setting high standards.

The mission of the 98th is to recruit and produce qualified drill sergeants. Drill sergeants are our bread and butter.

Many of you know that I believe in physical fitness and beginning the duty day with physical training. A strong physical fitness program within the company produces highly motivated Soldiers and enhances the morale within a unit. I encourage leaders to mentor and communicate to our young Soldiers the importance of physical fitness and what it means to become a drill sergeant.

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Timberwolf Brigade Conducts New Leader Orientation

At my first Brigade Leader’s Conference in 2009, I talked for almost three hours. Since it was my first time addressing most of the brigade’s company command teams, it was necessary, as there was philosophy, guidance, and information that I needed to cover. The other staff sections followed with information they needed to present. As part of the AAR process and thinking about the following year’s conference, I came up with the idea of a “New Leader Orientation”, where we could have all the new leaders “catch up” with the information that was presented, so conference participants wouldn’t have to hear the same information year after year.

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The Days of Our Lives

This new year is an unwritten book; we’ll fill up its pages in the days and months to come. We enter it on the downside of Christmas. Like the newborn Jesus in the day’s of Herod, we live in threatening times and in a perilous world. That could be truly disheartening were it not for the grace of our loving God.

We need to take a good look at what’s really important in our lives and find wisdom for the new year in our conclusions. Like the inspired author of Psalm 39, may we realize that life is too short to waste time on things that have no lasting significance or value. vv. 4-6

Have you put your trust completely in the LORD, knowing that only He can give lasting value to your life. As we look ahead to a new year, can we say with the Psalmist, “My hope is in You.” v.7.

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From The Family Programs Director

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Greetings from the 108th Family Programs Staff. We hope you had a wonderful holiday season, filled with lots of love and laughter. This past year has brought about quite a few changes in the Family Programs Office. We say goodbye to our old Family Programs Director, Dr. Danny Hill, and welcome the new leader, Mrs. Christina Daily. Adjustments have been made to assigned areas covered by the Family Readiness Support Assistants (FRSAs). There is now an FRSA at each Division, as well as the Drill Sergeant School. Within the past year we have moved into the technological age, replacing the paper 107-r in favor of implementing the electronic Soldier Family Data Worksheet. With these changes, we move forward with the New Year and anticipate it being the best year yet for 108th Family Programs.

For those interested in becoming well-versed with Family Programs, the 108th Family Programs Office is offering a multitude of trainings this calendar year. First up is our annual Family Readiness Group Leader (FRGL) Training. Throughout the year, the 108th will put on four of these FRGL Trainings, one at each Division. The tentative dates for the training are as follows:

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War College Graduates Continue Tradition

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —Col. William Harris, G1, 108th Training Command (IET) presented, “The Rock of Hope and Freedom” a print by Chad S. Hawkins, to Maj. Gen. Robert P. Stall, commanding general, 108th Training Command (IET) in early November from graduates of the 2011 U.S. Army War College.

It is a long standing tradition for graduates of the War College to present a print to their command in recognition of their achievements as War College graduates. Additionally, it symbolizes the gratitude to the leadership for their unwavering support and mentorship during the rigorous two year course of study.

Stall, on behalf of the command, was honored to accept the print presented by graduating class members consisting of Harris, Col. Conrad “Buddy” Holbert, commander, 3rd Bde., 95th Training Division (IET): Col. John Zenkovich, commander, 4th Bde., 95th Training Division (IET), and Lt. Col. Mark Ricchicazzi and Col. Louis Long, both mobilized.

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New Voter Registration and Ballot Request Now Available

ARLINGTON, Va. — The online electronic version of the revised Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is available now at The FPCA registers and requests ballots for voters simultaneously. Voters can visit to use the online wizard or access the PDF fillable forms. The FPCA is a standard form accepted by all 55 States and Territories for uniformed and civilian overseas voters to apply for an absentee ballot. The length of time the FPCA is valid and its completion requirements vary by State so be sure to refer to the web portal or the 2012-2013 Voting Assistance Guide.

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Nuggets to keep you informed

 Equal Opportunity Nugget

We are committed to recognizing our US Army 108th Training Command (IET) military and civilian personnel for the contributions and efforts they make to the Army, our Soldiers and their Families. The Department of the Army (DA) Equal Opportunity (EO) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) award programs encourage recognition for excellence in the performance of duties and significant achievements in furthering equal opportunity and diversity goals as we accomplish our mission.

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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.

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Relevant Tags: division, iet, command, unit, army, public affairs, training command, iet public, affairs officer, 18th training, army mil, command iet, affairs representative, training division

108th Griffon Association Needs Your Participation

It was a very exciting year for the 108th Griffon Association. The highlight of 2011 was the planning and execution of the 1st Annual Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament at Pine Island Country Club in Charlotte on September 26th. Ninety golfers teed off that day in support of our Soldiers and their families. With their help and with the generosity of our sponsors like PolyTech Industrial of Huntersville, NC, our title sponsor, your association was able to raise over $16,000.00 for our worthwhile projects, which include scholarships for Soldiers, retirees and their children and grandchildren, support of deployed Soldiers through such things as care packages and phone cards, financial support of families of deployed soldiers in need and financial support of wounded warriors injured or wounded on duty. A wonderful time was had by all the golf participants, and numerous players commented on the great organization and set up of the tournament, which was run on the day of the event by volunteers from the Asdociation. Everyone we asked was enthusiastic about participating again next year. We gave cash awards for the 1st, 10th and last place teams in both low net and low gross in the total amount of $1,600, as well as, serving both lunch and dinner with a silent auction capping the evening’s festivities. We believe there is the opportunity to at least double our net fundraising from this event with more participation from members in either obtaining sponsors and/or playing in the tournament and encourage all Association members to support it through their active involvement. Even if you are not a golfer, lots of help is needed before and during the tournament.

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Reserve Soldiers ‘More Relevant’ Than Ever

WASHINGTON — Amidst concerns of budget and troop reductions, Reserve Soldiers remain a critical component of America’s defense, said the chief of the Army Reserve.

During his visits around the force, Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief, Army Reserve said the No. 1 question he’s asked by Soldiers is “what’s going on” with regards to budget and force cuts. Those Soldiers, Stultz said, are concerned about the future of their jobs and their relevance in America’s defense.

“My answer to the Soldiers is, ‘You are going to become even more relevant than you’ve ever been to our national security strategy,’” Stultz said, Jan. 31, at a meeting of the Reserve Officer Association in Washington, D.C.

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Access a Nebraska University Wherever You Are

The University of Nebraska has a rich history of delivering distance education for more than 100 years. Now, students can access the respected faculty and student resources of this four-campus system online.

Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska is a traditional “brick and mortar” school that has long been a leader in offering access to a high-quality education to students across the state and around the world. Through the programs offered by its campuses – Kearney, Lincoln, Omaha and the Medical Center – online students can choose from more than 130 degree and certificate programs, from bachelor degree completion to doctoral level.

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Preparing Your Child for the Job Market

One of the most important jobs that we as parents have is to train our children to survive — and indeed, thrive — in the world that faces them. We try to give them a solid education, develop their character and work ethic, and impart core values that glorify God. These things are among the most important elements we can give our children. However, survival in this present world demands that they be able to provide for themselves and for the families that God gives them. As many of us know, that is not an easy task, especially in the current economy. So how do we prepare our children to enter an uncertain job market? How do we ourselves adapt to the vagaries of the current economy and provide for our families when jobs are scarce and careers unstable?

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Relevant Tags: HOMESCHOOL OPTIONS, skills, job, computer, children, job market, communication skills, critical thinking, work ethic, computer skills, homeschooled students

Find Yourself in Fayetteville

The traditional R&R — rest and relaxation — can be expanded to include rejuvenation and renewal as spring awakens in Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains.

Rediscover yourself as you explore the trails, mountain lakes, blooming flora and dynamic adventure that can be found around Fayetteville, Ark., the city that graces those mountains like a crown jewel.

Strategically placed In the state’s Northwest corner, Fayetteville offers the charm of history alongside the energy of a modern urban lifestyle that welcomes visitors to come share in its bounty.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, fayetteville, arkansas, trails, spring, historic, museum, drake field, university arkansas, world era, northwest arkansas, ozark mountains, biking trails

Spring Events in Three Rivers, Sequoia National Park

Spring is an exciting time to visit Three Rivers and Sequoia National Park!  You can hike into the hills and view an amazing array of wildflowers, ride the crazy rapids of the roller coaster Kaweah River with the assistance of our local whitewater guides, fish for rainbow trout in the Main, East and Marble Forks of the Kaweah River, pack a picnic lunch and watch the annual Bathtub Race for charity which begins just as Lake Kaweah is filling up with melting snow, gaze in awe at baby bears making their first ever appearance in Crescent Meadow, and watch city folk line up in Giant Forest to drive their car under Tunnel Log.  There is something for every one and every interest under the sun!

If we seem a little distracted, humor us, for we have more than a few events to be preparing for in the spring time:

  • High Sierra Traditional Jazz Band in concert at the Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building
  • A brand-new bluegrass festival in town

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Universal Orlando Resort Celebrates Mardi Gras 2012 with a Powerful Musical Lineup, Tons of Beads and More

Celebration Includes Colorful Mardi Gras Parade, Authentic New Orleans Bands, Cajun Cuisine and Live Performances Including Kelly Clarkson, Plain White T’s and Cyndi Lauper

This spring, the fun and excitement of The Big Easy makes its way to Universal Orlando Resort for Mardi Gras 2012 — an authentic celebration that completely transforms Universal Studios Florida into a family-friendly version of the famed New Orleans street party.

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Wet ‘n Wild-Orlando Announces New Attraction

Recognized as the world’s first true waterpark, Wet ‘n Wild-Orlando set the standard for thrills and excitement. Keeping with this tradition, Wet ‘n Wild is building its first new attraction in over four years. Covering an acre and featuring a new sandcastle-themed water playground, the new Kids’ Park is expected to be the largest of its kind in Florida.

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It’s ‘Cooler in Pooler’ for Your R&R

Get ready, summer’s coming! Relax and have in Pooler,GA, just minutes from Savannah and the beautiful Tybee beaches while you enjoy savings at our hotels. There is plenty to do in Pooler, with amusement parks, disc golf, fishing lake, movie theatres, and more.

Come to Pooler, home of the Cooler in Pooler Resolution 5K and 15K, the Daniel Defense Run, the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum (which has its roots to the Army Air Corps in WWII), and more. Pooler is a great place to visit and your wallet will enjoy the savings, too.

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Charleston: Exploring the #1 City for US Travel

Lined with pristine beaches and waterways, teeming with historical and cultural attractions, and chock full of activities ranging from shopping to fishing, Charleston, S.C. has been long known as a top tourist destination throughout the United States. In fact, the Southern city was recently named the “Top City in the United States” by the 2011 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.

Come explore this jewel of the South! For those of us on a budget and in search of a Charleston trip packed with family fun, look no further than the campground and cottages at James Island County Park.

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Visit North Myrtle Beach this Spring

North Myrtle Beach, SC offers exciting activities and events for the entire family. Plan your next visit around one of our festivals! These block party style festivals feature everything from car shows to dancing to great food, live music and great kids activities.

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The Virginia Arts Festival Spring 2012

Perhaps more than any other season in the 16 year history of the Virginia Arts Festival, spring 2012 performances represent the heart of the Festival’s mission: to bring the world’s best performing artists to the coastal cities of Virginia.

Over seven sensational weeks, beginning April 16, you can experience the Festival debut of the legendary American Ballet Theatre, dancing the beloved classic Giselle; the iconic film star Al Pacino, sharing backstage stories from a lifetime in the world of theater and film, clips of his films, answers to questions you always wanted to ask and a reading from one of his favorite Broadway roles.

The reigning soprano of the opera and concert stage, Renée Fleming; the world renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman; star of TV’s 30 Rock, Jane Krakowski; the soaring glory of Flying PROMS Symphonic Air show. Add the eclectic talents of artists; Béla Fleck and the Original Flecktones, Dougie MacLean, Town Mountain Band, Bruce Brubaker, The Music of Pink Floyd and C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and you have something for everyone to enjoy.

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Grayson County Style

If you enjoy cool mountain air and friendly people, Grayson County is the perfect place to relax and recreate. Chain hotels and restaurants, no way! Grayson County style is unique, distinct and classic. With over 35 vacation cabins or B&Bs scattered throughout the county, you are sure to find the perfect spot to rest and relax.

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The Best of the Shenandoah Valley — Harrisonburg

Some towns nestled in the scenic Shenandoah Valley are quaint and sleepy: not Harrisonburg. Trendy, locally-owned restaurants, museums, and art galleries connect historic downtown to James Madison University, creating one of Virginia’s first designated Arts & Cultural Districts. This 10-block walk passes the Virginia Quilt Museum, Explore More Discovery Museum, Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market, Oasis Art Gallery, Valley Turnpike Museum, and parts of two National Historic Districts. Harrisonburg is recognized as a Bronze Biking Friendly Community (BFC), a designated Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation, as well as Main Street Community.

Get Outdoors

The true value of the Shenandoah Valley lies in the great outdoors! Harrisonburg was ranked nationally by Backpacker Magazine as a top spot for families to “beat nature deficit disorder.” As a certified Friendly Biking Community (FBC), the City suggests biking the Rocktown Trails and getting locals involved in community rides and events. 

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Jefferson County — ‘Best Recreational Activities in the Area’

Jefferson County WV offers a kind of similar physical activities that military personnel can now share with their families. Those activities, particularly around Harpers Ferry, include rock climbing on Maryland Heights, hiking, bicycling, water related activities and now soaring along the Potomac River shoreline at 55 feet high on the area’s only major zipline adventure.

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Harlingen, Great Vacation for Any Budget

Then and Now

Harlingen, Texas was destined to become a crossroads from the moment Lon C. Hill placed his frontier town next to the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railway track in 1904. Railroad crews had nicknamed the rugged settlement Six Shooter Junction before the train even arrived. At the center of fertile farmland laced with irrigation canals, Harlingen weathered bandit raids and floods to become an unrivaled agriculture shipping center by the 1920’s. World War II brought an aerial gunnery school followed in 1952 by Harlingen Air Force Base — whose property has since been redeveloped into Texas State Technical College, University Articulation Center, and Valley International Airport – the region’s largest and busiest airport. Today, Harlingen’s palms, parrots and picture-perfect subtropical climate welcome visitors to a fun-filled getaway. Enjoy year round golf and amazing bird watching. Go shopping at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, or in Jackson Street’s antique district. 

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Bryan-College Station — History and Traditions

Bryan-College Station is best known for its history and traditions. It is a unique place to visit because it has all the amenities of a big city, yet the atmosphere of a small town. With two cities offering some of the best attractions in Texas, there is so much for visitors to explore, experience, and enjoy.

The Military History at Texas A&M University

As a serviceman, you will be greeted with a friendly “Howdy!” all over the Texas A&M University campus. The rich military history at A&M includes more than 250 graduates who have earned the rank of general or admiral, and more Aggies commissioned or having served in World War II than West Point or Annapolis.

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The Griffon Vol. 36.1 (Spring 2012)

The Griffon Vol. 36.1 (Spring 2012)
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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.