From the Commanding General...

Well, it seems like we avoided the fiscal cliff, at least for now. There are still many reductions that will occur and we will see some significant belt tightening as the Department of Defense continues to look for ways to economize to meet the new budgetary targets. The Army Reserve is currently well situated from a financially and end-strength perspective, with the force’s operational tempo expected to stay pretty much steady state. Lt. Gen. Talley recently stated that he did not see any big changes coming for the Army Reserve as a whole. The Army Reserve is slated to reduce by 1,000 Soldiers, and that has not changed from last year. The Reserve is officially at 206,000 in terms of authorization for end strength, and we’re already at 205,000. Our operating budget is running at $8 billion a year. We’re six percent of the Army’s budget and provide almost 20 percent of the force, a very efficient equation. A reduction of the Army Reserve really does not save any significant money to the Department of Defense.

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From the Command Sergeant Major...

The Divisions of the 108th Training Command have had a decade of experience training foreign Soldiers. Starting in 2003, the 95th Training Division was called on to advise and assist Soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA). The 98th Training Division was called on in 2004 to mobilize Soldiers for Operation Iraqi Freedom for a mission known as the Foreign Army Training Assistance Command (FA-TRAC) which consisted primarily of training the new Iraqi Army and Iraqi security forces. Also during that period, selected Soldiers from the 104th Training Division were tasked with instructing units of the new Iraqi Army. In 2008, the 108th Training Division was tasked to advise and assist the Iraqi Army and the National Police.

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Headquarters, 98th Training Division (IET) Changes Command

COLUMBUS, Ga. ­— Four brigades stood ready to conduct the time honored tradition of passing the Colors from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander in a Change of Command Ceremony held at the historic National Infantry Museum. Presiding over the ceremony was Maj. Gen. Robert P. Stall, commanding general, 108th Training Command (IET).

The Adjutant began the ceremony by forming the command. Commander of Troops, Col. Bart E. Stovicek, escorted the reviewing party on an inspection of the troops. “Trooping of the Line”, dates back hundreds of years. It was used for the commander to review his/her troops’ condition and state of readiness prior to battle.

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The 108th plays a part in Making History

FORT MEADE, Md. — On the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 18, the silence of the brisk winter air was interrupted by the metrical sounds of boots echoing off the pavement and in-between the rows of buildings and homes on Fort Meade, Maryland. Marching in perfect time were Soldiers representing the U.S. Army Reserve, rehearsing and preparing to march in the 57th Presidential Inauguration Parade.

Pealing in, every so often, was the voice of Sgt. 1st Class Rodger Stewart. Left, left, left right. A simple sound of harmony and an all too familiar cadence that spoke to each and every Soldier. For this occasion is expected to be a “once in a lifetime” for most.

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Task Force Marshall

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Currently, there are thousands of Sailors serving “boots on ground” performing duties from detainee operations to serving as dentists and doctors. Of these Sailors, several thousands of them are individual augmentees (IA) filling joint or Army positions. Unlike a Sailor that deploys with a ship, squadron or unit, IAs leave their assigned unit or command to deploy individually or with a small group.

In an effort to ensure that these Sailors receive the training they need prior to deployment, IAs receive INCONUS basic combat skills training conducted by Army Drill Instructors. In January 2006, Task Force Marshall (TFM) based at the McCrady Training Center, Eastover, S.C., became the central training facility for Navy personnel assigned as Individual Augmentees.

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FORT LEE, Va.— Explosions and gun fire destroyed the silence of the early pre-dawn hours. Soldiers in battle gear ran across the field searching for casualties. Welcome to the 2012 annual Department of the Army Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Best Warrior Competition (BWC). One of the most anticipated events of the year.

After winning at the USARC-level BWC in July, Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Rios, a drill sergeant with the 98th Training Division (IET), assigned as a training instructor with the 78th Training Battalion, 84th Training Command, headed to Fort Dix, N.J., for seven weeks of intensive training and preparation for the ultimate test of becoming the Army NCO of the Year.

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The Happiest Man in the World

Soldiers are never happier than when they’re on a mission. That same ethic drives citizen-Soldiers in their civilian lives as well.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Slomp, a Reserve Soldier and drill sergeant with the 3rd Battalion, 330th Regiment, 4th Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET) in Portage, Mich., is just such a citizen-Soldier. In addition to his Reserve duty, Slomp works three other part-time jobs to serve his community and support his Family.

I sat down recently with Slomp for what I expected to be a fairly routine interview for a 2X Citizen profile in The Griffon. I left feeling confident that the future of the Army Reserve – and America! – is in good hands with Soldiers like Slomp and his teammates who live the Army Values.

For the first generation American whose parents were immigrants from the Netherlands, Slomp is truly an inspirational character. He started his military career in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1999 serving as a combat engineer. He said that, “graduating from boot camp was an exhilaration that was unmatched until the birth of his children.”

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Hickory Drill Sergeants deck the halls

HICKORY, N.C. — For some Families, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time of year. Quite often, Families are faced with unforeseen illnesses or injuries that change their lives. When Families are typically at home preparing for the holidays, a number of Families sit anxiously by the foot of their loved ones hospital bed.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, Soldiers from the 3/518th, 98th Training Division (IET), helped make the season a bit more merry and bright for local residents of the Frye Medical Center who may not have the opportunity to spend the holidays at home.

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Army Reserve fills vacant female drill sergeant jobs

When Fort Leonard Wood found itself short on female drill sergeants, they turned to the one Army organization that could help -- the Army Reserve.

“There needs to be a female role model in every platoon. Not just for the safe and secure aspect of things, but to show that females are as equally important to our Army as males are. So, we requested support from the 108th Training Command in the Army Reserve,” said Sgt. Maj. Timothy Gates, MSCoE G3 Operations sergeant major and Fort Leonard Wood Army Reserve senior enlisted adviser.

Fort Leonard Wood was short about 42 female drill sergeants, according to Gates.

To help Fort Leonard Wood fill the vacancies, 20 Army Reserve female drill sergeants will be on post for the next six months. They will be distributed across the Engineer, Military Police and Chemical Brigades as needed.

Staff Sgt. Jessica Griffice, 2nd Battalion, 414th Infantry Regiment, 95th Division, Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of those drill sergeants. She left her job at an Army Equipment Concentration Site to come to Fort Leonard Wood and said she is grateful to be here.

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Ft. Leonard Wood is short 42 female drill sergeants– Army turns to reserves

FT. LEONARD WOOD, Mo. ­— Over the last four decades hundreds of thousands of enlisted troops have gotten out of the United States military, but the number of women soldiers has increased seven-fold.  Partly to handle that increase, Fort Leonard Wood found itself 42 female drill sergeants short.

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Recruiting through training – The drill sergeant way!

PORTAGE, Mich. ­— Drill sergeant battalions are always looking for opportunities to train America’s Soldiers and always looking to recruit new drill sergeants. The 3rd Battalion, 330th Regiment, 4th Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET), Portage, Mich., has found a way to do both.

When most people think of drill sergeants, they think of training new recruits but, “drill sergeants do a lot more than just initial entry training,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Robb, 4th Brigade command sergeant major. For example, drill sergeants can run ranges and teach combatives for other units.

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Carolina Panthers ‘Salute to Service’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The cheering crowd at the Bank of America Stadium quickly increased to thousands. Rumbles echoed throughout, and the voice of the announcer spread throughout the stadium as players began their pregame warm-ups. An ideal beginning to a typical game.

However, on this day, the stadium filled with something much more profound than the cheers of the usual football fans. Veterans, distinguished, proudly wearing their service uniform and those vaguely distinguished from the crowd wearing clothing adorned with war era pins and patches, gathered on the field and in the stadium — all with a look of appreciation and pride in their eyes.

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Reserve Component Transition Career Symposium

FORT HOOD, Texas ­— The Reserve and Army National Guard from across the states and territories met Nov. 19-20 at the Fort Hood Community Events Center for the first ever “Reserve Component Transition Career Symposium”.

Senior Reserve Career Counselor and a 28-year veteran, Master Sgt. Edward LeDoux, said, “It took two months of coordination, I feel the event is important to Soldiers leaving the military. By bringing in the Reserve and National Guard from other states, it gets the information out to Soldiers; they leave with a plan.”

LeDoux said, “We are trying to give them the opportunity to see what else is going on in other places across the country and what other opportunities are out there whether it is school, jobs, or continuing a career with the reserve. Everything is in one central station. They can walk away with a wealth of information giving them the ability to make an informed decision.”

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Laying the Foundation – The Bases of a Life-Long Journey YLEAD

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Conducted regionally, The Youth Leadership, Education and Development (YLEAD) summit is a four-day, residential training experience for teens ages 14-17 with a Family member serving in the Army Reserve.

Youths participate with other youths connected to the Army Reserve and participate in activities that promote success at home, in school and within their community. They also learn how to make a difference in the lives of Army Reserve Families and discover ways to become involved through partnerships with teens, adults, and community-based programs.

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Future Soldiers Get a Glimpse into the Initial Entry Training Environment

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Enlistees from Las Vegas received beneficial training from Delta Company 1-415th Battalion drill sergeants prior to Initial Entry Training.

On Oct. 20, recruiters, Sgt. Jonathan Quarry and Staff Sgt. Mike Manus, began their day setting up for future Soldiers to arrive at Doc Remeo Park in Las Vegas, Nev., to begin the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) training conducted by Delta Company 1-415th BCT Battalion. The DEP Training was developed to prepare new Soldiers for successful completion of Initial Entry Training.

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108th Soldiers Participate in Veterans’ Day Ceremony with Sterling Elementary

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ­— On Nov. 9, 2012, Soldiers of the 108th Training Command (IET) participated in a Veteran’s Day celebration with Sterling Elementary School located in Charlotte, N.C. This event continues a long standing relationship between the 108th Training Command and its local communities. Representing the 108th were Lt. Col. Mike Collins, Maj. Quentin Johnson, Chief Warrant Officer Tracy Ross and Drill Sergeant Stacie George. Soldiers from the Army National Guard and retired service members also participated.

The Soldiers were treated to a parade down the halls of the school where children from all grades high fived and cheered as the Soldiers walked through.

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McCoy hosts 757th Transportation Battalion Best Warrior Competition

FORT MCCOY, Wis. — Fort McCoy was the site for the 757th Transportation Battalion NCO and Soldier of the Year Best Warrior Competition held Nov. 1-4, 2012. During this competition, six Soldiers, Spc. Anthony H. Santiago, 226th TC, Chicopee, Mass., Sgt. Charles N. Eartherton and Spc. Jeffrey R. Halker, 1151st TC, 1st Det, Granite City, Ill., Sgt. April McDonald, 1150st TC, Wilmington, N.C., and Sgt. Joseph M. Patnode and Spc. Jesse R. Petersen, 757th HHD, Milwaukee, Wis., competed for a chance to represent the 757th Battalion at the Deployment Support Commands competition at Fort Eustis, Va., on March 4-8, 2013.

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Army Reserve Officer uses spare time to help Local Youth

HOPE MILLS, N.C. — First Lt. Vernardo Harris, executive officer, D Co. 1/415th, 95th Training Division (IET), is back at it again. Anyone who has been around Harris any length of time knows how passionate he is about giving back to the community. He often speaks about the many different ways to help upcoming youth. Harris has dedicated his free time to bringing smiles across the faces of today’s youth. His latest project is called “Harris Pen Pals”. This is a program he started along with Ms. Shannon Bryant, a second grade school teacher at C. Wayne Collier Elementary School located in Hope Mills, N.C.

After talking with Bryant about the school’s new English Language Arts Common Core State Standards, he wanted to get involved. Being a former high school teacher, he knew the perfect way to help the kids. He proposed the idea of a program where students would exchange letters to military Soldiers. This way the kids could work on their writing skills and at the same time become pen pals.

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New RPAC systems provide better customer service

FORT JACKSON, S.C. ­— “Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” The late 18th, early 19th century author and journalist Arnold Bennett may not have had the military in mind when he made this statement, but anyone who’s been in the Armed Forces for more than a minute knows it to be true.

As the times change around us, so do our needs and so do the needs of the Army Reserve in order to serve the Soldiers and families that are a part of it. The new Reserve Personnel Action Centers are a response to the need for better customer service. Unit administrators (UAs) from several different units were relocated to central locations or hubs where they would work the daily functions of several units rather than just the one to which they were assigned. 

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First Battalion/354th Regiment hosts Dining Out

TULSA, Okla. ­— Lt. Col. Mark Segovia and Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Sams recently hosted the 1st Bn, 354th Regt., 1st Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET) Dining Out at the Downtown Doubletree in Tulsa, Okla. Soldiers and their Families enjoyed a wonderful evening of camaraderie and tradition as the battalion celebrated the holiday season together.

The guest speaker, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) James Sholar, a former 95th Division member and deputy commanding general of the Army Reserve provided a keynote address on the important role Soldiers of the 95th Division played in Iraq and are continuing to play in Afghanistan. 

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From the 95th Division Commander...

To members of the 95th Training Division team — I trust this finds your rucksack always close at hand in anticipation for the “On order, be prepared to ....” While the future across a global landscape appears unstable on any given day, our commitment to readiness requires diligence, focus, and vigilance — everyday. This is about attitude — taking the challenge — and standing firm when others run at the first sound of gunfire. An “equipment check” is in order everyday for each of us — mentally, physically, and spiritually.

The 95th Training Division Commander’s Conference conducted in Oklahoma City in September deserves the label of “success” at multiple levels. First, I want to thank members of the division staff that worked diligently to bring this together — most excellent.

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Forging the Future

JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. — The Timberwolf Leadership Team gathered on the snowy outskirts of Joint Base Lewis McChord in December with representatives of the U.S. Army Cadet Command to plan and schedule the future of every ROTC cadet and future Army officer. Timberwolf training and evaluation teams support the ROTC Leader’s Training Course (LTC) at Fort Knox and the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC/Operation Warrior Forge) at Joint Base Lewis McChord.

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Soldier’s Gold Mine


Soldiers May Be Entitled to Additional PDMRA Days

A change was made to DoD Instruction 1327-06 effective 1 October 2011 that capped the maximum number of PDMRA days to two and eliminated CONUS based Title 10: 12302 orders from being eligible. As a result, De-Mob stations calculated PDMRA after 1 October 2011 using two different policies. Months prior to 1 October 2011 were calculated so that Soldiers may be eligible for a maximum of four days and months after 1 October 2011 were calculated based on the new policy capped at two days and the elimination of CONUS based tours. Public Law 112-120 was passed in May 2012 which grandfathers a Soldier’s entire tour under the old policy if it began before 1 October 2011. So instead of switching to the new policy on 1 October 2011, the whole tour should count under the old policy. This means some Soldiers may be owed more PDMRA days than they were given. These days can be redeemed as $200 payments per day, additional days during current deployment, or carried over to your next active duty tour.

If you believe you are eligible for additional PDMRA days, first ensure that you were on orders (excluding COADOS orders not in Iraq, Kuwait, or Afghanistan) that began before 1 October 2011 and ended after that date. Take all your DD 214’s and any proof of PDMRA given (if not already listed on DD 214) and bring them to your unit for verification. If eligible, your request will be submitted up your chain to USARC for compensation.

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Mentoring the next generation Soldier

Every Soldier has committed to memory and practice the Seven Core Army Values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Each of these values shapes and informs our conduct, decisions and our lives. As a Soldier and as a Chaplain, I have grown to believe that each of these values is indispensable to the mission of the Army Reserve and to our nation’s mission of security and peace. This may sound like a recruiting advertisement, but I truly believe that I have not gotten where I am in the Army solely on my own merit. Many others have contributed immeasurably to my success and my fulfillment in the Army Reserve.

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Military OneSource Connects Troops, Families to Resources

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2012 — As the Information Age continues to shape modern communication, the Defense Department has revitalized and consolidated the Military OneSource website to better serve military members and their families, a Pentagon official said in a recent interview.

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Enlisted Promotions Checklists — ‘An Ounce of Prevention’

Enlisted promotions involve TWO distinct processes. The first step is the recommendation for promotion, which culminates when a recommended Soldier gets placed onto a Regional Support Command’s Permanent Promotion Recommended List. The second step occurs when a Regional Support Command slots a Soldier from its Permanent Promotion Recommended List against a valid vacancy specifically reported for enlisted promotions. This step culminates when a Regional Support Command generates a promotion order; sometimes, a Soldier gets transferred due to the promotion and so the Regional Support Command also generates a transfer order.

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Texting Fail!

Thanks to smartphones and the Internet, videos of people walking and texting their way into an embarrassing adventure aren’t difficult to find.

While they may provide a laugh, distracted walking accidents can hurt or even prove fatal.

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Do you want to be a Unit Public Affairs Representative?

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

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News from the 108th Griffon Association

In just about every area, 2012 was again a successful year for the Griffon Association. Only in the area of membership increase did we not get to where we need to be, which is back up in the 300 plus members we had five or six years ago. Currently we have 102 life members and 54 yearly members, plus one honorary member of a total of 157. I am sure each of you has several friends who are eligible for membership, but who are not members and need to be. Please make an effort to contact them and get them to join up. Annual membership is only $10, which is a small sum for anyone, and the organization needs the support to keep up its good works. Attached is a membership application for your use. Thanks for the help in this vital area.

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The Online option


Are you an active duty servicemember, a single parent or both? Do you serve onboard a Navy ship, a Coast Guard cutter or somewhere overseas? Does it seem you just don’t have enough time to pursue a “real” college degree?

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Study skills for the online adult learner


Imagine completing your college degree while sitting in front of your home computer, wearing your favorite pajamas. You accomplish this feat entirely online, at night and on weekends, all while serving full-time in the military. Is this a dream? Not anymore. Distance learning is reality.

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Your Top 4 education benefits


Have you been thinking about getting your degree, but time, money or both seem to make it impossible? Fortunately there are several military benefits specifically designed to help you find the time and money to get that degree.

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5 Tips for Testing Your Way to a Degree


Although you have probably heard of the College Level Exam Program or CLEP tests, you may not know that these credit-by-exam tests are widely accepted by colleges and universities.

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How to develop good study habits

Navy Lifelines

Starting college or returning to school as an adult can be daunting, but when you’re a servicemember or military spouse, it can seem overwhelming. The idea of taking statistics or chemistry may make you hesitate, but don’t let doubts stand in your way. Opportunities for both military and civilian education are virtually everywhere. Developing solid study habits will help your personal success as a student. It will also give you ideas to help your children develop lifelong skills that they can begin refining long before they send out college applications.

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Relevant Tags: MILITARY TRANSITION RESOURCES, study, school, education, study habits, higher education, returning school

Spring in Shenandoah Valley

Springtime in the Shenandoah Valley is a breath of fresh air, both figuratively and literally. The lush green of the rolling countryside provides the perfect back-drop for orchards filled with the delicate colors of fruit blossoms – apple, peach, berry, and more. Redbud and dogwood trees line the roadsides and dot the mountainsides, making the scenery a site to behold.

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Beat Cabin Fever with a trip to Susquehanna River Valley

The Susquehanna River Valley is the perfect place for you jump back into outdoor fun. The tri-county region offers a plethora of outdoor treasures for the soldier whose idea of R&R involves a little excitement and adventure. But don’t worry, if you prefer to take it easy, there are also a wealth of relaxing activities and tranquil, picturesque landscapes exploding with the vibrant colors of spring for you to enjoy at your leisure.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, river, susquehanna, valley, outdoor, susquehanna river, river valley, cabin fever

Visit the Enchanted Mountains of Western New York

The robins may be back, but there’s still plenty of cold-weather fun ahead as winter glides into spring. Crush the spring ski slopes, learn about living the old-fashioned way, navigate swift waters, motorcycle along pretty country roads, win a high stakes game and relax at a peaceful spa. Welcome to Cattaraugus County — we’re so glad you’re here!

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, spring, office, ski, enchanted, trail, new york, enchanted mountains, geo trail, mountains western, waters motorcycle

New York’s Great Lake Getaway

Wayne County NY is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario between the cities of Rochester and Syracuse in the northern part of the Finger Lakes Region. The Native Americans defined the largest embayment in Wayne County, “Silver Waters.” History doesn’t trace the other nickname, “Crown Jewel of Lake Ontario.” Today’s wayfarers, anglers, and outdoor recreational tourists know the gem as Sodus Bay, and this resort area of Wayne County is only the tip of the iceberg when diversity is your traveling goals.

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Fishing — Reel ‘Em In!

The waters of Columbia and Montour counties offer abundant places for fishing enthusiasts to enjoy throughout the entire year. The natural scenic beauty of our area offers an array of experiences for all to enjoy. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy fishing at one of our many locations where hiking, canoeing, hunting and camping are offered to create an outdoor experience for the new breed of wilderness aficionados, or “eco-tourists.”

Here’s a sample of where to look for popular species of fish:

PPL Montour Preserve, Montour County — in Danville is host to the 165-acre Lake Chillisquaque. Lake Chillisquaque, named for a Native American word meaning “song of the wild goose,” is a 165-acre reservoir built on the middle branch of Chillisquaque Creek by PPL in 1972 as a backup cooling water supply for the Montour power plant.

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Dallas County’s hottest destination — Cedar Hill

Cedar Hill is located on the highest elevation in North Texas and offers breathtaking views of Joe Pool Lake and Cedar Hill State Park. Combining the natural environment with quality development and a strong business climate, Cedar Hill is Dallas County’s HOTTEST destination.

Less than 20 minutes from downtown Dallas, just a 40 minute drive and you are in downtown Fort Worth. A 30 minute drive will take you to DFW International Airport or Dallas Love Field.

Cedar Hill offers a wonderful quality of life to its residents and fun attractions for visitors. Besides the 2,500 acres of City Parks, Cedar Hill State Park is nearly 2,000 acres of natural scenic beauty located on 7,500 acre Joe Pool Lake. With historic Penn Farm, campsites, over 100 miles of shoreline, water based recreation activities on Joe Pool Lake, hiking trails, and mountain bike trails the park is a major attraction for people from all over and the most visited state park in Texas.

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South Padre Island — where fun flies

South Padre Island is the place. The place where the island lifestyle is defined. Where neckties were outlawed and flip flops are considered formal wear. Where you can go as fast as a jet ski or as slow as a beach chair; as high as a parasail or as low as a scuba dive. Where sunrises and sunsets are considered spectator sports. Where fun flies and it’s always five o’clock. Where there is always something to do and doing nothing is really something.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, padre island, south padre, international airport, fun flies, flip flops, madre bay, laguna madre

Branson honors Veterans every day of the year

Branson salutes our veterans and active duty armed forces year-round. Their service, commitment and ultimate sacrifice is honored with multiple special events, warm welcomes and VIP treatment. Men and women veterans and active duty personnel from all branches and from all wars, conflicts and peacetime service are appreciated in the Branson/Lakes Area every day of the year.

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Film, sand and space — Military Honoree

Nestled in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico and surrounded by three mountain ranges containing alpine ski resorts is an historic American railroading town founded just before the turn of the 19th Century. Alamogordo maintains a close personal relationship with its military forces. It has been the home of space flight, rocketry and research pioneering downthru the years, and it is the location of the New Mexico Museum of Space History and Clyde W. Tombaugh IMAX Theater. White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base have housed outstanding research projects like those of Wernher Von Braun, Col. John Paul Stapp, Holloman Aero Medical, Trinity Site, and many others. This history continues today with the modern-day military and the New Mexico SpaceTrail research project.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, space, mexico, museum, trail, office, new mexico, space trail, air force, mexico museum, community service, mexico space, service award, space history

Springtime in Three Rivers, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

In rural, peaceful Three Rivers and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, you can be as lazy or as busy, as you like! For the active and the not-so-active, here’s a taste of the many things you can do, and events you may attend, during the Springtime:

  • Attend a Celebration honoring our Armed Forces at Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building
  • Watch the Bathtub Race for Charity at Lake Kaweah
  • Enjoy the Hero Appreciation Months Program, through March 31st
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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, rivers, national, sequoia, parks, canyon, three rivers, kings canyon, sequoia kings, national parks, rivers sequoia, lake kaweah, historical museum

What is the Billy Graham Library experience?

The 40,000-square-foot Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina — Billy Graham’s hometown — chronicles the life and ministry of the world-famous pastor. The library is a multimedia experience that continues Graham’s more than 70-year legacy of delivering the simple yet profound message of God’s love. Built to resemble a large barn symbolic of his formative years as the son of a dairy farmer, the main facility houses six exhibits, four galleries of memorabilia from around the world, and two theaters, which cover the span of Graham’s lifetime work and the innovative outreach of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association today.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, library, graham, billy, experience, billy graham, library experience, ruth bell, special exhibit, multimedia experience

Relax and recharge in Pooler, Georgia

Take some time to relax and recharge your energy and outlook by coming to Pooler. We are a military-friendly community, with close proximity to Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield and other installations.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, pooler, office, military, savannah, relax recharge, air force, army airfield, eighth air, hunter army, pooler georgia, recharge pooler, fort stewart, stewart hunter

Berkeley County — for those seeking adventure

Berkeley County is the ideal place for military families seeking adventure and history in non-traditional forms.

If history is your thing, the Old Santee Canal Park should definitely be on the must-see list! Come learn about the first true canal in America located on 195-acres, see the first semi-submersible torpedo boat, CSS Little David, that was built right here on the plantation. Enjoy enriched educational experiences at the Old Santee Canal Park. The park, which sits on the historic Stony Landing Plantation, was an important site for trade and transportation since colonial times. You will find a 19th century plantation house, 4 miles of boardwalk that brings you face-to-face with nature, brilliant at any time of the year, the Canal bed can actually be seen at Biggins Swamp. Our impressive 11,000 square foot Interpretive Center tells the story of the engineering feat of digging a canal from the state’s midlands to the Cooper River. The Interpretive Center houses cultural and natural history exhibits, an interactive computer, live snake exhibits and more. Two theaters feature nature and history films.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, berkeley, history, adventure, santee, general, berkeley county, seeking adventure, canal park, santee canal, old santee

Charleston festival epitomizes outdoor adventure

It’s the coolest small city in America according to GQ. It has been named the friendliest city in America according to Travel & Leisure. For two years in a row it has been the best city in the US according to Condé Nast Traveler magazine, and most recently, the same magazine named it the best city on planet Earth. Indeed, Charleston, SC has received a lot of attention and accolades from visitors to the Holy City in recent years, and those are just a few. So what’s the deal?

I believe it all comes down to a smile.

William Shakespeare said, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, charleston, outdoor, festival, east coast, city america, coast paddlesports, outdoor adventure, traveler magazine, paddlesports outdoor

Get your beach therapy on the coast of NC

Experience a beach vacation where the soft golden sands of the Atlantic Ocean merge with the calm and comfort of a dream come true. Come and discover the vacation spot where pure bliss and total relaxation is interchangeable with days filled with adventure and the idea of no commitments. Discover for yourself why our area is known as one of America’s top travel destinations.

The North Myrtle Beach area features over 12,000 vacation rental options, varying from quaint cottages to intimate hotels, oceanfront penthouses and luxurious condominiums to perhaps your very own oceanfront beach house or one of our great RV resorts.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, beach, vacation, north myrtle, myrtle beach, beach vacation, beach therapy, total relaxation, vacation spot

Legoland ­— Florida’s newest attraction

Sunny Central Florida provides an inviting escape for winter-weary visitors. Conveniently located between Orlando and Tampa, and an easy drive to Florida’s famous beaches, Central Florida’s Polk County is home to Florida’s newest attractions, LEGOLAND® Florida, LEGOLAND Water Park, Safari Wilderness Ranch and Streamsong Resort.

LEGOLAND Florida in Winter Haven is an interactive 150-acre theme park geared towards families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. The park offers a unique mix of more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, including the historic botanical gardens of the former Cypress Gardens. Since opening in October 2011, LEGOLAND Florida has expanded with a LEGOLAND Water Park in May 2012 and by adding an all-new, interactive LEGO® Star Wars Miniland (crafted from 1.5 million LEGO bricks) to their famous Miniland USA last November.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, florida, polk, office, attraction, county, legoland, water, safari, polk county, central florida, bok tower, art deco, legoland water

Fun Comes Naturally in Indian River County, FL

Ringed by citrus groves, cattle ranches and the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River County has a friendly, unpretentious atmosphere. Centrally located 70 miles south of the Kennedy Space Center and 135 miles north of Miami, our 543 square miles contain beautiful beaches, groves of renowned Indian River oranges and grapefruit, immaculate oceanfront estates and riverfront communities.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, island, river, indian, veterans, memorial, navy, indian river, river county, memorial island, veterans memorial, island sanctuary, four chaplains, navy seals, vero beach

Powerhouse musical lineup for Universal’s Mardi Gras

Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras 2013 is combining a stellar lineup of high-energy performances featuring some of the most sought-after names in music with thee exciting spirit of the famed “N’awli ns” celebration.

On select nights Feb. 9 through April 20, guests will let the good times roll as they experience an authentic, family-friendly version of the Mardi Gras bash at Universal Studios Florida.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, universal, parade, music, mardi gras, new orleans, universal studios, cajun cuisine, live concerts

Helping other Military Families

Military families face an inordinate amount of challenges, not the least of which is providing an excellent education for their children. Homeschooling is an option more and more military families are considering and choosing to adopt as their education of choice because the benefits are particularly well-suited to the military lifestyle.

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Relevant Tags: HOMESCHOOL OPTIONS, homeschooling, military families, home school, school foundation, military fund, homeschooling military

Chase World Class Trout and Salmon in Oswego County, NY

Anglers around the world travel to Oswego County by the thousands to enjoy a world-class fishing experience and enjoy the scenic and pristine character of Lake Ontario and its tributary streams, the Salmon and Oswego rivers. Read More »

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Looking For That Next Job? — Start Preparations Now

Transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging
One of the biggest mistakes a service member can make is to not make adequate preparations for a given mission. The same holds true for the process of transitioning to civilian life. Read More »

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Veteran Green Jobs Receives $250,000 Grant

Grant Supports Expansion of Veteran Employment Efforts in California, Colorado

DENVER, March 20, 2013 – Veterans Green Jobs, a nonprofit organization that puts veterans to work in the green economic sector, announced that it has received a $250,000 award from the Call of Duty Endowment, a nonprofit that helps veterans transition to civilian careers. The grant money will be used to support Veterans Green Jobs’ expansion efforts in California and Colorado, with specific plans to open a Los Angeles office and hire personnel to operate its veteran employment program

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Veterans Green Jobs Expands Reach to California 100,000+ Unemployed Veteran

DENVER, Colo., April 8, 2013 – Veterans Green Jobs, a nonprofit organization that puts veterans to work in the green economic sector, is expanding its operations in California to reach more unemployed veterans who are seeking employment and training opportunities. Veterans Green Jobs will soon open a Los Angeles office. On March 1, it hired personnel to operate its veteran employment program serving the Los Angeles region. Read More »

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The Griffon Vol. 37.1 (Spring 2013)

The Griffon Vol. 37.1 (Spring 2013)
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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.