From the Commanding General

Recently I was afforded the opportunity to visit the country of Chile. While serving as the Deputy Department of the Army G2, I developed a professional relationship with their equivalent of our Chief of Staff of the Army, who was the Chilean Attaché at the time. He invited me to Chile to discuss the processes and procedures we have in the U.S. Army Reserve, and our relevance to the greater Army. 

They were trying to glean best practices in an attempt to better support their Reserve Soldiers. I invited Command Sgt. Maj. Luther Thomas, U.S. Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj., to join me on the trip given many Allies don’t have a strong NCO Corps

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STAND-TO! Female Drill Sergeants

U.S. Army Female Drill Sergeants have trained Soldiers for over 40 years. The first six female candidates to complete the Drill Sergeant School began training Soldiers in 1972, after receiving permission to be included in the Drill Sergeant Program by the Army Chief of Staff. These first females were graduates from the Women's Army Corps and stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama.

What is it?

Drill Sergeants, as part of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, are responsible for coaching counseling and mentoring thousands of trainees as they transform from civilians to combat-ready Soldiers. Noncommissioned officers who graduate from the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School are consummate professionals and the epitome of the American Soldier.

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From the Command Sergeant Major

After watching one of the NFL teams come from behind and advance to the Super Bowl, the sports announcer made a comment saying, “can you imagine how they must feel, to be part of a winning team like that”.

Yes, I do know exactly how that feels because I’ve been part of a winning team for thirty-seven years, The U.S. Army.

We are a team that does not accept second place. Every time we are given a mission, task or assignment, we focus on successfully completing it. We’re a team that does not allow obstacles to get in the way of us reaching our goals and objectives. And we’re a team that has more heroes than anyone can count.

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The Lost Art of Mentorship

If there were a Soldiers’ Yearbook of sorts and if such a yearbook had been published in 1982 when I enlisted in the Army Reserve, I would have been named, “The Soldier Least Likely to Succeed.” I was clueless, aimless and really didn’t have a plan other than to serve a short stint in the military and then get on with my life. In fact, as I remember, that was how I was recruited. Just sign on the line and raise my right hand. “After all,” so I was told, “It’s only one weekend a month and two weeks a year for six years plus two in an inactive status. Think nothing of it because the time would go by quickly.” And so it has.

Thirty-four years later, the journey has been, and remains, a cycle of periods of cluelessness and aimlessness followed by enlightenment and direction. I have had a variety of mentors along the way; role models, preceptors, coaches, advisors, confidants, and counselors; from all walks of life and consisting of superiors, peers, and subordinates.

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FOOTBALL ARMY STRONG!

A great number of comparisons have been made in regards to football and war.

Two opposing teams line up on the field. Each fighting for a small piece of real estate in a sequence of smaller battles. Each hoping to reach the objective: the end zone.

By virtue of the game itself, violence grips every play. Helmets crash together. Soldiers fly through the air in a selfless effort to stop the opponent. 

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Changing the Game: Army All-American Bowl 2015

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — As the players step from the tunnel into the glaring light, they squint, briefly allowing their eyes to adjust. Once they are able, they slowly look around, taking in the sights; the screaming fans, the jumping, yelling cheerleaders and jumbled mass of steel overhead that is the stadium’s dome. This is the 2015 Army All-American Bowl.

The Army Bowl is an annual event that brings the nation’s top high school football players and band members together to showcase their skills. Upon arrival, the football players are split into two teams, East and West, though the band members come together as a single unit. Every participant shares a desire to win, but every one of them also has at least one more thing in common; the experience.

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STAND-To! Female Drill Sergeants

What is it?
U.S. Army Female Drill Sergeants have trained Soldiers for over 40 years. The first six female candidates to complete the Drill Sergeant School began training Soldiers in 1972, after receiving permission to be included in the Drill Sergeant Program by the Army Chief of Staff. These first females were graduates from the Women’s Army Corps and stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama.

Drill Sergeants, as part of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, are responsible for coaching counseling and mentoring thousands of trainees as they transform from civilians to combat-ready Soldiers. Noncommissioned officers who graduate from the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School are consummate professionals and the epitome of the American Soldier.

What has the Army done?
Female drill sergeants were responsible for training women in gender-segregated units after the elimination of the Women’s Army Corps in 1978. Since 1994, when Basic Combat Training became gender-integrated, female drill sergeants have assisted in the transition and now train male and female Soldiers at Fort Jackson, Fort Leonard Wood and Fort Sill. Both active and reserve component female drill sergeants are actively involved in initial entry training and instilling the Army Values to all new recruits.

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Staff Sgt. Margaret Diacheysn

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — “You would make an awesome drill sergeant!”

A friend, who also happened to be a recruiter, spoke those words to Army Reserve Drill Sergeant Candidate, Staff Sgt. Margaret Diacheysn, C Company, 2/413 Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), in 2010 when she was thinking of coming back into the Army Reserve after a brief break in service.

And after four years of patience, this registered nurse and mother of six, found herself in the middle of her second week at the Drill Sergeant Academy conquering an obstacle that after 20 years of combined active and reserve service in the Army, had never experienced before, Victory Tower.

“At the same time I’m glad I did it. For me this is exactly how the privates will do it and now I will be able to relate. I really see the value in us doing all of this. “

“I am so glad this part is over. When I came in, in 1994 at Fort McClellan, Alabama, it was a hot summer day and it rained. So they canceled the confidence course for safety reasons. Since then, I’ve never been in a unit that has gone repelling. That was the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do. I am absolutely petrified of heights,” Diacheysn said.

Diacheysn originally planned on commissioning in the Army Reserve as an officer in the medical corps. However, after learning she needed more than an Associate Degree, the M.P. with a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom under her belt decided to take full advantage of the education benefits of the Army Reserve and took on the challenge of becoming a drill sergeant.

“My hope is that I will make a good drill sergeant. A compassionate drill sergeant that reaches out to the new recruits. A drill sergeant that Soldiers can relate to. I want to make them understand that the Army is a good place to be and that discipline helps.

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Traditions

A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. Traditions are the blue print of the Army’s culture. It’s what gives Soldiers a sense of pride in the way we walk, talk and wear our uniforms.

Our vocabulary, beliefs, and established practices are inherited from generation to generation. Molding us into the Soldiers we are today. Embodying the way we learn, lead and fight. Whether it’s a courtesy or custom everything ties into tradition.

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Training Command Leadership Provides Army Reserve Insight to Chilean Army

At the request of the Chilean Army Commander- in-Chief, Gen. Humberto Oviedo, 108th Training Command (IET) leadership traveled to Chile to discuss cooperation building and talk about education, training, benefits and incentives as it applies to the Army Reserve.

Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, 108th Training Command (IET) Commanding General, and Command Sgt. Maj. Luther Thomas, Command Sgt. Maj. of the Army Reserve, visited Santiago, Chile Jan. 11-14, 2015, and met with Gen. Oviedo and other Chilean Army leadership providing insight and lessons learned on the Army Reserve structure.

“This international engagement gave us an opportunity to showcase our capabilities as well as better understand their needs. Right now Chile doesn’t have a truly structured Reserve component; they have more of a militia type organization. 

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Drill Sergeant for Life

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — On a cold and cloudy January morning, a lone drill sergeant prepares a spot on the foundation of a single building. His tools: A level, a drill and a screwdriver.

He carefully measures then drills into the brick and mortar of the seemingly impenetrable foundation. He stands back, eyes his work and turns four small screws that attach a single brass plaque to the wall.

But this Soldier is no ordinary drill sergeant. This Soldier is a Drill Sergeant Leader at the prestigious U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The wall he chose is on the foundation of the headquarters building of the school. And the plaque that he hangs bears the name of one single Soldier whose accomplishments not only to the Army, but his community, are worth remembering.

The name is none other than that of the late retired Command Sgt. Maj. William Raleigh Hyman, the school’s first enlisted commandant.

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I Hear you Calling: U.S. Soldiers Mentor Chicago Youths on March Toward Manhood

CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY — It’s a university campus, but this past Friday night, Chicago State University sounded more like a basic training base.

Military chants filled the January night air as Army Drill Sergeants and other Soldiers led groups of Chicago youths into cadence.

“I hear you calling! Calling for me!” one group sang, doing their best to keep military step for the first time in their life.

Except, these young men and boys were not signing up to join the Army. They’re on a journey toward manhood, and the Army was there to help them on their march.

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The Command Visits Puerto Rico

FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico — During the month of November, the 1st Battalion, 389th Regiment, 98th Training Division (IET), conducted their annual Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) where 51 Soldiers of 54 taking the test passed it.

Additionally, Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, 108th Training Command (IET) Commanding General and Command Sgt. Maj. Rocci DeRezza, Command Sgt. Maj. of the 108th Training Command (IET), visited the battalion and took the APFT with the Soldiers.

As part of their visit, Purser and DeRezza, conducted a meeting with the battalion leaders and a Town Hall with all Soldiers. During the Town Hall, Purser and DeRezza were able to listen to the Soldiers concerns and experiences in the battalion and leadership.

A Battalion command brief was presented to Purser and Derezza in order to show them the battalion accomplishments during the last year. One of the battalion accomplishments is the continued support for the Puerto Rico Army National Guard Language Center in Fort Allen, Juana Diaz.

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Third Brigade Soldiers Earn the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge

HERNDON, Va. — Throughout the 2014 summer months, Soldiers from HHC, 3rd Brigade, 104th Training Division (LT), competed for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge. The GAFPB is a German award that is awarded to Soldiers able to complete the First Aid Course, NBC Test, 11x10 meter sprint test, flexed arm hang, 1000 meter run, M9 pistol qualification, 100 meter swim and a ruck march.

Out of the nine Soldiers that started, four were able to successfully earn the badge. The badge is one of the few authorized foreign awards that U.S Soldiers can wear on ASU’s. 

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Boss-lift at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, N.C. — The day started early for employers selected to take part in the United States Air Force Reserve’s, 916th Air Refueling Wing’s Boss-Lift. They all met at the Heritage Hall to receive their badge that guaranteed them a ride on the KC – 135 refueling tankers.

Welcome comments were provided by Ron Bogle, North Carolina Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve chairman. “We are a Nation that cannot defend itself based on our standing force alone. The only way that we can adequately secure our national defense is with a strong Guard and Reserve. That’s where you come in; where you become partners in our National Defense.”

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Third Battalion, 415th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET) Holds Best Warrior Competition

SPOKANE, Wash. — The 3rd Battalion, 415th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), held its annual Best Warrior Competition (BWC) on 15 Nov. Four Soldiers participated in the competition; Staff Sgt. Matthew Konsbruck, Sgt. 1st Class Richard Martin, Spc. Justin Baker and Staff Sgt. Travis Carney.

The competition was comprised of the last APFT score of each participant; weapons assembly and functions check on the M-9, M-16, M-249 and M-240; an oral board in front of the sergeant major and four first sergeants; EST weapons qualification on the M-16; Drill Sergeant Modules for the Drill Sergeant of the Year (DSOY) candidates; and a written exam.

The winners are: Drill Sergeant of the Year (DSOY) Sgt. 1st Class Richard Martin, NCO of the Year (NCOY) Staff Sgt. Matthew Konsbruck and Soldier of the Year (SOY) Spc. Justin Baker. These Soldiers will be representing the 3rd Battalion during future competitions.

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Veterans Memorial Park Dedication Ceremony

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — The City of Jamestown Veteran’s Memorial Park Commission requested the assistance of Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 390th Regiment, 4th Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), in the Veterans Memorial Park Dedication Ceremonial Events held Saturday November 8, 2014 in Jamestown, New York.

Soldiers of 1-390, Sgt. Jeter, E Co, Canton, Ohio, 1st Sgt. Bull, D Co, Gerry, New York and Lt. Col. Wright, Commander 1-390, assisted the Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park Commission, Mr. Ron Cotton, in developing the final dedication ceremony and formulation of a JOINT firing line. The firing line consisted of U.S. Military members representing all branches of the service and their reserve components (Reserve and National Guard) that are currently serving.

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SUPPORTING PRIMARY MISSIONS

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 413th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), from San Diego, California, recently conducted a successful Modern Army Combatives Program for nearby Army Reserve units.

During the November Battle Assembly, Delta Company’s NCOIC, Staff Sgt. Charles Denney, also supported by Staff Sgt. Ray Mata, Sgt. Omar Munoz and Sgt. Daniel Garcia, led a Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) Level 1 Certification Course.

This was a highly motivated class composed of the following units: the 314th Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion, 382nd Military Police (MP) Detachment, and 6252nd U.S. Army Hospital (USAH). 

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Army Reserve Council on Accreditation Visits the 108th

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 3rd Medical Command and the 108th Training Command (IET) Army Reserve Family Programs were the first sites selected by USARC’s Council on Accreditation Family Programs Accreditation pilot program. Accreditation is one of the means by which the agency strives to champion quality of services.

“These two units were identified by USARC to be the pilots based on previous expertise in the accreditation process.

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Unit Ministry Team

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Chaplains from the 108th Training Command (IET) and the three divisions began the UMT Senior Leader Strategic Planning Conference at the 81st Regional Support Command on Nov. 12. Opening remarks by Chaplain Kenneth Alford and a question and answer session by the 108th Deputy Commanding General Brig. Gen. Ray Royalty kicked off the conference.

The lessons had already started before the classes began. Alford expressed, “that by just taking a short walk you can learn about great life lessons. I was walking with Chaplain Lozano this morning and learned a few things as we went along.” 

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A Legendary Symbol of Pride

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — For citizens making the leap from civilian life into military service by way of the Army, one symbol of excellence stands above all and exemplifies all of the qualities those future Soldiers desire to acquire- the drill sergeant.

For aspiring Drill Sergeant Candidates at the United States Army Drill Sergeant School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, that symbol is the Drill Sergeant Hat.

“It’s amazing! It’s pretty surreal. This is the first thing that civilians see when they step off that bus. In psychological terms it symbolizes discipline. It almost has a legend to it,” said Army Reserve Sgt. Enrique Hernandez, 98th Training Division (IET).

Hernandez, was one of 97 noncommissioned officers who were fitted with the coveted headgear just one week before graduation at the Drill Sergeant School. Together they make up less than 18 percent of the total Army force that is even qualified to be a drill sergeant.

“I was honored to be selected for this position. It shouldn’t change you. I’m not going to let it change me. I still have to perform my primary mission, and that is to take care of Soldiers. But the hat is a symbol and I am proud to have it,” Hernandez said.

The olive drab headgear worn by male drill sergeants today has a flat brim, Montana Peak and bears a gold disc of the Great Seal of the United States on its front. Infantry Soldiers wear an infantry blue disc under the seal. Drill sergeants first wore this hat in 1964 as a way of distinguishing themselves from those whom they were charged with transforming into Soldiers. It has been their proud symbol ever since.

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'Iron Men of Metz' Commemorate 70 Years of Liberation

METZ France — In November, Soldiers of the 95th Training Division (IET) headquartered at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, traveled to Metz, France to participate in the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Liberation of Metz during World War II. Fourteen World War II Veterans of the 95th Training Division and their Families, and other dignitaries also attended the events.

Among the 95th Division Soldiers in attendance were Brig. Gen. Daniel Christian, commanding general of the 95th Training Division (IET), Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Hill, the division’s most senior enlisted Soldier, and the Color Guard comprised of drill sergeants currently serving in the division. The distinguished guests included retired Maj. Gen. James Archer, president of the 95th Division Association.

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Families: Our Greatest Resource

ORLANDO, Fla. — “We’ve all heard Gen. Odierno’s closing comments to his speeches: the strength of our nation is our Army, the strength of our Army is our Soldiers, and the strength of our Soldiers is our Families. There is no Soldier who has become successful without the support of a caring Family. The large presence at this Yellow Ribbon event is proof of just how much they care,” said Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, 108th Training Command (IET) Commanding General.

The Army Reserve Yellow Ribbon Reintegration program is designed to provide resources to Soldiers and their Families throughout every phase of deployment.

But for the Families of Soldiers from the 108th Training Command (IET) deployed as Task Force Beast in Afghanistan, the greatest resource provided to them at a recent event in Orlando was each other.

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Reservist Builds Mentors

NEW YORK, N.Y. — One of the U.S. Army’s newest senior ROTC programs stood up just a few years ago at City University of New York (CUNY). Part of the programs mission is to find the leaders from a diverse group that may not have previously been exposed to the military. The U.S. Army also stands to gain a lot from leaders forged at CUNY. In fact, before CUNY ROTC was disbanded in 1972, it commissioned a young lieutenant who would become one of the most notable military leaders of our time, General Colin Powell.

Building a new program and driving enrollment was a challenge that fell to the professor of military science, Lt. Col. Richard B. Gussenhoven. One of the more experienced ROTC Battalion Commanders, Gussenhoven, (previously led Fordham University ROTC), is now in the process of growing a small program by increasing enrollment.

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Retiring from Service

FORT BENNING, Ga. — On January 10, 2015, a retirement ceremony was held in honor of Lt. Col. Lydia Prusik. She was received in the presence of Brig. Gen. Michaelene A. Kloster, commanding general of the 98th Training Division (IET), friends and the Soldiers of the 98th Training Division (IET) at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Prusik began her career by entering the Military Police Corps as a private and progressing to a commissioned officer in 1982. In 1987, she became a Platoon Leader supporting the 209th Field Artillery leaving only to further solidify her career supporting the 98th Training Division (IET).

Pruisk was honored with Certificates of Appreciation from Chief of the Army Reserve, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley and President Barack Obama, along with a Meritorious Service Medal for her distinguished performance of 40 years of service.

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Drill Sergeant Graduates Ranger School with Top Honors

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (Nov. 20, 2014) — About five weeks into Ranger School, Staff Sgt. Matthew Vitug was ready to surrender.

It was during the second stage of the program, dubbed the Mountain Phase, that Vitug said he began to doubt his ability to follow through on his plans to become a Ranger. The Mountain Phase takes place miles away from civilization at Camp Merrill, located near Dahlonega, Georgia. He was tired, hungry and, during the night, fatigue was beginning to take its toll.

But fatigue alone wasn’t what haunted him.

“I started missing my kids and wife,” he said. “We had been walking, and it seemed like forever. Every step I took I wanted to quit. I started thinking about my kids and remembered watching ‘Frozen’ before I left.”

While making his way through the darkness, Vitug said he began to sing some of the songs from the Disney film, songs he had sung for his young daughter.

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Clemson University Celebrates Military Appreciation Day

CLEMSON, S.C. — South Carolina’s Clemson University celebrated its latest Military Appreciation Week Nov. 18 - 22, which included non-stop recognition and honors for past and present service members - keeping in place a long tradition of honoring our military that began with the very founding of the school in 1889.

Beginning with the first graduating class of 1896, more than 10,000 Clemson men and women have served in the armed forces. Many have been highly decorated for their service and sacrifices, including Aquilla J. Dyess, recipient of the Medal of Honor for acts of heroism against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, Feb. 1 and 2, 1944.

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Norwegian Foot March Breaks Record with Over 700 Participants

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — While residents of Evansville, Indiana, slept through the early morning hours, Soldiers and civilians assembled on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana. The 700-plus participants of the 13th Annual Norwegian Foot March prepped their ruck packs in the campus gym. After the safety brief and route guidance, the first heat gathered at the starting line. At 7:30 a.m. sharp a cannon fired and the ruck-marchers began the 18.6-mile timed race Nov 1.

The Norwegian Foot March began in 2001, said Dr. Nils Johansen, an advisor at the University of Southern Indiana and founder of the march. Dr. Johansen wanted to bring an event to the Reserved Officer Training Course at USI that could benefit the school and all participants. The Norwegian military offered a badge for a foot march that simulates the experience of a Norwegian Soldier in the field.

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Hiring our Veterans-Carolinas Healthcare System

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There is no doubt that our Veterans have paved the way for our military’s reputation as the finest fighting force in the world – both in strength and in character. That’s why it’s important – in fact imperative – that we remember them always.

That is what the Carolinas HealthCare System has done for three consecutive years.

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Golden Griffons Hold Retirement Ceremony

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Five Soldiers shared their fondest memories and said their final farewells to their fellow service members during an emotional retirement ceremony held Sun., Nov. 16 at the 108th Training Command (IET) Headquarters.

The ceremony began with the arrival of the official party followed by the posting of the Colors, the playing of the National Anthem and an invocation by the unit chaplain, Lt. Col. (Chaplain) Kenneth L. Alford.

The unit’s deputy commanding general, Brig. Gen. A. Ray Royalty, presided over the ceremony during which awards were presented to the retiring Soldiers honoring them for their dedication and service throughout their careers.

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Change of Responsibility

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Responsibility of the Golden Griffons changed hands between two men with almost seven decades of experience between them, Nov. 15.

Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, commanding general of the 108th Training Command (IET), hosted a Change of Responsibility Ceremony on Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where Command Sgt. Maj. Robert J. Riti assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Rocci R. Derezza.

“Former Sgt. Maj. of the Army Julius Gates said it best. ‘A noncommissioned officer’s job is not easy and we expect a lot from those who are selected to lead, train, and care for the best Soldiers in the world.’ I expect nothing less from Command Sgt. Maj. Riti. He represents every Soldier in this command. It’s his responsibility to ensure they are properly trained, disciplined and ready to accomplish any mission the Army has to offer,” said Purser.

Riti, a native of Yonkers, New York, brings nearly 37 years of experience to the 108th and to this day, lives by the six words the Army made a household name in 1980.

“Be all that you can be was the Army’s slogan for about 21 years and for good reason. It worked. It inspired a nation of young people to become their best by entering into military service. The Army allows us to be whatever we want to be. You just have to want it bad enough. Today is proof. It certainly worked for me,” said Riti.

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Do You Want to be a Unit Public Affairs Representative?

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

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

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Things to Remember

Are there things you struggle to remember?

I am reminded of the new pastor during his first baptism. According to his faith tradition, he was trying to remember the difference between what he would say for a baptism compared to what he would say for a communion. When he nervously put his baptismal candidate under the water, he mistakenly quoted Matthew 26:27 and said, “Drink ye all of it.”

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Soldier's Gold Mine

G3

Female Drill Sergeants ADOS-RC Tour Opportunities in Support of FY15 Echo Missions.

TRADOC requires four female Drill Sergeants (DSs) for each Echo mission company increment. Currently there is a shortage of qualified female DS in the 108th Training Command to meet this requirement in an AT status alone. If you are a qualified female DS, you are a candidate to volunteer for an ADOS-RC tour aligned with an Echo mission at Fort Jackson, Fort Leonard Wood, and Fort Sill where gender integrated BCT missions are conducted. You must meet the eligibility criteria for ADOS-RC tours.

Listed in this article below are the dates for the Echo missions assigned to the 108th Training Command. Volunteers need not serve for the entire 10 week period. We are soliciting female DS volunteers for ADSO-RC tours to support the Echo missions.

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Third Battalion, 415th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET) Changes Command

SPOKANE, Wash. — During a Change of Command Ceremony held here, Lt. Col. Devin P. Garrity assumed command of the 3rd Battalion, 415th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), on 14 Sept., from Maj. Ryan T. Smith.

Garrity has served in numerous positions during his time in the National Guard and the Reserve. His first assignment was platoon leader for the 495th Support Battalion-Montana National Guard.

He was then assigned to be Support Platoon Leader 1st Battalion 803rd Armor-Washington National Guard. Following these assignments, Garrity served as an Executive Officer, OCT/HHD Commander, S4, HHD Commander S1, DCO and Group Commander. His variety of assignments has certainly provided valuable leadership experience for Garrity.

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2014 Griffon Association Summary

Become a Member

The 108th Griffon Association completed another very successful year. However as our membership ages, in order to continue our good works over the long term, the association needs more help from both retirees and current Soldiers in the form of active memberships. To get back up in the 300+ members we had five to six years ago, we initiated some plans to positively affect that and the new 108th Training Command Commander and CSM have provided us help in our efforts to the extent permitted by regulations. Although we met with some success, we are still not where we need to be. Currently we have 122 life members and 68 yearly members, plus one honorary member for a total of 191 as of Dec. 3, 2014. I ask each of you who must have several friends who are eligible for membership, to contact them, encourage them to join and send them a copy of the membership application, which Wally will send out to you with the picnic letter or they can join on the website, www.108thgriffonassoc.com. Annual membership is only $10, which is a small sum for anyone, and the organization needs the support to keep up its good works. You can also become a life member for only $108. Thanks for the help in this vital area.

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10 Leadership Lessons to Live By

If you’re a leader, be it of three people or 3,000, it’s your flat-out responsibility to not just go into work every day and improvise around the latest crisis or email flurry or employee meltdown, but to go into work every day with a cohesive plan of action about how you’re going to lead. Otherwise, why would anyone follow you, except that they simply have to?

That’s no good.

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Why Military Veterans Should Consider Franchising

Recognizing that military veterans are a valuable addition to a franchise network, 70 percent of franchisors are reported to have recruited veterans in the past 12 months, according to the International Franchise Association’s 2014 Veterans in Franchising Progress Report. Since 2011, more than 203,000 veterans have started careers in franchising with more than 5,600 becoming franchise owners. In addition, an IFA study found that one out of every seven franchise opportunities is owned and operated by military veterans. What makes franchising such an appealing industry for military veterans?

Those in the armed forces are used to spending extended periods of time away from home taking orders from superiors. When the time comes to retire from military service many want to spend time with their family and those with an entrepreneurial spirit may dream of business ownership where they are their own boss. Franchising is the perfect solution for these veterans because they have the flexibility to set their own hours, hire a support team to manage day-to-day operations and create a family business that can be passed down to future generations. In addition, not only does the structural foundation of the franchise system resonate with military veterans, but the skills they developed in the military translate well into franchise ownership, which positions military veterans for success as franchise owners.

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Hire. Connect. Develop.

She’s a veteran who separated from the Air Force in 2006. She’s a military spouse who spent seven years persevering through four moves, four states, countless job searches and two trips back to college — to earn both an MBA and a master’s in information systems.

Even armed with those advanced degrees, Elizabeth D’Angelo’s most challenging transition presented itself in 2013 when her family moved to San Antonio. “It took me seven months to find a job,” she says.

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Springtime Events

In rural, peaceful Three Rivers, Lake Kaweah, 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 this Spring:

  • Take in our Spring wildflowers, as you wind your way through the countryside, during the three day South Valley Artists Studio Tour. March 20-22
  • Celebrate with us as we honor a pair of Iraq War Veterans, along with a Veteran who served in Vietnam. Listen to their stories, and help yourselves to free beer, wine, soup, homemade bread, and dessert. March 27
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Alabama Food, Festivals and Fresh Gulf Air

Alabama’s 32 miles of pristine beaches on the Gulf of Mexico set the scene for vacation memories that last a lifetime. The cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are located on what’s known to locals as Pleasure Island. For visitors reaching the island, that first glimpse of the beach side condos and smell of the fresh Gulf air set in motion a sort of transformation. Life seems to slow down, and worries melt away.

This family-friendly beach destination has seen generations return year after year, and with so much to see and do, it’s no wonder. Beyond the beautiful beaches, there’s a wide variety of activities and attractions for all interests and ages, including a number of acclaimed festivals. And, of course, plenty of fresh Gulf seafood.

To experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the coast on a grand scale, plan your trip during one of spring’s festivals and events. The well-known Hangout Music Festival (May 15-17) features three days of music on six stages with more than 70 bands.

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Wet 'n Wild Orlando the Perfect Place for Families to Share the Rush!

Wet ‘n Wild, Orlando’s premier water park, sets the standard for thrills and over-the-top excitement with more world-class attractions and more multi-person slides than any other water park in Central Florida. Families will make lasting memories while sharing in a wide variety of water park adventure together.

Share the laughs, share the screams, and share the rush on the all new Aqua Drag Racer™. Standing six stories tall and featuring four parallel racing lanes, guests will take their place at a starting line 65 feet high and prepare for a turbo-charged adrenaline rush the whole family can enjoy. 

Its full throttle acceleration with no brakes allowed! Encounter a splashing dose of group therapy on the Brain Wash™ or experience a deep space adventure that’s light years from ordinary on The Black Hole™: The Next Generation. At Wet ‘n Wild you’ll find more high-speed, seriously twisted, multi-person adventures that appeal to thrill-seekers of all ages.

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Set Your Sights On Summer Fun At Universal Orlando® Resort

Pulse-pounding thrill rides. One-of-a-kind entertainment. Unforgettable dining. Spectacular resort hotels. Universal Orlando® Resort has everything you’re looking for if you’re making summer vacation plans. It’s perfect for adults and perfect for families. Universal Orlando has something to offer guests of all ages.

Jaw-Dropping Theme Parks

Universal Studios Florida® is the world’s premier movie and TV based theme park, a real motion picture studio where you can go beyond the screen, behind the scenes, and jump right into the action of some of the greatest films and TV shows ever created. You’ll find an incredible array of rides, shows, movie sets and attractions that make you feel like a star.

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Plenty of fun in the 'HEART' of North Carolina

Welcome to the gently rolling hills, river valleys, forests and ridges of Randolph County, the geographic “heart” of North Carolina! From the Uwharrie Mountains in the west to the Deep River Valley on the east, Randolph is a county where potters have always been more common than doctors, and for many years a county that permitted no sales of alcoholic beverages yet fostered the racing spirit of NASCAR by running moonshine along its back roads.

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Discover Historic Hendersonville, NC

Hendersonville, known as The City of Four Seasons, offers cool mountains and warm southern hospitality. Hendersonville is located in Western North Carolina, 22 miles south of Asheville, in the Blue Ridge Mountains on a plateau, 2200 feet above sea level.

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

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Upcountry South Carolina — Savor the Seasons

A land of rugged mountains, scenic lakes, rushing whitewater rapids, majestic waterfalls, quaint small towns, and intriguing history — South Carolina’s Upcountry is a favorite outdoor adventure and family vacation destination. Spring brings blooming Daffodils, Azaleas and Dogwood Trees and warm days. Summer means it’s time to hit the water — our freshwater lakes tempt boaters, swimmers, anglers and paddlers. 

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Military Appreciation Days at Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach celebrates Military Appreciation Days during the month of May with a full schedule of activities and events. Army veteran J. R. Martinez is Grand Marshal for the Military Appreciation Days parade on Sat., May 16, which also is Armed Forces Day. Martinez was severely wounded during a tour of duty in Iraq in 2003. His recovery took 34 months, but today he is a successful actor, author, motivational speaker and winner of Dancing with the Stars. You’ll have a chance to meet J. R. Martinez at the Family Picnic, after the parade.

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Fun for the family in Dolly's hometown Sevierville

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Sevierville, Tennessee is a value destination perfect for the whole family! Read on to learn why.

Great Attractions

Sevierville’s great attractions offer something for every member of the family! Visit one of America’s finest small zoos, Rainforest Adventures, race around at NASCAR SpeedPark go kart track and watch history take flight at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation.

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Chattanooga – Take Me There!

Chattanooga is the Gateway to Tennessee and is nestled along the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River and surrounded by the spectacular scenic beauty of the mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. You will enjoy a newly revitalized green riverfront city, first class attractions, great Southern hospitality, rich Native American and Civil War history, outdoor adventures and locally owned restaurants and cafes, a thriving arts and music scene with plenty of annual festivals and events that offer year-round fun.

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Cedar Hill — lots to do in this Texas town

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 outstanding natural environment with quality restaurants and retail development, Cedar Hill is where opportunities grow naturally.

Cedar Hill is less than 20 minutes from downtown Dallas and 40 minutes from downtown Fort Worth and a 30 minute drive from DFW International Airport or Dallas Love Field.

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Family friendly adventure in Historic Wytheville

You want to get away and relax, have some quality time with your family or friends. You want a location that not only has the seclusion of a rural area, but the amenities and convenience of a large one. You want to emerge in natural beauty with an abundance of recreational opportunities for all ages and intensity levels. You want to be absorbed by the authentic experience of a community rich in heritage and regional culture.

You want to visit the small town located at a convenient crossroads — Wytheville, Virginia.

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Music in the Air

If you stand in the center of Galax, Virginia, and listen closely, past the sounds of a busy downtown, you can hear it. The notes play on the breeze, no matter the season. It’s the sound of decades of music ingrained into the soul of the community.

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Virginia Zoo Adventure

Journey to mysterious places inhabited by exotic animals from around the world. Discover giraffes, orangutans, tigers, wallabies and more! Board the Norfolk Southern Express train for an expedition to Asia — Trail of the Tiger or Africa’s Okavango Delta. Watch the red panda as it climbs through the trees just above your head. Go nose-to-nose with a prairie dog from your own underground viewing bubble. Stroll through themed gardens or get wet in one of the Zoo’s water fountains.

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The Griffon Vol. 39.1 (Spring 2015)

The Griffon Vol. 39.1 (Spring 2015)
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The 108th Training Command got its start as part of an elaborate deception prior to Operation Overlord, the D-Day Invasion of France in World War II. The Division was a "phantom" division created on paper and assigned to the First United States Army Group under the command of General George Patton. We were the original Institutional Training (IT) Division and remain one of seven training divisions for the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard. The Griffon is in its 30th publishing year as an award-winning authorized publication written in the interest of the men and women of the 108th Training Command.

  • The Griffon is written and published quarterly in the interest of the 108th National Training Command. It is shipped directly to member's homes and to Training Command bases throughout the U.S.
  • The Griffon is regularly recognized by the Pentagon with their highest rating of Four Stars as one of the largest and most informative authorized publications in the Army.
  • Our members use The Griffon for prescreened, approved resources and opportunities for themselves and their families.
  • The Griffon is required reading material with a message straight from the General.