From the Commanding General

It has been said the United States Army is the greatest Army the world has ever seen in the history of the world. We have the greatest firepower and lethality; impressive speed of maneuver; communications systems span greater distances; logistics support pushed forward; effective execution of mission command with our Soldiers led by agile and adaptive leaders. The center piece is that our Soldiers are smarter and highly trained.

Moreover, our Army is great because it’s a values based organization. We believe in Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. These values are our guiding principles which drive us to be better, more professional and serve as the framework distinguishing us from any other military force. Although not stated specifically, the foundation of what these values emphasize is an organization built on trust. It is the essence of who we are as individuals and as units. It is through trust that we are a member of a team. 

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From the Command Sergeant Major

I was thinking about what I would write for my next Griffon article when I received an e-mail from Mrs. Paula James, the SHARP Program Manager for the 108th Training Command. Paula reminded me that April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. So I decided this was the topic I would write an article on since it is one of the top issues the Army faces today.

Army Values have been instilled in each and every one of us since we joined the Army and is really nothing new. Since we were young, our parents have taught us right from wrong, how to behave and how to show respect to others. They taught us mannerisms and all about telling the truth.

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A Good Tool for Leadership and Leader-Building Tool Kit

Who We Are — Trusted Army Professionals

  • Honorable Servants of the National — Professionals of Character
  • Army Experts — Competent Professionals
  • Stewards of the Profession — Committed Professionals

Why We Serve

  • Love of Country — Family
  • Preserve the Peace — Prevent, Shape, Win
  • Defend the American People and Values

How We Serve

  • Ethically — Army Ethic — With Character
  • Effectively — Teamwork — with Competence
  • Efficiently — Stewardship — With Commitment
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Iraqi Freedom Veteran Receives Purple Heart

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — In a long-awaited presentation, on Feb. 7 2016, the Army awarded the Purple Heart Medal to an Iraqi Freedom Veteran for a concussion and traumatic brain injury sustained 10 years earlier. Sgt.1st Class Joshua Clark, a native of Elkhart, Ind., then a sergeant, was assigned to 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Kentucky and deployed to Iraq in 2006.

Clark, was knocked unconscious on Jan. 25, 2006, from the blast wave caused by a secondary IED detonation next to his vehicle. Clark’s unit was securing a military convoy that had been struck by a roadside improvised explosive device in Iraq when the detonations occurred.

Brig. Gen. Daniel Christian, commanding general of the 95th Training Division (IET) headquartered at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, presented the award in a small assembly hall at the Capt. Lyle J. Thompson United States Army Reserve Center. Attending the presentation was Clark’s father Bruce, his wife Myrna along with other Family members, Soldiers, community members, and Veterans who gathered to honor the Soldier.

“This is one of the highlights of my career,” expressed Christian in his remarks to Clark and his Family members regarding his privilege to award such a prestigious medal to Clark.

Christian presented the Purple Heart Medal after sharing a short history of the military decoration. The medal, the nation’s oldest military award, was first conceived by President George Washington in August of 1782 and was originally called the Badge of Military Merit. Christian recounted that Washington originally awarded the medal to Soldiers that exhibited valor in battle. Washington only pinned three Badges of Military Merit according to history.

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The Army is Looking for Hundreds of NCOs for Drill Sergeant Duty

The Army is looking for hundreds of drill sergeants to serve on active duty and in the Army Reserve.

The search is two-pronged: the Army needs more female drill sergeants as it prepares to open more jobs to women and tries to recruit more women into the service, while the Army Reserve only has 60 percent of the drill sergeants it needs.

As many as 1,274 authorized positions — active and Reserve — are unfilled.

“The Army is looking for a few good trainers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Lamont Christian, commandant of the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy. “We don’t have the requisite number of female drill sergeants in the formation to represent the population.”

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FirstLight HomeCare Extends Franchise Discount for Vets

Ranked a Top Franchise for Veterans by Franchise Business Review,
national non-medical in-home care provider offers military
veterans $10k discount through 2016

CINCINNATI, Ohio. March 31, 2016 – FirstLight HomeCare, a provider of quality,
non-medical in-home care, is extending its deep franchise fee discount for all U.S.
military veterans. The company increased its franchise fee discount for veterans in
2015 from $3,000 to $10,000, and due to the success of the program, will continue to
offer this savings throughout 2016. The in-home care provider operates 125 locations
in 31 states, with 13 territories currently owned by military veterans.

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From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

Greetings Victory Team,

I remain humbled by the opportunity to serve shoulder to shoulder with the Soldiers and Civilians in the Iron Men of Metz formation. I am proud to serve with you and for you. You continually demonstrate all that our Nations values in its Citizen Soldiers. Your resilience, dedication, and professionalism testify to your character and competence which have earned the Nations enduring favor.

These qualities will serve the Victory Team well as we continue to transform from an Army at war to an Army of preparation. Once again we are called upon to change our formation for the needs of the Army. That’s not a particularly enjoyable task, especially when the change involves reductions.  With this in mind I will share some thoughts on the road ahead. 

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A Partnership Forged

NEW YORK, N.Y.  — True success can only be achieved through teamwork and collaboration. That has been the fundamental driving force behind business and organizations for centuries and it is no different for the Army today.

So when former Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Ray Odierno and New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro engaged in a brief conversation about training challenges while riding in an elevator, an alliance was formed and a lasting partnership forged.

“They were discussing some of the training dilemmas they had, which went from that elevator conversation to TRADOC; from TRADOC to IMT; and from IMT to the Drill Sgt. Academy,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Lamont Christian, United States Army Drill Sergeant Academy commandant.

For close to a year now, the New York City Fire Academy at Randall’s Island and the Drill Sergeant Academy on Fort Jackson, South Carolina, comprised of Drill Sergeant Leaders from the Active and Reserve components, have engaged in exchanging best practices and lessons learned on a wide range of topics including physical fitness, to drill instruction and instructor development.

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On The Way to a Call

ITHACA, N.Y.  —  A lot can be said for first impressions. When I first met Staff Sgt. Russell Vidler at a pit in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, during the 108th Training Command’s combined Best Warrior and Drill Sergeant of the Year competition, he struck me as the kind of Soldier who will stop at nothing to get the job done.

Vidler was barreling through a mud and barbed wire obstacle course, emerging with a torn and bloody finger he reluctantly agreed to have addressed by a medic.

That’s where I caught up with him. Not one for small talk, he responded briefly to a few questions before he was off and running to the next task.

I can’t say I was surprised with his professional demeanor and military bearing. As Drill Sergeants, Soldiers like Vidler are the standard-bearers for young recruits. As the 98th Training Division (IET) Drill Sgt. of the Year, he also stands out among his peers.

But as Citizen Soldiers, with often separate and distinct career paths, I often wonder who these outstanding Soldiers are at home, and in their civilian careers. My first glimpse came later that year, at the TRADOC level Drill Sergeant of the Year competition at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Again Vidler performed like a man possessed. But after the winners were announced and all the hoopla had died down, I made my way over to get a few words with him.

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Soldier Engages Community Through Game

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The ball bounced slightly as it made its way towards Staff Sgt. Gretta Smith who at just the right time connects with her right foot, sending it sailing through the air. Immediately, she’s off, sprinting her way to first base only to be denied by a teammate who handily catches the ball. With that, everyone on the team breaks out in smiles and laughter and the next player moves into kicking position.

The team expected to play another team at Clanton Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nov. 15, but at the last minute the opposing team forfeited. Rather than simply pack up and go home, they turned the occasion into an impromptu practice session, all with a contagious display of enthusiasm. 

Smith, an executive administrative assistant with the 108th Training Command (IET), sees the time she spends playing kickball with her teammates as an opportunity to reach out to others in in her community as a citizen as well as a Soldier.

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Largest Reception Battalion in the Army

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — The 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), Fort Jackson, South Carolina, is the largest reception battalion in the Army. Reception Battalion (RECBN) is the period that begins when the recruit arrives at the Army post where he or she will undergo Basic Training.

When a Soldier first arrives at Fort Jackson for Basic Combat Training they are assigned to the 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) where they complete their in processing. On average, a Soldier will stay there for 7 to 10 days before being assigned to a BCT unit.

The 120th mission is to receive, process, motivate and begin the transformation of Army accessions, prior service, Initial Entry Training (IET) and transitioning Soldiers to Training, World-Wide Assignments, Operational Army and Civilian Sector in support of ARFORGEN.

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WWII Veteran in the Spotlight

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Clemson Tigers football team went into their home game against Wake Forest Nov. 21 undefeated and ranked number one in the nation, but for a few moments before kickoff all attention was turned away from the field, and onto a dapper 98 year-old gentleman sitting amid a crowd of news cameras and admirers at the foot of the Memorial Stadium flagpole, which was being permanently dedicated to him.

It was fitting that a WWII Veteran was in the spotlight on Clemson’s annual Military Appreciation Day – but any time retired U.S. Army Col. Ben Skardon steps onto the Clemson campus, all eyes turn to him.

There couldn’t be a better name to affix to that flagpole, said Clemson President James Clements.

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Trainees Get Hands-On Soldiering Experience in Field Training Exercise

FORT BENNING, Ga. — Soldiers in the U.S. Army must train to fight in a complex world. Having learned physical training and gained confidence to become a Soldier, trainees learned to move, communicate and react as Soldiers, in their first field training exercise.

“Things that your drill sergeants say, they’re going to keep you alive one day,” said Capt. Shinwon Moon, company commander.

Basic combat training Soldiers of D Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, drug their faces in the mud at a station on individual movement techniques with Staff Sgt. Arthur Stevenson, drill sergeant, and dropped to the ground as Staff Sgt. Benjamin Eckhardt, drill sergeant, shouted ‘BOOM,’ to simulate combat scenarios at another.

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Welcome to the Academy

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — The United States Military coined it. The Army’s Drill Sergeant Academy lives it.

It is a motto that truly embodies the spirit of Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines working hand in hand with one another to accomplish a National Security mission in a global fight.

That motto is “one team, one fight” and one group of High School JROTC students from a small school in rural North Carolina experienced it first-hand.

More than 30 cadets from the South Point High School Navy Junior ROTC program recently took a field trip to the United States Army Drill Sergeant Academy located at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Nov. 24, 2015, to not only receive a lesson in citizenship and patriotism but to get a closer look at the many different options available to them should they choose to serve in the Military.

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Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) is observed every April to raise awareness, garner media attention, generate national momentum for preventing sexual violence, and respond to and eliminate sexual harassment and assault in the Army.

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Commander’s Unit Status Report

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 108th Training Command (IET), G33 Operations conducted a Commander’s Unit Status Report (CUSR) Refresher Training 16-17 Dec. 2015.  In attendance were representatives from the 95th, 98th and 104th Divisions to include HHC, 108th Training Command (IET). Readiness within the 108th Training Command is the Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Mark T. McQueen’s, number one priority and the CUSR is a snapshot in time of an individual unit’s readiness.

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Army Reserve Profile: Captain Boyd ‘Rainmaker’ Melson

In 2015, Captain Boyd ‘The Rainmaker’ Melson became the World Boxing Council U.S. Junior Middleweight champion.

Melson an Army Reserve Officer with the 1st Mobilization Support Group in Fort Totten, New York, a West Point graduate, a four-time U.S. Army champion and a three time NCBA All-American Boxer strives to live the Army Values every day.

Melson started his boxing career at West Point. Then in 2002, he met someone who has inspired him for over a decade to help raise awareness about chronic spinal cord injuries.

“We formed an extraordinary bond, and her dream to walk again became my ultimate dream in this world,” said Melson.

“Although it started with her, and she remains the bedrock for my inspiration, ending (her) suffering is a large part of my inspiration,” he said.

By raising awareness, Melson saw the need for more research. This led him to begin his own efforts in raising money for continued research and trial experiments.

Determined to make a difference, Melson elevated his boxing hobby to a more competitive level, earning more money for his fights.

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Drill Sergeants Support ‘Tough Mudder’

TEMECULA, Calif. — Drill Sergeants from Riverside, California’s 2nd Bn/413th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), again supported the Army Reserve “Tough Mudder” event providing a realistic feel by assisting on both the Obstacle Course Challenge as well as a Drill Sergeant-run Fitness Challenge. This year, as in years past, both Alpha Company from Riverside, California, and Delta Company from San Diego, California supported the event.

The “Tough Mudder Run”, which is done all over the United States, drew thousands of competitors to this Southern California location and the additional fitness-themed displays run by the drill sergeants. It also provided great exposure for these citizen Soldiers from the 108th Training Command (IET).

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Keep Moving Forward

FORT BLISS, TEXAS — “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sergeant Dylan Michael Olson understands what it is like to transition from crawling to flying. This native of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, was diagnosed with testicular cancer during his initial training with the Army in 2007.

Olson states, “It happened so fast that the only thing I knew how to do was drive on. The hardest part was not knowing what the outcome was going to be.”

And Olson did drive on. He graduated from the Fort Bliss, Texas Air Assault Course as a distinguished honor graduate.

This Soldier from the 3/339th of the 95th Training Division (IET) says, “I would recommend Air Assault School for Soldiers because I believe it will test them and build their character.”

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Training Future Soldiers

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — For the past year, drill sergeants from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 354th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), and future Soldiers from the Joplin Missouri Recruiting Company, spent training time together. The quarterly events provided a mutually beneficial experience for drill sergeants, recruiters and future Soldiers alike.

Future Soldiers from the Joplin Recruiting Company have two hours of training available to them weekly in preparation for Initial Entry Training (IET). This training is normally conducted by recruiters from the Joplin Company. Instead, for the past year, on a quarterly basis, future Soldiers spent a day with drill sergeants from the Army Reserve. All members of this partnership benefited from the relationship. 

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95th Division Dedicates Monument on Walk of Honor

FORT BENNING, Ga. — Members of the 95th Infantry Foundation and the 95th Infantry Division Association came together Nov. 21 to dedicate a monument to the Iron Men of Metz and all members of the 95th Division at the National Infantry Museum Walk of Honor.

Clif Twaddle, first vice president of the 95th Infantry Division Association, said the Iron Men were a group of Soldiers whose division was formed in 1942. After training all over the United States the division went into France in 1944 and conquered the fortress city of Metz, liberating the town on Nov. 22, 1944.

“They are warmly received by the French for the great deeds they did and for their heroics in the battle,” Twaddle said.

Twaddle said the monument was created to honor the men who fought through World War II, as well as the subsequent division that is based in Oklahoma today.

The monument is topped with an eagle, modeled after the monument located at Fort Bellecroix, France, that is dedicated to the Iron Men.

“It’s a very important part of the monument to reflect that bond between the French and the American troops,” Twaddle said.

Retired Maj. Gen. Douglas Dollar, president of the 95th Infantry Foundation and former commanding general of the 95th Division, said the foundation wanted to bring a monument to Fort Benning for years.

“This is a real success,” Dollar said, and added the monument was mostly paid for with donations and was built over the course of a year in Louisiana.

Ceo Bauer, an original Iron Man of Metz with I Company, 377th Regiment, said the monument documents the history of the 95th Infantry Division.

“It’s good that we finally built this monument here in the company of other military monuments,”

Bauer said. “Our 95th Division history and our Iron Man legend are etched in granite for others to view and know. Our 95th capture is preserved and we can feel a sense of closure. I know that’s my feeling; we’ve done our job.”

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Soldiers’ Resiliency Tested at Victory Forge

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Facing a wind chill below freezing, Soldiers in basic combat training with C Company, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, had their skills and resiliency challenged at Victory Forge, Feb. 9-12, 2016.

“Victory Forge is a Soldiers’ last hoorah, if you will. It’s the last field training exercise they go through before graduating and moving on to their advanced individual training, then into the real Army,” said Staff Sgt. Waylon Scantling, a drill sergeant with the unit.

During Victory Forge, Soldiers’ mental and physical abilities are tested to the limits. They are evaluated on everything they’ve learned in the prior eight weeks of training; from basic first aid to security and reconnaissance patrols.

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NCOs Grow During Time as Drill Sergeants,

Winning any U.S. Army competition brings honor and glory to the victor. But the winners of the Drill Sergeant and AIT Platoon Sergeant of the Year competitions get an additional perk. During their year as reigning champions, they get a new job.

In September 2014, Staff Sgt. Jonathan Miller was named Drill Sergeant of the Year, Staff Sgt. Christopher Croslin was named Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year and Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Russell was named AIT Platoon Sergeant of the Year. After their victories, Miller and Russell immediately went to work at the strategic level at TRADOC’s U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

The three said their experiences during the past year inspired them and showed them the big picture on Army issues.

“It’s been a learning experience,” Miller said. “Serving as Drill Sergeant of the Year has opened my eyes to a lot of things that I wasn’t aware of before. Working at the strategic level is much different than working as a squad leader or team leader, which is what I was used to. Seeing the big picture up here is truly awesome.”

Russell, who has been in the Army for 13 years and deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq, also enjoyed his time working at Fort Eustis.

“It’s been eye opening to see the Army at a strategic level and be able to travel and see how other sides of the Army train, how they prepare Soldiers in Advanced Individual Training and basic training,” Russell said. “You get to see the whole picture.”

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108th Hosts Pilot Workshop for Project Arrive Ready

Charlotte, N.C. — In recent comments at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army, Gen. Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army, took the time to reinforce his top three priorities for the Army.

“Readiness is my number one priority,” Milley said. “And as long as I’m Chief of Staff of the Army there’s not going to be another one.”

That said, it appears the Army Reserve took that priority to heart.

What is Project Arrive Ready?

On Nov. 2-3, 2015, the 108th Training Command (IET), headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, hosted the pilot program for what has become the brain child of the U.S. Army Reserve Command Surgeon’s Office former dental surgeon, Col. James Honey: Project Arrive Ready.

Project Arrive Ready was a 2-day workshop designed to help units become compliant with USARC’s medical and dental readiness levels by identifying and training Medical Readiness coordinators within the command and subsequent divisions.

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Reception Battalion

FORT BENNING, Ga. — The 30th Adjutant General Reception Battalion, Fort Benning, Georgia, is where it begins. When the new recruit arrives at the Army post where he or she will undergo Basic Training, the Reception Battalion is waiting for you. It also gives you the opportunity to practice waiting . . . waiting . . . and waiting. When you get bored with waiting, you’ll be allowed to practice more waiting.

“Soldierization” begins at the 30th AG Bn. Drill sergeants and cadre assigned to the processing companies, instruct new Soldiers on basic military subjects during waiting periods between processing stations, in the evening, and on weekends and holidays.

The 30th AG Bn is responsible for receiving, processing and preparing all Regular Army, U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard personnel for Infantry One Station Unit Training.

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Combat Support Hospital Supported by Drill Sergeants

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Members of Delta Company 3rd Battalion 518th Regiment (BCT), 98th Training Division (IET), from Hickory, North Carolina, partnered with the 320th Combat Support Hospital unit from Greensboro, North Carolina, for their semi-annual weapons qualification on Aug. 15-16 2015.

The Delta Company command group reached out to the 320th CSH’s training NCO and command group and expressed interest in training their Soldiers in marksmanship. The 320th was extremely supportive of the idea knowing that the best way to train their Soldiers in marksmanship was having drill sergeants instruct them.

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KINGWOOD, W.Va.  — Train, training and trained is the approach of the 1st/320th Regiment Battalion, 98th Training Division (IET). The 1st/320th conducted their Battalion’s 1st Quarter Field Training Exercise (FTX) from the 19th through the 22nd of November in Kingwood, West Virginia at Camp Dawson.

The 1st of the 320th Regiment Battalion is located in Abingdon, Virginia, under the leadership of Lt. Col. Delbria Scott, 1st/320th Battalion Commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. David Livingston, 1st/320th Command Sergeant Major, 98th Training Division (IET).

Soldiers arrived motivated with a high state of morale ready to train, up to any challenge and this continued throughout the training even though the weather was a brisk low 30s with rain and snow on the last day.

Many Soldiers become accustomed to the routine of going to the same training sites and conducting the same training during the yearly FTXs. The 1st/320th started a new standard by changing the scene, changing the terrain and changing the familiarity, in addition to getting the Soldiers use to training as they will fight.

The training exercise for the 1st/320th heightened the Soldier’s experience and shed new light on the meaning of training.

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New 98th Training Division Commander Looks to ‘Set Conditions for Success’

FORT BENNING, Ga. — Brig. Gen. Michaelene Kloster relinquished command of the 98th Training Division (IET) to Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith at a change of command ceremony held Nov. 8 at the National Infantry Museum.

Smith said it is a privilege to be selected for command.

“I know they have selected me on my potential and it is imperative, and I have a responsibility to live up to that potential so my Soldiers are best prepared as they can be,” she said.

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Survivor Outreach Services

PINEVILLE, N.C. — On Dec. 12, 2015, a Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Crown Memorial Park was held. Survivors and Family members offered their support.

The 108th Training Command (IET) Support Coordinator, Shronda Eason was there to support the ceremony, Survivors and Family members. She talked with the Survivors before and after the event.

Eason assisted with laying the Wreaths on each of the graves. She also ensured refreshments and chairs were available for the Survivors.

The Civil Air Patrol Cadets led the program, raised the flags and provided the music.

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Army Reserve Soldiers Test Their Mettle at Southern California Tough Mudder

TEMECULA, Calif. — Army Reserve Soldiers challenged themselves and others at the physically intensive 2015 Southern California Tough Mudder in Temecula, California, Oct. 31 – Nov. 1.

Spc. Adam Holbrook, 2nd Battalion, 413th Regiment, 95th Training Division, March Air Force Base, California, joined the Army Reserve last year after serving three and a half years as an active duty Soldier. Now a full-time student and father, he said, “The obstacles’ physical demands motivate me to stay fit.”

Tough Mudder is not a race. The goal is to challenge oneself to finish the course. Mudders, whether they know each other or not, complete the course obstacles through teamwork.

“Whether it was water, heights, or the unknown, participants demonstrated courage on the course,” said Drill Sgt. Mercedes Green, 2nd Battalion, 413th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), out of March Air Force Base, California. She went on to further say both Army Reserve Soldiers and Tough Mudder participants share the Army value of personal courage.

Green explained, “Teamwork embodies Army values like loyalty, duty and selfless service.”

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Civilian and Military Service Go Hand in Hand for Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year

EDMOND, Okla. — How do you envision your drill sergeant? As a stern, totalitarian figure; barking out orders with an inaudible loud snarl, ready to pounce on your every misstep.

Or do you see them more as a mentor? Someone who takes the time to understand your individual strengths and weaknesses; someone who takes a step back to see what you’re going through, helping you in your transformation from citizen to Soldier in 10 fast-paced weeks.

That’s the real goal of the Army’s drill sergeant program and for the 2015 Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year, Staff Sgt. Mark Mercer, 95th Training Division (IET), that’s a skill he learned best through his civilian employment.

“I think the civilian sector has helped me particularly as a drill sergeant,” said Mercer. “As drill sergeants we’ve gone from that strict rule enforcer and intimidating presence to more the role of counselor, coach, and mentor. Working with people outside the military has taught me to put myself in the shoes of people inside of the military and really take a look at what they’re going through in order to best serve them.”

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Soldier’s Goldmine

Don’t Let Stress Affect Your Health

By Else Seifu
The Bayonet & Saber

According to the American Psychological Association’s 2012 Stress in America survey, 65 percent reported work was a major contributor to stress. Whether you love what you do, any job can have some stressful elements and for some it could be overwhelming. Stress can be both physically and emotionally harmful and can impede your goal to lead a healthy lifestyles.

You may not always be able to dodge the tensions that occur at the work place; however, you can take steps to manage work-related stress. The Mayo Clinic offers the following tips to maintain perspective:

  • Get other points of view. Talk with trusted colleagues or friends about the issues you’re facing at work. They might be able to provide insights or offer suggestions for coping. Sometimes simply talking about a stressor can be a relief
  • Take a break. Make the most of workday breaks. Even a few minutes of personal time during a busy workday can be refreshing. Similarly, take time off when you can - whether it’s a two-week vacation or an occasional long weekend.
  • Have an outlet. To prevent burnout, set aside time for activities you enjoy - such as reading, socializing or pursuing a hobby.
  • Take care of yourself. Be vigilant about taking care of your health. Include physical activity in your daily routine, get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet.
  • Seek help. If none of these steps relieves your feelings of job stress or burnout, consult a mental health provider - either on your own or through an employee assistance program offered by your employer.

Through counseling, you can learn effective ways to handle job stress.

For more health and wellness tips like the Fort Benning Community Health Promotion Council on Facebook Benning-Community-Health.

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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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‘Be a Patriot, Help a Soldier’ sums up 2015 Griffon Association

The 108th Griffon Association had another successful year. However, I can’t help but repeat, as I have said previously, that as our membership ages, in order for us 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 plus members we had six and seven years ago, we have initiated some plans to positively affect that, which have brought some small results but still not at the level we need.

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Military Personnel and PTSD

Admitting to having a PTSD symptom can be difficult for anyone, but it’s even harder in the military. This is one case in which the military mind-set can actually be the enemy. The never-surrender, never-quit attitude that generally serves people in the military so well can also make them prone to deny any sign of personal weakness — including a PTSD symptom.

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Stress: The Natural Physical and Emotional Response to Abnormal Circumstances

The term “stressed” is used to describe one way we may feel if there is too much on our plate, there are too many emotions involved, or any other circumstance that interferes with a peaceful existence. First Responders have emergency situations every day. Crisis situations are the norm and are both physically and emotionally demanding. In order to respond effectively to these crises, a natural process between our brains and bodies takes over.

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Tips to Transition from Active Military Service to a Civilian Career

Translating your Military Experience in an Interview

For any professional career candidate, prepping for a job interview can be complicated. But for my clients — military officers transitioning from the service to the business world — the obstacles can be even greater. For these professionals, there is added challenge of translation.

The vast majority of the veterans I work with are high-achieving people who will become powerful assets to the civilian economy. They have the skills, the work ethic and the ability to thrive under pressure. I know that. My candidates know that. Potential employers need to know that too.

To make the most of every interview opportunity, military professionals should never assume that potential employers can decipher military codes and references. Prep for an interview like you would prep for any other mission. Understand your situation. Know your goals. Recognize your challenges and be prepared to engage your strengths.

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The final report of the National Commission on the Future of the Army fuels a growing concern in Washington, D.C., that the Army and the nation could be in trouble and without any short-term fixes.

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Why Online Public Schooling Can Work for Your Family

On average, children in a military family move six to nine times during their school years — necessitating numerous school changes. Continually having to adjust to new teachers, new classmates, and new curriculum can be stressful. For military children, online education provides consistency in their constantly changing world. With online learning, it’s often possible to take their schooling with them no matter where they are.

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Myrtle Beach, SC: A Perfect Spring Vacation

Spring has arrived in Myrtle Beach, America’s most popular beach vacation destination. And as the season comes into full bloom, the Grand Strand has never been more inviting.

At the heart of Myrtle Beach’s appeal is the area’s ability to preserve the best of its charming past while continually evolving and growing.

Myrtle Beach, once home to an Air Force base, has long prided itself on its outreach to America’s service men and women, and all public servants for that matter, working hard to honor the people that help make the country safe both at home and abroad.

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Medieval Spain Comes to Life Before Your Eyes

Medieval Times is an exciting, family-friendly dinner attraction inspired by an 11th century feast and tournament. Guests are served a four-course banquet and cheer for one of six Knights competing in the joust and other tests of skill. Expect almost two hours of jousting, swordsmanship, thrilling hand-to-hand combat, displays of extraordinary horsemanship and falconry as part of an exciting yet touching story set in Medieval Spain. Medieval Times also features an excellent bar, dance floor, Hall of Arms displaying medieval artifacts and a medieval torture museum.

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R&R at Myrtle Beach — parasailing a must

For over 30 years, Ocean Watersports has been offering the most fun in Myrtle Beach. Now, we’re honored to offer you and your family $5 off every ride, all the time. Active and Veterans. You’re always there for us. We hope we can be here for you, and make your R&R more enjoyable. Our most sincere gratitude goes to our United States Armed Forces.

Looking for adventure on the ocean? We’ve got you covered with Parasailing, Jet Boat Rides, Jet Ski Rentals, and Banana Boat Rides.

Parasailing has become the most popular water sport activity in Myrtle Beach. It combines the thrill of acceleration, the excitement of altitude, and the scenic views of the Grand Strand. You start and finish on the double banana boat ride, because that’s how we shuttle you through surf and out to the parasail boat. At the boat, you will meet the captain and crew who help you aboard. They provide the instructions you need. No training necessary. You just sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.

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Spring has Sprung on Alabama’s Beaches

With 32 miles of sugar-white sand and pristine turquoise waters, the beaches along the Alabama Gulf Coast set the scene for vacation memories that last a lifetime. The cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are located on what locals refer to as Pleasure Island. On this island, life seems to slow down, and worries melt away.

Alabama’s family-friendly beaches have seen generations return year after year. From exciting activities and events to delectable culinary options, it’s no wonder families continue to travel back to this area for their yearly vacations.

During the spring, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are booming with a multitude of unique festivals and events. On April 16 the Waterway Village Zydeco and Crawfish Festival is returning to Gulf Shores for its second year. Here guests enjoy a day of spicy, lip-smacking crawfish along with the best Zydeco bands from around the South, local and regional art vendors and many activities for children. 

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Getaway Destination for Relaxing Adventure

Those who have frequently travelled the Eastern United States from North to South have most likely passed through Wytheville, Virginia, via the busy interstates of I-77 and I-81. While the community has made a name for itself for its reasonable gas prices and abundance of lodging and dining establishments, many have not taken the time to discover the authentic attractions and premiere outdoor recreation that the area has to offer.

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Here You will Find The Most Hands-On History in the U.S.

Patrick Quinn Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance

Perhaps nowhere else does the exciting story of America come to life more vividly than in the Greater Williamsburg region: Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown embody more hands-on history than anywhere else in the county. From the first English-speaking settlement in America, through the formation of government and the struggle for liberty, our area can provide years of learning and entertainment.

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Unforgettable Excitement and Savings for Military

Universal Orlando® Resort is a complete vacation destination with mind-blowing theme parks, spectacular on-site hotels, plus one-of-a-kind dining and entertainment, all in one convenient location. With so much to see and do, you’ll need multiple days to enjoy it all.

Go beyond the screen, behind the scenes, and jump right into the action of some of the greatest films and TV shows ever created at Universal Studios Florida®. At the world’s premier movie and TV based theme park, you’ll find an amazing array of rides like the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit® roller coaster, along with shows, movie sets and attractions that make you the star.

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Sugar White Sand and Serene Sunsets

What comes to mind when you think of Panama City Beach, Florida?

Is it sun-shiny days with balmy breezes rustling through the palm trees? (Aaahhh!!) Sugar white sandy beaches where your feet squeak in the sand? Shades of aqua blue and emerald green water with frolicking dolphins? (Wow!) Eating delicious fresh fish plucked from the bountiful Gulf of Mexico? (Yummm!) How about a gorgeous sunset on the water reflecting colors ranging from amber to scarlet?

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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:

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Hendersonville makes you fill right at home

Hendersonville, North Carolina offers cool mountains and warm southern hospitality. Hendersonville is nestled in the foothills of Western North Carolina, and beckons to you to step away from the everyday and lose yourself in the playground of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

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CHATTANOOGA — Take Me There!

Chattanooga is the gateway to Tennessee — 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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Visit Where The Locals Play

Many describe the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries as breathtaking and relaxing, for there is something that touches the human senses when water abounds. Maryland’s smallest county, the County of Kent, is a perfect example of how a getaway destination is able to release stress from our body and minds. The peaceful vistas and beautiful landscape of rolling hills, farms, vineyards and open space reminds us of a time past, when life was simpler. Enjoy the peace and beauty, but be ready to have fun, for this quaint countryside is host to hundreds of events. Combine an event with the many attractions, recreational activities, local fresh foods, natural history, shopping, musical and theatrical performances, and you have the beginning of a perfect escape.

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Cedar Hill: Where Opportunities Grow Naturally

Cedar Hill was founded in 1846 by settlers from Peters Colony seeking a place to build their homes, socialize, worship, and conduct business. What they discovered was an area rich in natural beauty and opportunity. Since that time Cedar Hill has become a thriving city thanks to the hard work, ingenuity, foresight and determination of our forefathers. It is a city steeped in family values, tradition and rich in history. Historic Downtown has a character all its own and personalized service is a hallmark of doing business here. There is a wide range of shops, services and one-of-a-kind dining experiences. From antiques and jewelry to cupcakes and quilts, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in Historic Downtown Cedar Hill.

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The Griffon Vol. 40.1 (Spring 2016)

The Griffon Vol. 40.1 (Spring 2016)
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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.