Griffon Association announces First Annual Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament

The 108th Griffon Association announces the First Annual Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament to be held at the Pine Island Country Club, Charlotte, NC on the 26th day of September, 2011.

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From the Commanding General…

Transformation is alive and well in the United States Army. There have been many leadership changes as well as new facilities that have taken place that affect our world.

We welcome Maj. Gen. Richard Longo as the new IMT DCG at TRADOC, replacing Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who took over as the next commanding general of U.S. Army Europe. Since July 2010, Longo has served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Training at TRADOC. Previously he served as the Director of Training, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, Washington D.C. and as the Deputy Commander, United States Army Field Artillery Center and School, Fort Sill. Longo will be visiting the 108th Training Command at a future battle assembly. Read More »

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Training and Manning

The nation’s reliance on the reserve components has caused a fundamental change in the way in which we are utilized. After nearly 10 years at war, the consequences of the paradigm shift to being an Operational Reserve Force are being fully realized. The intent of this article is to start professional dialogue on how we might better train and man the reserve components to meet requirements. As you read, think about the full-spectrum of missions that we perform, those that we anticipate performing and how this might apply. Please send comments and thoughts to [email protected].

Beginning with Operations DESERT STORM and DESERT SHIELD, the Department of Defense has relied more and more on the reserve components to carry out the National Military Strategy. At the same time, commitments have accelerated at an alarming rate. Reserve Soldiers are currently engaged/deployed in no less than 30 countries around the world. This has changed the Reserve Soldier’s mobilization/deployment expectation from “once in a lifetime” to that of a continuous cycle. This change has put extreme pressure on service members as they are feeling the squeeze from both family and civilian employers.

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From the Command Sergeant Major...

As my days start to wind down as the Command Sgt. Maj. of the 108th Training Command, I just want to tell you what a privilege it has to serve as your Command Sgt. Maj over these past few years. I have had the chance to visit units and Soldiers throughout this command in places I could only identify on a map before starting my tenure and the ride has been spectacular.

Farewell to Brig. Gen. Daniel York as he completes his tour as the commanding general of the 104th Training Division (LT). His enthusiasm, dedication and leadership will leave the 104th in a good position for the new commander.

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A New Challenge and Farewell

This year has been a very demanding and fulfilling year for me. I look back at what I hoped to accomplish as the 108th Training Command Chief Warrant Officer and feel that I have been successful with the assistance of many of the warrant officers in this command. We started some programs that never existed and have opened many new vacancies for Warrant Officer Candidates. There is much more work to be done with the mentorship program but I think conducting our first Warrant Officer Workshop was a good start. We were able to develop a Warrant Officer Facebook page and set up a Warrant Officer network with a Deputy Command Chief Warrant Officer appointment at the 95th, 98th, and 104th Training Divisions. Attendance at seminars and workshops by our Warrant Officers improved which updated the knowledge of our leaders on the requirements and importance of the Warrant Officer programs.

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Warriors are We...

FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. -— Military competition has been an essential driving force for Soldier readiness since the glory days of Sparta. In the spirit of the fighting men of ages long past, these contests foster an environment of martial excellence and competitive resolve which determines who among the ranks will reserve the right to call themselves “the best of the best.”

On March 28th, forty of the 95th Training Division’s elite Soldiers made their way to the rolling hills of Ft. Hunter Liggett, Calif., to compete in the Division’s Best Warrior Competition (BWC). After a grueling week of competition, three Soldiers emerged from the pack to claim the titles of Drill Sergeant of the Year (DSOY), Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year (NCOY) and Soldier of the Year (SOY).

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Soldiers of Excellence

FORT EUSTIS, Va.— Every 98th Training Division Soldier knows there’s a tenuous moment during serious, strenuous training when the body battles the mind. The words, which begin only as a whisper, can rise to a thunderous crescendo and the subsequent noise fills our heads with fear and we suffocate with doubt. “Just quit!”

What makes some Soldiers crumble during these times while others, rise to the challenge and overwhelmingly succeed against all odds?

This is what separates an Iroquois warrior apart from all others. It is his/her ability to silence the doubts and find strength in the fact that you have received the proper instruction from the best trainers in the army. It’s at that critical juncture that your mind must yell to the body, “Shut up and gut up!”

This is the fifth year in a row the Army Reserve held a competition to determine who the top Non-Commissioned Officer and junior enlisted Soldier are among the 206,000 Citizen-Soldiers serving at home and around the world. 


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1-323rd (BCT) Battalion Change of Command

CARY, N.C. — On March 20, 2011, with Soldiers and smiling family members looking on, Lt. Col. B. Scott Maddrea assumed command of the 1-323 Basic Combat Training (BCT) Battalion, headquartered in Cary, N.C. The change of command ceremony featured the ceremonial passing of the battalion colors from the outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Brydon D. Jackson to Col. Ronald A. Bassford, commander of the 2nd Brigade Commander, 98th Division, symbolizing the completion of his tour of duty and relinquishment of command. Bassford, in turn, passed the unit colors to Maddrea.

The change of command ceremony is a military tradition that is rich with symbolism and heritage dating back to medieval times. Commanders of the Roman Legions carried a symbolic baton of command representing their undisputed authority to lead. European armies developed royal crests and symbols of their allegiance, which came to be emblazoned on banners carried with them to the field of battle.

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Drill Sergeant School Stands Up

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — The combined United States Army Drill Sergeant School for the Army Reserve and Active Component was officially dedicated here on Feb. 23.

Recognized in the audience were members from the very first Active Component (AC) Drill Sergeant School graduation and previous AC commandants.

“The drill sergeant candidates participating in this ceremony prove linage. We have a lot of trailblazers here today that paved the way,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa L. King, commandant U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School.

A pilot trainer preparation course was introduced at Fort Jackson on May 25, 1964. Graduates had to average 70 percent or better on academic exams and score at least 300 points on the physical fitness test. A quarter of the class washed out but 71 noncommissioned officer (NCO) candidates graduated here on June 26, 1964.

The evaluated results of the pilot trainer preparation course were so encouraging the Army implemented the program and set in motion the machinery to establish a Drill Sergeant Course at all of its major Basic Training Centers, Fort Dix, N.J., Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Ord, Calif., Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Fort Polk, La., and Fort Jackson, S.C. The program would better prepare selected NCO’s for the responsibility of transforming America’s young men and women into Soldiers.

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95th Training Division (IET) Welcomes New Commander

FORT SILL, Okla. — In a change of command ceremony April 16 at the Old Post Quadrangle at Fort Sill, Okla., Maj. Gen. Robert Stall, commander of the 108th Training Command passed the guidon to Col. Arlen R. Royalty the incoming commander of the 95th Training Division (Initial Entry Training).

Royalty is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and recently served with the 1st Infantry Division as a senior advisor to an Iraqi police division on the east side of Baghdad.

“Col. Arlen Ray Royalty started his military career probably at the age of one, at home under the tutelage of an Army first sergeant,” said Stall.

He [Royalty] embodies the Army Values – Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage, said Stall.


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Welcome to the Drill Sergeant ranks

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Throughout a Soldier’s military career, few people will have as much impact as their Basic Combat Training drill sergeants. In a ceremony held March 5 at Fort Jackson, 33 noncommissioned officers from the 108th Training Command (IET) graduated from Fort Jackson’s Drill Sergeant School class 005-11, earning the right to be called ‘drill sergeant.’

“Starting today, you join an elite group of Soldiers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Law, Jr., commandant of the Army Reserve Drill Sergeant School. “You will always be looked upon as a leader and a role model. It is imperative that you lead by example and you train Soldiers to standard.”

“You’re being entrusted with America’s most precious resource: the sons and daughters, the husbands and wives of America’s future,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Richard J. Minton, senior enlisted advisor to 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division, who spoke at the graduation ceremony. “You’re charged with the responsibility of shaping not only our Army, but America’s future leaders.”

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New Armed Forces Reserve Center at Fort Sill, Okla., bring all components together

LAWTON, Okla. — With the official dedication of the new Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC) at Fort Sill, Okla., the U.S. Army signaled its intent to “go far” as a cohesive Active-Reserve component force.

Soldiers and senior leaders from all components gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony April 16, 2011, to inaugurate the new state-of-the-art facility that co-locates 13 Army Reserve and Oklahoma National Guard units in a single complex on an active-duty installation.

The new 45 million dollar facility spans 28 acres and includes four main buildings: a 125,000 square foot training center; a 25,000 square foot maintenance facility; a 48,000 square foot heated storage building; and a 4,600 square foot unheated storage building.


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Task Force Scorpion:

The Army Reserve is making Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst an important new outpost for the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A).

Reserve Soldiers from diverse units have combined to form Task Force Scorpion; home units include the 4th Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) a subordinate unit of the 108th Training Command (IET) based out of Charlotte, N.C., the 200th Military Police Command (Md.), the 644th Regional Support Group (Minn.), the Military Intelligence Readiness Command (Va.), both the 416th (Chicago) and the 412th Theater Engineer Command (Miss.) and the 377th Theater Support Command (New Orleans).

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108th Training Command Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The 108th Training Command (IET) sponsored another successful Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat in the historic downtown Savannah right before Valentine’s Day. During 11-13 Feb., this couples retreat proved that bonds could be effectively enhanced through relationship resiliency between Soldiers and their families.

The Strong Bonds mission increased Soldier and family readiness through relationship education and skills training. The couples participated in group and one-on-one activities to renew bonds. They focused on building skills as well as intimate moments. They were introduced to topics that discussed problem solving, forgiveness, approach, commitment, friendship, sensuality, busy lifestyles, and most notably, communication. Read More »

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Sign of the times

LAWTON, Okla. — The division Soldiers, while on their way to duty at the new headquarters building in Lawton, Okla. in April, received a warm welcome as they drove past highway signs that read “95th Division Memorial Highway.”
The southbound sign located just north of State Highway 49 and the northbound sign located just north of Lee Boulevard span the section of Interstate 44 adjacent to Fort Sill.

The signs were named in honor of the division and were another project of the 95th Division Memorial Foundation. The foundation, whose goal is to perpetuate the legacy of the division, had already successfully named portions of highway in Kansas as the Iron Men of Metz Highway, and now their efforts have arrived in Oklahoma.

The northbound sign was unveiled on April 14 by state Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, and members of the foundation including Stephen Bodnar, a WWII veteran who served in I Company, 377th and was a Purple Heart recipient.


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Double vision

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Lt. Col, John Germann, battalion commander of 2/377th, 1st Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET) in Lincoln, Neb., always instilled in his sons a strong sense of duty to serve their country by immersing them in military culture and including them in the many military events throughout his career. He hoped that one day they would follow in his footsteps.

On March 17, his vision was realized when his twin sons, Pvt. Alexander Germann and Pvt. Jacob Germann graduated from basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. and he had the pleasure of attending their graduation to see his sons join the ranks of America’s Citizen-Soldiers.

“I feel strongly about the responsibility and duties we have as citizens,” said Germann.

The Germann family has a long line of military service and with the twins’ graduation it brings the family to 60 percent wearing the uniform.


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March for Veterans raise awareness

CLEMSON, S.C. — The “March for Veterans” dedicated the entire month of March to support and recognize Veterans in the surrounding areas of Clemson, S.C. The free family event had tables set up displaying beneficial information from supportive organizations and sponsors to show honor and appreciation for Veterans. Various brochures, key chains, t-shirts, and food were given to participants at the Central Clemson Branch Library on Mar. 26.

The March for Veterans organization was founded by Betsy Bish, the wife of Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Bish, Drill Sgt. Leader, 108th Training Command (IET) and Brandy Sweeden, an Army Reserve spouse at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Bish and Sweeden held their first “March for Veterans” event in King City, Calif. in 2009. The organization wanted to build camaraderie and increase physical fitness for Soldiers and civilians at Fort Hunter Liggett, RTC West. Read More »

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‘Our History is our Strength’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 108th Training Command (IET) continues to support Women’s History Month by recognizing the historical achievements and exceptional movements carried out by positive women. Kate Campbell Stevenson, the guest speaker for the Women’s History Month, provided a motivational and informative performance during the ceremony held here March 13.

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God Can Use The Most Ordinary People…

Exodus 4:1-3, Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?” 2 Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied. 3 The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.

“What is that in your hand?” the Lord asked Moses. Moses said, “It’s a staff.” It was nothing more than a rod, a piece of wood used by a shepherd to herd uncooperative sheep. A piece of wood, itself a branch, shorn of any smaller branches, twigs, or buds: devoid of any signs that it once was alive. A piece of wood worn smooth by much handling, blasted by the desert winds and hardened by the blazing sun. “What is that in your hand?” Not much, just a glorified stick. Good to have when walking about the desert, but not much else.

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Our Dream, Strength and Culture

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chief Red Hawk and Shae Movement African Drummers presented messages of diversity during African American/Black History Month Observance held February 7 at the 108th Training Command (IET) headquarters.

“Diversity doesn’t have to be so uptight,” said Chief Red Hawk. “When you talk about our diversity, you cannot talk about our differences without talking about our similarities at the same time.”

Chief Red Hawk shared his life experiences as a member of the Cherokee Nation. Life stories with his elders provided a foundation for the audience to recognize the commonalities we all share while also reflecting on Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He spoke of how MLK, and the movement as we called it, not only set the black man free, it set the white man free as well. It allowed the white man to be something better than what he was. Collectively, MLK didn’t ask the government to change any laws or regulations as a whole. He simply asked the government to live up to the laws already in place. To simply do what you had already said would be done as far as equality was concerned. During the Civil Rights Movement MLK’s contributions changed the lives of every person of color including “White America”.


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Battalion commander escaped dictator in Uganda to pursue dreams in America

FORT BENNING, Ga. As a young boy growing up in Uganda, Joseph D’costa became inspired by America’s role in World War II and told his teacher he wanted to go to the U.S. Military Academy someday.

“She laughed at me for my dream of going to West Point, telling me it would be impossible because I wasn’t an American and Uganda had no ties to the U.S.,” he recalled. “I still remember that to this day.”

The 13th of 14 children raised by an Indian father and African mother, D’costa was exiled to Austria at age 7 following Idi Amin’s rise to power in 1971. Two years later, he came to the United States and ultimately got into West Point on a third and final attempt, earning his commission in 1989.

Now a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, he just completed a 10-month mobilization at Fort Benning as commander of 1st Battalion, 378th Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (IET) a Lafayette, La.-based unit activated to augment basic combat training for the 192nd Infantry Brigade on Sand Hill.


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Unlikely treasures from the past

John Anger took up metal detecting to get into shape before heading back to work for the U.S. Army Reserve and in the process, stumbled upon pieces of Mount Holly’s history.

The Mount Holly, N.C. resident has been with the Army Reserve in different capacities since 1991. He works as human resources technician for the 108th Training Command, stationed in Charlotte. Last year, Anger began roaming with a metal detector at the Mountain Island Dam in hopes of shedding some pounds. So far, it has worked. Anger has dropped more than 50 pounds, simply from walking and digging a few times a week.

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Hero awarded Purple Heart

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan — A bullet pierced Staff Sgt. William Hines’ abdominal wall and he fell to the ground. He pointed his pistol at the assailant and fired 14 rounds, ending the shooting rampage that already killed two civilian contract employees in Afghanistan.

July 20, 2010, Hines was serving with his Army Reserve Unit in the 95th Training Division in Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan training Afghan National Army Soldiers. All of the trainees were issued M16 rifles and ammunition for weapons qualification at the range, and one trainee managed to acquire a second M16, stepped out from behind a vehicle and began shooting Americans at the range.

“In my civilian job, I’m in law enforcement—a park ranger. I immediately drew my pistol. All I could think was I had to stop him. I had to put myself between him and the 10th Mountain Soldiers there,” Hines said.

Other American Soldiers at the range were able to return fire, and when the shooter was killed, they evacuated Hines on an ANA ambulance to a helicopter. On the helicopter, Hines passed out.

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Reserve regiment becomes part of Knox’s 194th

FORT KNOX, Ky. — During a ceremony held at Sadowski Field House Feb 22, the 2nd Squadron, 398th Cavalry Regiment uncased its colors and became a part of Fort Knox’s 194th Armored Brigade.

The squadron is composed primarily of reservists from Kentucky and Tennessee, many with prior experience at Fort Knox. Their mission is to take over teaching the cavalry one station unit training to help the other units prepare for their moves to Fort Benning, Ga. They have orders for six months, which equals three cycles of OSUT, with the last class graduating in late July.

Col. David Thompson, the commander of the 194th, welcomed those in attendance.

“It’s a great day, in which we welcome this outfit in front of us, the 2nd Squadron, 398th Cavalry to our team,” said Col. Thompson. “I have no doubt that this squadron will perform in a magnificent fashion, the indicators of which are already apparent by your preparation.


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Do you want to be a Unit Public Affairs Representative?

As the 108th Training Command (IET) continues to grow, it will be difficult for the Public Affairs Staff to visit each brigade, battalion and company to cover news events. Public Affairs is the responsibility of commanders and Soldiers alike. The PAO is kicking off the Unit Public Affairs Program (UPAR), which will allow any Soldier to be the additional eyes and ears for your unit and the PAO. By volunteering you will assume the duties of UPAR as an additional duty. The Public Affairs Office will hold training sessions and workshops during battle assembly (BA) to meet, train, and certify you as an UPAR.

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

Do you enjoy writing? You can report the news as it occurs at your unit training events, SRP, deployments, or Family day activities.

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The Griffon Association

The 108th Training Division (IT), and now the 108th Training Command (IET) has always been supported by The Griffon Association. The Griffon Association is comprised of current and former members of the 108th who want to keep in contact long after their official duties have ended. Historically, the Griffon Association has provided college scholarships to the children of its members. The Griffon Association has gone through times of high membership and frequent activity, but also through some periods of inactivity. Read More »

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Army names top recruiters, career counselors for 2011

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 27, 2011) -- Five Soldiers were honored April 27 for their contributions to the health of the Army’s all-volunteer fighting force.

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Chandler sworn in as 14th SMA

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 1, 2011) — The Army’s 14th sergeant major of Army was sworn in during a March 1 standing-room-only ceremony in the Pentagon.

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Soldiers Gold Mine

From the Equal Opportunity Office

The command is rapidly trying to fill EO leadership positions, sergeant (promotable) – first lieutenant, at battalion level and below, to assist commanders in carrying out the EO program, developing a healthy climate, and ensuring fair treatment for all persons based solely on merit, fitness, and capability. If you’re interested in making a difference in your unit and filling this key position contact your chain of command and request EO leader training today.

POC: Master Sgt. Moann Benson (704) 227-2820 x 4201, the EO Advisor at the 108th Training Command (IET), to coordinate training seats. Listed below is a schedule of course dates for this year:

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Online and On Point

Service in the Army or Army Reserve is a great way to pay for college. And for active-duty soldiers, veterans or reservists, there’s no better way to attend college than online learning from an accredited institution with a rich history of tradition and success.

Online learning is ideal for military life thanks to flexibility of time and place. With today’s Web-enabled technologies, bachelor’s and master’s degree classes can be taken from anywhere in the world, with studies built around the demanding schedules of civilian work, military training and even extended duty or deployment. 

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Army Leadership

With many of the most popular online degrees, graduates will use their knowledge to tackle real-world problems that are making news and changing lives. Here’s a sample of the headline-grabbing issues that are calling out for the leadership of Army soldiers and reservists with an online degree:

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Utilizing Your Military Education Benefits

Utilizing Your Military Education Benefits

Individuals who have served in the armed forces, from active duty to retired, are eligible for military education benefits from the US government. Detailed information about these benefits can be found on the GI Bill Web site for the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

If you are looking to take the next step on your educational journey, whether in a traditional classroom or even online, your military education benefits can save you a substantial amount of money. Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how to make the most of your benefits.

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Family support key to student success

Making the decision to go back to school is a huge commitment, but once you take that step, getting the support of your family is one of the most important things that you can do. Research shows that family support is one of the key factors in the success of a working adult student. Conversely, regardless of a student’s goals and aspirations, they are more likely to drop out of college if they do not receive the necessary support from their family.

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Do two halves really make a whole?

Such a simple question! But is the answer that obvious? Not when it comes to high school Algebra. And I’m not talking about some new way to add algebraic fractions. I’m referring to the age-old practice of teaching two years of Algebra in high school which, presumably, make up a complete course in Algebra. They may have been called Algebra 1 and 2, or they may have been called Beginning Algebra and Advanced Algebra. In either case, the implication was that each comprised one-half of a complete Algebra course. However, if you look at the table of contents in any “second year Algebra” book, you will find that at least 50 percent of the book is a repeat of “first year Algebra.” Read More »

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What is Easter all about?

On the Saturday before Easter I found myself on an airplane traveling home after a week of institutional visits in the state of Maine. Some on the plane were traveling to be with family and friends for Easter, but all of us had a strong sense that the next day was considered a very special day where Christians remember Christ’s resurrection after suffering death on the Cross for our sins. With the strong sense of Easter in mind, my seatmate and I begin to discuss our respective faith journeys and how we had come to believe what we believed about our lives and the hereafter. Both of us were old enough to recognize that we are on the “downhill” side of life. I, for example, anticipate retiring from my full time career within the next year or two and my seatmate was probably eight or 10 years older than me (although I didn’t ask). She had been retired for some time. Read More »

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Distracted driving: Managing the risks and maximizing force readiness

“Driving is risky, and many Soldiers are at even higher risk when they drive.” This statement appeared in The Griffon recently, and it certainly still holds true. The fact that over 30,000 people lose their lives in motor vehicle crashes is bad enough; the fact that many of those killed are Soldiers, is especially challenging for military commands. It is well known that there are many causes of traffic crashes. However, among Soldiers killed and injured, there is a smaller group of causes that tends to show up again and again in incident reports, including speeding, alcohol, fatigue and distracted driving.

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Relevant Tags: DRIVER SAFETY, driving, distracted, safety, soldiers, drivers, distracted driving, traffic safety, force readiness, text messaging

Visit Three Rivers -- Parks, caves and wildlife

Between Lake Kaweah, the village of Three Rivers, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, and the surrounding area, there’s so much to see and do in the summertime!  

Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave, a small but spectacular marble cave located in Sequoia National Park, opens on May 20th, and tours of the Cave should continue until late October.  If you’re not interested in entering this beautiful living cave, the hike down to it is also gorgeous, with Cascade Creek rushing all around you in the springtime, and still continuing to run even in late summer. 

 

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, sequoia, canyon, cave, rivers, wildlife, national park, sequoia national, kings canyon, three rivers, crystal cave, caves wildlife, rivers parks, canyon national

Bentonville - Serving those who serve

From art to artifacts, bistros to biking, Walmart to golf carts, Bentonville and northwest Arkansas are thrilled to welcome military families for a little rest and relaxation this summer. Situated in one of the fastest growing regions in the country, beautiful Bentonville, Arkansas is in the midst of a great transformation. Long known as the home of Walmart Stores, Inc., Bentonville has boomed in population, amenities, and attractions over the last several years. A cultural revitalization of parks, public gardens, museums, and restaurants is underway driven by the approaching opening of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, bentonville, arkansas, museum, civil, travel, art, northwest, northwest arkansas, bentonville northwest, artifacts bistros, walmart golf, art artifacts, golf carts, bridges museum

Orlando - makes you smile

In Orlando, you can tour theme parks or shop the outlets. Get close to nature or relax in a spa. Whatever you do, you’ll end up connecting with your loved ones. Unique, lasting memories are waiting to be made in Orlando. That’s because the adventure and endless excitement of this sunny destination brings people together and strengthens relationships. So get pampered. Get thrilled. And get happy. Just make sure you get together.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, orlando, admission, park admission, makes smile, memories waiting

Universal Orlando Resort

There is only one place in the world where you can do all these things in the same day:

  • Soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter
  • Experience the pulse-pounding thrill of accelerating from zero mph to 45 mph in two seconds — and then go weightless
  • Wander through a land with no straight lines
  • Test yourself against your deepest fears — darkness, speed, fire, the unknown, flesh-eating scarabs — and come out laughing
  • xperience the bliss that comes with three Blue Men, a stage, and some PVC pipe
  • Be pampered, relaxed — or rocked – at the world-class hotel of your choice.
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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, universal, entertainment, orlando, attractions, experience, hotel, resort, universal orlando, theme parks, islands adventure, universal studios, harry potter, hard rock, orlando resort

Pooler, Georgia - Rich in history

Pooler has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a rail connection to Savannah and the Low Country. The now-thriving Pooler started out as a railroad station. Named for Robert W. Pooler, a Savannah resident who had a plan for a Georgia railroad route, the railroad station soon evolved into an actual town.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, pooler, office, history, savannah, georgia, park, attractions, railroad station, georgia rich, rich history, savannah resident

Feel at home in the Caribbean

Summer is on its way. Time to pack up the sunscreen and swimsuits, and head to the beach.

This year, try St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Just 1,100 miles off the coast of Miami, Florida, the US Virgin Islands welcomes travelers with the familiarity of the US and the allure of the exotic Caribbean.

Plus, for US citizens, no passports are required and many direct flights are available. Making this paradise an easy and convenient tropical vacation. No place reflects the persona of the US Virgin Islands better than Bolongo Bay Beach Resort.


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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, beach, bolongo, bay, office, islands, resort, bolongo bay, virgin islands, beach resort, home caribbean, bay beach, florida virgin, islands welcomes

Shenandoah, Texas -- Fun times and relaxation

An award-winning, upscale city, Shenandoah, Texas is located along the I-45 corridor, just 35 miles north of Houston and 20 minutes from Bush Intercontinental Airport. Shenandoah offers visitors more than 40 restaurants, seven hotels and a variety of retail shopping locations. The city is also home to local businesses, physician offices, the acclaimed Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital and 3,200 residents. Shenandoah is a city with so much to offer its visitors. Opportunities abound for fun times or just some rest and relaxation.

Shenandoah is close to a variety of entertainment options including The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in nearby The Woodlands. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion hosts popular concerts and symphony performances in its 16,500 capacity outdoor amphitheater from March through November. The historic Crighton Theatre, built in 1934 in nearby downtown Conroe hosts a variety of events from theatrical plays to concerts. Located in Shenandoah, Main Event Entertainment is a great place for family fun that includes bowling, laser tag, billiards, an arcade, a full-service bar and a café all under one roof. Read More »

Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, shenandoah, visitors, texas, woodlands, shopping, shenandoah texas, fun times, sam moon, city shenandoah, cisd natatorium

Mission, Texas - Truly nature’s paradise

Mission, Texas, known as the Home of the Grapefruit is in southwestern Hidalgo County on U.S. Highway 83. We are located on the Rio Grande River, four miles northeast of Anzalduas County Park, five miles northeast of the World Birding Center, and twenty-three miles northwest of the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. Mission Texas is located at the southern tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley just minutes away from South Padre Island.

Mission is the perfect place to stage a South Texas getaway. Ideally situated in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley Mission is home to world class hotels, restaurants and shopping centers. Mission has a yearly average temperature of 74 degrees and offers a variety of recreational facilities to our visitors including public parks, well maintained tennis courts, swimming pools, and outstanding public and private golf courses. Boasting 5 premiere golf courses with over 27,000 yards of pristine playing fairways, Mission is a golf lover’s paradise. So don’t forget your golf clubs when you come to Mission!

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, mission, valley, park, texas, rio grande, grande valley, birding center, world birding, mission texas, bentsen rio, grande river, valley state, state park

Berkeley - Small town feel

Just minutes from downtown Charleston, Berkeley County has become one of the great getaways for the next generation!

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, berkeley, general, county, cypress gardens, berkeley county, small town, mepkin abbey, town feel, next generation, cooper river, dean hall

Clarksville - full of personality and charm

Nestled in the mountainous region of Middle Tennessee, Clarksville is a city full of personality and charm. No matter the time of year, Clarksville-Montgomery County has something for the whole family to enjoy. Discover all that the town has to offer, including a thriving River District and Downtown, historical hotspots and an upcoming 5K and half marathon.

Clarksville-Montgomery County has also had a long, successful relationship with the soldiers and their families stationed at Fort Campbell. Clarksville strives to show constant support to members of the military and their families, with discounts being offered at many of the local businesses.

On your next vacation, make plans to come to Clarksville and enjoy the events, stay at one of the many conveniently located hotels, dine at both local and chain eateries and shop ‘til you drop. For the athletes and sports enthusiast, you can also be a part of the inaugural Go Commando half marathon or check out the AAU Basketball National Championships. You will be glad that you decided to come experience Clarksville.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, clarksville, river, enjoy, downtown, marathon, half marathon, full personality, montgomery county, commando half, clarksville montgomery, fort defiance

Jefferson County hosts many fun events

If you are looking for great festivals and activities throughout the summer, Jefferson County West Virginia is a mecca for fun.

Whether you start with the ongoing activities or arrive in time for a long-running festival or event, you don’t have to look any further than Jefferson County.

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Relevant Tags: TRAVEL USA, festival, fun, jefferson county, charles town, west virginia, fun events, county hosts, town races

Montgomery County Find great travel deals

Montgomery County is located on the western borders of the nation’s capital. The county has evolved into a bustling county with pockets of exciting cities, towns and urban districts. The communities of Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Rockville, Gaithersburg and Germantown are all located within the boundaries of Montgomery County.

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Relevant Tags: county, montgomery, park, canal, national, potomac, montgomery county, silver spring, potomac river, great travel, travel deals, brookside gardens

The Griffon Vol. 35.2 (Summer 2011)

The Griffon Vol. 35.2 (Summer 2011)
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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.