108th Training Command (IET) Future Force: Relevant, Ready, and Capable

In the winter edition of the Griffon I talked about Reformation at the Training Command level. Since that time there has been significant work on the reductions we will face, and for this edition I wanted to drill down somewhat and explain what the future will bring for the divisions within the 108th. Bottom line up front, regardless of the cuts we must take, every Soldier who wants to remain in 108th down trace units will be permitted to do so in order to fulfill a normal three year rotation.

Our mission is to be relevant, ready and capable by providing professionally trained and ready drill sergeant units, leader trainers, and support personnel to conduct initial military training and theater security cooperation in support of the Army, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and the U.S. Army Reserve (USARC).  Read More »

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Offers Free Admission to Veterans and a discount to their Spouses on Memorial Day

CLEVELAND (May 9, 2014) – 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is proud to announce a special offer for military veterans and their spouses this Memorial Day.
On Monday, May 26, 2014, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will honor all the men and women who have faithfully served their country by offering free admission to military veterans and $5 off a general admission ticket (before tax) to their spouses.
To redeem this offer, veterans and their spouses should visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum box office on Memorial Day and present their military ID or proof of military service. Hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Beyond Memorial Day, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum offers a military discount year-round.  All U.S. Active Duty (including all National Guard & Reservists) and retired military service members who present a valid military ID will receive the discount.
About Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience (Featured Exhibit; Summer 2014):

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New Army Regulation 670-1

The new Army Regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, went into effect 31 March 2014. It’s important that all Soldiers review the new AR 670-1 and become familiar with the new regulations.

The new regulation establishes tougher tattoo rules and clarifies fingernail, hair and makeup rules, while also outlining how and when uniforms should be worn.

One of the biggest changes of AR 670-1 affecting Soldiers is the new policy on tattoos. Soldiers may have no more than four visible tattoos below the elbow or below the knee, and these tattoos must be smaller than the size of the wearer’s hand. All of the new rules pertaining to tattoos are outlined in Paragraph 3-3 of AR 670-1.

Violation of this policy could result in adverse administrative action or charges under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. Soldiers who are not in compliance with the new tattoo policy but were compliant with previous policies are grandfathered, according to the new regulation.


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Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

When I was a youth; reading, writing and arithmetic were known as the three Rs. The phrase ‘the three Rs’ was used because each word has a strong R sound at the beginning. Today, modern educators refer to the three Rs as relating, representing and reasoning. The concept is the same. The ability to understand ideas, express ideas and evaluate ideas expressed in words, formulas and models is fundamental in the development of leaders.

As warrant officers, we can all remember writing our first paper as a warrant officer candidate. Albeit, when I was a WOC, there wasn’t DL and the paper had to be handwritten in ink without error or strikethroughs and sent to our TAC officer via snail mail prior to arrival at WOCS. I liken the experience to my grandparents telling me about walking 20 miles to school each day. 

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108th Training Command (IET) DS/BW/NCO Competition

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Drill Sergeant, Best Warrior and NCO of the Year are one of the most physically demanding and mentally tough challenges that any Soldier can face in a U.S. Army competition. The 108th Training Command (IET) held their annual competition in Fort Huachuca, Ariz., March 24-29.

Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, commanding general of the 108th Training Command (IET), said “The significance of the Drill Sergeant of the Year (DSOY) competition is “that drill sergeant” who has the highest sense of Army values and obligation to themselves and the Army as an institution to do the best they absolutely can.”

During the selection process, the competitors were evaluated during several round robin sessions on a variety of Army challenges to include: the Army Physical Fitness Test, weapons qualification, confidence course, night land navigation, Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, a foot march, written exams and essays, and a Sergeants Major Board appearance.This year offered several mystery events throughout the competition that each competitor had to attempt.

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Becoming a Military History Instructor in the Army

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. —Two officers from the 104th Training Division (LT), along with Soldiers and civilian professors from around the country became certified instructors of U.S. military history on January 17th after a two-week course at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The popular Military History Instructors Course course, abbreviated MHIC (pronounced em-hik), occurs only twice a year with roughly 40 students per session to certify an annual crop of professors to teach cadets and undergraduate students military history courses at universities affiliated with ROTC programs.

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Camp Toccoa at Currahee Comes to Life Again

TOCCOA, Ga. — On 12 January 2014, Lt. Col.(P) Stephen Iacovelli relinquished command of the 3rd Battalion, 323rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) to Lt. Col. William D. Montgomery on the old training site of Camp Toccoa, Ga. As many members of this unit of drill sergeants donned their distinctive brown round head gear and entered the grounds, new life infused the remnants of the old training grounds that once served early elements of the 101st Infantry Division.

At the end of his tenure as battalion commander of the 3/323, Iacovelli succeeded in leaving the unit in better condition than when he found it. Through hard work, perseverance, and strong leadership, Iacovelli gave the 3rd Battalion (Bn) a sense of value and pride. 

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1-330th Regiment Drill Sergeants Support Purdue University Drill Competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.— On February 12, 1-330th Infantry Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), supported a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Drill Competition hosted by Purdue University Army ROTC at the Purdue Armory in West Lafayette, Ind.

The annual competition has seen an increase in participation over the previous years with 19 different teams participating from high schools in states including Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.

The operation is an example of cooperation as Purdue AROTC has coordinated with the Indiana Army National Guard for logistical support and with the U.S. Army Reserve for expert judges from the 1st Battalion, 330th Infantry Regiment,

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New Hampshire Reserve Soldier receives Purple Heart for injuries sustained during IED attack in Afghanistan

CONCORD, N.H. ­— In front of his Family, friends, and panel of distinguished guests such as New Hampshire representatives Gov. Maggie Hassan and Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen, Sgt. 1st Class Paul M. Dimond was awarded the Purple Heart Medal on Friday March 28, 2014 at the New Hampshire State House in Concord, N.H., for injuries he sustained serving as part of the Army Reserve’s NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan 2011.

Dimond was acting as the noncommissioned officer in charge of a training course provided to the Afghan National Army. While attending a graduation ceremony on Dec. 8, 2011 at the Afghan National Army’s 205th Corps training center, Sgt. 1st Class Dimond was injured when an improvised explosive device hidden under the chair of Maj. Gen. Abdul Hameed, the highest ranking Afghan officer in southern Afghanistan, was detonated in an attempted assassination.

“I’m honored to receive the award and very humbled,” said Dimond, a Manchester, N.H., native.

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Starting Over

How a wounded Army mechanic landed a good civilian job 15 days before his ETS. 

When Donate Johnson was hired by Sunbelt Rentals - a provider of specialized heavy equipment to every niche of the construction and industrial marketplace - he relied on two crucial military skills: understanding the chain of command and finding information...

Read the article from G.I. Jobs Magazine below.

Or go to: http://careersatsunbeltrentals.com/military-recruitment/

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FTX

FORT A.P. HILL, Va. — Third Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), conducted its annual company competition and Field Training Exercise (FTX) at Fort A.P. Hill, April 11-13. The event kicked off with a 0-dark-early morning physical training test (APFT).

In the beginning stages, Col. Keith Brelia, commander 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), and staff developed the brigade FTX. They wanted the exercise to incorporate several of the brigade’s METL tasks to include mobilization, conduct training, command and control, and force protection in a realistic and challenging environment. During the months that followed, the staff developed the concept of the operation, went through the military decision making process and developed the key events of the exercise and how the operation would unfold.

The brigade and battalion staffs worked closely together during this planning and preparation process to build a better training exercise for all the Soldiers on site.

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Officer Career Development Forum

FORT AP HILL, Va. — During the Brigade Field Training exercise on April 10th, the 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), conducted its first Officer Career Development Forum at Fort AP Hill, Va. Over 35 officers from across the brigade footprint were able to discuss the Officer Education System, expected timelines on preparing for promotion boards, and many other officer disciplines directly with the ARCD Career Managers from HRC’s Career Management Enclave located at Fort Gillem, Ga. Maj. Tania Wilson and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lorien Mickelson provided the hour long instruction and stayed with officers to discuss their educational goals, promotion requirements, key development positions, and review their electronic records with HRC.

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Best Warrior Bonds

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Every year, in the spring, Warriors gather to gage themselves against their brothers-in-arms. It’s not as much a competition with each other as it is a self-evaluation of skill, prowess, endurance, and motivation.

On the outskirts of Fort Jackson, S.C., the 104th Training Division (LT) Timberwolf Warriors gathered to evaluate their own and select representatives to meet the Iroquois of the 98th and the Iron Men of the 95th Training Divisions (IET).

Congratulations to those selected to move forward to represent their peers.

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Logan Native to Lead Veteran Facility

An Army veteran and Logansport native has accepted the role of superintendent at the Indiana Veterans’ Home, West Lafayette. Linda Sharp has devoted her career to both military and healthcare services.

Sharp is a U.S. Army veteran and now in the U.S. Army Reserve. She graduated from Indiana University with a nursing degree after three years active duty as a combat medic. After transferring to the U.S. Army Reserve, she served as a corpsman, nurse, executive officer and commander of the 801st Combat Support Hospital, B Company. Read More »

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Devil’s Brigade

HELENA, Mont. — The 3rd Bn/ 415th Regt. 95th Training Division (IET), held its 8th annual Devil’s Brigade on 25- 27 April 2014, in Fort Harrison, Mont. Nineteen drill sergeants conducted training for 157 new recruits. The goal of the event is to prepare National Guard Soldiers for Basic Combat Training (BCT).

Training exercises provided valuable experience for new Soldiers and gave them the knowledge to be successful at BCT. Inclement weather presented challenges for the drill sergeants requiring the schedule to be adapted. Events held included assembly and disassembly of the M16, map reading and land navigation, MOUT training, IMT/ SMT, Combat Lifesaver, and pugil stick fighting.

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FGR2-S Concludes with General Promotion

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — The 108th Training Command (IET) conducted the Force Generation Readiness Review-Support (FGR2-S) on 23-27 April at Fort Jackson, S.C., in order to evaluate plans to provide trained and ready forces to meet contingency readiness requirements.

The FGR2-S provides an executive-level forum for reviewing the Training Command’s ability to execute the Force Generation management processes, meet readiness Aim Point Standards and provide support to the Operational and Functional (O&F) Commands. Read More »

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Transformation: Timberwolves Return to Their Roots

Transformation is a powerful word: new assignments, new schools new opportunities.

In some cases it is a return to the past. The latest transformation is just that for the Timberwolves.

Timberwolf Soldiers of the 104th Training Division (LT) started training new recruits at Fort Ord, Calif., in 1959. They continued to fill the role of Basic Training Instructors at Fort Benning, Fort Jackson, Fort Lewis (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord), and other sites across the country until 2007. During the 2007 transformation, the Timberwolves refocused their attention from Basic Training to the future Army Officers and the ROTC program. The 104th received the mission to work with Cadet Command on college campuses and during summer training in 1995 as an additional responsibility and in 2007 it became their primary focus.

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Paintball enhances realism in Army Reserve unit’s training

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Tough, realistic training is the cornerstone of a successful Army. In order to make sure that her drill sergeants can provide each new private with the best training possible, Capt. Jessica Smothers, commander of Company A, 1/321st Infantry Regiment, along with her training staff coordinated some of the basic combat training curriculum for their February battle assembly.

Originally, the unit was to participate in a brigade field training exercise (FTX) which was cancelled. The FTX was to take place from Thursday to Sunday. Since the time had already been allotted, the unit decided to put it to good use, practicing the very skills they would be imparting to basic trainees. Army Reserve drill sergeants generally use their 29 days of annual training (AT) in actual basic training companies.

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The New FTX: 108th Training Command (IET)

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Field training exercise, generally shortened to “FTX”, describes a coordinated exercise conducted by military units for training purposes. Field training exercises are usually practiced “mini-battles” which provide fairly realistic scenarios and situations based on actual situations a unit might face if deployed. While squad and platoon sized units can conduct an FTX, most of these exercises involve units ranging from a company up to a regiment.

The 108th Training Command (IET) conducted its first ever field training exercise that took place over a three day period. The FTX started on Friday with an annual physical training test conducted by drill sergeants. Soldiers of the 108th, after personal hygiene, drew weapons and a vest for a three-mile road march.This would be another first for many Soldiers of the 108th; however the unit conducted the march with very few injuries. The day ended with the unit being given a preliminary marksmanship instruction or “PMI” class.

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Courage. Hope. Endurance.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Everyone always talks about how strong the Soldiers are, and they are, truly, heroes. But many people forget about the parents, wives, and children left behind to be strong by themselves.

Last year, a Youth Leadership Education and Development (YLEAD) conference was held in Portland, Ore., and almost forty Army Reserve kids from all over the West Coast came to learn how to improve themselves and their relationships. With over ten adults teaching and leading, the kids grew in knowledge and as people.

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Family Programs Chain of Command Training (CoCT)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 108th Training Command (IET) Family Programs conducted the Chain of Command Training (CoCT) from 22 – 24 April 2014 in Charlotte, N.C., in order to align strategic Lines of Effort (LOE), LOE 1 (Human Capital) and LOE 2 (Modernization and Change) across the organization.

The 108th Training Command Family Programs Directorate conducted the CoCT with specific brigade, battalion and company command teams. The purpose of the training was to give command teams a clear definition of their roles and responsibilities as it pertains to Family Readiness, preparing a Family Readiness Plan, understanding of the USAR 608-1 and the Army Reserve Family Programs.

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NCO CHAMPIONS: DUAL 2X CITIZENS

Sgt. Kathleen Shetley, a Soldier and flute player with the Army Reserve 380th Army Band headquartered in Richmond, Va., competed in the week long Best Warrior Competition April 21-25 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. She won at the noncommissioned officer level for the 99th Regional Support Command (RSC). She competes in June at the USARC competition.

Kathleen has bachelor’s degrees in music and anthropology from Longwood University in Farmville, Va. She is also a Zumba and Boot Camp Fitness instructor in civilian life who has served in uniform for the past five-and-a-half years.

“The Army Reserve has inspired my career choice in group fitness by motivating me to become strong and healthy; I channel my motivation into my group fitness classes to inspire participants to adopt a healthier lifestyle through fun and effective group fitness workouts,” said Kathleen. “Having the experience of teaching to a variety of levels and in a variety of class types has made me a better teacher, mentor, and leader in the military.”

Her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Michael W. Shetley, is also in the Army Reserve as a Training NCO, 2/317th, 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET). He is an Athletic Trainer at Appomattox County High School and a Personal Trainer at Longwood University in his civilian job and a Public Relations Chair for the Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association (VATA).

“I leave tomorrow for white phase basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and a week after I get back, Kathleen leaves for a month for BWC and AT,” said Michael. 

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From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

Hooah Soldiers of the 95th Training Division. Over the last two months, I have had the personal pleasure to travel to several unit locations and closely experience the great things occurring within the command. In April, with several Veterans from the 95th Division Association, we re-dedicated the 95th Memorial in the headquarters. It was a very somber experience as Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Hill, command sergeant major, 95th Training Division (IET), and I personally shook the hands of numerous WWII Veterans, their spouses and Families. As you enter the memorial, you are greeted with soft lighting and a framed poster, stating, “You are now entering Germany thru the courtesy of the 95th Inf. Div.”. Very powerful! I encourage our Soldiers to visit the memorial and learn the history of the division.

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Reserve Soldiers augment active-duty drill sergeants

FORT SILL, Okla. (April 24, 2014) — For most Army Reserve Soldiers, drill time is one weekend a month and two weeks a year. For those who are a part of the Reserve Echo Company Mission, drill time means being a drill sergeant two to 10 weeks a year, or more.

“We come down here and do the same thing the regular drill sergeants do. We’ve already been to drill sergeant school. In many cases some of these drill sergeants have been a drill sergeant longer than anyone remembers,” said 1st Sgt. Gregory Burroughs, 2nd Battalion, 377th Regiment from Lincoln, Neb.

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108th Training Command (IET) Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

To further involve the full time staff, in conjunction with the Morale Day, a cookout was held. Hotdogs, burgers and fixings were served to participants. The SHARP team coordinated a poster contest between the staff sections. The posters were individually designed to address Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault. The contest was judged by three personnel, not part of the SHARP team or involved in creating a poster. First place winner was G1, second place G8 and third place winner went to the IG. The crowd winner was SGS.

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Drill Sergeants Graduate

FORT JACKSON, S.C. —Drill Sergeant Class 502-14 graduated here 12 March. The graduation ceremony began with the arrival of the Official Party, headed by Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, commanding general, 108th Training Command (IET).

“There were 85 Soldiers that were supposed to be here, but only 65 answered the call,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael S. McCoy, U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School Commandant.

The rigorous nine-week course turns non-commissioned officers into the trainers of future American Soldiers. The graduates of the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School (USADSS) are experts in military customs, Army regulations and hold their physical readiness to the highest of standards.

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WWII Veterans Present for Rededication of 95th Division Memorial

FORT SILL, Okla. — The re-dedication of the 95th Training Division (IET) Memorial was held Friday, April 11 at the Armed Forces Reserve Center on Fort Sill, Okla. The Memorial was originally located in Oklahoma City, Okla. and was disassembled in 2011 when the division headquarters was relocated to Fort Sill. Veterans of the division who fought in World War II were in attendance and took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Memorial, located in the same building as the 95th Training Division (IET) headquarters, is dedicated to the history of the division and the memory of Soldiers who died while serving.

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Change of Responsibility

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Change of responsibility ceremony is a time-honored military tradition honoring the senior non-commissioned officer that is leaving a leadership position as a new noncommissioned officer (NCO) takes their place. United States Army Command Sgt. Maj. Lamont Christian took over as commandant for the Drill Sergeant School (DSS) from Command Sgt. Maj. Michael S. McCoy at a change of responsibility ceremony Wednesday April 30, 2014 in Fort Jackson, S.C.

The DSS Commandant manages the operation of the DSS and conducts training in accordance with regulation. They also supervise the training certificate of DSL and PSL; review and analyze DSC and PSC critiques and course attributes.

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Second Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) Changes Command

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Second Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) Soldiers stood ready to execute the time honored tradition of passing the Colors from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander in a Change of Command Ceremony conducted on Victory Field. Presiding over the ceremony was Brig. Gen. Michaelene A. Kloster, commanding general of the 98th Training Division (IET), with attendees including Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, commanding general of the 108th Training Command (IET), Maj. Gen. Ross Ridge, deputy commanding general for Initial Entry Training, TRADOC and Brig. Gen. Bradley Becker, Fort Jackson Commanding General. The Commander of Troops, Lt. Col. Jed J. Schaertl began the ceremony by forming and presenting the command. In keeping with military tradition, Col. Miles A. Davis, the outgoing commander, passed the Colors relinquishing command to the incoming commander, Col. William T. Harris III.

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Reservist train IET Soldiers in Echo model unit

Army Reserve drill sergeants and Soldiers are integrated into Fort Leonard Wood’s 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment’s Initial Entry Training mission as part of the Echo Company Model.

Under the Echo Company Model, one of 1-48th Inf. Bn. companies is a Reserve Component Basic Combat Training Company.

U.S. Army Reserve IET cadre members from the USAR 95th Training Division, Fort Sill, Okla., and the 98th Training Div., Rochester, N.Y., provide a company’s worth of cadre -- 12 drill sergeants, a command team, and supply and training noncommissioned officers to fill these positions.

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Drill Sergeant, Police Officer, SWAT, Sniper, Student, Volunteer

Whether he is working as a full time patrol sergeant with the Mint Hill Police Department, a member of a three-town SWAT team, a sniper/team leader or an Army Reserve Soldier, Master Sgt. Michael C. Gainey finds time to spend volunteering with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial dedicated to honoring and remembering the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers.

Gainey is from Albemarle, N.C., and a high school graduate from North Stanly. He enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman (11B) in 1998 attending Basic and Advanced Training at Ft. Benning, Ga. His first assignment was HHC Division Reconnaissance at Hohenfels, Germany, where he served as a RTO, M240 gunner, and team leader.

In March 2002, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve 108th Training Division, Charlotte, N.C., where he served as a Drill Sergeant Candidate. After graduating the Primary Leadership Course, now known as Warrior Leadership Course, Gainey was selected to attend Drill Sergeant School at Fort Jackson, S.C., graduating in 2004.

“Being a drill sergeant has been the most rewarding job in the Army I have ever had. Being able to have a chance with a new Soldier, and show them what right looks like never gets old. It’s a chance to start them off on the right foot, and make them proud to wear the Army uniform,” said Gainey.

Gainey was ordered to active duty and deployed to Salman Pak, Iraq where he served as an Iraqi National Police Advisor. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart.

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First Battalion, 354th Regiment Changes Command

TULSA, Okla. — On February 2, Lt. Col. Phillip Taylor assumed command of the 1/354th Regt., 95th Training Division (IET). The outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Sandra Gossett transferred her responsibilities to Taylor in a ceremony officiated by 1st Brigade Commander, Col. Frank Curtis. Taylor was accompanied by his wife Penny, and his daughters Paige, Paisley and Phoenyx.

In addition to the traditional symbolism represented in a Change of Command, this ceremony embodied more than the usual. In attendance was Maj. Gen. (Ret) Robert S. Silverthorn, commander of the 95th Division from 2000 to 2004.

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Borderland native Staff Sgt. Fernando Terrazas gets prestigious NCO honor

Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie R. Kelley, former Fort Bliss and 1st Armored Division command sergeant major, congratulated Staff Sgt. Fernando Terrazas, 3rd Battalion, 360th Combat Support/Combat Service Support Regiment, Task Force Rough Rider, 5th Armored Brigade, on his induction into the Fort Bliss Chapter of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club on Nov. 13, 2013. (Sgt. 1st Class David Parish / Special to the Times)

A Fort Bliss soldier who grew up in the Borderland has gotten one of the highest honors available to a noncommissioned officer.

Staff Sgt. Fernando Terrazas, a 33-year-old Juárez native who grew up in El Paso, was inducted into the prestigious Sgt. Audie Murphy Club on Nov. 13.

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CIAA

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) was founded in 1912 and is the oldest African-American athletic conference in the nation. Although the membership has changed since 1912, the CIAA consists of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) spanning the east coast from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. The membership is comprised of both private and public colleges and universities with enrollments ranging from 750 - 7,000 students. Currently, eighty percent of CIAA alumni reside in the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.

The annual CIAA Basketball Tournament is one of the nation’s premier sporting events. Tournament week offers numerous events for high school and college students. 

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DUCK COMMANDER 500

FORT WORTH, Texas — On April 3-6, 2014, drill sergeants from the 3-378th Infantry Regiment Battalion, 1st Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET), provided the Color Guard for the Duck Commander 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Duck Commander 500 is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race. The race is actually 501 miles based on the length of the track distance which is 1.5 miles.

The drill sergeant participants were Drill Sergeant (DS) Christopher Irvin, DS Maria Kroeker, DS Gregory Bradford, DS Joshua Johnson, DS Michael Clouse, and DS Charles Osgood.

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Peace to all who read these words.

It’s been an interesting first couple of months as the new Deputy Command Chaplain for the 108th Training Command (IET). I’ve had the opportunity to meet Soldiers, civilians and Family members here at the headquarters and I am looking forward to “getting out of the office” and visiting with our subordinate units in the near future. It’s exciting to be back in TPU status after almost seven years of mobilization, with First Army Division East, training Chaplains and Chaplain Assistants for deployment to overseas areas of operations. It was personally and professionally rewarding working with our Active and National Guard components, but it is nice to return to my Reserve roots.

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Do you want to be a Unit Public Affairs Representative?

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

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SOLDIERS GOLD MINE

G7

ILE Information for Army Reserve Officers

Professional Military Education (PME) for Army Reserve Officers and Army Reserve Field Grade Officers have several opportunities for Professional Military Education (PME). Majors complete Intermediate Level Education (ILE), and Lieutenant Colonels and Colonels complete Senior Service College (SSC). There are descriptions below and on linked pages for those opportunities. Officers can also attend Additional Professional Development Education Program (APDE) courses. APDE courses are not MEL-producing, but they are developmental and intellectually and professionally broadening.

USAR officers must be board-selected to attend a 10 month or 15 week resident ILE opportunity. This is an opt-in process for TPU, IRR and IMA officers. AGR officers are automatically considered for these resident opportunities IAW the basic eligibility requirements detailed in current MILPER Messages.

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The 108th Griffon Association continues to march

The 108th Griffon Association continues with its mission of providing support to the 108th Training Command with numerous planed activities. A large part of those activities is to raise funds to support its objectives.

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Military Reserve Exchange Program (MREP) Young Reserve Officer Workshop (YROW)

The primary purpose of the Department of Defense Reserve Officers Foreign Exchange Program is to provide National Guard and Reserve officers training associated with mobilization duties while enhancing their ability to work and communicate with the military individuals of the host nation.

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5 Money management mistakes

It can be dizzying. And there’s lots of hard-to-ignore noise on the periphery.

No, I’m not talking about trying to work at home with the kids buzzing around. Instead, I’m talking about managing your investments. Peruse the paper, surf the Internet or turn on your TV and you’ll be bombarded with “can’t-miss opportunities” and gut-wrenching financial news that inevitably work their way into decisions you make on your investment portfolio.

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3 Tips for Military Veteran Entrepreneurs

Over the next few years, experts estimate that approximately one million U.S. Military Veterans will be entering the civilian workforce. As an extension of the leadership skills gained by being a member of the U.S. Military, entrepreneurship and independent business ownership is an ideal way for our well-trained veterans to gain professional and personal control over their future.

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Indicators of a Military Friendly School

“Military Friendly School” has become an overused and frequently empty promise. As a service member or veteran researching colleges you may wonder if this is simply a marketing phrase and if the term means anything at all. When it comes to defining “Military Friendly,” actions speak louder than words.

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Key to building wealth? Invest regularly

Content provided courtesy of USAA.

Suppose you have some money and want to invest it, but you aren’t sure where to start. Should you put it in the market all at one time? Should you wait until what seems like the best time to invest? Or should you trickle your money in little by little?

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, MILITARY TRANSITION RESOURCES

Take the 1 Percent Challenge

Even if you aren’t usually glued to the news coming from Washington, the budget deal in December may have captured your attention and had you steaming. The reduction of retirement pay — a one percent cut to inflation adjustments for military retirees until they reach age 62 — was a shock for all those who wear and have worn the uniform. Thankfully, the change was later repealed.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, MILITARY TRANSITION RESOURCES

Are 529 Plans the best way to save for college?

Some would call my oldest son an academic overachiever. He’s dead set that he’s never getting anything but A’s on his report card — through the rest of middle school and high school. Oh, and apparently my wife and I can stop saving for his college because he’s going to get an academic scholarship. Suhweet! We are off the hook! Of course, I’m learning that teenagers have a tendency to shift their focus from time to time so I think I’ll keep saving ... just in case.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, MILITARY TRANSITION RESOURCES

Armed Forces Accept Homeschool Enlistees on Equal Terms

Will Estrada has been leading our efforts to defend homeschooling on Capitol Hill since 2006. As the oldest of eight kids, and a homeschool graduate who married a homeschool graduate, he has a passion for protecting homeschool freedom.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, HOME SCHOOL OPTIONS

We Are the Epitome of the Term ‘Accidental Homeschoolers’

Have you ever heard the term, “Accidental Homeschooler?” I first heard it a few years ago and realized it described my family right away. We have been an Army family for 11 years and we have been a homeschooling family for almost eight. When our first son was born, I had no idea that homeschooling was in our future. I assumed that when the time came, he’d go to public school just as my husband and I had done. Our future held something else entirely.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, HOME SCHOOL OPTIONS

The freedoms of learning independently

As independent learners, home-schooled students have more control of their education, giving them additional freedoms they may not otherwise experience.

They are basically in charge of:

  • What they do
  • When they do it
  • How well they do
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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, HOME SCHOOL OPTIONS

Native American fest to highlight fall in the Greater Valley Area

A multi-cultural Native American Pow Wow and Festival will be the major event in the Greater Valley Area come October.

The Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission is finalizing plans for a two-day event at Chambers County Agricultural Park in LaFayette, Ala., on Fri., Oct. 17, and Sat., October 18.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Park your flip-flops on Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Powdery soft white sand caresses your bare feet while turquoise waves lap the shore. Your mind lets go of the endless to-do lists, and suddenly you’re in a whole different state of connection. Life seems to slow down, senses are magnified, and families are strengthened in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

The Alabama Gulf Coast’s 32 miles of pristine beach front sets the scene for memories that last a lifetime. After frolicking in the sun and surf, you’ll find a wide variety of activities and attractions for all interests and ages.

Have an Adventure

Adventurers will flock to the Hummingbird Ziplines’ mile-long zip course, experience the thrilling plunge of a water slide at Waterville USA, or zip around an amusement park in a go-cart. A bird’s eye view of the area is available during a helicopter tour or with a ride on the Gulf Coast’s largest Ferris wheel.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

All-New Excitement Awaits You at Universal Orlando® Resort

Experience the magic and excitement of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ — Hogsmeade™ (now open) and Diagon Alley™, including the Hogwarts™ Express, (opening Summer 2014) at Universal Orlando® Resort.

In Diagon Alley™ you’ll find some of the most famous shops and establishments in the wizarding world, including Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Ollivanders™ wand shop, Quality Quidditch™ Supplies, and Borgin and Burkes in Knockturn Alley. You can dine at the Leaky Cauldron™, or enjoy a frozen treat at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. 

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Something Fast is Coming to Wet ‘n Wild Orlando!

Wet ‘n Wild features more rides and more multi-person thrill rides than any other waterpark around; rides that the entire family can enjoy together. Now, peel out on Wet ‘n Wild’s newest attraction the Aqua Drag Racer™ the tallest and fastest head-first racing slide of its kind in Florida.

“The new Aqua Drag Racer will pull guests into a high-speed thrill ride unlike any other around,” said Michael Black, Sr. Vice President & GM of Wet ‘n Wild. “This ride combines friendly competition along with the excitement of sharing the rush with family and friends.”

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Experience the Thrill of Seminole County -

Surrounded by the beauty of natural Florida and only a 30 minute drive from great beaches and Orlando’s theme parks, Seminole County is the ideal place for a classic Florida vacation. Centrally located on I-4 and with great access to two international airports, you can explore the peaceful oasis of Seminole County’s natural landscape, step back into history, or shop ‘til you drop while enjoying clear blue skies, crystal clear springs and exciting attractions. With newly built or renovated hotels that are priced on average one-third lower than the busy hotels in surrounding cities, Seminole County is the ideal base for your Florida vacation.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Cedar Hill, Texas offers fun and beauty

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.

Cedar Hill offers a wonderful quality of life to its residents and fun attractions for visitors. Besides the 2,500 acres of City Parks, Cedar Hill State Park is nearly 2,000 acres of natural scenic beauty located on 7,500 acre Joe Pool Lake.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

The War of 1812 in the County of Kent, Maryland

Begin your War of 1812 journey in the County of Kent, a Maryland Upper Eastern Shore County of the Chesapeake Bay. A National Park Service trail, the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail commemorates the events and legacy of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake and offers a 560-mile recreational route connecting Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trail gateway sites are located at the Visitor Center in Chestertown and the Kitty Knight House in Georgetown.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Berkeley County, South Carolina is your next Escape

When planning family and group excursions, Berkeley County, South Carolina is the place to visit. With a diverse offering of shopping, cuisine, and outdoor activities, this getaway can please even some of the most difficult crowds. Our wonderful weather year round makes Berkeley County, South Carolina an outdoor adventure and historic presence vacation trip you can boast about.

For the sports enthusiasts, catch professional baseball action at Joe Riley stadium. While enjoying one of their special gourmet hot dogs, you can take in the sights and sounds of New York Yankees minor league team known as the Charleston Riverdogs.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

A delightful getaway just north of Pittsburgh

Create a memorable experience in award-winning towns. Smithsonian Magazine voted “7th Best Small Town in America” to Butler, the birthplace of the Jeep. Bloomberg Businessweek voted Cranberry Township “Best Place to Raise Kids” in Pennsylvania. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Butler County is easily accessed from I-79, I-80, the PA Turnpike and Routes 422, 19 and 8. There’s plenty to do from exploring museums and art galleries to enjoying the scenery of parks and the rolling countryside. Relax at the spa, hit the greens or do a wine tasting. You’re cordially invited to spend some time getting familiar with festive and friendly Butler County.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

‘Journey of Faith’ tour at Billy Graham Library

Visitors to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., can take a step back in time, exploring the history behind America’s beloved evangelist and ambassador to world leaders, Billy Graham. The Library’s featured “Journey of Faith” tour takes guests through six exhibits, including two theaters and four galleries of fascinating memorabilia.

One of those galleries, “The Ministry,” includes pieces of personal memorabilia from one aspect of Mr. Graham’s work that was especially dear to his heart: bringing encouragement and hope to troops overseas and at home, both in times of war and peace.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Wythe history comes adventure

Historically Interesting

Founded in 1790, Wythe County was named for the first signer of the Declaration of Independence for Virginia – George Wythe. Early settlement can be credited to the access to water (the New River and many creeks) and the abundance of natural resources, including lead. One hundred acres was selected as the county seat in 1792 and Evansham, now Wytheville, became the central town.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

The 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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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Summer in Seattle

Summer in Seattle means clear skies, warm temperatures and a calendar of non-stop events, festivals, sports and outdoor recreation.

Seattle’s summer community festival, Seafair, turns 65 this year and will celebrate with some 75 events through August 3. Don’t miss the incredible firework celebration at Gas Works Park, which is guaranteed fun for all ages. Seafair festivities culminate with the Albert Lee Appliance Cup-H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing and Boeing Air Show August 1-3 featuring the one and only Blue Angels.

This time of year also draws cultural travelers from far and wide for North America’s largest urban arts festival and America’s largest and most highly attended film festival. Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music and Arts Festival takes place on Labor Day Weekend. This year’s line up includes greats like Wu-Tang Clan, Foster the People, The Head and the Heart, Elvis Costello, Panic! at the Disco and many, many more.

Seattle is delicious in the warm-weather months. Menus brim with wild salmon; apples and peaches from Eastern Washington, chanterelles from the Olympic Peninsula and — thanks to the long and mild growing season — bountiful produce and berries galore. 

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

108th Training Command (IET) Future Force: Relevant, Ready, and Capable
108th Training Command (IET) Future Force: Relevant, Ready, and Capable

By Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser | 06/21/2014

In the winter edition of the Griffon I talked about Reformation at the Training Command level. Since that time there has been significant work on the reductions we will face, and for this edition I wanted to drill down somewhat and explain what the future will bring for the divisions within the 108th. Bottom line up front, regardless of the cuts we must take, every Soldier who wants to remain in 108th down trace units will be permitted to do so in order to fulfill a normal three year rotation. Our mission is to be relevant, ready and capable by providing professionally trained and ready drill sergeant units, leader trainers, and support pe... Read More...

Relevant Tags: From the Commanding General

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Offers Free Admission to Veterans and a discount to their Spouses on Memorial Day

| 05/16/2014

CLEVELAND (May 9, 2014) –  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is proud to announce a special offer for military veterans and their spouses this Memorial Day. On Monday, May 26, 2014, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will honor all the men and women who have faithfully served their country by offering free admission to military veterans and $5 off a general admission ticket (before tax) to their spouses. To redeem this offer, veterans and their spouses should visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum box office on Memorial Day and present their military ID or proof of military service. Hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Beyon... Read More...

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New Army Regulation 670-1
New Army Regulation 670-1

By Command Sgt. Maj. Rocci R. DeRezza | 06/21/2014

The new Army Regulation 670-1, Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, went into effect 31 March 2014. It’s important that all Soldiers review the new AR 670-1 and become familiar with the new regulations. The new regulation establishes tougher tattoo rules and clarifies fingernail, hair and makeup rules, while also outlining how and when uniforms should be worn. One of the biggest changes of AR 670-1 affecting Soldiers is the new policy on tattoos. Soldiers may have no more than four visible tattoos below the elbow or below the knee, and these tattoos must be smaller than the size of the wearer’s hand. All of the new rules ... Read More...

Relevant Tags: Griffon108, From the Command Sergeant Major

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

By Chief Warrant Officer Karen Kay | 06/21/2014

When I was a youth; reading, writing and arithmetic were known as the three Rs. The phrase ‘the three Rs’ was used because each word has a strong R sound at the beginning. Today, modern educators refer to the three Rs as relating, representing and reasoning. The concept is the same. The ability to understand ideas, express ideas and evaluate ideas expressed in words, formulas and models is fundamental in the development of leaders. As warrant officers, we can all remember writing our first paper as a warrant officer candidate. Albeit, when I was a WOC, there wasn’t DL and the paper had to be handwritten in ink without error or strikethro... Read More...

Relevant Tags: Griffon108, From the Command Chief Warrant Officer

108th Training Command (IET) DS/BW/NCO Competition
108th Training Command (IET) DS/BW/NCO Competition

By Staff Sgt. Deidra Jackson | 06/21/2014

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Drill Sergeant, Best Warrior and NCO of the Year are one of the most physically demanding and mentally tough challenges that any Soldier can face in a U.S. Army competition. The 108th Training Command (IET) held their annual competition in Fort Huachuca, Ariz., March 24-29. Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, commanding general of the 108th Training Command (IET), said “The significance of the Drill Sergeant of the Year (DSOY) competition is “that drill sergeant” who has the highest sense of Army values and obligation to themselves and the Army as an institution to do the best they absolutely can.” During the selection pr... Read More...

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Becoming a Military History Instructor in the Army
Becoming a Military History Instructor in the Army

By Maj. Jordan Brehove | 06/21/2014

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. —Two officers from the 104th Training Division (LT), along with Soldiers and civilian professors from around the country became certified instructors of U.S. military history on January 17th after a two-week course at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The popular Military History Instructors Course course, abbreviated MHIC (pronounced em-hik), occurs only twice a year with roughly 40 students per session to certify an annual crop of professors to teach cadets and undergraduate students military history courses at universities affiliated with ROTC programs. Read More...

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The Griffon Vol. 38.2 (Summer 2014)

The Griffon Vol. 38.2 (Summer 2014)
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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.