Hagrid Leaderboard

From the Commanding General

This year the Army Reserve is faced with the most challenging fiscal situation since before 9-11. Across the USAR, school funding has been reduced by the Army by 35%. Our ability to train our force is challenged.

Initially the 108th was given $9 million less than the previous year. With that amount it would have been a challenge to fund everyone for statutory AT. However, we discovered a calculation error and raised it to USARC’s attention, thus receiving additional AT funding, but we still had a shortfall of about $4 million from last year. At the beginning of the FY we began mitigation strategies to stretch funds and we have updated them as the year has progressed. All Command Teams must continue to develop and refine these mitigation strategies to ensure every Soldier gets 14 days of AT.

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From the Command Sergeant Major

I recently read an article by Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Dailey, the 15th Sergeant Major of the Army. In the article he spoke about the importance of physical fitness training and included his workout.

What really caught my attention was that he runs five to seven miles every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, rain or shine! By ending the sentence with ‘rain or shine’ is an indication that he does PFT no matter what. He ensures PFT is part of his daily routine and just as important as anything else that may be on his busy schedule. There shouldn’t be any excuses for anyone not doing PFT.

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Eagle Migration to Support the Force of 2025

This edition marks the two-year anniversary of writing articles for the Griffon. My first article was entitled, “Eagles Rising – Poised for Transition.” The Warrant Officer Continuum of Learning Study had been completed and the study with recommendations had been published. A paradigm shift of WO education, training and leader development was on the horizon. To support these changes, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Phyllis Wilson, USAR Command Chief Warrant Officer, set in place four cornerstones for enhanced WO life-cycle management.

Focused recruiting. This initiative linked recruiting efforts to warrant officer Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) shortages. Additionally, WO accession quotas were increased and accession bonuses were offered for low density WO MOSs.

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Training Commands 2015 BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION Hosted by the 104th Training Division (LT)

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — The 104th Training Division (LT) played host to the 2015 108th Training Command (IET) combined Best Warrior and Drill Sergeant of the Year competition held at Fort Huachuca, Arizona 24-28 March, 2015.

At the annual event, candidates from across the command were pushed to their limits in a grueling 4-day competition that tested them both physically and mentally. Events included an obstacle course, small arms qualification and a grueling 12-mile ruck march through the hot Arizona desert.

Soldiers were also tested on their abilities to perform numerous Army Warrior Tasks at each station in a round-robin format. In addition, Drill Sergeant of the Year candidates were graded on their ability to pitch training modules, at times after completing an exhausting physical challenge.

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From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

Time passes quickly in uniform. As I write this, I am approaching my thirty-fourth year of service to our great Nation and the eighteen-month mark as commanding general. It is appropriate to take a knee for a moment and reflect on where we are and where we are headed. First, I am deeply honored to serve as your commander and I appreciate the tremendous work done by those who wear the Iron Men of Metz shoulder patch and all who support the Soldiers and civilian employees of our formation.

Second, we cannot lose sight of the mission of this organization amidst the noise of our day-to-day efforts. Our enduring mission is preparing America’s sons and daughters to be Soldiers who can think critically in the absence of orders, have the skills needed to accomplish the task at hand and possess the warrior ethos to close with and destroy the enemy wherever and whenever they can be found, in close combat if necessary.

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Maintaining the Standard Among the Best

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — When it comes to knowing, maintaining and enforcing the Army standards, drill sergeants are the experts. When the Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition organizers wanted fair, strict, and knowledgeable graders for its event they knew exactly where to turn - the drill sergeants of the 2nd battalion of 397th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), from Lexington, Kentucky.

“My drill sergeant’s knowledge of the day-to-day use of warrior tasks and battle drills is paramount,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Sunley of the 2nd Battalion of the 397th Regiment. “They also ensure everyone is not only trained the same but graded the same.”

The drill sergeants are not only here for the duration of the competition, but they also arrived a week early to prepare for the events the competitors will have to complete. The competition is a two-day marathon of back-to-back events with little down time and even less sleep. The drill sergeants are alongside them every step of the way, literally.

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Soldier Spotlight - Spc. Mary Doupis

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Soldiers come from all around to compete in the Best Warrior of the Year Competition; a competition that shows the world the best the military has to offer. Although a lot of Soldiers do not compete and are very good Soldiers, the ones who do volunteer experience one of the most thrilling moments of their career.

Spc. Mary Doupis, from Chicago Illinois, representing 1st Battalion, 334th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division (LT), is one of those Soldiers.

Doupis wanted to participate in this year’s competition because she felt that Reserve Soldiers don’t get to train in Soldier tasks on battle drill weekends. This competition lets her get back to doing things she enjoyed in basic training like land navigation and rifle marksmanship.

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Soldier Spotlight - Staff Sgt. John Lueke

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Best Warrior has many different meanings for many different people. But for the Army it means the finest warriors competing in a four day event to try and emerge as the America’s premier Soldier.

So what is a warrior? Being able to reign supreme in different events such as a 12-mile ruck march? Conquering urban warfare simulations? Physical fitness tests, written exams and Warrior tasks?

For Staff Sgt. John Lueke, a warrior is a Soldier that goes beyond what is being asked of him.

Lueke, of the 4/518th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), lives in Columbus, Georgia and has competed in the Best Warrior Competition now for the past four years. When asked why he continues to participate in the competition, he said to challenge himself.

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Noncommissioned Officer to Officer

FORT BENNING, Ga. — Prior to their graduation, the U.S. Army Officer School Candidates of Class 002-15, Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, held a formal Dining Out at the National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning, Georgia on Feb 17.

The commanding general of the 108th Training Command (IET), Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, was the guest speaker.

Purser was invited by one of the graduates previously assigned to the 95th Training Division (IET), 108th Training Command (IET), for nine years. Staff Sgt. Sandra Salinas-Fernandez, a former drill sergeant, recently received a conditional release from the Army Reserve to attend OCS.

“I met Maj. Gen. Purser at the Drill Sgt. of the Year Competition last year, where I was a competitor,” said Salinas-Fernandez. “Another Soldier in my class here, Staff Sgt. John McKinney, also from the 108th, and I believed Maj. Gen. Purser would be a great speaker for our class as she has a significant military background, a member of the Reserve and a female.”

After the social hour and photos, every graduate went through the receiving line. Posting of the Colors opened the official ceremony followed by the invocation and toasts. At the completion of the dinner meal, Purser spoke to the graduates.

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Precious But Not Promised

Putting ink to paper is easy, but putting words to ink is not always an easy task.

Maj. Tracey Frink, 108th Training Command (IET), deputy public affairs officer, attached to the Warrior Transition Unit tells her story in her own words.

Even though I lived most my life in Virginia, after graduating from school in 1997 and joining the Army Reserve, I have traveled around the world.

I always knew I would join the military, growing up in a large Family of seven brothers and sisters; the military has just been an extension of my Family.

After my first assignment as an enlisted military police in Germany, I completed my Product and Operations Management Degree and commissioned as an officer. My first branch was aviation where I flew a little, but when I arrived in Fort Rucker, Alabama, I was medically disqualified for my eyes due to an operation that I had years previously.

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Task Force Marshall: ‘One team. One fight!’

EASTOVER, S.C. — Eisenhower called him “the greatest Soldier of our time.” Churchill said he was “a true organizer of victory.” Orson Welles said he was the “greatest man I ever met” and George W. Bush called him a “great architect.”

But what tremendous achievements and accomplishments did America’s first five star general, Gen. George C. Marshall, bring to the table for so many world leaders to sing his praise?

Was it his “Marshall Plan,” which helped a post World War European economy recover? Was it the fact that he became just the third United States Army Officer to win the Nobel Peace Prize? Or was it his extensive work with the National Guard and the Virginia Military Institute throughout his long and illustrious career?

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Historic Plattsburgh ROTC Program to Close

PLATTSBURGH, Pa. — After nearly a century of preparing young citizens to become military leaders, the historic Army ROTC program at Plattsburgh State University College is closing its doors for good at the end of the 2014-15 school year due to a nationwide ROTC restructuring.

Although Plattsburgh ROTC was never a large program, it offered degrees at a tremendous cost-savings to its Cadets and the Army – producing officers with similar degrees at tuition rates roughly one-third the cost of its full-partnership program, the University of Vermont (UVM). Cadets and Cadre warmly referred to their program as the “blue-collar alternative to UVM,” a slogan which also reflected the strong work ethic of its graduates, who in the last two years alone, all earned Active Duty commissions and either their first or second branch choices.

Despite its historic contributions to Army ROTC, the modern program did not come to Plattsburgh State University College until 2007, when interest from students demonstrated the potential for growing the Army’s wartime need for junior officers.

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CONUS Replacement Center Prepares Service Members and Civilians

Ben Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Perhaps the Army Reserve kept that in mind when it tapped the 108th Training Command (IET), to head the CONUS Replacement Center located at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The CRC, as it’s called, works hand in hand with 1st Army to provide deploying service members, contractors and Department of Defense civilians a one-week hands-on refresher course on weapons, chemical and biological weapon defense and basic life saving techniques.

They also serve as a liaison for those deploying and redeploying by helping coordinate care and services between the service member and the provider in medical and legal related issues.

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Sgt. 1st Class Jordany Urbano

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Being a drill sergeant isn’t tough. Being a drill sergeant leader is tough!

But Army Reserve Drill Sergeant Leader, Sgt. 1st Class Jordany Urbano, is up to the challenge.

“Training a noncommissioned officer to become a drill sergeant is harder than training a civilian to become a Soldier. A lot of these NCOs have been doing things a certain way for a long time and they feel their way of doing things is the absolute right way. They really are set in their ways,” Urbano said.

“It’s up to us as Drill Sgt. Leaders here at the academy to say ‘hey, you’ve got to get back to basics.’ You’ve got to teach the fundamentals first and when these Soldiers get to the 82nd or 101st or wherever they’re going they can learn other things.”

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Soldier Heals With Music and Service to Community

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The atmosphere was almost electric as the band’s final rehearsal came to a close at the Concord First Assembly Church. The first service for their weekend was to begin just minutes later and already, the people were filling the seats on March 28, 2015. Last minute performance notes and final critiques were shared before they got a moment prior to the service to take a quick break.

Among the musicians walking off the stage was Master Sgt. David E. Battaly, of the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training). Like many musicians, Battaly works a full-time “day job.” Battaly is an Active/Guard Reservist, a Reserve Soldier who serves in a full-time capacity. He fills two very demanding positions, one as his unit’s operations non-commissioned officer and the other as the unit’s training manager. Along with his prodigious technical skills he also has an extensive musical background.

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Mentorship on the Hardwood

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Everybody loves basketball. What’s better is that everybody can play basketball!

What has long been a staple of communities across the country, no sport has stepped across racial lines and provides a means for diversity the way the hardwood has.

On the court, the color of your skin doesn’t matter. On the court what matters is the skill in your body, the power in your mind and the drive in your heart.

That’s why when the opportunity to talk to young, impressionable minds presented itself at the 2015 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Basketball Tournament held in Charlotte, North Carolina, Feb. 26-28, Soldiers and officers of the Army Reserve took that opportunity and ran with it.

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Sgt. 1st Class Christina Martinelli

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Being a drill sergeant in the U.S. Army and its Reserve Component is one of the most thrilling experiences a Soldier can have. The guidance and insight you give to civilians to become Soldiers is a very rewarding feeling. Being a drill sergeant encompasses some of the best Soldiers the Army has to offer, so it would only be fitting for the best to compete to show that they are.

Army Reserve Drill Sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Christina Martinelli, A Company, 1/321st Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (IET), is one of those Soldiers competing for the title of Noncommissioned Officer of the Year during the 108th Training Command (IET) 2015 Best Warrior Competition.

Martinelli lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her boyfriend and currently works at the 81st Regional Support Command in the junior enlisted promotion section.

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Tulsa Battalion Bids Farewell to a Fallen Comrade

TULSA, Okla. — On December 12, 2014, the 1st Battalion, 354th Regiment conducted a Unit Memorial Ceremony to honor the life of Spc. Christa Danielle Engles. She was tragically killed in an accident, involving a firearm, in her home, in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 24, 2014. Engles was assigned as a Supply Specialist to D Co, 1/354th, 95th Training Division (IET).

Soldier tributes were provided by the Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Phillip Taylor, Company Commander, Capt. S. Galen Chapman, and her immediate supervisor, Staff Sgt. Jonathan Schaefer. The Company First Sergeant, 1st Sgt. Jeff Bolin, conducted the final roll-call and an Honor Guard provided a three volley salute to Engles. Her husband and mother-in-law attended the ceremony.

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A Path in Life: Becoming a Drill Sergeant

HICKORY, N.C. — Being a mentor means giving guidance and insight to someone with less experience. Being a drill sergeant means giving guidance and insight to civilians becoming Soldiers, it is not just another military occupational specialty but a way of life, a path in life that separates Soldiers from leaders. To be a drill sergeant means being part of a team that encompasses some of the best Soldiers that the Army has to offer.

“Mentoring and relationship are two words I think of when I hear mentorship, it’s a relationship between a person with knowledge and experience which you are seeking,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Lamont Christian, Commandant of the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

“When that relationship is forged than the mentoring process that takes place never ends, it continues well after you’ve earned your badge,” he said.

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Sandhurst 2015: Cadets Ascend Through Teamwork

WEST POINT, N.Y. — “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

—Helen Keller

From a neighborhood soccer match to the Olympics, competition allows us to push ourselves to the limit, connect to like minded individuals, and strive for excellence. For both players and spectators, the spirit of competition has the power to bond people, communities, and cultures.

The world’s strongest allies, the United States and the United Kingdom, have been throwing down the gauntlet for the better part of five decades, engaging the top teams from the respective service academies in a test of strength, endurance, skills and knowledge.

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Senior Leaders Experience History on Revolutionary War Battlefield

COWPENS, S.C. — Senior leadership of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 108th Training Command (IET) spent a sunny winter day walking in the footsteps of Infantry Soldiers from the Revolutionary War in the grassy meadows and shady sweet gum forest of the Cowpens National Battlefield in South Carolina Feb. 7. The visit was part of a training event designed to teach leadership skills through the triumphs and failures of fellow Soldiers from the past.

“It’s important for us to remind ourselves of the reason we exist, which is to fight and win the nation’s wars,” said Maj. Sean Healy, assistant operations officer for the 108th Training Command (IET), who helped to organize the event. “Having the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Soldiers past offers a reminder of what it’s like to be in the heat of battle.”

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Echo Company Incorporates Reserve Component Soldiers into ‘Integration’

Courtesy Story

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The 1-48th Inf. Regt. is the only Basic Combat Training Regiment on Fort Leonard Wood that incorporates Army Reserve component drill sergeants in their cycle. It is a process that has become known as the Echo Company Model.

Integration for Company E, 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, from the 43rd Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) is almost the same as every other Fort Leonard Wood initial training company. There is some yelling, never-ending instructions and organized chaos.

The difference Saturday was who was reinforcing the commands among the lines of new Soldiers in training meeting their drill sergeants for the first time. Reserve-component drill sergeants from the 95th Division (Training), 4th Brigade, most from the 3rd Battalion, 339th Regiment based out of Neenah, Wisconsin, conducted the integration.

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Staff Sgt. Paul Hayes

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Drill Sergeant of the Year is a title bestowed upon the best. Drill sergeants are some of the elite of the military but they all start off as Soldiers.

Staff Sgt. Paul Hayes, an Army Reserve Drill Sergeant, has been in the Army Reserve since 2009. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona and represents A Company, 415th Infantry Regiment, 104th Training Division (LT).

Hayes said, competing for Drill Sergeant of Year has been an experience he will never forget.

Staff Sgt. Paul Hayes, an Army Reserve Drill Sergeant, has been in the Army Reserve since 2009. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona and represents A Company, 415th Infantry Regiment, 104th Training Division (LT).

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Clemson ROTC Cadets Sink and Swim in Water Survival Test

CLEMSON, S.C. — More than sixty future Army Reserve, Guard and active duty officers in the Clemson University Reserve Officer Training Corps “Fighting Tigers Battalion” were tested on their stamina and personal courage with the Combat Water Survival Test (CWST) in the Fike Recreation Center pool Jan. 29.

“This is my favorite exercise that we do,” said cadet Sara Fedyschyn, a senior from Kings Mountain, North Carolina who is enrolled in the Simultaneous Membership Program, in which she participates in both Army Reserve training and ROTC at the same time. Fedyschyn and her fellow seniors were conducting the drills as a part of their leadership training.

“This is good stuff! This kind of training teaches me a lot,” said Dwaney Mills, an Army Reserve cadet from Rock Hill, South Carolina studying criminal justice, adding that he fully expects to apply the lessons learned during these ROTC training exercises to his Army Reserve unit once he graduates.

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Training Command Descends on Fort Jackson for Field Training Exercise

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — More than 100 Soldiers from the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training) mustered in the parking lot of their Charlotte, North Carolina headquarters in the pre-dawn hours Friday, April 10 to be bussed 90 miles south to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for their annual three-day field training exercise.

They arrived at the well-used fitness track at the United States Army Drill Sergeant Academy just as the sun was burning its way through the early morning clouds. A contingent of drill sergeants and soon-to-be drill sergeants greeted them, and then immediately delivered an efficient, no-nonsense APFT that stuck strictly to the Army standard for push-ups, sit-ups and the two-mile run.

The groggy Soldiers piled back into their busses at lunch time – sweaty and starving – to be taken to a barracks building across base, where they would live eight to a room for the next three days.

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Devil’s Brigade

FORT HARRISON, Mont. — The 7th Annual Devil’s Brigade Warrior Challenge kicked off in Fort Harrison, Montana, on 17 April 2015. This three day event brought together over 170 delayed entry program Soldiers of the Montana Army National Guard from detachments all over the state.

Logistics were handled by the MTARNG Recruit Training Battalion, but the training was provided by Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 415th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET). Ten Drill Sergeants from B Co were on ground and augmented by drills from sister companies in Spokane and Yakima, Washington.

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Army Reserve Commander Strives for Mirror Image

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — “The goal for me during my tenure here is simple: when you line my Reserve component drill sergeants up next to their active component counterparts you won’t notice a difference,” said Lt. Col. Shawn Cochran, commander of 3rd Battalion, 518 Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division (IET).

Cochran’s unit just picked up their first Echo mission of the year supporting E company, 3-60th Infantry Regiment at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Each year, units from the Army Reserve’s 108th Training Command (IET), based in Charlotte, North Carolina, take on the task of supporting each of the Army’s four basic combat training posts through echo missions.

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Memorializing the Hardships of the Past

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —“I did my first Bataan Memorial Death March in 2008 on a whim, just to see if I could do it,” said Col. Dan Arkins, 108th Training Command (IET) chief of staff.

On April 9, 1942, the march of tens of thousands of American and Filipino prisoners of war from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga by Japanese forces began after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II. This march is infamously known as the Bataan Death March.

In 1989, the first Bataan Memorial Death March was created by the Army ROTC Department of the New Mexico State University in an effort to pay tribute to the many Veterans who lost their lives on the 60 mile route; but also those who survived.

Since that inaugural memorial event in 1989, the number of participants has gone from about 100 to more than 10,000 from all across the country. Marchers now trek through the New Mexico desert on a 26.2 mile course that starts and finishes on the White Sands Missile Range.

“Each year is different. The one constant is actual survivors from the Bataan Death March shake hands with participants at the start. Those numbers have dwindled dramatically year after year,” said Arkins, who recently completed his sixth Bataan Memorial Death March. “It’s always humbling to think what they went through.”

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Drill Sergeants Judge JROTC Drill Competition

SAN JACINTO, Calif. — On Saturday, Feb. 7, drill sergeants from 2nd Bn, 413th Regt., 95th Training Division (IET), traveled to nearby San Jacinto High School to serve as judges for a Multi-Service JROTC combined drill competition. Drill Sergeant’s Sgt. 1st Class Michael Luna, Staff Sgt. Nathan Doffing, Staff Sgt. Dana Osei, Staff Sgt. Erik Moseley and Sgt. Maria Florez participated in the competition. The competition was held during regular Saturday Battle Assembly, only 15 minutes from the company headquarters, so it was really convenient.

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United States Army Reserve Competitive Marksmanship Program:

FORT BENNING, Ga. — Soldiers of the 330th Infantry Regiment participated in the All Army Small Arms Championships held by the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia, Feb. 1-9. The team consisted of Team Captain and firing member Lt. Col. David F. Schultz, commander, Command Sgt. Maj. Steven J. Slee, Staff Sgt. Richard Willis and Staff Sgt. Jonathan Duthler, all from the 3/330th Inf. Regt., 4th Bde., 98th Training Division (IET).

Schultz said, “From the beginning of time Soldiers have been inextricably linked to their weapons system. So the bottom line is: Better marksmen make better Soldiers. And here at Fort Benning is where we put that philosophy to the test.”

The 95th Division Team successfully tested that philosophy with a number of notable finishes. Willis and Duthler won the first and second place High Drill Sergeant Awards, respectively. Willis was recruited to the 95th Division by Slee when he shot at ‘All Army’ in 2013. Willis is an August graduate of the U.S. Drill Sergeant Academy and a member of the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program.

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98th Training Division Under New Responsibility

FORT BENNING, Ga. — The 98th Training Division (IET) welcomed incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Priest during a change of responsibility ceremony March 7 and bid farewell to outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Grady Blue Jr.

Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, commanding general, 108th Training Command (IET), said it is important to recognize the senior enlisted Soldier of the unit with a ceremony such as this with the noncommissioned officer’s saber. The passing of the saber signifies relinquishing of responsibility and authority from the outgoing command sergeant major to the incoming command sergeant major. This is a symbolic exchange of the sacred trust placed in the NCO Corps for the care and keeping of the unit and its Soldiers.

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Honor Flight Veterans Receive First Class Welcome

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Greatest Generation is leaving us. According to the U.S. Veterans Administration: Of the 16,112,566 U.S. service members that served in World War II, only some 800,000 are still with us, with that number dwindling by a count of 492 every day. Moreover, we can shake the hands of less than two million of the more than five million heroes who fought in Korea. The window of opportunity to honor these champions of freedom is closing fast.

On the evening of April 21, more than 1,000 citizens gathered in the main terminal of South Carolina’s Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport to seize that chance. That morning, Upstate Honor Flight - a non-profit, all-volunteer program - had flown 91 WWII and Korean War Veterans to Washington to see in person the memorials that were built in their honor and to experience recognition for their service that literally saved the world. Now they were due to arrive back and the citizens of the Upstate meant to give them a hero’s welcome home.

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Two Sides of the Same Coin:

As a battalion commander in the U.S. Army Reserve, Lt. Col. Dan Higgins is no stranger to balancing both civilian and military careers, harnessing the skills gleaned from his experience in varied roles to open doors to new heights. On January 19, 2015, Higgins took his civilian career to the next level. He was named President of Monarch Materials Group Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of residential, basement egress systems in Adel, Iowa and Englewood, Colorado.

Not Your Average Corporate Executive

One year prior to becoming president of Monarch Group Inc., Higgins was working as a Segmented Business Manager (SBM) for Pella Corporation. He worked with twelve independent Pella branches to drive trade and commercial sales. “The 12 branches were diverse geographically and in sales size,” he said. West to east he covered from San Francisco to Philadelphia and north to south ranged from Calgary, Alberta Canada to Houston, Texas.

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Annual Field Training Exercise Conducted by 1-354th

CAMP GRUBER, Okla. — The 1st Battalion, 354th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), held a Field Training Exercise from April 9 to April 12, 2015 at Camp Gruber, a National Guard installation in Northeast Oklahoma near Braggs, Oklahoma.

The battalion had 87 of its 116 assigned Soldiers participate in the FTX. Soldiers from A Company in New Century, Kansas, B Company in Barling, Arkansas, C Company in Springfield, Missouri, D Company, E Company and the Headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma took part. This was the only time this training year that the battalion will train together in one location.

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VALEX

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — The 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) conducted a Drill Sergeant Candidate Validation Exercise March 27-29, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for drill sergeant candidates. The validation is conducted outside their home station in order to identify candidate readiness and progression.

Drill Sergeant Candidate Trainers train and test the candidates. The trainers complete a workbook and forms after every testing event. This helps track the progress of the candidate.

“Everything is going good with our first priority making sure candidates are identified and ready to attend the academy,” said Sgt. Maj. James Franks, operations sergeant major, 2nd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET). “Thirty Soldiers showed up with 21 planning to attend the academy in six months, which is great!”

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Clemson ROTC Cadets Hone Leadership Skills at FTX

CLEMSON, S.C. — A company of future Army officers from Clemson University spent a long day navigating the tall trees and prickly underbrush of the school’s 17,500-acre lakeside forest for their annual field training exercise March 7.

The exercise, Tiger Torch 2015, tested freshman and sophomore Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets’ abilities to develop problem-solving and communication skills through a series of challenges, known as field leadership reaction courses, that would not look out of place on any number of reality TV shows.

Army Maj. Phillip Andrews, an Active Guard Reserve officer and Clemson’s assistant professor of military science, explained the purpose of the exercise.

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The Drill Sergeant Journey

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Drill Sergeant Class 004-15 graduated 90 drill sergeants here April 8. Prior to the ceremony, the graduating Army Reserve Drill Sergeants had a visit by their commanding general, Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, 108th Training Command (IET). She presented each of them a ‘challenge coin’.

And she challenged them, “I have to tell you that I am really proud of you. As drill sergeants you have a great impact on the lives of people that you train. You will be training cadets as well as privates. What I need you to do now is go back and talk to drill sergeant candidates in your unit letting them know how you did it and help them achieve the same success.”

Purser asked the graduating drill sergeants how their experience was and they said it was GREAT; a good experience, and when asked the best part, it was unanimous, “GRADUATING”.

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Soldiers Gold Mine

G6

Leader Tool Applications for Smart Phones

You can only use the TRADOC approved application due to PII.

TRADOC has a lot of smart phone applications listed on the TRADOC Center for Initial Military Training Page. Open the TRADOC home page, click on the “organizations” tab, under “core function leads” click on the “Center for Initial Military Training” to load the CIMT page, scroll down about half way on the CIMT page and in the right column there is an “Apps/download/games/videos” tab. There is a link for “CIMT approved Soldier apps for the Android and iPad/iPhones.”

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Leaving our Legacy

My name is Sgt. 1st Class Jose A. Castro Benitez; I am the new AGR Family Readiness Chaplain Assistant for the 108th Training Command (ITE). My last assignment was with the First Mission Support Command in Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, where I worked as the Deputy Chaplain Assistant. My wife Damaris and I have two daughters, Elisabet and Sonia. We are happy to have this opportunity and the new experience as an Army Family.

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Do You Want to be a Unit Public Affairs Representative?

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

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

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Griffon Association Annual Picnic at Latta Plantation

Spring has been a busy time for the 108th Griffon Association. On May 2, about 50 members and guests participated in our annual picnic, which this year was held at Latta Plantation near Charlotte. Besides enjoying a great BBQ dinner and some fun social time renewing old acquaintances and seeing past battle buddies, the group was also able to spend much of the afternoon visiting a WWII reenactment and encampment with many major pieces of WWII U.S. Army, British Army and Germany Army pieces of equipment.

The reenactment we viewed was the Operation Market Garden battle of 1944, which had it been successful could have ended the war before Christmas of 1944. Some of us were also very fortunate to meet a 92 year old WWII veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, a very interesting older gentleman with lots of stories. Many of us also enjoyed a tour of the Latta Plantation house, an early 19th century two story home and one of the oldest structures still standing restored to its original condition in Mecklenburg County. We finished up the day with a briefing from the 108th G-3 about current missions and challenges.

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Top Five Reasons to Enter-to-Win a Franchise

Service members have the skill set to pursue a multitude of career options, but franchising is one of the most popular paths taken. As part of their recruitment efforts, many franchisors offer attractive incentives to entice military veterans to join their franchise system. In fact, many have started launching contests where military veterans can enter-to-win a free franchise.

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Starting your career search right

A career search is not easy. It’s not easy for the career seeker and it’s not easy for the recruiters looking for those great new faces to bring to their company. As we all know, there are a lot of moving parts and constant changes in our hunt for a new career. It might be your first time hitting the interview circuit if you are fresh out of college or transitioning from the military, or it might be your third or fourth time looking for a career change. Regardless of how many times you have or have not done this before, one thing remains constant and will set you up for success — a plan.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, MILITARY TRANSITION RESOURCES

Choosing a Smart Career: Consider Sales

While this may not be an issue for vets having a specialized degree and/or extensive job experience prior to their military service— you may already know what you want to do in life — there are hundreds of thousands that don’t. And with more than 11 million military veterans and civilians looking for a limited number of jobs, finding one that suits their interests, personality and skills isn’t always easy. However, they are out there. The key is to stay positive and think creatively, because sometimes the best jobs can be the ones you may overlook.

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Curriculum Modifications: A Brain-Based Perspective

Have you ever felt that your child is capable, yet he struggles to succeed in academic and/or social situations? You have tried a number of different approaches but your child’s learning challenges are difficult to identify or seem to be “hidden” beneath his personality.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, Special Advertising Supplement

Summertime in Three Rivers, Lake Kaweah and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

In Three Rivers, Lake Kaweah and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the beauty of our natural surroundings and our slow-paced life, along with wonderful art and music, intertwine to create a unique summer experience for one and all. For the active and the not-so-active, here’s a list of a few select summertime activities and events, which you and your family might enjoy. For more information about these programs and others, visit [email protected] or visit http://threerivers.com/.

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Visit Where the Locals Play ...

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

Its historic towns and villages, such as Chestertown, Rock Hall, Galena, Millington, Betterton, Fairlee, Kennedyville and Georgetown, are packed with history — some with more than 300 years of perseverance, turmoil, triumph, hard work and prosperity. Those who reside in the County of Kent know what it’s like to live in a place where visitors come for fun and relaxation. Pride of sharing their heritage, waterfront, landscape, music, wine, and enjoyment through festivals, events, tours and more is the cornerstone of this special place.

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Benefits of Working With a Certified Travel Agent

Need a vacation from vacation planning — get a TRAVEL AGENT. No travel website is going to offer you all of the following travel options, plus give you that personal touch and peace of mind that comes from working with a travel agent. Here are a few really great reasons why you should consider, or re-consider, using a travel agent for your next vacation:

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Music And Fun For Everyone This Summer At Universal Orlando® Resort

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

Jaw-Dropping Theme Parks

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

Right next door is Universal’s Islands of Adventure®, where you can step into the worlds of your favorite myths, legends, cartoons, children’s tales, comic book heroes and movies. From high-speed roller coasters to state-of-the-art 3D rides to unique water rides to a thrilling stunt show, epic adventure awaits around every corner.

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Warm breezes and white sand beaches

Vacations have a way of reminding us of the important things in life. And a beach vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast does just that. From the moment one steps onto the soft, sugar-white sand, a transformation is set in motion. Life seems to slow to the rhythm of the waves and worries melt away.

The Alabama Gulf Coast boasts 32 miles of pristine white sand beaches, a laid-back attitude and family-friendly atmosphere. Coupled with a heaping helping of genuine Southern hospitality, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are the perfect destinations for refocusing and reconnecting with the ones you love. And although the beaches are reason enough to make the trip, visitors will also find a wide variety of activities and attractions the entire family will enjoy.

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Emerald Coasting is celebrating the red, white and blue

Red sunsets, sugar-white sand beaches and blue skies, that is. Home to Eglin Air Force Base, the Heart of Emerald Coast has always been popular with military families, both active and retired. Find out for yourself why the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast was named No. 1 Best Beach in Florida by “U.S. News and World Report Travel” in 2014.

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

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

Share the laughs, share the screams, and share the rush on the new Aqua Drag Racer™. Standing six stories tall and featuring four parallel racing lanes, guests will take their place at a starting line 65-feet high and prepare for a turbo-charged adrenaline rush the whole family can enjoy. It’s full throttle acceleration with no brakes allowed! Encounter a splashing dose of group therapy on the Brain Wash™ or experience a deep space adventure that’s light years from ordinary on The Black Hole™: The Next Generation. At Wet ‘n Wild you’ll find more high-speed, seriously twisted, multi-person adventures that appeal to thrill-seekers of all ages.

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Spotlight on “Film, Sand and Space” - Visit Alamogordo, New Mexico

Ready for vacation adventures found only in southern New Mexico? Mark those maps this year to travel to the southern part of the state of New Mexico. Located in south central New Mexico in Otero County, the city of Alamogordo in the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the most iconic locations in the southwestern United States. This natural basin is the product of an ancient underwater geological dome that collapsed as seas receded from landmasses to form the basin, which is surrounded by three distinct mountain ranges.

Alamogordo was founded just before the turn of the 19th century and it is the very first planned community in the United States. It is located as the nearest neighbor city to the ever-changing and glistening dunes of the sparkling White Sands National Monument and has undeniably become its host city. Other natural area attractions include: Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Three Rivers Petroglyphs and the Lincoln National Forest.

The entire basin is full of history steeped in the Old West heritage of the days of “Billy the Kid” and the “Badlands of New Mexico.” Western cowboys, ranching history and area artifacts can be found in Alamogordo at the Tularosa Basin Historical Society Museum. The local culture is a rich tapestry woven from these authentic life experiences and diverse pioneer cultures in an exquisite setting of natural beauty. Another historic city favorite is the Alameda Park Zoo adjacent to the museum. It is the oldest zoo in the southwest and was established on the main street beside the railway in 1898 for the area citizens and visitors.

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Visit Galax: Summer Fun for the Entire Family

There are few things more soothing than floating down a river. The gentle feeling of peaceful well-being on the water breeds a level of tranquility that only nature can supply. Even the giggles of a child as he anxiously pulls in his first fishing catch, only amplifies the enjoyment of an afternoon on the water. A visit to Galax Virginia this summer could be that relaxing family-friendly getaway you have been looking for. Easily accessible from Interstate 77 or U.S. 58 in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of Southwest Virginia, this small city is surrounded by a wealth of outdoor recreation as well as festivals and special events to complete your entertainment package.

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Wytheville, Virginia...There’s Only One

You can search the world over and not find another town with the name of Wytheville. But, the name is just the beginning of the unique and interesting things you will want to experience about this beautiful small town in Southwest Virginia.

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Chattanooga – Mountains, Music, and More!

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

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A Most Pleasant Vacation Destination

Nestled along the bluffs of Charleston Harbor and home of cooling summer breezes, Mount Pleasant is a warm, welcoming town perfectly positioned between historic downtown Charleston and the beautiful beaches of Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms.

With roots that date back to Native Americans nearly 4,000 years ago, Mount Pleasant continues to lure generations of nature lovers with its abundant beauty — from rivers and tidal creeks to verdant marshes and plantations.

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The Griffon Vol. 39.2 (Summer 2015)

The Griffon Vol. 39.2 (Summer 2015)
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The 108th Training Command got its start as part of an elaborate deception prior to Operation Overlord, the D-Day Invasion of France in World War II. The Division was a "phantom" division created on paper and assigned to the First United States Army Group under the command of General George Patton. We were the original Institutional Training (IT) Division and remain one of seven training divisions for the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard. The Griffon is in its 30th publishing year as an award-winning authorized publication written in the interest of the men and women of the 108th Training Command.

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