We must step out and lead the way

There is an old Chinese proverb (or curse) that says “May you live in interesting times.” I attended the United States Army Reserve Senior Leader Conference on 16 to18 October. Commanding General, United States Army Reserve Command, Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, began his opening comments by saying we are in the period of uncertainty.

The military has now down-sized to 40,000 troops in Iraq and are due to depart Iraq in totality, December of next year. We have surged an additional 30,000 soldiers in Afghanistan and are due to begin drawing down in that theater by next June. The question in front of us then is, what is the demand for United States Armed Forces going to be in the near future. It was easy to be predictable during the long war on terror. That predictability has gone away. Dealing with force gaps throws another wrinkle into the uncertainty that faces us in the future. With the recent elections and a new Congress there will be new relationships between the political and the military as well as uncertainty in resources for the military in the future.

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Army School System Concept brings changes

As the holiday season approaches, let us give thanks for living in the greatest country in the world. It has been a busy year, but new challenges will arise in Training Year 2011.

I want to officially welcome the Soldiers of the 104th Training Division (Leader Training) into the 108th Training Command (IET) family. With the addition of Reserve Officer Training Corps we now cover both sides of Initial Military Training, both officer and enlisted. This also means that we will have two bosses on the Army side, Accessions Command at Fort Knox, Ky. for officer training and the Initial Military Training Command (IMT) for enlisted training at Fort Monroe, Va. which will soon to be moving to Fort Eustis, Va.

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Task Force Vanguard Completes Mission

I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to the Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of Task Force Vanguard. After two and one half years of accomplishing the Chief Army Reserve mission of transitioning high quality Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers into the Army Reserve from the Active Component (AC), the mission of Task Force Vanguard is complete.

Task Force Vanguard’s TPU Soldiers strategically located at Army posts nationwide also assisted transitioning Soldiers in locating jobs with military friendly companies and provided information to properly sponsor inbound Soldiers. Organized in February of 2008, the Task Force assessed over 1900 Soldiers into the USAR and quickly gained Army-wide recognition as the Army Reserve organization synonymous with transitioning Soldiers. Task Force Vanguard was staffed by TPU Officers and NCOs that worked at transition centers located across the Continental United States. These trained and highly skilled Soldiers were enormously successful and proved to be the USAR’s most effective and efficient method of adding quality Soldiers.

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A fond farewell

The past two years have been, perhaps, the fastest I have experienced in my career as an Army officer. As I carefully examined the reason(s) for this I determined it to be one of two phenomina; 1) This has been the most exciting, most rewarding assignment I have ever had, or 2) Does time go just seem to go by quicker as we age? When I consulted my lovely spouse Linda and sought her professional mental health advise as to which one of the two reasons were most applicable to the quick passage of time, she claimed, “ Actually, the real reasons are; 1) You are not getting any younger  and; 2) You are getting older . . . But seriously, you are having too much fun”!  I’m going with the “fun” analysis. And so it is the case when we find ourselves in an assignment that provides so much growth, experience and satisfaction.  As commander of the 95th Training Division, (IET), I can honestly say this has been the greatest assignment I have had the privilege to serve in. What magnificent people. What tremendous professionals. What true American Heroes! What an honor it has been to to serve with all of you and be part of a legendary team.

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Devotion to duty

We use this phase often on our evaluations both enlisted and officer and award recommendations. What does this mean to you? It means to fulfill your obligations- professional, legal, and moral. Accept responsibility for your own actions and those entrusted to your care. Find opportunities to improve yourself for the good of the group. So it is our “duty” to perform our reserve jobs to the upmost of our abilities not just those duties that are recognized but the little tasks in our day to day operations that make our mission a success.

We can’t allow ourselves to forget these tasks. They influence all of those around us and make or break the Soldiers who are questioning why they should keep attending Battle Assemblies. Recently I heard disturbing facts at a briefing on “participation”. Some Soldiers stated they are “tired of the reserves”. Whose fault is this? Our devotion to duty should include making every minute of our time as a member of the Army Reserve count. There should never be a time when we look around and see someone who needs assistance or doesn’t have anything to do. Every year should be the next step to a higher level in the career path we have chosen with more responsibility, mentorship, tasks, duties, and leadership requirements.

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108th Training Command Warrant Officer Workshop

On August 13th and 14th, 2010, the first 108th Training Command (IET) Warrant Officer Workshop was conducted. Guest speakers included USAR Command Chief Warrant Officer James Thompson. His briefing on the strength of the Army Reserve and overview of warrant officers, mission, accomplishments, successes, and warrant officer responsibilities was exceptional. Chief Warrant Officer 5, Candis Martin of the Quartermaster proponent and Chief Warrant Officer 5, Denise Scarboro of the Military Intelligence proponent provided an array of information not only about branch requirements but about mentorship, future opportunities, education, and the Warrant Officer Program in general. Chief Warrant Officer 5, Randall Hirsch, Signal Corps proponent, provided an in depth briefing on the education required for this MOS and explained the long list of certifications and schools to be awarded after obtaining the Information Technology MOS. 

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Confederation of Inter-Allied Reserve Officers Annual Military Competition

The 108th Training Command (IET) sent five Soldiers to Vermont, Sweden, and Norway for the Confederation of Inter-allied Reserve Officers’ annual Military Competition (CIOR MILCOMP) from July 18th to August 15th, 2010.

In December 2009, Maj. Gen. James B. Mallory, former commanding general, 108th Training Command (IET) tasked the 108th G-7 to assemble a group of leaders to compete for positions on the U.S. Joint Reserve Forces Pentathlon team. The published standards were daunting, but five leaders stepped up to the challenge. The candidates reported to Ethan Allen Firing Range near Burlington, Vt. for training, individual assessment, and team selection in July. They were joined by two cadets from Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif. and were met by several veteran competitors who conducted the training and assessment.

In December 2009, Maj. Gen. James B. Mallory, former commanding general, 108th Training Command (IET) tasked the 108th G-7 to assemble a group of leaders to compete for positions on the U.S. Joint Reserve Forces Pentathlon team.

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Annual Training Diary:

EGLIN AFB, Fla. — A total of 50 drill sergeants and Soldiers of the 1st Brigade 4th/ 323rd Regiment deployed to Eglin Air Force Base to participate in “Operation Doolittle”, a battalion two week exercise as part of the battalion’s yearly ARFORGEN cycle training initiative.  Company command teams from the southern region of the United States represented by Alpha Company, Montgomery Ala., Bravo Company, Huntsville Ala., Delta Company, Starkville Miss., and Echo Company Mobile, Ala. exercised deployment checklists while conducting risk mitigation, pre-combat inspections and pre-combat checks.     

After a day of travel and full personnel accountability, day two began with a battalion three mile morning run at which point the battalion started out in formation but was released at the 1.5 mile marker to conduct individual runs back to the start point.

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Hess honored in D.C.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kenneth Hess received honors from the country he helped liberate more than 65 years ago.

 

Kenneth Hess, a retired Union Carbide millwright from Alum Creek, received the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur recently at the French Embassy in Washington D.C.

Hess, 88, is one of the Iron Men of Metz as a member of Company D of the 377th Infantry Regiment of 95th Infantry Division organized in Texas.

Hess’ wife Hazel said her husband’s unit went into the French town of Metz and liberated it from the Germans.

 

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Drill Sergeants training Drill Sergeants

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — For three days last April, Ft. Dix, N.J Regional Training Center-East hosted the 3-385th Battalions annual four-day field training exercise (FTX).  The 3-385th, a drill sergeant unit headquartered in Edison, N.J., often trains non-combat arms Soldiers at installations such as Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., and Ft. Knox, Ky. 

Nearly 25 percent of the personnel deployed at Regional Training Center-East hail from the 3-385th. Originally assigned to 108th Training Command (IET) headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., these men and women, the majority who are drill sergeants, have sustained the RTC-East mission since 2008.

 

Training events were developed by 98th Training Division (IET) drill sergeants who previously served in Iraq with Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq (MNSTC-I). The MNSTC-I drill sergeant’s trained Iraqi Army Soldiers in combat operations.  “It was gratifying to see that nearly three years later, the methods and concepts, based on real-life situations, are still being strongly presented to deploying Soldiers,” said Staff Sgt. Steve Rinaldi, 98th Training Division (IET).

 

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Drill Siblings

LONDONDERRY, N.H. — Step aside, Pierce, Garnett, and Allen, there is a new Big Three in town.  With a combined total of 40 years in the military and counting, the Pickowicz siblings of Gilmanton, N.H, are setting the standard for service. 

 

The Pickowicz family has a long tradition of military service, with many extended family members serving in various branches.  Three siblings served in A Company, 1st Battalion, and 304th Regiment.  Sgt. 1st Class George J. Pickowicz III and Staff Sgt. Katherine Pickowicz are currently drill sergeants in the unit.  Their sister, Staff Sgt. Christina M. Rowe, served as a supply sergeant before leaving the Army.  Their oldest sibling, Joel Pickowicz (AKA Rajon Rondo) also served in the 101st Airborne Division and deployed to Kosovo and Haiti.

Like Joel, the three 1-304th Regt. Picokwicz’s have all deployed at separate times.  George deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan while serving on active duty with the 82nd Airborne Division and Katherine deployed to Kuwait with the 368th Engineer Battalion.  Christina also deployed to Iraq with the 98th Training Division while serving with the 304th Regt.

Although several family members have served and continue to serve, George and Katherine said they do not consider themselves a military family. When asked about their accomplishments both are humble and quiet.  Major Thomas D. Gillis, special projects officer for the 304th, did not have this problem, however, and praised the entire family for their service.

 

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Reserve Combatives School?

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — Sang Truong pointed to a wall lined with rubber weapons, boxing gloves and helmets.

 

“When we came here, this building was empty,” he said. “We didn’t have any of this stuff, just an old, over-used wrestling mat and no gear. It wasn’t conducive to training.”

Staff Sgt. Truong, a Modern Army combatives (MACP) instructor with Company B, Regional Training Center-East, Army Support Activity (ASA) Dix, N.J., was referring to the Modern Army Combatives Building. In this building, Soldiers are taught to use tactical flexibility – using offensive and defensive tactics to combat the enemy in close quarters.

Where there was once a dusty mat, a new mat, striking bags and new equipment now stand. Murals adorn the walls of a clean building that is always full of activity.

 

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War Bonds

The 95th Infantry Division Association held its 61st reunion August 4-8 in Cambridge, Mass. It’s been almost 66 years since division soldiers liberated Metz, France during World War II, and the bond that was forged all those years ago among these brothers-in-arms is as strong today as it was then.

The men, in their eighties and nineties now, continue to make the trek each year to a new location to meet up with their comrades from across the United States. They sit together and reminisce over their common experiences and speak as if it were only yesterday.

“The 95th’s reunion was an awesome experience for me and my wife Susan. As a Soldier with the 2nd Platoon, I Company, 377th Infantry, I met with my company commanding officer Vince Geiger and two other Soldiers, Ceo and Red. We shared experiences of our military times,” said Lt. Col. (Ret.) Frank Celetano, a first-timer at the reunion.

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Sliker named top Graduate

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Sgt. Toby Sliker, 1st Battalion, 355th Regiment 1st Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET) was named the Distinguished Honor Graduate of the United States Army Reserve Drill Sergeant School, Class #006-10 (Option 5) on September 25th, 2010.

“I graduated high school in 2002 and enrolled in college but decided that wasn’t the route for me at the time so I dropped out and worked construction jobs for a few years before I decided to join the military,” said Sliker.

The 26 year old Seneca, Penn. native enlisted in the regular Army in September 2005.

Sliker completed basic training and his advanced individual training, as a Combat Engineer (21B), at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. He then PCS’d to Ft. Hood, Texas and was assigned to the 36th Engineer Brigade.

Serving as a combat engineer Sliker participated in several missions at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, Calif., as well as, repairing and rebuilding fences on the US-Mexican border in southern Texas.

“The mission of rebuilding the fences was a lot of fun, it looked like you could drive a car through some of the fences we worked on,” said Sliker.

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Mud Run!

SALEM, Va. — It was a beautiful day in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Salem, Va. on Saturday, September 18th- sunny, crisp and clear, a perfect day for a 5K run and a little camaraderie. Ten members of the Headquarters 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) entered the 15th Annual Marine Corps Mud Run at Green Hill Park in Roanoke County, Va. Soldiers and full time staff joined hands and proceeded to jump into the mud together in order to finish as a team.

Two teams, each consisting of two female and three male members stepped up to the challenge. Building cohesion, morale, and spirit de’ corps was the primary benefit of the event. ‘One team, one fight’ was the motto, yet Soldiers understood that the trek up the formidable “Mount Suribachi” would be a difficult task for any individual to make at a runners pace.

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Female Afghan Officer candidates usher in new era

KABUL, Afghanistan — Much like the United States in the mid-20th Century, Afghanistan is experiencing changes in the rights afforded to women. Afghan women can now hold jobs previously unavailable to them, such as serving in a position of authority as an officer in the Afghan National Army.

A group of eight U.S. Army women mentors and 29 Afghan female officer candidates are ushering in that change.

In a joint effort between NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the ANA Female Officers Candidate School opened its doors in April. Over the past 20 weeks, 29 Afghan women – mostly housewives – have made history. The first class of female officers will graduate Sept. 23 with the candidates serving as finance and logistics officers.

“These women are true pioneers for Afghanistan,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Abbigail San Soucie, FOCS advisor. “I am humbled that I was asked to be a part of this and how these women came forward in this war-torn country.”

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Brothers in Arms

The young private could feel the sweat starting to form on his forehead. His arms began to quiver as he held himself in the front leaning rest position for what seemed like forever. In actuality, it had only been about two minutes since Drill Sergeant Schueth ‘dropped him.’ Look on the bright side the private thought ... “At least I’m not having to push.” Of course, the young man was wondering what he had done to catch the indignation of his drill sergeant. He was also a bit confused as to why he had been dropped, told a short time later to get up and asked why he was in the front leaning rest position. He had tried to answer the question, but was cut-off.

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‘Iron Men’ become ‘Iron Professionals’

FORT KNOX, Ky. —  The training of new Soldiers is one of the most important tasks of any military organization. These individuals are entrusted with the safety and education of the officers and NCOs of tomorrow and the training and guidance they provide may very well mean the difference between life and death for the young soldiers. It is a responsibility few possess or even wish to possess.

So it is only the more significant that this incredible responsibility be placed in the hands of soldiers, who little more than a year ago, wore the uniform only two times a month.

On May 13, 2010, at Fort Knox, Ky., Col. David Thompson, 194th Armored Brigade Commander, passed the colors of the newly activated 5/46th Infantry Battalion to Lt. Col. Jim Fisher, 95th Training Division, 1/354th Battalion Commander, quietly symbolizing the confidence the Army has placed on the professionalism and capabilities of its citizen Soldiers.

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An original ‘Iron Man’

ROANOKE, Va. — Stan Kummer, 90, of Roanoke received the French Legion of Honor on Saturday during a ceremony at the home of his daughter, Babs Smith . His grandson, Marshall Lauck of Atlanta, described his grandfather as a man of principle, integrity and “near boundless optimism.”        

 

Stan Kummer sensed the bullets burning by as he and other infantry prepared to cross open ground in an attack on German soldiers occupying a fort near the French city of Metz.

“You could hear them — ‘pzsst, pzsst’ — coming beside you,” Kummer recalled.

 

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Mobilized Soldier aids in rescue

On September 21st 2010, Staff Sgt. Daniel Windle, a mobilized Army Reserve Soldier from 1st Battalion, 354th BCT, 95th Training Division (IET) located in Tulsa, Okla. and now serving with the 5th Battalion 46th Infantry, aided in the rescue of an injured woman at the Bridges to the Past Historical Walking Trail at Fort Knox, Ky.

Windle was visiting the trail with his family and was the first responder to render aid to a woman who had fallen over 40 feet. “I was at the top of a waterfall and I heard a loud thump. I ran to the edge of the cliff and saw a female lying in the rocks at the bottom of the falls,” said Windle.

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Army leaders at Family Forum promise to continue improving programs

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 26, 2010) — Proving that they’re the toughest members of the Army, spouses and Family Readiness Group Leaders hammered the secretary of the Army, the chief of staff and other top leaders with questions, concerns and compliments Monday.

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Zimmerman secures Distinguished Honor Graduate Title

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Staff Sgt. Aaron Zimmerman was named Distinguished Honor Graduate of the United States Army Reserve School Drill Sergeant School Class 007-10, Option 5 at Ft. Knox, Ky., on August 14, from a field of over 60 Drill Sergeant Candidates.

Although he now has a “Brown Round” to call his own, he will quickly tell you what his true passion is and that is providing care for those who cannot speak for themselves. 

Growing up in Peoria, Ill., Zimmerman, 27, had a vast array of animals he called pets: dogs, lizards, hedgehogs, frogs, rats, snakes and cats.  “I really like Science, Anatomy and Physiology and I’ve always liked animals,” said Zimmerman. 

Zimmerman added he has volunteered or had a paying job since he was ten-years-old. “I was a trail guide at Wildlife Prairie Park and I watched the Discovery Channel a lot when I was a kid so I memorized a lot a things about the animals like their life spans, weights, how high they could jump and what they ate.”

Wildlife Prairie State Park is an Illinois state park located in Peoria County, Ill; the massive park consists of wildlife animals mostly native to Illinois and was established in the late 1960’s.

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Army considering IRR with no involuntary deployments

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 26, 2010) — The Army Reserve is undergoing a pilot program with some Inactive Ready Reserve troops to ensure that both the needs of the Soldiers and the Army are better met.

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Commentary: It takes strength to ask for help

FORT KNOX, Ky.  (Army News Service, Sept. 14, 2010) — Watching Soldiers carry the coffin of a warrior who has been killed in action is a tough story to cover.

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Commentary:

Like everyone else, I am always looking for a good deal and ways to save a buck. As an Army Reservist, for many years I had to commute over four hours to battle assemble on my own dime. It could get expensive considering costs for hotels, gas, and meals for a weekend battle assembly. To reduce the amount of money I took out of my own pocket I learned who provided the best deals on lodging and meals. This was before 9/11 so there was not the current patriotic fever that exists today supporting service members with reduced lodging fees and other discounts.

Several years ago, Army Reserve leadership identified the need to assist Soldiers with lodging and established the Lodging in Kind Program. Again, the key to using this program is notifying your unit leadership. This program is administered at the battalion level utilizing the units Government Purchase Card (GPC) when possible. Unit commanders will brief Soldiers on the program and obtain a Statement of Understanding signed by the Soldier. Lodging-in-Kind (LIK) is designed to assist majors and below; chief warrant officers 2 and below and master sergeants and below.

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Obituary: Lt. Col. Robert Zimmerman

The 108th Training Command (IET), G6 Directorate, mourns the loss of Lt. Col. Robert L. Zimmerman. Zimmerman passed away on Thursday, September 9, 2010 after a courageous battle with cancer.   Zimmerman had a military career spanning 33 years.

 

A celebration of his life and memory was held Thursday, September 16, 2010 at Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church in his hometown of Sumter, S.C. His body was laid to rest at the Florence National Cemetery in Florence, S.C. with full military honors. Zimmerman was married to Mary Lawrence Zimmerman, and he was also a devoted father of two daughters, Rachael and Mackenzie and one son, Robert Lawrence.

He was a graduate of Lake City High School in Lake City, S.C. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the military at the age of seventeen. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Benedict College and Master’s Degree from Troy State University.   Zimmerman began his military career as a junior officer on active duty at Ft. Benning, Ga.

 

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Chaplains Corner...How can I know the will of God for my life?

As a Chaplain, I am asked certain questions on a regular basis. Questions such as, “How can I know the will of God for my life?” Admittedly, this is a question I have often asked myself, but I’ve come across two passages from the Bible where God provides an answer through two men’s lives. One is from the Old Testament Book of Jonah. You remember Jonah; the guy swallowed by a fish, remains in its belly three days and ultimately is spit out on the beach? Well, Jonah got himself into that predicament because God told him to do a specific mission (God’s will), and he didn’t like that option so he chose to catch a ship headed in the opposite direction of where he was asked to go. In the course of that voyage, the ship encountered stormy weather.

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Mobilized Soldiers Race for the Cure

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mobilized Soldiers of the 95th Training Division (IET) participated in the Komen Race for the Cure event held October 9 in Louisville, Ky.

“As Citizen Soldiers we have a strong commitment to give back to our community – both our home communities and our adopted communities while mobilized.” said Maj.  Phillip Taylor, Executive Officer of 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment.

According to the Komen Louisville website, the Komen Race for the Cure is the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, with well over one million participants since 2005. The Race for the Cure series raises funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer and celebrates breast cancer survivorship.  The Komen Louisville Race for the Cure was held at Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville.

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The 108th Griffon Association

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

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Soldier’s Gold Mine

 G-1

TRICARE Retired Reserve

TRICARE Retired Reserve (TRR) is a premium-based, worldwide health plan available for purchase that qualified retired Reserve members and survivors may purchase. TRR offers comprehensive health coverage from any TRICARE-authorized provider or hospital.

*Law requires members to pay the full cost of coverage under TRR with no government subsidy.

Purchasing TRR is a two-step process.

 

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Opportunity for Veterans with Schneider program

Schneider National, one of the nation’s largest truckload carriers, recently launched a small business owner program designed to help members of the military become successful owner-operators. The new offering from Schneider Finance, the company’s truck financing affiliate, is designed to specifically meet the needs of military personnel while recognizing their service.

The Schneider National Military Owner-Operator Program is open to veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserve. A Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and six months of experience are needed to be eligible. Schneider will recommend driving schools for individuals who still need to acquire their Class A CDL. Military personnel can also work with a Schneider representative to learn about having their GI Bill applied toward driving school tuition.

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Getting a Bird’s Eye View

The UAV has had a long and exciting history; but as these pilotless aircraft continue to prove crucial to success in today’s theater of operations, it is critical that the military find proper facilities from which to operate them in the field.

On July 12, 1849, Austria launched an attack on the Italian city of Venice unlike any seen before. Pilotless balloons armed with timed fusers were launched from the Austrian steamer Volcano and were expected to drop explosives over enemy lines.

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DRIVER SAFETY

In this issue, we talk to AAA’s driving safety expert, Dr. William Van Tassel, about AAA’s involvement in driving safety education and training, and the special challenges of promoting safe driving habits among young drivers.

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Is a Biblical higher education for you?

The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) represents roughly 100 accredited Colleges, Universities, and Seminaries throughout the United States and Canada. These institutions provide a distinct type of education built on the principle that the Bible is the integrating core of the curriculum

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Homeschool inspiration: an atmosphere of education

Do you know which homeschooling method is known for its founder’s dislike of dry textbooks and offers an in-depth exploration of the arts while still giving students a firm foundation in core academic subjects?

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Ski 60 trails and 244 skiable acres

Snowshoe Mountain Resort is the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast’s largest winter destination. Offering 60 trails over 244 skiable acres spread between 3 areas, the resort is home to a variety of terrain, with something suitable for every level skier and snowboarder.

The resort’s main Village area is modeled after a European ski town and sits at the mountain’s peak, nearly a mile high. This unique positioning offers guests stunning views as the stroll between the many shops and restaurants, or enjoy a soak in a hot tub following a long day on the slopes.

 

Snowshoe received a Top 20 Ranking from Ski magazine, and was names in the Top 10 for Dining, Lodging and Après Ski options. The resort has an amazing 1,800 lodging units, so whatever size group and budget you have, Snowshoe has something that will meet your needs.

And whether you’re away with friends and want to enjoy the resort’s many nightlife options — including a comedy club and a nightclub — or spending time with family taking advantage of great activities like snow tubing, indoor/outdoor heated pools and the Big Top entertainment center, Snowshoe has many options. 

 

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Have fun in the snow at Sugar Mountain

Polar bears are fastening their skis and getting a jump on winter fun at Sugar Mountain in Banner Elk, N.C.  Billed as North Carolina’s largest ski area, Sugar Mountain offers winter sports enthusiasts a white playground, with an average annual snowfall of 78 inches as well as state-of-the-art snowmaking technology.

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Celebrate the seasons in Macon

Attracting an average of 700,000 participants each year, this exciting festival features numerous events, 90 percent of which are free. Events range from live animal shows to hot-air balloon festivals, parades, art and crafts and live theatre productions to amusement rides, fireworks, historic tours and dances. 

If the 300,000-plus Yoshino cherry trees in Macon, GA were planted in a single row, 10 feet apart, the snowy cloud-like trees would provide over 500 miles of springtime beauty from Macon to Memphis. And for ten days each March, visitors to Macon are treated to one of the most extravagant displays of springtime color and blooms anywhere, in the nation’s Cherry Blossom Capital of the World.

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Monroeville, Monroe County: Alabama’s ‘Literary Capital’

For those people who find themselves traveling U.S. Highway 84 in Alabama (part of the Five State El Camino Corridor), a great mid-point stop is the town of Monroeville, county seat of Monroe County. The town’s growth encompasses the intersections of U. S. Highway 84, and Alabama Highway 21, and the town is also a mere 25 miles off Interstate 65, midway between Mobile and Montgomery, the capital city. Monroeville is a great family destination, offering visitors the opportunity to visit a site of “The Southern Literary Trail” as well as experience southern history and culture.

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Green Coves Springs Riverfest

The welcome banner will soon be flying high in the charming Florida town of Green Coves Springs.  Local citizens will welcome festival goers coming from cities throughout the Southeast United States to travel with their families and friends to the 2011 Memorial Day Riverfest. Hosted by the city of Green Cove Springs, the race and festival offer fun activities for the entire family. A new partnership between Freedom Marathon, Inc. and Green Cove Springs brings with it an expanded 8K race along the beautiful waterfront Orange Avenue course on the west bank of the St Johns River. 

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Unforgettable holiday memories at Universal

Imagine cheerful holiday music floating on the brisk air. Children marveling at giant, colorful balloons passing overhead. Laughter from the crowd as The Grinch and the Whos share their timeless story live on stage. Imagine families sharing the spirit of the season together, experiencing exciting rides and attractions. There’s no better place to be for the holidays this year than Universal Orlando Resort.

 

This year’s holidays event runs December 4 through January 1, 2011, and offers guests incredible entertainment themed for the season at both its theme parks.

At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets every evening with the same iconic balloons seen winding through New York City. The parade features colorful holiday characters, floats, balloons and a tree-lighting ceremony by Santa Claus.

 

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Pirate’s Christmas Dinner Adventure returns for fifth year

After four years of nearly sold out shows, Pirate’s Christmas Dinner Adventure returns to Central Florida for a fifth year.

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Richardson, Texas offers small-town hospitality

In a world that has become vastly automated, Richardson has found its place as a unique and sophisticated suburb featuring award-winning family festivals, nationally ranked championship golf courses, 30 beautiful parks, more than 40 miles of hike and bike trails, world-class entertainment and the new Huffhines Sports Complex, which boasts four 300-foot fenced tournament-quality softball fields and two auxiliary fields accommodating flag football, adult and youth soccer, and the new Breckenridge Baseball Complex, which is home to four baseball fields designed to accommodate tournament play for all ages and skill levels.

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Come experience Clarksville, Tennessee

Nestled in the mountainous region of Middle Tennessee, Clarksville is a city full of personality and charm.  No matter the season of the year, Clarksville-Montgomery County has something for the whole family to enjoy. Discover all that the town has to offer, including a thriving River District and Downtown, an internationally award winning festival and a Christmas light show.

Clarksville-Montgomery County has also had a long, successful relationship with the soldiers and their families stationed at Fort Campbell.  Clarksville strives to show constant support to members of the military and their families, with discounts being offered at many of the local businesses.  On your next vacation, make plans to come to Clarksville and enjoy the festivals and events, stay at one of the many conveniently located hotels, dine at both local and chain eateries and shop ‘til you drop.  You will be glad that you decided to come experience Clarksville.

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Cache Valley, gateway to Yellowstone and Tetons

Northern Utah’s Cache Valley is a winter wonderland for adventurers and families of all ages. Just 90 miles north of Salt Lake City, the area is easily accessible from the international airport and is also a great gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

Plan to stay in Logan, the largest of 22 towns in this beautiful mountain valley. This hub provides a great launching point for all your adventures. Take a sleigh ride through a herd of up to 600 elk at Hardware Ranch Elk Refuge, just 30 minutes southeast of Logan in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. The refuge provides food for these magnificent animals during the winter months. This unforgettable and affordable experience brings you up close to view bulls and cows as they wander across the hillside.

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year....at the Aquarium

Fall has arrived and although the crowds have disappeared, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is still in full swing with their indoor and outdoor programs.

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Living history on the Waccamaw River

Kingston Township was named in honor of Great Britain’s King George II and officially opened for settlement on February 26, 1734. This was part of South Carolina Governor Robert Johnson’s “Township Scheme” to increase security within 100 miles from Charleston along the waterways. Among the first were the “Poor Protestants from Ireland” that chose to make their new life in Kingston Township. The lands were marked by sprawling groves of life oaks trees, pine woodlands, a maze of swampland, numerous wildlife and a dark and lazy river know as Waccamaw.

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Redefining adventure — Berkeley County

If you’re looking for the “Southern Jewel” everyone is talking about, you’ve finally found it! Berkeley County, South Carolina, located just minutes from Downtown Charleston and 1 ½ hours from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is cradled in what is quickly becoming known as the “emerging new south” and offers visitors a 12,000 year old education.

 

Churches and History

Berkeley County is rich in history, and legends. Many who visit the area tour the historical churches located throughout the county. These churches date back from the 1700s and have been immaculately maintained so locals and visitors can step back into time. The St. Stephen Episcopal Church dates back to the early 1700s and has been preserved in original condition. The church features beautiful stained glass windows and original woodwork throughout.

 

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Be part of the story at Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg offers visitors unique opportunities to discover 18th century life in colonial Virginia. By visiting this beautifully restored 18th century town, guests will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the roots of American independence.

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Front Royal — northern gateway to Shenandoahs

Embrace winter and all its beauty this year in Front Royal, Virginia. Front Royal is recognized as the northern Gateway to Shenandoah National Park and the Canoe Capital of Virginia. Steeped in rich history and natural beauty, this thriving community boasts attractions and amenities for everyone — all within a stone’s throw of the Nation’s Capital. Major attractions include Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, Skyline Caverns and Historic Downtown.

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The Griffon Vol. 34.4 (Winter 2010)

The Griffon Vol. 34.4 (Winter 2010)
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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.