From the Commanding General...

When I first took command I asked all commanders, battalion and above, their perspectives on the 108th. I was looking for best practices as well as suggestions for improvement. I read each response and determined there is a need for more information on the future plans for the 108th in the area of force management. With ongoing reduction in the government budget and sequestration quickly squeezing every dollar out of the military budget we are in an era of tightening belts. This reduction in funding translates to a reduction in force structure.

Currently the Army Reserve is at 205K end strength with a possible reduction to 185K. Department of the Army is looking at ways to meet this possible reduction.

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From the Command Sergeant Major...

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, every day 22 Veterans take their own lives. That’s a suicide every 65 minutes. Suicide prevention programs have been set in place to educate Soldiers and Families of the signs and risks associated with suicide. Additional counselors have been hired to assist Soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health disorders. Even with all the programs and information available to Soldiers, we are still seeing a rise in suicides.

Not all of us are in a position to see the signs of a Soldier that may attempt to take his life, but many of us are. Knowing when a person is at risk and recognizing the warning signs can help you take action to possibly prevent a suicide and make sure the person gets help.

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TRAINING DRILL SERGEANTS

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Even drill sergeants need training and it is consistently and effectively done at the Drill Sergeant School here. The school is not designed to take seasoned NCOs back to basic training, but to get them back to the basics. Being an instructor responsible for teaching military skills to future Soldiers is what they need to learn at the school. The students have to understand that they will be responsible for teaching the material they’ve learned to other Soldiers – Soldiers who may be heading off to the front lines.

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Drill Sergeant School Graduates Warriors

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Drill Sergeant Class 510-13 graduated here 28 August. The ceremony began with arrival of the Official Party, Invocation and the Commandant’s remarks. Command Sgt. Maj. Michael S. McCoy, U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School Commandant, had some interesting facts to share with the graduates and the audience.

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Reserve and Active Drill Sergeants Working Together

FORT BENNING, Ga. — On June 9th, 2013, twelve United States Army Reserve Drill Sergeants took their place along side Active Duty Instructors under the 192nd Infantry Brigade, Fort Benning, Ga. These drill sergeants were spread across three battalions and seven companies, assisting active component Basic Combat Training Companies for two weeks.

As commander of the annual training increment, my job was to visit each of the command teams that my Soldiers were working with to ensure they were providing the appropriate support. At the beginning it was just introduction and the typical exchange of contact information, but half way through I could personally see the magnitude of what we were doing. Active Duty Drill Sergeants are some of the hardest working Soldiers in the Army. The amount of time they spend away from their Family to train the future Soldiers of the Army is admirable.

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3-385th Wraps up TY13 With FTX

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. —The end of the 2013 training year did not mean the end of valuable training for the 3rd Battalion, 385th Infantry Regiment Drill Sergeants who completed a three-day field training exercise (FTX) here Sept. 8.

“The training and effort I saw in our Soldiers during these three days definitely exceeded our high expectations,” said Lt. Col. Michael Mikulski, commander of the unit from Edison, N.J. “Our drill sergeants are often spread out during our annual training missions. So, events like these are always great for camaraderie, morale, and increasing our knowledge base through lessons learned.”

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THE “Bayonet”

McCRADY TRAINING CENTER, S.C.— Set in the rolling hills and towering pines of thecentral Midlands region of South Carolina, Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 98th Division (IET), headquartered at Fort Jackson, S.C., participated in the first annual Second Brigade “Bayonet” Field Training (FTX) at the McCrady Training Center in July. The Bayonet is a grueling 17-hour competition that test the Warrior Task and Battle Drill proficiency of five-Soldier teams from each battalion in the brigade through a series of five scenario-driven, mission-oriented, Situational Training Exercise (STX) lanes.

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Army consolidates deployment processing

In one month, the new Continental United States Replacement Center at Fort Bliss, Texas, has processed almost 250 soldiers and Army civilians for their overseas deployments.
 
The Army consolidated its CRC operation Aug. 9, moving it from Fort Benning, Ga., to Fort Bliss.

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Task Force Sniper Completes the Air Advisor Course

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — Soldiers from the 98th and 95th Training Divisions (IET) completed the two-week air advisor course at the Air Advisor Academy here on Sept. 6.

The Soldiers, part of Task Force Sniper, are scheduled to deploy in support of the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan later this year, and the course is designed to prepare them for their interactions with the local military and population.

“Our task force’s main mission is to advise,” said Lt. Col. Michael Mikulski, officer-in-charge of the mission. “This course has supplied us with the latest working knowledge of the regional’s culture and operating environment to prepare us for success.”

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From the 95th Division Commander...

Soldiers and Warriors of the 95th Training Division – hooah – I wanted to take this opportunity to spend a couple minutes reflecting on the past two and half years as a member of the team. I will not be able to capture the whole spectrum of emotions, experiences, and thoughts in this article while serving with some of America’s finest Soldiers. The level of commitment at every level of this command was and remains superb despite all the training distractions that continue to bombard our formation. The 95th Training Division is a great place to serve the American people – our Families – and future generations to come.

I would like to thank each and everyone at every level - drill sergeants, command teams, staff, and civilians - for your utmost dedication, mission focus, and the ability to overcome regardless of the challenges.

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Combat Water Survival Training

MARANA, Ariz. — On 8-9 June, Bravo and Charlie Co, 1-415 (DS), 95th Training Division (IET), conducted Combat Water Survival Training (CWST)and Combatives Training to the 7220th and 6253rd Medical Support Units at the Pinal Air Park, Marana, Ariz.

Combat Water Survival Training is a good chance to get some good training on something we don’t normally do or train on. Having hot Arizona weather and a pool nearby helped a lot.

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Basic Combat Training Mission in Puerto Rico

FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico — Following the legacy of the 1st Battalion, 389th Regiment, the recently assigned Battalion Flag to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico under the 1st Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), is training Initial Entry Soldiers before they head out to Basic Training.

Currently the 1st Battalion 389th Regiment is engaged in support of the Puerto Rico National Guard Recruiting and Sustainment Program, formerly known as Pre Basic Training. The program has proven successful for the National Guard. This program consists of all the newly assigned Soldiers that have not attended Basic Training (BCT) and Advance Individual Training (AIT) or in the Split Option Enlistment.

It is structured with the same phases as BCT and serves as a training environment for the Reserve Drill Sergeants on the island. Recruits in RED PHASE are those that have not attended BCT. They are introduced to the Army in a sensitive Soldierization process that includes, but not limited to, Drill and Ceremony, Sexual Harassment and Prevention (SHARP),etc. The Soldiers in WHITE PHASE have completed BCT and BLUE PHASE and awaiting their unit assignments.


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Reserve Officer (NCO) Foreign Exchange Program

SENNELAGER, Germany — Staff Sgt. Kelley Carter, a supply NCO from B Co, 3rd Bn., 323rd Inf. Regt., 2nd Bde., 98th Training Division (IET), was selected for the 2013 Reserve Officer (NCO) Foreign Exchange Program (ROFEP). She was paired with Cpl. Mark Brooks, a supply NCO, of the 237th Brigade Support Squadron (V), Royal Logistics Corps, based in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. Brooks is a former active duty British Soldier with prior service in Afghanistan. In May, Brooks picked Carter up at the London Heathrow Airport and through a series of car and ferry rides, ended up at the training area in Sennelager, Germany. Carter attended British “Adventure Training” focusing on various team building exercises such as canoeing, mountain cycling, and rock climbing.

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Polar Bear Battalion Soldiers Earn German Marksmanship Badge

FORT MCCOY, Wis. — On 7 September, 2013 drill sergeants and Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 339th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET) from Neenah, Wis., tested for the right to wear the German Marksmanship Badge, or Schützenschnur.
 

This testing was sponsored by the 646th Regional Support Group (RSG) and conducted at Fort McCoy, Wis. The test was validated by Capt. Wil Jansen and Sgt. Fischer of the German Military Liaison Team.

Over the past year, the Polar Bear Battalion has provided the 646th RSG with Subject Matter Expert Drill Sergeants in support of their training. In a show of appreciation for that support, Col. Rob Carlson, commander of the 646th, invited the Polar Bears to send six Soldiers to test for the Schützenschnur.

During the all day event, Soldiers had the opportunity to earn the Schützenschnur badge in gold, silver and bronze by qualifying on both rifle and pistol. Soldiers were given three opportunities to qualify with each weapon for the badge. The awarded grade is determined by the lowest weapon qualification, meaning if a Soldier qualifies all gold and one bronze, they are awarded the bronze. The Schützenschnur is authorized for wear only by enlisted Soldiers. Officers may accept, but may not wear the Schützenschnur.


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Drill Sergeant Experiences the United Kingdom

AMHERST, N.Y. — Would you like to travel to another country and work with their military next year? Knowing the many constraints facing Reserve Drill Sergeants, conducting two Annual Training missions would require some prior planning. But if you have the time, this experience may sound appealing.
 
The offer was enough to entice Staff Sgt. Victor Tse, a Drill Sergeant from the 2nd Battalion, 417th Regiment, and Colour (equivalent to Sgt. 1st Class) Sgt. Adrian Calderwood, a British Reserve Infantry Instructor at the Glasgow and Strathclyde University Officer Training Corps, to pack their bags and experience each other’s military as part of the Reserve Officer Foreign Exchange Program (ROFEP) this past summer.

“I read about the program online first, and then I received some information about it from my battalion,” said Tse. “I thought I should apply because it presented a very good opportunity to travel and work with NCOs from the United Kingdom.”

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Polar Bear Soldiers conduct Basic Training at the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE)

FORT BENNING, Ga. — Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 339th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET), supported the 194th Armored Brigade, conducting Basic Combat Training (BCT) at the Maneuver Center for Excellence (MCoE), Fort Benning, Ga., from July 25 through Oct. 5, 2013. The Polar Bear Soldiers directly supported the 1st Battalion 46th Infantry and the 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiments in BCT. Over a three and half month period, the 3-339th rotated each of the battalions and companies through the MCoE for 17-day Annual Training periods.

The mission began for the Polar Bears in early May, with the battalion command and staff conducting a coordination meeting with the MCoE brigade and battalion leadership. 

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Ask-Care-Escort

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 108th Training Command (IET) hosted the Ask-Care-Escort Suicide Intervention (ACE-SI) training here 10-11 September, a Department of the Army (DA) event funded by United States Army Reserve Command (USARC).

This training module is for company-level junior leaders and first-line supervisors. The target audience has the most frequent contact with the most at-risk demographic for suicide: young Soldiers. The key objective for this training is to learn the skills necessary to intervene in a suicide situation.

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WWII vets who liberated French town share stories with younger generations

Nearly 70 years ago, war changed a group of soldiers who liberated a French town from the Nazis. And today it’s still changing the Iron Men of Metz.

“They would all be talking, and if you closed your eyes, all of the sudden it wasn’t a room full of old men,” said Nancy Bubb, who accompanied her father on a reunion trip to the city in northeastern France. “It was a room full of young men.”

The Iron Men, dubbed by a German military leader impressed by their ferocity in battle, gathered last week in Arlington for the annual reunion of the 95th Infantry Division Association.

Surrounded by their children and grandchildren, the veterans swapped stories from a time before most of their families even existed.

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The Legacy Continues

ARLINGTON, Texas — On August 10, WWII Veterans made a touching tribute when they presented Soldiers of the 95th Division a special coin during a banquet hosted by the 95th Infantry Division Association at its 64th reunion.

The coin was specially designed as a way to say “Thank You” for the sacrifices current day Soldiers are making in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) and for continuing the legacy of the Iron Men of Metz.

Brigadier Gen. A. Ray Royalty, commanding general of the 95th Training Division (IET) was the guest speaker for the banquet.

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4th Brigade gets Down and Dirty

OSHKOSH, Wis. — Tough Mudder: It’s a 12-mile run in the mud, combined with serious obstacles – from climbing “Mount Everest” to sliding through water under the “Electric Eel.” When Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Lanners, 4th Brigade, 95th Training Division (IET) learned it was coming to Oshkosh, Wis. on Sept. 7, 2013, he knew it would be a great opportunity for Soldiers from his unit to train hard and enjoy a great team event.

Once Lanner’s decided a Tough Mudder was something he wanted to do, he didn’t waste any time recruiting a team at the brigade.

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Army Ten-Miler

ARLINGTON, Va.— One of the largest races in the world was held in Arlington, Va., the Army Ten-Miler. About 35,000 people from all over the country ran the Army Ten-Miler on Sunday. Over 60 percent of the runners were Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, Retired Military, Veterans, Military Family dependents or Department of Defense employees.

And they’re off! The first wave of runners of the 29th Annual Army Ten Miler began the race with the sound of cannon fire. It is the second largest ten-mile race in the United States and held every October.

“Perfect weather, an awesome race....with 34,999 of our closest friends! The field was increased by 5,000 runners this year, so a few more people. Great to see some of our drill sergeants running it though; we should create a team,” said Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, commander, 108th Training Command (IET), Charlotte, N.C.

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What Is Soldier Readiness?

We tend to consider readiness only in the form of an operational environment. Readiness is multi-faceted and begins with a personal commitment and discipline. Discipline incorporates consistency, intensity, purpose, and a plan.

We tend to think of strength only in relation to physique. However, there are five dimensions of strength: social, emotional, Family, spiritual, and physical. The physical dimension also encompasses the Office of the Surgeon General Performance Triad initiative of sleep, activity, and nutrition. More information can be found at the Comprehensive Soldier & Family Fitness (CSF2) website at https://csf2.army.mil/index.html.

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Thank You Griffon Association

Over the last three years the Griffon Association has provided a variety of generous gifts to the Soldiers and Families of the 108th Training Command, including downtrace units. These gifts have included, among other things:

  • Scholarships in excess of $11,000.00 benefiting 13 Families in our commands.
  • Emergency relief to those in need in the amount of $6,000 benefiting 12 Families in our commands.
  • Coordination and execution of numerous community awareness events that have highlighted the commitment and sacrifices of Soldiers generally.
  • Donations in excess of $1,000 for Soldier care packages benefiting approximately 200 Soldiers in our commands.
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Soldier's Gold Mine

G1
Army ACE Suicide Intervention Training

The 108th Training Command (IET) hosted Ask, Care, and Escort Suicide Intervention (ACE-SI) training for the Department of the Army Soldiers and DA Civilians on 10 and 11 September 2013. The training was coordinated by Mr. Gerald Taylor, the 108th Training Command (IET) G-1, Suicide Prevention Program Manager and conducted by Mr. Ben M. Bauman II and Mr. Gary Westling, members of the Headquarter Department of the Army’s mobile training team (MTT).

The training consisted of a 4 hour block of instruction and 2 hour exercise session each day. The key objective of ACE-SI is to learn the skills to intervene in a suicide situation. There were 49 attendees throughout the United States that participated in the event. Each attendee received the necessary training to go back to their respective commands and train ACE-SI, which is imperative for creating awareness and educating the force.

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Warrant Officer Spotlight

We have also become the interface to other service organizations, as shown in 2011 when closing Iraq and establishing the DoS DPOs. Additionally, when not in the deployed environment, the HR Tech becomes the unit trainer for these operations. With no defined role in garrison for an HROB or PLOPs, the personnel assigned to these sections can train the Casualty Teams, PAT, and Postal Platoons to understand and become more efficient in their role when deployed.

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Cyber World Today

We are reaching a super-cyber world today. We are racing with time. From the old days of Olympics to the new world of sports, time is one of the key elements of winning. Training is the other factor. Every game show on TV has a time limit on the game. For example, Jeopardy – at the final Jeopardy, there is a ten-second period where the contestants have to write down the answer as well as their bet. The theme music is played during those ten seconds, once the music stops, the contestant with the highest amount of money remaining wins. I like to eat, so I like watching the Food Channel, especially those with competitions like “Chopped”, the” Iron Chef America”, etc. There is always a winner. However, when the time is up, game over.

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Do you want to be a Unit Public Affairs Representative?

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

The PAO is kicking off the Unit Public Affairs Program (UPAR), which will allow any Soldier to be the additional eyes and ears for your unit and the PAO. By volunteering you will assume the duties of UPAR as an additional duty.

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108th Golf Tourney Raises $20,000 for Soldiers and Families

On Sept. 23, 2013, the 108th Griffon Association held its 3rd Annual Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament at Pine Island Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. With the help of solicitations by employees of Knight Communications, publisher of The Griffon, and after months of work by members of the Board and other Association members — who obtained sponsors, donors and golfers — volunteers from the Association joined together to host 93 golfers on a bright, sunny day perfect for fun in support of a worthwhile cause. The 208th Army Band provided military music during registration and played the National Anthem and the Army Song as the Statesville High School Junior ROTC Color Guard presented the Colors.

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Traveling? 7 Ways to Help Keep Your Money Safer

This content is provided courtesy of USAA.

Whether you’re traveling 200 miles or 2,000, leaving home without taking steps to help protect your financial well-being can be traumatic. Follow these eight travel tips to help guard your wallet from the unexpected.

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Leaving the Military?

This content is provided courtesy of USAA.

Leaving the military for civilian life can sometimes deal a financial blow to the unprepared. A new lifestyle brings with it new expenses, but these changes don’t have to knock out your retirement savings.

Consider these tips to help keep your financial future in good shape.

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4 reasons to beef up your Military transition fund

Travel back in time with me. It’s May 1984 (geez, just writing that makes my bones creak). With high school graduation looming large in my rearview mirror, I was pretty sure where I was headed next. At the time I had narrowed down my college choices to the University of Colorado or Notre Dame, likely to be funded with an Air Force ROTC scholarship.

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Preparing your home school student for the Armed Services after high school

A Short History Lesson

In the 1980s and 90s of the homeschooling movement in America, home school graduates had difficulty entering the military because they did not have high school diplomas from an accredited school. All branches of the armed forces relegated potential home school recruits to Tier II status, which is reserved for high school dropouts. Tier I was reserved for high school graduates and those with some college.

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Find Military specials at Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia

High up in the mountains of West Virginia you’ll find a true resort ski area that strives to be the downtime destination for military, veterans and their families. Featuring great powder, steep runs, luxury accommodations, a village full of shops and restaurants and southern hospitality — get to know Snowshoe Mountain Resort.

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Sugar Mountain Resort’s cutting a new slope

Sugar Mountain Resort’s new ski slope drops off the dog leg of Northridge and Switchback. The blue square, intermediate level rated slope features a variety of changing terrain. Just off Switchback is a short steep section. It then gently transitions to a flat cruiser. From there the slope rolls to a challenging but pleasant steep pitch which eventually levels out to the left and finally merges with Easy Street. The new slope is expected to be 2,000 feet long, 150 feet wide and ready for skiing and riding at the start of the 2014-15 winter season. Snow making facilities as well as lights for night skiing and riding will be installed.

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Discover Historic Hendersonville

Enjoy the hospitality of the Historic Hendersonville area, known for its gentle climate, beautiful scenery, richness in culture and history and friendly people. Hendersonville is located in Western North Carolina, 22 miles south of Asheville, in the Blue Ridge Mountains on a plateau, 2200 feet above sea level.

The Historic Hendersonville area is ideally located for exploring town and surrounding country with varied attractions, festivals, cultural and recreational activities, historical sites, outstanding golf courses, family activities, a historic downtown with unique shops, excellent restaurants and an abundance of quality antique stores.

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2000 years ago people followed a star to a manger

Bring your loved ones to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a joy-filled holiday experience like no other. “Christmas at the Library,” which runs Dec. 2-23, has been voted a Top 100 Event in the U.S. three times by the American Bus Association and draws more than 30,000 visitors each year. Families come from across the Southeast to focus on the true meaning of Christmas — Jesus Christ. Attendees enjoy the live nativity, horse-drawn carriage rides, unique decorations, and story time for children, delicious holiday treats, and the merry sound of carolers. Admission is free. ($10 parking after 3:00 p.m.)

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Winter is a seasonal mix in the Greater Valley Area

Winter weather offers its own variety in the Greater Valley Area. Many people wear shorts all season — adding a jacket on the colder days. One day it may be sunny in the low 70s, the next may bring a chill wind. Among locals, there are fervent prayers for a white Christmas, but about the most that ever happens are infrequent snow flurries.

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Sequoia Foothills celebrates Hero Appreciation Months

Sequoia Foothills says thanks by offering 20 percent Military discounts in Three Rivers; Free pass for active Military at Lake Kaweah and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Every year in the Sequoia foothills, from January 1 - March 31, participating businesses say “thank you” by offering 20 percent off whatever we produce or provide to those who have served in the military or as a first responder. We are thankful for our active and inactive military, reserve, former Military, and those who retired while still in service — all are included in this program. We are thankful for our firefighters, EMS, law enforcement and peace officers. They are included, as well. And every year, by the Thanksgiving holiday, we post the list of participating businesses at http://threerivers.com/, so feel free to check us out. For questions, e-mail us at [email protected], or you can speak to one of our volunteers toll-free at 877-530-3300. You can also call our program organizers, Leah Catherine Launey and Peter Sodhy, at 559-561-4270. We’d love to help you plan your visit and enjoy your discounts.

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You’ve earned a break! Visit Pooler’s parks

Resolution 5K and 15K amusement parks and more are in Pooler, just minutes from Hunter Army Airfield and Savannah.

You’ve earned a break! Come to Pooler, where we have great, affordable hotels, lots of attractions, and a short drive to Tybee and other beaches. Plus, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield’s PX are nearby.

A Military-friendly community, we are the closest interstate connection to Savannah and a short drive to the beaches at Tybee Island, Ga. and Hilton Head Island, S.C. If you’re ready for a change, we have what you need and your wallet will enjoy the savings, too: hotels with ample, free parking (some with pet friendly areas), amusement parks, dozens of restaurants, shopping areas, and other attractions.

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Visit Central Florida’s Polk County for a winter respite

With the holidays approaching, there’s a good chance that your local temperatures have taken a dip. Ward off that chill by planning a trip to Central Florida’s Polk County. Conveniently located between Orlando and Tampa, and an easy drive to Florida’s famous beaches, the area is sunny and warm nearly year-round. You can work on your tan or your golf swing, and enjoy some holiday fun in flip-flops and shorts.

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Vacation like you mean it at Universal Orlando

There’s a universe of family fun and excitement waiting for you at Universal Orlando® Resort’s two amazing theme parks. You’ll find all-new thrills at Universal Studios Florida® with the recent opening of TRANSFORMERS™: The Ride–3D. You can also enter the world of The Simpsons™ like never before — visit downtown Springfield, enjoy a “Genuine Clown-Endorsed Meal” at Krusty Burger, grab a Homer-sized helping of donuts at Lard Lad, imbibe at Moe’s Tavern, and crash through Krustyland on The Simpsons Ride™. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure® you can step into the magic and excitement of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, and swing into action in high-def 3D on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®.

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Gainesville: More than the Gator Chomp!

Gainesville, home to the University of Florida, is more than a college town. Here you will experience a city filled with natural treasures, a vibrant cultural scene and delightful culinary treats. Each of these parts are exciting on their own, together they make for a memorable Florida vacation.

Poe Springs
The Gainesville area is home to one of the largest collection of high magnitude cold water springs anywhere. Poe Springs, located just west of the town of High Springs, alone pumps out 44 million gallons of crystal clear cold water a day. 


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Lose the Winter Blues in the Enchanted Mountains

The pace doesn’t slow down here unless you want it to during the upcoming winter months with continuing festivals, winter activities and indoor fun. In November and early December folks can get an early start on shopping with opportunities to find a one of a kind gift or still catch some nice days playing in the outdoors. Discover winter wonderlands and pristine backdrops after the snow has freshly fallen. View breathtaking landscapes full of trees glistening with snow detailing each branch.

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Enjoy an Adirondack adventure

Fulton County, N.Y. is located in the southern Adirondack Park with 44 lakes and 74,832 acres of wild forest to explore. Outdoor adventure and relaxation are vital elements to enjoying a getaway here during all four seasons. Fulton County is also blessed with a rich, inviting history and a wealth of culture and the arts.

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Have some winter fun in New York

Wayne County New York is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario between the cities of Rochester and Syracuse in the northern part of the Finger Lakes Region. The Seaway Trail (a national scenic byway) and the Historic Erie Canal winds through our rural county providing the visitor with a wide variety of events, attractions and endless activities no matter the season — including winter.

Snowmobiling is a popular pastime in our area and Lake Ontario provides a steady snowfall with a little help from Mother Nature. We have over 400 miles of snowmobile trails that are open to the public. Contact one of the many snowmobile clubs listed on our website for a map of the local trails.

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Berkeley County naturist paradise and water wonder world

Berkeley County is known for being a naturist paradise with year around great weather and temperatures that allow you to enjoy the great outdoors. Visitors and residents seize the opportunity to enjoy the lush green forest, and 250,000 acres of diverse plant and animal communities in the Francis Marion National Forest. Each year, visitors flock to the forest to catch a rare glimpse of the endangered red cockaded woodpecker, amongst other intriguing birds such as the bald eagle and blue heron. While in Francis Marion National Forest be sure to enjoy the numerous biking, hiking and horse trails.

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Pearland — a perfect pick for weekend getaway

Pearland is the perfect pick to stay for a weekend getaway filled with fun activities. Located in the Gulf Coast Region of Texas, Pearland is perfectly placed within 10 miles of Houston and Hobby Airport. The winter months in Pearland offer a mild climate and a full slate of fun things to do.

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The arts abound year round in McKinney

McKinney is well-known as one of the most heritage-rich cities in North Texas. Over the past few years, though, McKinney has developed a reputation as a cultural center of North Texas as well, with musicians and artists coming together in this quaint community in order to share their talents.

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Experience new things on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

The fall and holiday season is one to enjoy no matter where you take a trip. But on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, you’ll experience new and exciting events that will create memories that will last a lifetime.

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Variety makes Wytheville different

There are a thousand small towns across America that can say they offer a relaxing and safe atmosphere for a family vacation. But few of them offer small town charm with such a variety of things to see and experience as does Wytheville, Virginia. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, Wytheville has a population of just over 9,000, in a county of 30,000. Being at the intersection of two major north-south interstates, I-77 and I-81, has made the community a transportation hub for decades. 

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Montgomery County, Va.

The land of trails and outdoor adventure would be a great way to describe what Montgomery County, Va. has become. The area offers over 10 miles of walking and nature walks with expansion plans in the future, doubling the availability.

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Something Fast is Coming to Wet ‘n Wild Orlando!

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

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

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Experience the Thrill of Seminole County -

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

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Cedar Hill, Texas offers fun and beauty

Cedar Hill is located on the highest elevation in North Texas and offers breathtaking views of Joe Pool Lake and Cedar Hill State Park. Combining the outstanding natural environment with quality restaurants and retail development, Cedar Hill is where opportunities grow naturally.

Cedar Hill is less than 20 minutes from downtown Dallas and 40 minutes from downtown Fort Worth and a 30 minute drive from DFW International Airport or Dallas Love Field.

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

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The War of 1812 in the County of Kent, Maryland

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

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Berkeley County, South Carolina is your next Escape

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

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

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A delightful getaway just north of Pittsburgh

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

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‘Journey of Faith’ tour at Billy Graham Library

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

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

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Wythe history comes adventure

Historically Interesting

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

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The Virginia Zoo adventure

Journey to mysterious places inhabited by exotic animals from around the world. Discover giraffes, orangutans, tigers, wallabies and more! Board the Norfolk Southern Express train for an expedition to Asia — Trail of the Tiger or Africa’s Okavango Delta. Watch the red panda as it climbs through the trees just above your head. Go nose-to-nose with a prairie dog from your own underground viewing bubble. Stroll through themed gardens or get wet in one of the Zoo’s water fountains.

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Summer in Seattle

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

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

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

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

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The Griffon Vol. 37.4 (Winter 2013)

The Griffon Vol. 37.4 (Winter 2013)
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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.