From the Commanding General

As many of you are aware, we have selected the next 108th Training Command (IET) Command Sergeant Major. Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Riti has a history of great leadership as a command sergeant major. Since 1998 he has served consistently as a command sergeant major for three battalions, three brigades and the 3d Iraqi Army Division. He also served a one year tour in Djibouti as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and two CONUS based mobilizations. He was a drill sergeant and was the command sergeant major for three units within the 98th Training Division, so he has experience with us. In his civilian role, he is the Captain and Commander of the Westchester County New York Department of Corrections Training Unit, responsible for in service training of 950 correction officers, supervisors, and administrative personnel. He coordinates and conducts training for the Department’s Emergency Service Unit in weapons, chemical agents, and tactical operations.

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From the Command Sergeant Major

I want to start off by telling you how proud and honored I am to be selected as the 108th Training Command (IET) Command Sergeant Major.

I have spent the majority of my military career serving in IET units as a drill sergeant, a Drill Sergeant Leader of the Drill Sergeant School, a first sergeant and a command sergeant major. As a command sergeant major, I have had many assignments over the years. Those assignments brought me to several units and countries where I had the pleasure of meeting and working with many outstanding officers, NCOs and Soldiers of our Armed Forces, as well as Armies of other countries. As much as I enjoyed serving in those units, there’s nowhere I would rather be than back where I started.

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Six Ambitions Every Soldier Needs to Have

Senior Army leadership has identified six focus areas; otherwise known as expectations. These six expectations should be your ambitions – goals that you strive to achieve. 

1. Lead, grow as a leader, and grow leaders to serve the Army.

Stay on track with your PME. PME is not about what you need for promotion. PME is what you need for professional growth and leader development. Begin to map your career blending technical assignments with broadening assignments – those assignments that challenge you and make you stretch outside your comfort zone. You cannot grow and develop if you stay within your comfort zone, within the familiar where you feel confident – in fact, you’ll become stale in your skills, wane as a leader and – to be sure – lose your promotion edge. 

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The Wall That Heals

FORT MILL, S.C. — Reliving lessons learned from past wars is an integral part of officer development. Many of the programs and services we have in today’s Army can be directly attributed to missteps and mistakes made in past conflicts. The important thing though, is that we learn from those failures so the future force will not endure the same hardships as those who came before them.

That was the premise the 108th Training Command’s Junior Officer Association kept in mind when they embarked on an emotional trip to the traveling “Wall That Heals” in Fort Mill, South Carolina, October19th, for its semiannual staff ride.

Throughout the journey, those officers kept the words of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, close to them.

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And the Winner is…

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — For a lineman from Tuttle, Oklahoma and a firefighter from Columbus, Georgia, competing in a four-day test of endurance, stamina, strength and character, meant more than earning the prestigious title of 2014 U.S. Army Drill Sergeant of the Year.

Most days, Staff Sgt. Christopher Croslin from the 95th Training Division (IET) can be found free-climbing one of the 40-foot, 7,200 volt poles that stretch across the states nearly 70,000 square miles, building or repairing power lines for the Oklahoma electric cooperative.

Sgt. 1st Class Alex Montero, from the 98th Training Division (IET), is a firefighter for the Columbus, Georgia Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

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United States Army Drill Sergeant’s 50th Anniversary

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Drill sergeants, past and present, assembled from across the country, as far away as California and Washington, in celebration of 50 years of the Drill Sergeant Program. They were here to reunite with battle buddies, to exchange stories, and to see what the future of the program holds.

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Hooah Soldiers of the 95th Training Division

As I sit in my kitchen just finishing up potentially one of my last PME courses, I find myself reflecting on the several conversations I have with many of our young officers and NCO’s across the division regarding PME and the challenge with balancing our educational requirements with Family, work and civilian commitments.

Yes, at the GO level, we too have PME requirements and like so many of my fellow Iron Men of Metz, balance the Family, work, and daily demands in concert with my military education. In many of the conversations, the topic of where to fit it in with everything else often becomes the topic of conversation. So I offer this, when is there going to be a right time? Next year? Later?

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First Place in Army Reserve Marksmanship Competition Won by 95th Division Soldiers

CAMP ROBERTS, Ark. — Four noncommissioned officers from B Company, 2nd Battalion, 414th Infantry Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET) competed in a weeklong small arms competition at Camp Roberts, Arkansas. The competition ran from Sept. 21 to Sept. 27, 2014.

The U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Marksmanship Team, along with the 416th Theater Engineer Command, hosted the first ever USAR small-arms competition. The event was designed to develop marksmanship instructors at the unit level, while simultaneously fostering the competitive nature of advanced training.

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Conducting Modern Army Combative in Fort Buchanan

FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico — During the month of September, the 1-389th Basic Combat Training, 98th Training Division (IET) Soldiers trained the 471st Engineer Company Soldiers on Combative Level One, familiarization training session at Fort Buchanan Puerto Rico Fitness Center.

The commander of the 471st requested a Combative session to enhance the units’ esprit de corps and fitness variety. The training was led by Staff Sgt. Ricardo Sanabria, who holds a Level II Certification and Black Belt in Martial Arts.

Drill Sergeants from the 1-389th are willing to continue initiatives that maintain their proficiency. “I love coming down to train Soldiers. I also do this in my civilian capacity,” said Sanabria.

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Winter Safety Spotlight

With units spread across Southern and Eastern Coast States and Puerto Rico, the Iroquois Division deals with every known kind of winter weather from blizzards to hurricanes, fire ants to wolves.  Because of these unique threats, safety must take on more importance than just meeting required training standards or mandatory briefings. Safety, especially in winter, must become a way of life. 

Whether going to work or traveling, ensure that you are performing the necessary maintenance checks on your POV and have a winter safety kit on board for your specific region. For those facing snow and ice, be alert when driving for dangerous sections of road (and fellow drivers who are not as cautious). Ms. Cheryl Miller is the Division Safety Officer and she can assist all units in understanding the challenges we face during this time of the year. She provided some special safety items we normally forget or ignore:

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Being Relevant means being Ready

I am truly honored to assume command of the Timberwolf Division. The Timberwolves have a long and storied history, which I’m excited to now be a part. Today, we assist in the training and preparation of the Army’s future officers. It is critical that each and every Soldier and civilian focus on providing superior support as we execute missions in support of U.S. Army Cadet Command (USACC), the United States Military Academy, U.S. Army Chaplains Corps and the four Army Training Centers.

The newly published TRADOC Pam 525-3-1, “The U.S. Army Operating Concept (AOC)”, will drive changes in Army doctrine, training, leadership and education. The Timberwolves, as a training division, will be integral to integrating these new concepts and preparing future officers to “thrive in chaos” and “Win in a Complex World.”

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Cadre and Cadets Hone Skills at Hand Grenade Assault Course

FORT KNOX, Ky. – The hand grenade is a hand-held, hand-armed, and hand-thrown weapon. There are six types of grenades and the U.S. Army uses each grenade with its different capability to provide Soldiers a variety of options to successfully complete the mission.

The Hand Grenade Assault Course (HGAC) committee, assigned to Task Force Wolf is comprised of Reserve Soldiers from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 399th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division (LT), coach and evaluate cadets attending Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in proper hand grenade skills. The HGAC teaches cadets to employ a grenade using proper hand grenade preparation, correct form in different body positions, individual movement techniques and various engagement usage skills.

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Gold Star Mother’s Day

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 108th Training Command (IET) Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) staff sponsored a special day for the Gold Star Mother’s on Saturday, Sept. 27.

Representatives from the Veteran’s Center were present to discuss, address and assist with any needs or concerns in order to support the attendees.

The event was held at the Charlotte’s Veterans Park to honor Gold Star Mother’s Day, which was enacted on June 23, 1936.

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

FORT BENNING, Ga. — First Brigade of the 98th Training Division (IET) has detachments in Southeastern Conference (SEC) country where football, barbecue, and the best beaches in America reign supreme: Texas, Puerto Rico, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana. First Brigade focuses on recruiting, training and deploying drill sergeants in support of Basic Combat Training missions at Fort Benning, Georgia, and local national training teams in Afghanistan.

Clear skies and warm weather at Braves Soldier Field in Fort Benning, was the scene for First Brigade’s Change of Command Ceremony. Brig. Gen. Michaelene Kloster, the 98th Training Division Commander, presided over the ceremony. First Brigade said farewell to Col. Paul Driscoll, who was in command from October 2011 to September 2014. He is moving on as the 95th Training Division (IET), Assistant Division Commander.

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A Chosen Few

FORT WORTH, Texas — Each year, at the end of the school year, a few chosen students from Birdville Independent School District (BISD), have the opportunity to experience the most exciting activity you can do in JROTC; Junior Cadet Leadership Camp (JCLC). Cadets always look forward to this five day activity, which is the closest cadets will come to being in the military without actually enlisting.

The cadets use skills taught in the classroom, such as map reading, drill & ceremonies, and communication. The JCLC teaches cadets how to become a better leader by putting these skills and many others to practical use; something that can’t always be done in the classroom.

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They Called Him Brother: Soldier Honored at Fort Campbell Ceremony Not a Hero

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — A U.S. Army Reserve center located on the Tennessee side of Fort Campbell, most of which is in Kentucky, was renamed on August 3, in a ceremony honoring Army Reserve Maj. Michael L. Mundell, who was killed in Fallujah, Iraq on January 5, 2007.

Mundell had been mobilized with the 108th Division (Institutional Training) and deployed to Iraq as a member of an 11-man Military Transition Team that was charged with assisting the Iraqi Army, namely the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade of the 1st Iraqi Infantry Division. On January 5, their team was on their way to assist other troops when an improvised explosive device hit the vehicle. Mundell had been wounded the day after Thanksgiving 2006 when a sniper’s bullet went through his radio and vest. He could have been on light duty but refused less dangerous assignments.

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Drill Sergeants and Recruiters Partnership in Puerto Rico

FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico — As recent as September 2014, drill sergeants began conducting Future Soldier events in Puerto Rico with Recruiting Command for Active and Reserve Soldiers. The 1st Battalion, 389th Regiment, 98th Training Division (IET), is engaged in the Puerto Rico National Guard Recruitment and Sustainment mission at Fort Allen, Juana Diaz, but now they’re expanding their mission with Future Active and Reserve Soldiers.

The first event was conducted during Battle Assembly at Fort Buchanan with over 20 future Soldiers, which included 17 Future Active Components and seven Reserve Soldiers. The drill sergeants trained Basic Combat Training tasks that included Drill and Ceremonies and Physical Readiness Training (PRT) during the September Battle Assembly. Soldiers were introduced to Preparation Drill, Conditioning Drill One, Military Movement Drills and Stretch Drills. The Drill and Ceremony portion included rest positions at the halt, hand salute, squad and platoon drills.

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95th Division Soldiers Honored in Retirement Ceremony

FORT SILL, Okla. — A retirement ceremony was held Oct.18, in Snow Hall on Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where Family, friends and fellow Soldiers witnessed the recognition of Col. Rodolfo Villarreal Jr. and Command Sgt. Maj. Manuel Borrego for their many years of distinguished service. Their combined total years of service exceeds sixty years.

The ceremony was presided over by Brig. Gen. Daniel Christian, commanding general, 95th Training Division (IET) and Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Hill, command sergeant major, 95th Training Division (IET).

Christian thanked the two Soldiers, their wives, and Families for their dedication and service to the U.S. Army. Christian presented both Soldiers with retirement awards in recognition of their distinguished careers.

Villarreal began his military career commissioned as an Army Aviation Second Lieutenant in1984, from the ROTC program at Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, as a Distinguished Military Graduate where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. Villarreal held many leadership and staff positions throughout his career. His most recent position was the 95th Training Division Chief of Staff. Villarreal led Soldiers in a combat zone while deployed to Afghanistan. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for commanding a U.S. Liaison Team in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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Soldier-Hero Speaks to Future Soldiers at North Carolina NHRA Event

CONCORD, N.C. — For nearly 15 years, the U.S. Army has teamed up with Don Schumacher Racing to provide a “Center of Influence” program where a Soldier gets the chance to tell his, or her, story to future Soldiers at one of 24 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) events held annually.

This past Saturday at the 7th Annual Pep Boys Carolina Nationals, held at the zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina, that Soldier was Master Sgt. Michael Gainey, 108th Training Command (IET), U.S. Army Reserve.

Gainey, a home town hero from Albemarle, North Carolina, was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and Purple Heart for his actions while serving in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He says he feels honored to have been selected for the event but adds he doesn’t feel as though he is a hero.

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Partnership Forged at Operation Sustainment Warrior

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. — “Drill Sergeants train Soldiers, that’s what they do. That’s why this is a logical marriage!”

That’s the sentiment shared by Operation Sustainment Warrior 2014 commander, Col. Deborah Kotulich, commander of the 655th Regional Support Group, 377th Theater Sustainment Command.

“The fact that I am using the drill sergeants from the 95th and 98th Training Divisions (IET), who are uniquely qualified to do this, the results of the training are exactly where you would want them to be and that’s money,” added Kotulich.

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Training the Army’s Elite Training Force

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno outlined an array of missions, underscoring the range and complexity of current and emerging threats to the nation. “I have two division headquarters in Afghanistan. I have a division headquarters in Korea, [and] I’m going to send another division headquarters to Iraq,” he said at a recent Defense Writer’s Group breakfast, “I’m going to send a division headquarters to Africa to work the response to the Ebola virus. I might end up sending a division headquarters to Europe.”

Fewer than 5,000 Federal Soldiers comprise the elite Drill Sergeants Corps tasked with preparing the future force – nearly a million strong - to decisively engage and defend the nation against current and emerging threats.

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Honor Flight Pays Back to Those Who Served

Greenville, S.C. — “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers,” said our 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

That’s the reasoning behind the “Honor Flight,” a semiannual undertaking where the citizens of one grateful community gives its heroes the opportunity to visit our Nation’s Capital and experience the monuments and memorials that were crafted in their honor firsthand.

Since 2008, Honor Flight Upstate South Carolina (HFUSC), a nonprofit organization located in Greenville, South Carolina, has provided two flights per year to our Nation’s Capital to Veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam conflict, with few exceptions.

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Drill Sergeant Course Graduation

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Drill Sergeant Class 514-14 graduated 89 drill sergeants here Oct. 29. The ceremony began with arrival of the Official Party, Invocation and the Commandant’s remarks. Command Sgt. Maj. Lamont Christian, U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School commandant, expressed the need to be able to adapt to change.

“You are embarking on a journey, a journey through a world of change. You will be part of that change for our Army as we evolve and go forward,” said Christian. “Today that challenge begins - all the way to the end.”

In the United States Army, drill sergeants are assigned the duty of indoctrinating new recruits entering the military into the customs and practices of military life.

Guest speaker, Command Sgt. Maj. Chad A. Utz, currently serving as the 3-60th Infantry Command Sergeant Major, also spoke of change as a drill sergeant training our future Soldiers.

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DASH

On Saturday, Oct. 25th, my sons and I had a memorable interaction with Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Torrence, acting 1st Sgt., Delta Company 2-317, 3rd Bde., 98th Training Division (IET), that we will not quickly forget.

We spent the morning at the 460 Flea Market buying child army fatigues for my youngest son to dress up as a Soldier for Halloween. As an Army Brat, my Family has a deep respect and honor for our armed forces, so an Army Soldier is a far more fitting Halloween costume for us than a werewolf or a ghost.

As we headed home, we stopped at Bojangles on Timberlake Road where my youngest son, five-year-old Dash spotted a Soldier in combat fatigues. Dash ran over to the Soldier and hugged his leg. 

The Soldier proceeded to pick up my son and share a few minutes of conversation with him. I do not know what was said, but I do know that a five-year-old boy was in the presence of his hero...an Army Soldier. 

When the conversation ended, Dash ran over to me and we started to head towards our car. When we were outside, Torrence caught up to us and knelt down to stare my son right in the eye.

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CULP

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Do you remember the first time you faced a language barrier, or cultural difference that caused you to feel out of place? In the Army, the chance of this happening in a new assignment overseas is highly likely. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had the opportunity to deal with this experience before your first overseas assignment?

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Drill Sergeants Add Extra Benefit to Tough Mudder

Charlotte, N.C. — Throughout the summer and fall, drill sergeants from the 95th and 98th Training Divisions (IET) provided an extra bonus to participants in Tough Mudder events across the country.

For the second straight year, drill sergeants, recruiters and other military personnel walked the course in an effort to showcase Army Reserve opportunities as well as provide a taste of military flavor for those competing.

Tough Mudder is a ten to twelve-mile obstacle course based off a training event used by the British Special Forces. The course is typically lined with 15 to 25 obstacles that test a competitor’s endurance, strength and team building skills. Some of the obstacles participants must overcome included the 14-foot high walls, low crawling under barbed wire through mud and hanging from horizontal ladders over a 10-foot deep mud pit.

Originally founded in 2010, Tough Mudder has since attracted more than 1.5 million people globally and has raised more than $6.5 million for the Wounded Warrior Project according to Maj. Marcus Mitchell, Public Affairs Officer for the Army Marketing Affairs and Research Group. Approximately 13,000 participants and spectators attended the two-day events.

This year, Army Reserve Drill Sergeants participated in eight Tough Mudder events including; Westbrook, Maine, Houston, Texas, and San Diego, California.

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To Prevent Suicide, Reach Out to Someone Who Needs You

FORT HOOD, Texas — Robin Williams’ untimely death evokes many feelings and thoughts. One of those thoughts is the tragic reminder that suicide is a problem that knows no boundaries.

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Cadre in Focus

FORT KNOX, Ky. – Sgt. 1st Class Lucenthia Warden and Sgt. Eric Roman currently serve as lane safeties for the squad live fire lane, Task Force Wolf during Cadet Summer Training (CST) on Fort Knox, Kentucky.

The lane safeties observe and ensure the Cadets employ necessary safety protocols while conducting squad live fire training, which teaches them to perform basic tactics such as moving tactically as a squad, assessing the environment for threats, communicating effectively to their element, and engaging the targets proficiently.

Warden, a Little Rock, Arkansas, native, views her instructor role during the training as pivotal to the future of the Army.

“I like it; I’ve been an instructor for a while but this is my first time with CST. We are here to get trained leaders into the military—that’s the goal here,” she said. “Our job out here is very important.”

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Three Little Words

Charlotte, N.C. — “Attention to Orders,” belted out Command Sgt. Maj. Rocci DeRezza, command sergeant major of the 108th Training Command (IET), U.S. Army Reserve.

And with that, the journey to recognize an Army-Air Force flight engineer for his efforts during World War II finally came to an end.

On August 16th, just one day shy of the 70th anniversary of his final combat mission during the Great War, Paul Hallman Sr., a Staff Sgt. with the 454th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force, Army-Air Force in 1944 was finally awarded the medals he rightfully earned.

Hallman was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Purple Heart, and Prisoner of War Medal, by Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, 108th Training Command (IET) Commanding General, during a ceremony held at the 108th TC Headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Humbled by the presentation, Hallman said he was truly blessed.

“I feel honored by all this, but you know, the true heroes didn’t come back. We lost some great men that day. One was my best friend. And then there was the bombardier. He had a daughter six months old that he had never seen.”

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104th Training Division (IET) Prepares Tomorrow’s Leaders for Today’s Challenges

WEST POINT, N.Y. — Every summer, trainers from the 104th Training Division’s 3-304th Battalion (USMA), take on the mission of preparing tomorrow’s leaders for today’s challenges.

This year, the 3rd Battalion, 304th, USMA out of Lewiston, Maine, traveled to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, on July 9 through August 9, to validate with the Department of Military Instruction for a culminating, three-day event known as fire team live fire.

During the summer camp, trainer’s take three days to instruct cadet leadership, usually juniors at the academy, on numerous weapons systems, from hand grenades to the M203 grenade launcher, as well as individual and squad level movement techniques.

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Timberwolf Transition

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — Brigadier General Kurt A. Hardin relinquished command of the 104th Training Division (Leader Training) to Brig. Gen. Darrell Guthrie during a Change of Command Ceremony, September 6, 2014 at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord parade field. The ceremony and passing of the Division Colors was presided over by Maj. Gen. Leslie Purser, 108th Training Command (IET), Commanding General.

Hardin was joined by his wife and daughter along with other Family members as he bid farewell to the Timberwolf Soldiers.

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108th Training Command (IET) Wins Top Prize at the 2014 Army Communities of Excellence Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 108th Training Command (IET) took top honors for the U.S. Army Reserve at the 2014 Army Communities of Excellence (ACOE) awards presented here 8 Aug.

The ACOE is a joint program between the Army Reserve and Army National Guard that evaluates and assesses senior leaders and their commands on their organizational management practices.

Each year, a team of examiners from the ACOE program looks at a fifty-page assessment developed by the evaluated units based on the competitions seven categories. The categories range from training readiness to customer focus. Overall winners and runners-up are then selected in both the Army Reserve and Army National Guard.

The program has been in existence for 19 years and supports readiness by allowing each organization to document their effectiveness in each of the seven categories they are judged on. This year, five different Army Reserve commands participated, in addition, to 41 of the 54 eligible National Guard commands.

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Reserve Drill Sergeant Strives for Excellence on Two Stages

FORT JACKSON, S.C.  — There are those who strive to just get by in life, and then there are people like Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Ellis.

Ellis, a drill sergeant with 1/320th Basic Combat Training Battalion, 98th Training Division (IET), United States Army Reserve, is not only a Soldier, he’s a law enforcement officer and award-winning singer/songwriter, and yes, he excels in every endeavor.

Currently augmenting B Company, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade (BCT) for his extended combat training, Ellis, a 16-year Veteran of the United States Army Reserve and an ammunition specialist, became a drill sergeant with the 98th Training Division (IET), in April 2013 and says he was looking for a change in his Army career.

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First Battalion 414th Regiment Changes Command

RENTON, Wash. — First Battalion 414th Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), conducted its official Change of Command Ceremony at the United States Army Reserve Center in Renton, Washington, on 24 Aug. There was representation from all companies; HHC and Alpha Company from Eugene, Oregon, Bravo Company out of Vancouver, Washington and Charlie, Delta, and Echo Companies from Renton, Washington, were also present. 

The battalion welcomed Lt. Col. Adrian Henegan as he assumed command of the battalion and bid farewell to the outgoing Commander, Lt. Col. Shawn Poole. 

As Poole gave his outgoing speech, he stated, “The legacy that I inherited was built by the men and women of the 1-414th. The memories may fade over time but the legacy that I was a proud part of will remain with me forever.”

Henegan comes to the battalion from the 104th Training Division (LT) staff where he was the G8 Resource Management Officer. He told his Soldiers’, “You have the unique ability to make a lasting impact on Soldiers and I am excited to be part of a unit that can leave such an indelible mark on so many Soldiers through their training.”

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How to Prepare for That All-Important Job Interview

Finally, your job search is paying off and you have been invited to interview for one or more of the positions for which you have applied. That means it’s time to polish your interview skills. While interviews are generally tough even for the most seasoned of interviewees, they can often be tougher for military veterans who may have been out of civilian life for long periods of time. 

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Army Ten Miler

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 2014 Army Ten Miler exposition and race was held October 10-11in Washington D.C. This was the 30th running of this annual event. The 108th Training Command (IET) sponsored a team to participate in the race.

The 98th Training Division (IET) also participated in the event by establishing a tent in the pre and post race Hooah Zone. The tent was manned with drill sergeants who spoke to event participants about joining the 108th Training Command team and becoming Army Reserve Drill Sergeants or Instructors.

In addition to the Hooah Zone tents, three drill sergeants assigned to the 98th Training Division provided motivation to the race participants at mile nine of the route. The response from the runners was extremely positive and the 108th Training Command Public Affairs Directorate alone received five inquiries from possible future drill sergeant candidates through social media postings of the event.

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Summer Training

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Through the reemphasis on the Army Profession in recent years, the heart of the Army—The Army Ethic—is defined as the moral principles that guide us in the conduct of our missions, performance of duty, and all aspects of life.

Maj. Gen. David Puster, commanding general, 84th Training Command, visited and discussed the Army Profession with cadets attending Leader Development and Assessment Course during Cadet Summer Training conducted at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

After observing their performance during their culminating event of the training—platoon operations, which tests all the skills they learned throughout their 29-day LDAC iteration, Puster held an open-forum discussion.

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Nominated for Chief Warrant Officer 4 Novosel Award

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael J. Novosel Award for the Reserve Officers Association Outstanding Warrant Officer of the Year is presented annually by the Reserve Officers Association (ROA). This award recognizes the achievements and dedicated service of ROA warrant officer members.

Congratulations to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael Knight of the 338th Military Intelligence Battalion, Warrant Officer Hannah Hill and Chief Warrant Officer 2 William Adams for being nominated for this prestigious award. This is a great honor and is given annually to the warrant officer who’s a member of the ROA that achieves at the highest level, while also demonstrating dedicated service. Being nominated for this award is also a great accomplishment, so congratulations.

Hill, who serves for the 3rd Bn/415th Regt, 95th Training Division (IET) as the Bn S1 OIC out of Spokane, Washington, was nominated by Maj. Ryan Smith for drastically increasing Bn S-1 system accessibility and organizing many local charitable events. “I’m honored to have been nominated for the Chief Warrant Officer 4 Novosel Award. It’s a great recognition and I hope more junior officers will get involved in ROA and the Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Novosel and Maj. Gen. Strom Thurmond awards.” Hill said. The impressions that were left on Hill by the convention, it is a great event for networking and has enthusiastic leaders who have a wealth of knowledge.

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Unit Prevention Leader

FORT BENNING, Ga. — The 98th Training Division hosted the United States Army Reserve (USAR) Substance Abuse Program re-write for the Unit Prevention Leader (UPL) Handbook and Instructor’s Guide on 15-19 Sept.

Twenty-three Alcohol and Drug Control Officers (ADCOs) from various Reserve commands assembled together at the Armed Force Reserve Center on Fort Benning to work on the vital ingredient to standardize curriculum for the Reserve UPL Certification Course, which provides instructions on how to perform drug testing collections and prevention awareness classes.

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The Way Forward: Connecting Military Talent with American Businesses

In March 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched Hiring Our Heroes to connect our nation’s military veterans and spouses with meaningful employment opportunities. On paper, that mandate may seem simple, but the jobs situation facing veterans and spouses in 2011 was anything but. That year, post-9/11 veterans—men and women who had raised their right hand to serve during the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan—were returning home to 12% unemployment. Those under the age of 25 faced more than double that rate at 30%. Every 1 in 4 of their spouses was also unemployed.

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Translating your Military Experience in an Interview

For any professional career candidate, prepping for a job interview can be complicated. But for my clients—military officers transitioning from the service to the business world—the obstacles can be even greater. For these professionals, there is added challenge of translation.

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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. 

Do you enjoy taking pictures? Do you enjoy writing? As a Unit Public Affairs Representative (UPAR) you will take pictures of newsworthy events and submit them along with stories to your Division Public Affairs Officer for review and possible submission in The Griffon, as well as your division web site.

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Soldier's Gold Mine

 American Corporate Partners

I’d like to introduce you to a unique program available to assist you in advancing your civilian career by connecting you with corporate professionals from some of America’s finest companies.

American Corporate Partners (ACP), is a nationwide nonprofit organization which pairs OIF/OEF/OND Veterans one-on-one with business leaders from companies like Boeing, GE, Home Depot, PepsiCo and Wells Fargo for mentoring, networking, and career counseling.

Transitioning from military service to the private sector can be challenging, but ACP is dedicated to connecting Veterans with the valuable relationships, key skills and action plans needed for success in the business world. This program is free of charge to those who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

Veterans and mentors work together over the course of a yearlong mentorship on professional development topics such as exploring career opportunities, preparing for interviews, resume writing, networking and much more.

While not a “jobs program,” ACP aims to strengthen the relationship between America’s leading corporations and universities and those who have served our country.

ACP is offering more than 300 new mentorships this summer. To learn more about the program or to apply online, please visit http://acp-usa.org/Mentoring_Program.

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108th Griffon Association Scholarship Presentations

The 108th Griffon Association has just finished its busiest time of the year with its Annual Members Picnic in the Spring, which was detailed in the last issue, the Griffon scholarship presentations made in the Summer, discussed below and the annual Soldiers and Families Golf  Tournament in the early Fall, which will be recapped in the next issue of the Griffon.

The Griffon Scholarship Program has grown significantly over the last five years. For a number of years, the program was limited to a couple of scholarships of $500 each. Since the inception of the Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament, it has grown during each of the last five years and this year the Association gave seven scholarships of $1,000 each. The number of applications also increased from two or three in some past years to 14 this year. Not only the quantity, but the quality of the applications markedly improved, with most of the applicants being in the higher echelons of their class ranks and GPAs and heavily involved in extracurricular activities to assist their respective communities.

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Tee it Up for Soldiers and Their Families

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Fourth Annual Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament was held on 22 Sept., at the Pine Island Country Club. The event kicked off with a shotgun start and the golf carts started rolling.

Proceeds from the tournament provide needed resources for Soldiers and Families for educational opportunities, funds for Families under financial stress as a result of a Soldier’s deployment, funds for financial assistance to Soldiers who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty, support for Family Support activities such as funds for Care Packages and phone cards to deployed Soldiers and support for other charitable organization, such as the Wounded Warrior Project, who support Soldiers and Veterans.

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What’s great about homeschooling? CHOICE!

Winter is finally here and for homeschoolers that likely means you’ve got a few weeks or months of homeschooling under your belt. By now you have likely found a rhythm, a routine, and are going about your days — unless, of course, you have hit a wall. A few weeks in is when you can definitely tell if a curriculum is working for you, if it’s the right one for your family, or if your children are enjoying it and learning. On the other side of that coin is the feeling that you have when you know it is not working. 

You try to ignore it. It nags at you each morning when you round up the kids to get school started. It gnaws on you when you are setting up your materials and books. What can you do about it? You spent a small fortune on it so you have to complete it. You raved about it to your friends and family so how can you just quit?

I’m going to let you in on a secret. If it is not working, put it down, and walk away. If it is not working, then it’s not worth it, regardless of how much you paid. In the end, it will cost you much more than the dollars spent. I know it can be difficult to admit that a costly curriculum, one that you just had to have, is essentially useless for your family. However, what is the price of using it anyway? Is it worth the struggle, the fight, or the tears from you and your children? 

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, Homeschool Options

Homeschooling on a Shoestring

Purchasing homeschooling curriculum for your children can be similar to buying a car for your family. Where I live you can spend about $50,000 for a 2014 luxury Lexus SUV, $30,000 for a new Grand Jeep Cherokee, or if you’re like my family with several children, you can buy a well used but reliable seven-passenger van for about $10,000. If you have limited finances, however, coming up with even $4,000 for a much older, higher miles vehicle may be more expensive than you can muster.

Fortunately, when it comes to homeschooling with severely limited resources, there’s good news.

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It’s Our Turn. Meet Team RWB

While you may know us as an organization that focuses on fitness, we aren’t simply building strong bodies.

Team RWB is about building strong communities. We understand that engaging and connecting with veterans is often the most critical step to accessing resources, finding new ways to lead, and ultimately making a smooth transition.

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The Joys of Pre-deployment

You know what is harder and more stressful than deployment? PRE-DEPLOYMENT.

My husband is leaving soon. OpSec, or operational security, prevents me from giving out any more details than that but he’s heading out for an extended period of time. But what many people don’t realize is that the deployment doesn’t simply begin on a Monday at 9:00 a.m. sharp. This isn’t your average work trip. Deployment begins long before the actual departure with work ups that usually leave our marriage feeling empty and drained.

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Live the Adventure in the North Carolina Smokies

Enjoy stunning views, fun filled outdoor activities, family attractions and more.  Located between Asheville, N.C. and Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg Tenn.,  Maggie Valley and Waynesville are a short trip to everywhere. If you were thinking about skiing in the mountains this winter, come and make some memories “smack dab” in the middle of the North Carolina Smokies.  It’s easy, it’s fun and there is plenty to see and do.

Winter offers a great family experience boasting activities that include some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the Southeast.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, SKI NORTH CAROLINA

Ski the North Carolina High Country

The North Carolina High Country is a bona fide winter sports destination. Three regionally distinctive downhill ski resorts within minutes of each other demand more than a rushed, single-day road trip to the slopes.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, SKI NORTH CAROLINA

Billy Graham Library Chronicles Ministries to Soldiers at War

One look at the 40-foot cross on the front of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., and you know that this place is different. Billy Graham ¬— whose more than 70-year ministry has reached millions through crusades, television, radio and Internet — followed God’s call to preach the Gospel. The library that bears his name gives visitors a glimpse into the history behind the personal and public life of the world-famous pastor and ambassador to world leaders.

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Relevant Tags: Griffon108, TRAVEL USA

Plan an Escape that is Merry and Bright for the Whole Family

As the fall harvest season ends and the weather turns cooler, the fun heats up in the Historic Hendersonville area. Hendersonville is located in the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and boasts mild weather year round. Winter is the perfect time to experience small town charm and holiday cheer with your whole family.

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Enjoy the Holidays at Universal Orlando® Resort

The holidays are a great time to experience Universal Orlando® Resort’s two theme parks full of amazing rides, shows and attractions as well as world-class dining and entertainment. In addition to all that’s offered year-round, the fun really ramps up during this season. The Macy’s Holiday Parade™ takes to the streets of Universal Studios® with colorful balloons and floats straight from the world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® in New York City. There are also marching bands, clowns and an appearance by Santa Claus. Afterwards, the parade is capped off with the spectacular tree lighting ceremony with music and a stunning display of lights.

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Paddles, pranks and priceless photos ...

“You want us to do WHAT?!”

From the incredulous tone of their voices and the horrified looks on their faces, you would’ve thought that I asked my two teenage children to use a spoon to remove a vital organ and place it in the Ziploc bag I was holding out. In reality, all they had to do was put their cell phones in the bag until the end of the day. My 10 year old, not yet allowed to have a cell phone, just smirked as she listened to them spout off the reasons why they NEEDED their cell phones. She knew as well as they did that this was one argument they weren’t going to win.

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McKinney Offers Family Fun All Year in North Texas

Military families looking for a fun getaway in North Texas will find a little of everything — arts, nature, live entertainment, sports and fitness — in the fast growing Dallas suburb of McKinney.

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Military Honored with Discounts and more

January 1-March 31, 2015

Hero Appreciation Months

Every December in Three Rivers, Lake Kaweah and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, you find us busily nailing down the final details for Hero Appreciation Months, the annual program that runs January through March, hosted by the all-volunteer Sequoia Foothills Chamber in Three Rivers. During Heroes Months, participating member businesses honor those who have served in the military and those who have served as first responders with discounts, along with free celebrations and free family-friendly events that are open to all.

Our museum prepares for the celebrations with new displays. Local artists create a unique piece of art for our honorees. The Arts Center makes room for Learn to Square Dance Parties. Wuksachi Resort in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks prepares for the Snowman Contest and last, but not least, the U.S. Army Corps at Lake Kaweah gets ready for the Bathtub Race.

January 17, 2015
Snowman Contest in Sequoia National Park

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Wytheville offers great variety all seasons

Southwest Virginia is alive with authentic and vibrant experiences. Nowhere will you find that more apparent than in the center of this Virginia region in Wytheville, Virginia.

Abundance of Outdoor Recreation

With almost 60,000 acres of public lands, the area is a fabulous location to find a variety of year-round recreational opportunities. Even as the weather grows colder and the foliage leaves the trees, the beauty of the area can be seen in a blanket of white or the unhindered views on a clear, crisp morning. Hunters will find the quiet serenity to be ideal for their game sport as they explore areas deep within pristine forests. The lakes, rivers, and streams of the area offer ample opportunities for premiere fishing in winter waters. Hikers can achieve invigorating walks in the clean mountain air.

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Mississippi Gulf Coast is Fun for the Whole Family

Here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we want guests to experience the adventurous, authentic, laid-back, optimistic, and welcoming style. There are a wide variety of family activities along its coastline, from land to water!

Sightseeing and Museums

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The Griffon Vol. 38.4 (Winter 2014)

The Griffon Vol. 38.4 (Winter 2014)
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The 108th Training Command got its start as part of an elaborate deception prior to Operation Overlord, the D-Day Invasion of France in World War II. The Division was a "phantom" division created on paper and assigned to the First United States Army Group under the command of General George Patton. We were the original Institutional Training (IT) Division and remain one of seven training divisions for the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard. The Griffon is in its 30th publishing year as an award-winning authorized publication written in the interest of the men and women of the 108th Training Command.

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