Griffon 108th Spring 2022 Digital Edition

Page 1

V O L U M E 4 6 .1 | S P R I N G 2 0 2 2 | W W W.T H E G R I F F O N 1 0 8 . C O M

Honoring Those who Serve.

PXG’s appreciation for the men and women who serve our country runs deep. As a United States Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, PXG Founder Bob Parsons credits his success in life and business to the Corps. Honoring his service and yours is part of our DNA — from our club numbering system and Darkness apparel collection to our PXG for Heroes program, which offers special pricing to current and former military members and first responders. This special pricing includes select clubs, apparel, accessories, headwear and bags. To view our Heroes pricing, simply visit and verify your identification with

PXG clubs are only sold direct by PXG. PXG. COM | 84 4 . PLAY.PXG


PXG for Heroes™ is designed to provide the world’s finest golf equipment and gear to our nation’s finest – the men and women of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and EMTs. The program was founded as a small way to say thank you to those who serve our community.


108th Training Command (IET)

Commanding General: Maj. Gen. Andrew Juknelis Command Sgt. Maj.: Command Sgt. Maj. Juddiah Mooso Deputy Commanding General: Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Farris Command Chief Warrant Officer: CW45 Joseph Sutton Chief of Staff: Col. Charles C. Jordan Command Executive Officer: Mr. Charles Fairbanks

108th Training Command Public Affairs (IET) Public Affairs Officer: Lt. Col. Michelle A. Lunato Public Affairs NCOIC: Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Vine

98th Training Division (IET)

Commanding General: Col. Donald R. Ellison Jr. Command Sgt. Maj. : Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Kaim Public Affairs Officer (vacant) Public Affairs NCOIC (Sgt. Jeffery Harris)

104th Training Division (LT)

Commanding General: Brig. Gen. Rodney J. Fischer Command Sgt. Maj. : Command Sgt. Maj. Neil J. Pierce Public Affairs Officer: Capt. Christian S. Venhuizen Public Affairs NCOIC: Sgt. 1st Class Darleen G. Adkins

95th Training Division (IET)

Commander: Brig. Gen. Susie Kuilan Command Sgt. Maj.: Command Sgt. Maj. Kyle Edwards Public Affairs Officer: Capt. John Brown Public Affairs NCOIC: Sgt. Joline Ngo

Scan QR Code and click link to follow

Follow the 108th Training Command on: Facebook:





To coordinate news coverage, contact the 108th Training Command Public Affairs Office - 704-227-2829 Deadlines: Winter: Dec. 17th | Spring: March 14th The Griffon is published four times a year and is an authorized publication for members of the Army. Contents of The Griffon are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, Department of the Army, or the 108th Training Command (IET). The appearance of advertising in this publication, including supplements and inserts, does not in any way constitute an endorsement by the Department of the Army or Knight Communications, Inc. of the products or services advertised. Everything advertised in this publication must be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to the race, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, use or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. The Griffon is an unofficial publication authorized by AR360-1. Editorial content is prepared, edited, and provided by the Public Affairs Office of the 108th Training Command (IET). The Griffon is published by Knight Communications, Inc., 10150 Mallard Creek Road, Suite 201, Charlotte, NC, 28262 — a private firm in no way connected with the Department of the Army, under exclusive written contract with the 108th Training Command (IET). Material for publication may be submitted to: PAO, 1330 Westover Street, Charlotte, NC 28205-5124.




From the Command Sergeant Major

12 Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Priest Receives the Civil Affairs Regimental Award

Command Sgt. Maj. Juddiah Mooso CSM, 108th Training Command (IET) 95TH TRAINING DIVISION (IET)

4 4

13 The 108th Training ComBrig. Gen. Susie Kuilan mand (IET) Host Ace-Si CG, 95th Training Division (IET) and SLRRT Training From the Commander Col. Donald R. Ellison Jr. 14 A Recovered History 24 What is ‘Leadership’ in a Global Pandemic?

From the Command Sergeant Major

26 DSC Hat Press: A 2-317th BN Corner Stone Training Event

Command Sgt. Maj. Todd R. Kaim Commanding, 98th Training Division (IET)



From the Commander

Commander, 98th T raining Division (IET)


22 Reserve Soldier Featured at Museum as Local Hero

From the Command Sergeant Major

28 Camaraderie Is Key

Command Sgt. Maj. Neil Pierce CSM, 104th Training Division (Leader Training)


30 We Suffered Together & We Thrived as a Team 15 Never Give Up 16 95th Training Division Best Warriors 17 Welcome to the Seven Percent Club


Meet the 108th Best Warriors


America’s Army Reserve Celebrates 114 Years of Service

18 1st Brigade Yearly Training Brief (YTB) 98TH TRAINING DIVISION (IET)

19 From Best Warrior Competition to Air Assault

20 Division Leaders 10 April—Alcohol Awareness Visit Chickamauga Prevention Month Battlefield 11 Summer Safety Do’s & Dont’s 2 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022

31 My First Best Warrior Competition 32 G1 Warrant Officer Shares the Significance of Personal Growth and Professional Milestones 33 104th Training Division (Leader Training) Holds 2022 Combined Yearlry Training & Mission Back Brief SPECIAL MILITARY RESOURCES GUIDE (ADVERTORIAL)

34 Travel, Education, and More

21 Task Force Marshall Transfer of Authority WWW.THEGRIFFON108.COM





here is nothing I enjoy more about my job in the Army than traveling and talking to our great leaders and Soldiers. In my discussions, I like to ask Soldiers specifically what they enjoy most about the Army. Without a doubt, the answers I hear the most are the comradery and opportunity the Army gives them to be a part of something bigger than themselves. I couldn’t agree more. When I ask them what they’d like to do more often- the resounding response is they’d like to spend

Like many of you, I have personally witnessed and taken part in many of these events. Aside from enjoying the events themselves, I’m always awed by the tremendous amount of teamwork I see as the Soldiers work their way through the events. In fact, most competitors establish lasting, even life-long, relationships with their counterparts whom they might’ve never met had they not volunteered to compete. Almost as a side effect, these Soldiers and NCOs expand their networks and come away motivated and re-energized having been given

How many of us are actively encouraging our best and brightest Soldiers and NCOs to challenge themselves to take part in the BWC? more time doing their jobs (what they came here to do). With all the Army’s mandatory and continuing requirements, leaders often find it challenging to keep the main thing, the main thing. As we come into the peak season of the annual Best Warrior Competition (BWC), I think of the enormous opportunity this competition provides our Soldiers to do exactly what they tell me they want to do–Army Stuff! We all see the pictures and enjoy watching the competitors get after it in the physically and mentally challenging events at various levels of competition. But how many of us are actively encouraging our best and brightest Soldiers and NCOs to challenge themselves to take part in the BWC? How many of us are explaining the opportunities these sorts of events offer all competitors, let alone the winners? What about the other Band of Excellence opportunities offered each year to Soldiers of all ranks throughout the USAR such as Expert Soldier Badge (ESB), Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB), and the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GAFPB).

the opportunity to do things they never thought they may have the chance to do in their Army careers. Nearly all of them return to their units ready to build the next cohort of future competitors. Support staff reap many of the same rewards as they work within their CMF and utilize their knowledge and skills to provide quality events for the competitors. Aside from teamwork, the Soldiers involved in these events often have the chance to be heard by senior leaders and VIPs who come to show their support. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had Soldiers at these events tell me how the Army could be even better, and I always listen. This is a prime opportunity for them to be seen and extend their influence beyond their assigned units. More times than not, I come away with a new perspective on something I hadn’t considered in the past- ultimately, I grow as a leader and am able to re-energize and even re-prioritize initiatives. It’s no secret that some units are better than others at getting the word out to their Soldiers about

these great opportunities, but just think of them like the holidays. The BWC events are always planned backwards from the HQDA BWC, and so, are always held at the same time each year. That said, the time is now to start getting the word out on next year’s BWC event. Leaders–I challenge you to identify and engage potential competitors in your units. Soldiers–I challenge each of you to step up and challenge yourselves to take part in these amazing opportunities. If these sorts of competitions aren’t right for you as a Soldier, then seek out and exploit other opportunities to stand out amongst your peers and become more competitive for promotion. Some ways to do this include, exceeding course standards while attending your PME (Honor Graduate / Distinguished Honor Graduate), completing online training such as the Senior Enlisted Joint

Command Sgt. Maj. Juddiah Mooso CSM, 108th Training Command (IET)

Professional Military Education (SEJPME levels 1 &2) courses available for free on the JKO website (, becoming a member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club or other branch specific clubs, excelling in civilian education, becoming a member of local committees, or simply volunteering for local charities and events. There are many ways to compete in the U.S. Army Reserve, the key is to ask questions, be persistent, and stay engaged in setting after and achieving your personal goals. Best of luck to each of you! First in Training! –CSM Mooso | Griffon 7

continue your purpose as a medic we will train you CSP approved Competitive salary, excellent benefits

join our team




o much has happened recently in the world of the 95th Training Division that sometimes, it’s hard to keep up. We recently held our Division Best Warrior Competition in conjunction with our Leadership Symposium. Having the two events together is a lot of work, but has some great benefits. The command teams get information from the Division Staff and get the opportunity to network with them. Additionally, they get to see some of their competitors in action. At the end of the event, we held a dining out but with some aspects of a dining in, such as a grog bowl and Mr Vice. We then announced and awarded our winners. Our Commissioned Officer of the Year and our next year’s McArthur Award nominee is 1st Lt. Jessica Romero. Our Drill Sergeant of the Year is Drill Sergeant Jorge Juarez, and he will compete for the Reserve

Component Drill Sergeant of the Year at TRADOC in late summer. Our Noncommissioned Officer of the Year is Sgt. 1st Class Delbert Rossiter who was 108th Training Command NCO of the Year runnerup. And lastly, our Soldier of the Year is Spc. Brady Benedict, who also became the 108th Training Command’s winner and will go on to compete at USARC level. During the Leadership Symposium, various staff members briefed the brigade and battalion command teams on various administrative and command issues, such as IPPS-A conversion, DSPAS and tracking drill sergeants as they get ready to go to the academy, and several supply related issues among other briefings and training sessions. We also took time to watch a movie directly related to the 95th Division called Dear Sirs, which is written about in greater detail in another article. Lastly, we had our quarterly book discussion on the Talking to Strangers by Malcolm

Gladwell. This discussion was invaluable and several Soldiers mentioned that they have new insights into what different people are thinking and the way they may view the world differently. We also have a new first sergeant coming into our Division. As we welcomed a new HHC First Sergeant, 1st Sgt. Edward Kendall, we also farewelled 1st Sgt. Jenna Russell, who will become a first sergeant at one of the drill sergeant companies. We also have some key people departing the Division. We said goodbye to our G3, Col. Cook, as I also presided over his promotion to Brigadier General. Col. Hill, my deputy, will also be leaving for Brigade Command within the 91st Division. We all wish them well. One of the best times recently, was taking the ACFT with the new standards. I’ve talked to numerous people who really liked the ACFT, but felt that the old version was very unfair and not helpful as a

Brig. Gen. Susie Kuilan CG, 95th Training Division (IET)

tool. This new version with the new gender and age standards, is not only fun, but most of the people who I have spoken to believe it is a more fair and accurate assessment of someone’s physical fitness. I bring this up just to show a bit more about change and the busy factor that we (as well as others) are experiencing right now. Sometimes it’s just great being a Soldier. Ironman 6 out! Ironmen of Metz. Victory Division.





Greetings Iroquois Warriors and fellow division Soldiers of the 108th Training Command! As I reflect on my ten months in command of this division, and after completing our Fiscal Year 23 training briefs by the brigades and battalions of 98th, I think of our legacy as a division. In July this year, we will celebrate more than 104 years of service to the Nation. Through those years the division’s “Iroquois Warriors” have defended the Nation by expanding the military’s might through mobilizations to expand the training base, and conducted deployments into combat theaters in support of this grateful Nation. The training briefs not only represent our plans to protect the country, but also continue to positively represent the significance of the Iroquois impact on democratic society. Capt. Laurence W. Feasel wrote in Fifty Years of Service, A History of the 98th Division: “The main feature of the insignia, an Indian


head, symbolized the five nations of the Iroquois - the most powerful Indians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and renowned to this day for their highly developed system of representative government.” The patch we wear, much like the flag, is representative of our democracy. Therefore, Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Kaim and I consistently reference the Iroquois war bonnet and its five feathers during our briefings. Each feather is a symbol of the five tribes. Without the efforts of each feather, or tribes (i.e., battalion and brigade), the future force of the Army and democracy, as we know it, will suffer. The 98th Training Division’s continued successes, and second brigade’s historic significance to the Iroquois will soon be recognized by Seneca Tribal ancestors. By the time this issue of the Griffon releases, 2nd Brigade will be known as the Seneca Brigade. This recognition is representative of the division’s continuing impact on the United States’ mission to

protect democratic society from the tyranny seen abroad. In closing, I challenge each of you ramp up YOUR individual effort to participate in the training laid out in the FY23 training briefs in-order-to maintain yourself and equipment. Always stand ready to deploy as a collective “WAR BONNET” and fight to uphold the 98th Training Division’s legacy to protect democracy. It was my honor to serve alongside each of you as the

Col. Donald R. Ellison Jr. Commander, 98th Training Division (IET)

Acting Commanding General, and on behalf of all Iroquois Warriors and their families, I welcome Brig. Gen. David M. Samuelsen as our next Commanding General. Iroquois 6, OUT!





would like to pose a question to all Soldiers, and it is: Are you mission capable? Whether you are an individual Soldier, leader, officer, enlisted or NCO, you need to understand what it means to be mission capable. When we look at world events and understand how we as an institution are postured to meet our mission, and deal with ever changing threats, it means getting back to basic Soldier and unit capabilities. If called upon at a moment’s notice, or within 30 days, are you ready to go support at our Army Training Centers or perform any

duty across the globe? Will you and your family be taken care of, or will you be scrambling to gather documents to update your records. We have all been there before, and the excuse of, we will do it at Soldier Readiness Processing, is not the answer. We have an obligation and duty to ourselves, our families, and the Soldiers we lead, to maintain a level of readiness across the board from administrative, medical, training, and fitness so that when called upon, we are ready—not give me 30, 60, 90 days and I’ll get ready. From a leader perspective is your unit mission capable or mission ineffective? What am I doing as a leader to ensure I am providing that

unit capability to big Army? Coming out of the division yearly training briefs, leaders laid out their plans to get after all the items mentioned above. So now is the time to plan and execute on your intent. We should be focused on these obligations year-round, but now more than ever, I ask that you use this time to refocus and reengage at all levels to ensure we are providing mission capable Soldiers and units in support of the Army’s efforts. We have made great progress in the past year, and I can only expect we will continue to drive forward to greater success and continue to build a strong competitive team. I am proud to serve with each and every one of you.

Command Sgt. Maj. Todd R. Kaim CSM, 98th Training Division (IET)

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive.” –Maya Angelou Iroquois 7




wanted to speak to each of you about “leadership.” I know there are thousands of thoughts on this topic, but I wanted to direct my thoughts on leadership as it pertains to the Army Reserve. These are what my beliefs are and they have gotten me to where I am today, and hopefully, it will provide some insight for you and your career.

I agree 100 percent with the saying that you must “lead from the front.” So, what does that mean to us in the Army Reserve. I believe that your Soldiers need to see you as much as possible. You should be present as much as possible. I, of all people, know that between meetings, conferences and huddles, sometimes that may seem

impossible, but you must try to accomplish this task. When you are present, be the first in line for whatever is going on (physical training, equal opportunity, suicide prevention, etc). These are yours, and the commander’s programs, so own them. I also think if you are in any leadership position, you must be approachable. Long gone are the

days of the old grumpy sergeant major or first sergeant who only comes out of their office during a full moon. I always say that I can’t remember taking a class at the Sergeant Major Academy that taught me to be a “jerk.” I am not saying that you need to be everyone’s buddy. Your Soldiers must be able to reach out to you, in

both good times and bad, without the fear of repercussions. This will let you know what is really going on in your formations, and hopefully head off any issues before they grow into something larger. I also believe you must ensure that your Soldiers are doing the right thing when it comes to worklife balance. You must remember that as a leader, everyone is looking

at you. The Army, and especially the Army Reserve, will never tell you that you have done enough. They will always ask for more. You must be sure that your Soldiers are taking care of their families, as well as their civilian employers. My wife has always referred to the Army as my “hobby.” I think there is truth in

Command Sgt. Maj. Neil Pierce CSM, 104th Training Division (Leader Training)

that statement. I love being a part of the Army, as well as I am sure that I talk about it too much during the day. I am a military professional and my service and work is very real, but at the end of the day, it’s not what makes a living for me, or the vast majority of us. It’s the extra thing that we have all asked to be a part of, and committed to having in our lives. I will close by saying, remember that you asked for this position. No matter what role you have as a leader, we all either provided a packet or signed a 4187 to be transferred. I say this because, not only is everyone watching us, but it’s very easy to get overwhelmed (we have all been there) but when you feel like you just can’t handle another email, phone call or situation…just take a deep breath and remember this is just something you are a part of, its not your entire self-worth. It is also something that we have each and every one asked to be involved with in our lives. All you can do is lean forward in the foxhole. Timberwolves, you can handle this, just like the leaders before you did. SPRING 2022 | THE GRIFFON | 5


MEET THE 108TH BEST WARRIORS By Sgt. Jeffery Harris, 98th Training Division PAO

From left: Command Sgt. Maj. Juddiah Musso; Spc. Brady Benedict; Sgt. Benjamin Parler; Maj. Gen. Andrew Juknelis


ORT HUNTERLIGGETT, Calif. – Three Soldiers striving to be the best of the best of the best: a garage band drummer, a truck driver and high school principal walk into a room… and it’s not the beginning of a bad joke, but the continuation of the warriors’ journeys. For Spc. Brady Benedict, Staff Sgt. Benjamin Parler and Sgt 1st Class Delbert Rossiter, all of the Army Reserve’s 108th Training Command, this is not their first rodeo. The three Soldiers showcased the best of their abilities in their war fighting skills and Soldier tasks by being standout performers in their quest to the U.S. Army Reserve Command Best Warrior Competition. The event brings together top-tier Soldiers to test their mental and physical fortitude all while performing basic Soldier tasks. Spc. Brady Benedict is a native 6 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022

of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma currently serving as an Army Reserve military police officer with the 95th Training Division of the 108th Training Command. Benedict has surpassed his peers in high level performances, instituting him to be the best Soldier in the command to represent the 108th Training Command at the next level. Establishing himself to be the best of the 95th and the best of the 108th , the best of the best. When Benedict is not sharpening his land navigation skills or shooting targets on the range, he plays the drums for his garage band. Benedict, alongside his college roommates, performs at local bars in Weatherford, Oklahoma where he finds joy in playing the drums. “My performances prepare me for long nights in competitions and make the nights go by easier.” While some Soldiers may struggle conducting a 12-mile ruck march, Benedict is playing drums in his head, jamming out to his own tunes along the way.

Community Respect Integrity Excellence Compassion Faith Justice

The online college that shares your values.


Sgt 1st Class Delbert Rossiter

He looks forward to opportunities that challenge his skills at the next level, to put himself in a better position to lead and train Soldiers. Benedict has aspirations of becoming a drill sergeant in the very near future of his military career and will also utilize his skills in his civilian vocation to finish

college and become a firefighter in Oklahoma. Throughout his experiences he has looked up to his noncommissioned officer, Rossiter, for advice and guidance in excelling to the next level. Rossiter has over 16 years of service as a military police officer and drill sergeant in the Army

Reserve. When Rossiter is not training future Soldiers in the U.S. Army, he is patrolling the hallways as a high school principal. Rossiter serves as high school principal at Turner public schools in Burneyville, Oklahoma. He chose a career in the Army Reserve after serving four years on active duty because he wanted to continue to serve, while pursuing a career in education. He has spent years being a contributing factor to shaping the minds of young people and finds joy in it all, while being a father to his daughter, Emma. Even though he is a well decorated noncommissioned officer, he still looks for ways to compete and stay motivated. “Achieving excellence is simply reaching your full potential. Competitions, like the Best Warrior, are a great way to push your mind and body to the limit,” says Rossiter. Rossiter continues to push himself and motivate others along his journey to be the best of the best, but doesn’t intend to stop there. He has aspirations of obtaining a doctorate from his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, and becoming a future command sergeant major of the 95th Training Division. Being a principal, Rossiter has a very intense schedule but still tries to find the time to prioritize preparation for upcoming events as looks forward to

competing at the next level. Calling him just a truck driver would be a complete understatement. Staff Sgt. Benjamin Parler is a resiliently motivated Soldier and family man. Parler was given an ultimatum early on in life from his father, “The three Es—enroll, enlist or eviction.” Early in his career he knew being evicted would not be an option for success in life and decided to enlist into the U.S. Army. Parler decided to follow the footsteps of his brother and become an airborne infantryman of the 82nd Airborne Division, conducting two combat tours in Afghanistan. Later he transitioned to the Army Reserve under the 95th Training Division as a drill sergeant. Parler is a hard worker who is inspired by his wife, Terri, and their four children Sareh, Benjamin, Eva and Elias. He enjoys spending time with family in between being on the road driving trucks, training for military competitions and maintaining his proficiency in warrior tasks and drills. Parler is a contracted logistics specialist and truck driver for Sunbelt Rentals that transports construction equipment across the country. He is able to implement his training skills through his civilian occupation where he trains, operates and transports heavy machinery. SPRING 2022 | THE GRIFFON | 7

Parler will continue to push himself through his military career because he wants to see what he is capable of. He is capable of being the best of the best of the best in representing the 108th Training Command at the USARC BWC. Parler welcomes all new challenges and has high expectations

for the rest of his military career. The next time you hear the statement, a garage drum player, a truck driver and high school principal walk into a room, think of some of the Army’s best of the best of the best. Benedict, Rossiter and Parler will continue to excel in their military

and civilian careers because of their determination and desire to challenge themselves and be the best Soldiers they can be. They tend to separate themselves from their peers because they are not only trying to obtain experience and knowledge to progress, but to train future Soldiers and provide

leadership through the ranks. After these competitions are over, this will not be the last time we hear their names . Leaders expect more great things from the best of the best of the 108th Training Command and it is safe to say, this will be an ongoing story for all three of them.

WHEREVER YOU SERVE In-Person Testing, Walk-In Applicants Welcome

May 19-21

City Colleges of Chicago

Earn a salary of $82,458 after 18 months, plus benefits

Drury GO can help you succeed where ever life – or the military – may take you. With seated and online classes available, you can earn your degree from an accredited university that will help you maximize your military education benefits. Learn more at or by calling (417) 873-6620. 8 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022



AMERICA’S ARMY RESERVE AND ITS PEOPLE, SHAPING TOMORROW! 114 Years of Service to the Army and the Nation



n 23 April, America’s Army Reserve celebrated the generations of Soldiers who, like many patriots before them, embraced their roles as “Citizen Soldiers,” continuing their proud and distinguished legacy of service in the Army Reserve. 114 years ago, Congress created the Medical Reserve Corps, a group of 160 doctors formed to provide the Nation with a reservoir of trained medical professionals for employment in times of national emergency. A month after Congress established the Medical Reserve Corps in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt, signed the bill into law. Later, under the National Defense Act of 1920, Congress created the Organized Reserves for officers and enlisted Soldiers. Since its inception as the Medical Reserve Corps, the United States Army Reserve has mobilized more than one million Soldiers in defense of the Nation. Through the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, the Global War on Terror, and countless other crises, operations, emergencies, and natural disasters, Army Reserve Warrior Citizens have never failed to answer the Nation’s call. Throughout history, they have added substantial value and depth to the force through civilian sector skills, education and expertise. Today, that reserve force is known as the U.S. Army Reserve, a skill-rich force of more than 189,000 Soldiers - men and women with great talents and abilities. The leadership, bravery and expertise of these patriots makes a decisive impact on the future of our country and the cause of freedom and democracy. As we begin our next 114 years of service, we do so as one of the most battle- tested and experienced forces in our nation’s history . Ready Now. Shaping Tomorrow!







Ranked among the Best Colleges for Veterans

Green 2 Gold Scholarships awarded annually

Flexible online degree programs including business, ministry, communication, computer science, community psychology and organizational leadership are available

L E A R N M O R E AT P B A . E D U 5 6 1 .8 0 3 .2 100 • a d m i t @ p b a . e d u

We would be honored to connect with you!

Happy 114th Birthday, Army Reserve! SPRING 2022 | THE GRIFFON | 9




he month of April is recognized as Alcohol Awareness Month. Alcohol Awareness Month is a public health program organized by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence as a way of increasing

changes, the likelihood of group gatherings increase. This is also the time when we can all focus on promoting a responsible culture concerning alcohol use by all of our military and DOD Civilians. Alcohol use is legal and socially acceptable, if used responsibly and

provides a wellness environment, free of substance abuse and substance abuse related problems for Soldiers, civilians, retirees and their family members. The Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) mission is to identify, treat, and rehabilitate

administrative, and rehabilitative tools to combat substance abuse and the misuse of alcohol. The “Importance of Alcohol Awareness Month” alerts the workforce and the community to reach out for opportunities to help address their own issues or that of family members, especially to

outreach and education regarding the dangers of alcoholism and issues related to alcohol. The program was started in April of 1987 and became a national movement to draw more attention to the causes and effects of alcoholism, as well as how to help families and communities to deal with drinking problems. Research supports the dangers of Alcohol misuse as a significant cause of accidents and its overall harmful impact on the lives of individuals and families, especially evident during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is by far the most abused substance in the Army. As the weather and season

in moderation. However, alcohol is not authorized during duty hours. The 108th Training Command (IET), encourages all commanders and civilian supervisors to maintain a responsible culture concerning alcohol use, embrace preventive education in support of a healthy and productive workforce, and promote mission readiness for a better quality of life. It is imperative that all members of the U.S. Army Reserve, military and civilian alike, embrace the Army Substance Abuse Prevention and Drug Demand Reduction Programs and culture, which

substance abusers; to strengthen the overall fitness and effectiveness of the Army’s total workforce; and to enhance the combat readiness of its Soldiers. It must be a collaborative effort of all members of the workforce to exercise personal responsibility and promote unit readiness. Commanders and civilian supervisors are responsible to use the full range of preventive, investigative, disciplinary,

those who may not fully appreciate the dangers of unhealthy alcohol consumption. “Be Army Strong,” seek help from the 108thTraining Command (IET) Drug Demand Reduction Office, Army One Source, Alcohol Anonymous Support Groups, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMSHA), mental health, or your local spiritual support team.

Find out why veterans are choosing

Campbellsville University NEW Reduced Tuition of only $250 per credit hour* Military Friendly® School Yellow Ribbon Member Ranked 4th Most Affordable Top Regional College in the South Military and Veteran Resources 100% Online Degree Programs

YO U A L R E A DY K N OW WHAT IT MEANS TO Live with Honor. COME JOIN OUR TEAM & Work for Justice. Hiring for Police, Corrections & Civilian Positions Paid Training | Paid Time Off | $5,000 Signing Bonus for Corrections Applicants Continue making a difference by applying at: Jacksonville Sheriff ’s Office | Duval County, Florida Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Employer 202010 Army Magazine FINAL.indd 1


10/22/2020 2:32:16 PM

*This includes Active duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel. Graduate degree online may be eligible for a reduced tuition of only $275 per credit hour.


Summer Safety Do’s & Dont’s HEAT INJURY PREVENTION • Drink plenty of water • Avoid heavy meals • Wear appropriate clothing • Use sunscreen • Keep areas well ventilated • Schedule outdoor activities during the cooler part of the day • Monitor those at risk • Use common sense HEAT CRAMPS CAUSE Excessive loss of salt from the body SYMPTOMS Painful cramps of the major muscle groups (arms, legs, or stomach) TREATMENT Provide cool water - shade - monitor HEAT EXHAUSTION CAUSE Excessive loss of salt and water in the body SYMPTOMS Profuse sweating - headache - paleness

- weakness - nausea - cool moist skin tingling sensation in extremities TREATMENT Provide water - shade - elevate feet - monitor seek medical attention immediately HEAT STROKE CAUSE The body’s heat regulatory mechanism stops SYMPTOMS Headache - dizziness - delirium weakness - nausea - red, hot skin unconsciousness

• Frequently related to alcohol use Be Safe around Water Boating Mishaps Most boating mishaps involve capsizing, falls overboard and collisions. About 90% of all fatalities are caused by drowning, and in nearly all cases personal floatation (PFD’s) were NOT used.

POV SAFETY Factors that influence our risk:


• Distractions

• Most often occur during off-duty recreational swimming in unauthorized swimming areas after dark

Seatbelts prevent deaths in 62% of all potentially fatal crashes. Add an air bag to the buckled seatbelt and you increase your odds of surviving the crash to 47%

Drinking + Water = Trouble

• Fatigue

• Are a leading cause of death



TREATMENT MEDICAL EMERGENCY!! cool shaded area - soak clothing and fan - elevate feet - massage extremities


injured than a sober driver. About 48%of all traffic fatalities involve an intoxicated or alcohol impaired person.

• Speed • ALCOHOL • Seatbelt Use Vehicle accidents are #1 killer ALCOHOL The intoxicated driver is 15x more likely to be involved in a crash and to be fatally

Don’t take a Risk, wait to respond; they’ll thank you for it when you arrive, ALIVE!

Starting a career? It helps to be BRAVE. Your unique skills, leadership and experience are valued at Regions. Our Building Regions Associate Veterans Experience (BRAVE) program helps military veterans considering a banking career to find their place on our team. Interested? Learn more at

© 2021 Regions Bank. Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans | Regions and the Regions logo are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.





rig. Gen. Jeffrey Farris, Deputy Commanding General of the 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training) presented Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Priest, Command Sergeant Major of the 3rd Medical Command (Theater), the General Winfield Scott Gold Medallion in Peachtree City, Georgia on February 5, 2022. Farris said it was a privilege to present the Civil Affairs Regimental Award to Priest, who was the prior Command Sergeant Major of the 108th Training Command (IET). “It was an honor to present the Winfield Scott Medallion to CSM Priest for not only his contributions to the Civil Affairs community, but also his continued leadership has made such a huge impact on the Soldiers of both the 108th Training Command and 3rd Medical Command (Theater).” Civil Affairs Regimental awards come in Bronze, Silver and Gold, with Gold being the most prestigious. The medallions are named after General Winfield Scott, who is considered to be the “Father of Civil Affairs” for his remarkable negotiation skills as a “Warrior-Diplomat” at the end of the Black Hawk War and his service in the U.S. - Mexican War. Receiving this award marks an important distinction in one’s career as a Civil Affairs professional and further validates the contributions to the defense of the Nation as a ‘WarriorDiplomat.’


Portland Police Bureau – $75,675 - $107,736 plus pay incentives – $5,000 new-hire bonus – Starting at 250+ hours a year vacation, personal time and holiday 12 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022




n the first and second quarter, the 108th Training Command (IET) hosted Ask, Care, Escort – Suicide Intervention (ACE-SI) and Soldier Leader Risk Reduction Toolkit (SLRRT) suicide prevention training. ACE-SI provides Soldiers with the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to intervene with those at risk for suicide. ACE stands for Ask, Care and Escort. The purpose of ACE is to help Soldiers and junior leaders become more aware of steps they can take to prevent suicides and be confident in their ability to intervene. ACE encourages Soldiers to directly

ask questions to any battle buddy who exhibits suicidal behavior. The battle buddy should ask a fellow Soldier whether he or she is suicidal, care for the Soldier, and escort the Soldier to get professional help. SLRRT is a tool designed to help leaders identify potential risk among their Soldiers, address concerns or potential problems and provide them with the necessary resources and support that may be needed, and a method to follow up. If you are interested in attending suicide prevention training, please contact your respective Suicide Prevention Program Manager for more information.

Discover Your Brilliance. Moravian University offers transformative support and access for veterans and military-connected students.

• 75+ undergraduate programs • 45+ graduate degrees and certificates (Online options available!)

• Adult degree completion opportunities

GIVING YOU THE FREEDOM TO LEARN At American Military University (AMU), Reservists have the freedom to choose how to use education benefits. COMPLETE A DEGREE ONLINE AMU’s Freedom Grant® covers tuition above the military tuition assistance cap of $250/credit hour for all U.S. servicemembers pursuing undergraduate and master’s-level education.* Plus, get nocost undergraduate and master’s-level textbooks/ebooks and a technology fee waiver. Military tuition grant available for military spouses and dependents as well. SEEK PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION Choose courses in business, health and fitness, technology, and trades—all available 100% online 24/7—to prepare for exams that lead to industry-recognized certifications. Credentialing assistance available for most programs.

Exercise Your Freedom to Learn. To learn more or find your rep, visit *The Freedom Grant is available to all U.S. active-duty servicemembers, National Guard members, and Reservists. American Military University is part of American Public University System, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( American Military University is not affiliated with the U.S. military. For more about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete a program, and other important information, visit

4062_AMU_GriffonPublication_Ad_0621.indd 1

6/22/21 3:56 PM



A RECOVERED HISTORY By Capt. Eli Swaim, 2nd Battalion, 354 Regiment


t the end of the day, the 95th Victory Division is a collection of people. The collection is anything but simple. Our people carry on a tradition of victory in the face of overwhelming odds at the hands of the enemy. But how do we continue to move forward if we fail to remember? Not every story is told. Some are lost forever, while others are found. 80 years ago, in the plains of Oklahoma, the 95th Division was activated after the United States entered World War II. This is where his story begins. In November of 1944, Sgt Silvio J. Pedri of the 95th Infantry Division lived a life almost forgotten, a story never told. In 2018, 10 years after the death of SGT Pedri, his grandson Mark and Mark’s wife Carrie was residing in the home SGT Pedri left behind. Almost accidentally, Cary discovered an old knife under Silvo’s old bed one day. This planted the question in their minds, “What is the place where we’re staying?”. Soon after Mark and Carrie began to delve into their grandfather’s untold past. They discovered a man that they never knew existed. Silvo never spoke about his time as a Prisoner of War (POW) but he did keep a treasure trove of documents, letters, and photos that laid the path to finding his lost story. “These are the stories that were not told about. We’re fed history. We’re told that these are the heroes, or that’s what’s important. But really what’s important are these stories that are so close to us. Those are the stories that often get forgotten” “So that’s what I’m trying to do, save one story.” - Mark Now, having unveiled his grandfather’s mysterious and grand life abroad Mark set off on the adventure of a lifetime. Inspired by his grandfather’s mantra ‘if something was worth doing, then it was worth doing right’. Mark threw himself into a project of discovery. He decided to ride his bike across Germany in the winter to retrace, document, and honor Silvo’s path. A path that left behind his fiancé and a path that left behind 40,000 white crosses. “Driving from town to town in the spring to smell the flowers at each stop didn’t feel like the right way, but biking long, lonely stretches of frozen rural Germany did” -Mark “We’re going to stop the train we’re on and we’re going to do this project” -Carrie In February of 2019 Mark and 14 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022

Cary completed their trek. He went to where his grandfather went, saw some of what he saw, and lived a small piece of a story now recovered. Soldiers and civilians of the modern 95th Division pride themselves in their historical legacy of liberating Metz, France. Earning the name ‘Iron Men of Metz’ from the defeated Nazi leadership. The division headquarters and their downtrace command teams were lucky enough to view the completed work from Mark and Carrie’s journey. The compiled work and completed story are told through the documentary ‘Dear Sirs’. ‘Dear Sirs’ is currently touring

internationally across film festivals, universities, museums, American Legions, and VFWs telling SGT Pedri’s story as far and wide as possible.

“As the largest Wartime Veterans service organization, it is our duty to help ensure that the stories of our predecessors are told to as many people as possible.” - Mike Cooke, Wyoming American Legion State Commander 2020, Archie Hay Post WY 24 More information about the film and a trailer can be found on its website: At the end of the day, we are a collection of people, a collection of stories. This is one story that will live on. A story of love, a story of ferocity, and a story of loss never forgotten.


amazing thin do to er w po e th ve ha You

abilities. lock your passion. Your Cal U has the keys to un at Cal U. y and build your future or st ur yo k loc Un s. m Your drea WWW.THEGRIFFON108.COM


By Sgt. Joline Ngo, 95th Training Division Public Affairs NCOIC


ORT SILL, Okla. – “Never give up.” That’s the motto of a woman who has devoted herself to serving her Country. A woman who continues to fight for what she believes in, even when the odds are stacked against her. 1st Lt. Jessica Melizon Romero, the Executive Officer for Delta Company, 2/413, 95th Training Division, has served seven years in the U.S. Army Reserve and five years in the U.S. Army’s active component. “In all honesty, I joined for selfish reasons,” said Romero. “A chance at college and to just get away.” She explained that she believed her parents are great people and did the best they could, being immigrants from the Philippines and Ecuador. They were the first generations to make the U.S. their home. Despite their efforts, she remembers her family constantly moving around to find a home and struggling in high school, being a rebellious teenager. She eventually ended up getting kicked out of her school district and had to enroll into a continuation school to get enough credits to obtain her diploma.

“This is when the reality of my future began to settle in,” she said. “I remember a few recruiters came to my school and talked about how enlisting can earn you the right to go to college for free after serving.” Romero said she recalls thinking that it would be “cool” if she were the first person in her family to earn a college degree, but going to college at the time seemed like an impossibly funded task for her. That was when she decided to join the U.S. Army. As Romero’s career progressed, she decided she wanted to become a drill sergeant. “I had a great time under the hat,” she said. “Every time I donned it, I made it a point to try my best, to live up to the standard that it represents.” Drill sergeants are responsible for one of the most crucial parts of an Army Soldier’s development. They serve as mentors and leaders to new recruits by developing their confidence, physical fitness and skills needed to succeed in the Army. “Down in Fort Leonard Wood, my first cycle changed me,” said Romero. “I truly believe it was what I needed to help tune in on my leadership skills.” She said during her time as a drill

sergeant, she was able to learn so much from her peers. She described her experience as a fulfillment of a promise she made to herself, of passing down her knowledge and experience, just as her drill sergeants did for her. Following her drill sergeant journey, Romero decided it was time to further her scope to make a positive change in the U.S. Army and applied for Officer Candidate School. “Whenever I hear others chastising the Army, I always ask them, ‘What are you doing to change it?’” she said. She explained that it was not an easy process for her. At first, she was disqualified due to some medical issues and felt like there was no hope. She decided to get aggressive, to elevate her enlisted career and refine her leadership skills, also, while working on a waiver for OCS. The waiver took about a year to process and she had to reapply for OCS all over again. That, in itself, took another year to process. She was finally notified that she had been selected. “I was on trail in Fort Leonard Wood,” said Romero. “I remember being so sad–I knew that my time

as a drill sergeant was coming to an end.” She described it as bittersweet, but was excited to begin this new chapter. Romero has competed in six Best Warrior Competitions and recently won the title of the 95th Training Division Commissioned Officer of the Year. “A few years ago, I had the great privilege to compete for Drill Sergeant of the Year. Now that it has been opened to officers, I couldn’t turn down the challenge.” The division’s commanding general, Brig. Gen. Susie Kuilan, recalls visiting the 12-mile ruck march event and was blown away when she saw Romero come in second. She said she did not expect such a small person to make rucking with a thirty-five pound load look so easy. Kuilan was excited to announce her the division’s Commissioned Officer of the Year. “Males are stronger and faster, in most cases. This is just science,” said Romero. “What changes from individual to individual, is the amount of HEART that he or she is willing to put forth and the amount of effort to become successful.” SPRING 2022 | THE GRIFFON | 15


95TH TRAINING DIVISION BEST WARRIORS By Capt. Eli Swaim, 2nd Battalion, 354 Regiment


ort Sill, OK – From across the 95th Victory Division, Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, drill sergeants, and officers gathered to compete in the annual Best Warrior Competition. Across six days, the competitors were put to the test. The competition evaluated Soldiers on their individual task proficiency, small unit tactics, physical fitness, and warrior tasks. Competitors were graded on the Army Combat Fitness Test, drill & ceremonies, ranges (M4 and M17), physical readiness training, patrol situational training exercise lanes, casualty evaluation, various tactical situations, obstacle courses, and land navigation. “We got started right away. As soon as we were checked into the barracks, they were evaluating our packing list. Full layout. It started as unexpected and kept right on from there,” said Staff Sgt. Lopez, 2nd Battalion, 354 Regiment operations NCO. The six-day event consisted of the Best Warrior, Drill Sergeant of the Year, and Andrew Miller competitions. Our Commissioned Officer of the Year and our next year’s McArthur Award nominee is 1st Lt. Jessica Romero. Our Drill Sergeant of the Year is DS Jorge Juarez, and he will compete for the Reserve Component Drill Sergeant of the Year at TRADOC in late summer. Our Noncommissioned Officer of the Year is Sgt. 1st Class Delbert Rossiter, who was the 108th Training Command NCO of the Year runner-up. And lastly, our Soldier of the Year is Spc. Brady Benedict, who also became the 16 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022

108th Training Command’s winner and will go on to compete at the U.S. Army Reserve Command level. The BWC is not entirely about winning or losing, but rather it provides top performers with the recognition they deserve. A select few are inducted into the coveted Andrew Miller Club, a fraternity of those who live up to the legacy of the division’s only Medal of Honor recipient. During the competition’s history, many Soldiers have gone on to attend the military’s top schools. Through repeated evaluation, Soldiers can be assured that they can meet the standards required to accomplish their mission. The physical performance test represents a Soldier’s ability to perform basic functions associated with combat tasks, such as carrying equipment and weapons over varied terrain and comparing abilities side-by-side against other Soldiers in their immediate unit or squad. The BWC experience provides validation for those who carry themselves as the best of the best. Fellowship is no longer considered just a quality of Army life, it is an essential ingredient to its effectiveness. The fun didn’t stop at the individual level. Competitors were also evaluated on their ability to function as a team. With squad situational training exercise lanes, they had to come together to accomplish the mission. Teamwork and trust are not only hallmarks of good Soldiers, but also requirements for survival on the battlefields of today and tomorrow. The Best Warrior Challenge requires each team to enter into a competitive

environment that must be audible, visible, and attainable. “It was what the Best Warrior is supposed to be, who goes from

rucking 12 miles with 35lbs and right into a board evaluation. It was what the best can do. It pushed us,” said Lopez.

Rise in the Leadership Ranks. Earn your degree online and on your schedule. n

Earn credit for your military training


Generous transfer credit policies


Undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates


100% online degree programs


Multiple start dates


Programs specific to your career goals

(609) 777-5680


WELCOME TO THE SEVEN PERCENT CLUB By Sgt. Joline Ngo, 95th Training Division Public Affairs NCOIC


KLAHOMA CITY For those who serve, the military has its rewards. Many of our young men and women are looking for a chance to serve their country, their community, and their family. They want a job that’s meaningful and useful. They look at their friends and classmates going on to college, getting jobs or simply struggling through life without purpose or direction—and they want something bigger for themselves. These days, it seems like so many people are just looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the world—and that is how some people become inspired to join the United States military. Col. Janene Marshall Gatling, the Chief of Staff of the 95th Training Division, had the privilege of assisting first time military members give their Oath of Office at the Dodgers minor league baseball game at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “I started out by welcoming them to the Seven Percent Club. I explained that there are about seven percent of the U.S. population that are serving, and have served in the military,” said Marshall Gatling. “You are part of an elite group of individuals who want to make a difference.” She said it was an honor to speak to these service members in front of their friends and family and was grateful to experience this huge milestone of theirs. You can find some of your best friends by looking outside of your comfort zone and seeking people with whom you can celebrate your differences. There’s a good chance that you won’t get along with everyone, but those you do, will become lifelong friends. After all, it is the very nature of friendship to be selective.

While in the service, you learn important skills and build credibility. You learn to lead and follow. You learn to take care of yourself and others. You learn to be responsible, accountable and a professional. “I did tell them, you will get to meet individuals from across the U.S. that will be your forever friend and who you will make great memories with,” said Marshall Gatling. She said she wanted to send a message to the parents and families of these first time service members—that they take care of each other. She wanted them to feel envious that they never served or had fond memories of when they did serve. While in the service, you learn important skills and build credibility. You learn to lead and follow. You learn to take care of yourself and others. You learn to be responsible, accountable and a professional. You learn how to be an adult, how to serve your country, as well as your fellow service members. If you do not already know what you want when you enter the military, you will figure it out while serving. “Don’t listen to the naysayers talk about your commitment. You can do this—it is in your heart,” said Marshall Gatling. She ensured these servicemembers knew that those who supported them are very proud of them.

MAKE THE MOST OF THIS MOMENT with a master’s degree from SIT

GI Bill® & Yellow Ribbon Program No GRE | Flexible Degree Formats Critical Global Issues

L E A R N M O R E . S I T. E D U / V E T E R A N S SPRING 2022 | THE GRIFFON | 17


1ST BRIGADE YEARLY TRAINING BRIEF (YTB) 27 MAR 2022 - Round Rock, Texas (1/355 REGT)


eaders from the 1st Brigade, 95th Training Division came together in central Texas for their annual Yearly Training Brief to Brig. Gen. Susie Kuilan. As the units emerge from training constraints that plagued the force over the past two years due to the pandemic, and a focus towards FY23, 1st Brigade is ready to execute dynamic training aligned with the Army’s Strategic Priorities with an emphasis on people and readiness.

Military History and Foundational Day activities were incorporated into the event with a visit to the Texas Military Forces Museum on Camp Mabry, where leadership received a private tour of the museum, which covers 45,000 square feet of periodicals and exhibits from the days of the Texas Militias and Civil Wars, through all the major wars to present day. While in downtown Austin, the group participated in a teambuilding event where small groups competed in trivia matches and concluded with farewells and recognitions.

A group of Boy Scouts stops to talk to the CG at Camp Mabry

nsu is committed to our

VETERAN STUDENTS We’re ready to help you transition to college life


Receive credit hours for your military service


Choose from 50+ undergraduate degree options, including: • Criminal Justice • Cyber Security • Homeland Security


Explore our online master’s degrees, including: • MBA • Public Health


• Environmental Health and Safety Management & more

• Criminal Justice • Leadership and more

Consider an online bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership, designed for adults with some previous college credits 18 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022



FROM BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION TO AIR ASSAULT By Sgt. Jeffery Harris, 98th Training Division Public Affairs NCO


ort Benning, Georgia Air Assault! Ten days of eventful training, a 12mile ruck march, combat assaults, sling-load operations and rappelling. That was all no problem for the 98th Training Division (IET) Noncommissioned Officer and Drill Sergeant of the Year. Immediately after being announced the 2022 98th Training Division (IET) Best Warrior Competition winners, Staff Sgt. Benjamin Parler, the 98th Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, and Staff Sgt. Loren Pope, the 98th Drill Sergeant of the Year, volunteered to go to Air Assault School. During Air Assault School, Soldiers are trained on the missions performed by rotary wing aircraft, aircraft safety, aero-medical evacuation procedures, pathfinder operations, principles and techniques of combat assaults, rappelling techniques, and sling-load operations. The 98th NCO and Drill Sergeant of the Year both performed these missions and earned the U.S. Army Air Assault Badge.

Since Parler and Pope won the Division Best Warrior Competition on Jan. 31, and reported to Air Assault School on Feb. 22, that gave them less than a month to train and prepare for the intense school. However, they were well equipped for the task. Air Assault training is challenging, with early wake-up calls, rigorous inspections, and high expectations of performance, but the benefits of being Air Assault qualified, far outweigh the trials that they encountered. Parler and Pope leave Air Assault School with a skillset that will benefit them no matter where they go. Their pride and sense of accomplishment are nothing short of well deserved. 98th Training Division Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Kaim commended both the Iroquois Warrior’s newest Air Assault School graduates during the award ceremony on March 4, 2022 at the Army National Guard Warrior Training Center. Parler and Pope have made it clear to their leadership and peers that they do not plan to stop at this




accomplishment. These Soldiers are already preparing to represent the Division at the next level. As the Division NCO of the Year, Parler will compete in the 108th Training Command Best Warrior Competition

in April 2022 at Fort Hunter Liggett, California, while Pope will represent the Division at the CIMT/TRADOC Drill Sergeant of the Year Competition September 2022.


of CFI Drivers are Military Veterans.

AT CFI, WE’RE TRUE TO THE TROOPS! We offer veterans a supportive environment that rewards excellence, boundless growth opportunities, a VA on-the-job training program and extra pay for military driving experience!

Learn more at or contact a recruiter and begin your civilian career with us today!






eaders from 98th Training Division (IET) conducted a Chickamauga Battlefield Staff Ride at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia on March 5. James “Jim” Ogden, the park’s chief historian/park ranger, who is a noted historian known to have an encyclopedic mind, was the staff ride host. Ogden has been featured on C-SPAN and PBS’s History Detectives, just to name a few accolades. His multiple YouTube videos educate viewers about the Civil War and the Battle of Chickamauga. This Park Ranger has also hosted more than 400 staff rides for the US. Army and other organizations, educating current and future leaders of the Nation along the way. Overlooking several major areas of the battlefield from the Chickamauga Welcome Center, Ogden painted a picture of the Chickamauga Battle taking place in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia from September 18-20, 1863. He expounded how the campaign would be the first battle of the war fought in Georgia and presented the battlefield to give the leaders a clearer vision of where the United States and Confederate forces were during the battle. Ogden took the 98th leaders to the various fighting areas where both the Union and Confederate Soldiers fought, outlining lessons learned logistically, operationally and tactically. Ogden incorporated the importance of leaders making wise and calculated decisions regarding self-care measures, affording optimum levels of care for Soldiers in the trenches and resulting in peak performance while on the frontlines. Leaders were educated on the Confederate and Union formations, weapons of destruction, logistics, communications and medical support. In addition, leaders left with an appreciation of the overall effects of the Chickamauga Battle from an operational, strategic and tactical level, which are the essence of military staff rides for Army leaders. Ogden joined the leadership on the bus as they stopped at different forward operating bases. By incorporating current military 20 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022

doctrine terminology, while sharing overlay maps, he allowed the leadership to see the operational picture in the same way the leaders at the time saw it. 98th Training Division leaders said the Chickamauga Staff Ride was not only enjoyable, but informative as it allowed them to take the past operational plans of a battle and apply them to current operational missions. Essentially, experiences like this are a way to apply the ‘train as you fight’ mentality.

WELCOME BACK AUSA welcomes you back with new lower rates.


40 $ 30



75 $ 50


Educate | Inform | Connect

Photo Courtesy of the National Guard. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.




amp McGrady, South Carolina The next iteration of Task Force Marshall completed the Transfer of Authority among the Task Force Commander and Command Sergeant Major on Feb. 16, 2022 at McCrady Training Center in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Col. Joseph A. Jackson, the Leader Training Brigade Commander, opened the ceremony by welcoming all the distinguished guests. He thanked the outgoing commander, Col. Jennifer F. Mellott, for all her service, along with her outgoing command sergeant major,

Command Sgt. Maj. Paul M. Levesque, as he officially retired from his 30 plus year career. Jackson charged the incoming team, Lt. Col. Thaddeus Clark and Command Sgt. Maj Bethannie J. Bugbee, to continue to raise the bar, as Mellott and Levesque did during their tenure. The outgoing commander thanked her team for all the many accomplishments during the 2021 calendar year, particularly the implementation of the heavy weapons familiarization that consisted of the 249 Squad Automatic Weapon; 240B medium machine gun and .50 caliber machine gun. At the conclusion of

Mellott’s speech, she presented a Warhorse plaque to Jackson for the flexibility in command he offered to conduct training. The incoming commander thanked Mellott for everything she, and the team, did during the pre-mobilization process, ensuring a smooth transition. Clark briefly covered his command philosophy in that Task Force Marshall’s cadre will not be missing the ships. He further explained the ships they will use are not the naval vessels for the Sailors, but the sponsorship, mentorship, and ownership embedded within leadership. These are the ships we will use, as the Sailors we train prepare for

their individual deployments to the CENTCOM and AFRICOM theaters, explained Clark. He explained at the conclusion of the ceremony he wanted the youngest Soldier on Task Force Marshall, 1st Lt. Brittney L. Butler, the Bravo Company executive officer, and oldest Soldier, Sgt. 1st Class David L. Becker, the supply noncommissioned officer in charge, to cut the cake that contained the seals of all the partners: the Leader Training Brigade,, the Navy Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center, the 98th Training Division and the outgoing Warhorse Team to emphasize the unique and standing relationship among all the elements.

Print Ad - 5” x 3”

LEAD THE WAY Empowering student veterans to achieve excellence beyond service. LEARN MORE DYC.EDU

Serving those who serve. Ranked as a U.S. News & World Report Best College for Veterans and a 2022-23 Military Friendly® School, Concordia provides a quality Christian education. Dedicated staff in our SSG Matthew Thompson Veterans Resource Center can help you maximize scholarships at an unlimited dollar amount. Military members, veterans, and their families are eligible for a 10% tuition discount in our online bachelor and graduate programs. Visit us online or on campus to see how we can serve you!


Justin Winn, MBA ’20





ENNESAW, GEORGIA — Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History and Holocaust Education recently opened two, newly designed Local Hero displays, featuring two U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers. The featured combat photographers, who were both honored with a separate showcase, were Sgt. 1st Class Amber Stephens and Sgt.


1st Class Rachel Copeland. Both noncommissioned officers were featured for their deployment experiences with the then 982nd Combat Camera Company (Airborne). Currently, Stephens is the interim first sergeant at the 982nd Signal Company (Airborne) out of East Point and Copeland is the executive administrative assistant with the 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training) headquartered out

of Fort Benning. The rotating displays of artifacts, images and documents focus on the first-hand experiences of the veterans. MHHE intern and long-time photojournalist, David Rust, chose to highlight these Soldiers’ “important and often dangerous work of documenting U.S. military activity around the world, underscoring the heroism of these women veterans,” according to the museum website. Copeland spoke at the February 3,

2022 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the museum, saying she was moved by the acknowledgement. (Stephens attended the ceremony virtually.) “I am very humbled that my 23-year-career as combat camera was chosen to be spotlighted, to highlight what the 982nd Combat Camera Company does down range,” said Copeland, who is a Purple Heart recipient for injuries sustained on her second deployment to Iraq in 20062007.


Griffen Ad 2021_6_17.pdf

As deployed combat camera Soldiers, both Copeland and Stephens documented various events and missions. This fact left the Army Reserve Soldiers in the middle of some intense situations, but that was just part of the job, explained Copeland. “We are the eyes on the battlefield, but that doesn’t take us away from being part of the stories on the battlefield,” said Copeland after explaining how her convoy had hit an improvised explosive device. Since then, the IED survivor says she has taken every opportunity to give back because she was spared that day. And the fact that the museum decided to honor her and Stephens’ work, is very touching. “It brings a tear to my eye because I am still here, and that someone else cared enough to tell my story,” said Copeland. Through working with Copeland, the 98th Training Division Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Kaim, has come to learn about her past experiences, and found her to be a constant professional. So though he was not surprised to see her honored by others, Kaim said it was a humbling experience to witness this great Soldier’s recognition. “I think you run across people in your career who definitely know what right looks like, and Sergeant [1st Class] Copeland is one of those Soldiers. She’s very caring, very humble. Always professional and articulate. And I just could not be more happy to serve with her.” To see Copeland’s speech at the ceremony go to https://youtu. be/H-uPZjAQXak. To learn more about this Soldier, read her feature story at article/238085/reserve_soldier_ finds_purpose_gives_back.



1:22 PM


Join the 600+ Veterans Already in Our Fleet!


KNIGHT4VETS.COM (844) 960-1222


We cover the cost of tuition and applicable housing costs

APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM You’ll receive your GI Bill Benefits tax-free in addition to normal pay while earning your CDL

- Opportunity for a career & competitive pay - Multiple routes with flexible home time - Monthly bonuses





uring the early stages of my time as a commissioned officer, I have read many books and sat through countless guest speakers pertaining to the topic of leadership and what it means to “take care of your soldiers.” It initially seems a simple concept, but in practice can sometimes prove to be difficult. During the recent pandemic, I found myself confronted with this question yet again, what does it mean to take care of your Soldiers? In 2021, the rate of suicide and mental health issues in the Army climbed 15 percent (https:// military-suicides-rise-15-assenior-leaders-call-for-action). It is a well-known fact that the exact reasons for mental health issues and suicide are complex. What is

evident is that the many stressors that lead to mental health issues were extremely prevalent this year due to the pandemic. Stressors such as unemployment, civil unrest, and war zone deployments.

Michigan’s Maritime College

These things are especially true for Soldiers in the Army Reserve. We, as leaders, often stress to our Soldiers the importance of communication, and that we can only address the issues that are brought forward. However, early on, I found this method to be ineffective. I had a good

understanding of the damage the pandemic brought to both the economy and employment. It is a fact that most Soldiers in the Army Reserve depend primarily on the income received from their civilian careers. It was also true that millions of people across the Nation were left unemployed. So, was it really possible that none of my Soldiers were experiencing hardship during these unique times? I looked objectively at myself and asked, how can I help my soldiers? How do we as leaders motivate and influence Soldiers to accomplish a mission, when the mission is the furthest thing from their mind? Looking at it from this angle gave me a new perspective, and with that, a new approach. The first thing I made sure to do was conduct my own research on the topic. I learned that a Soldier’s pride can make asking for help no easy task. I learned that many would rather suffer in silence than admit that times are hard and they need help.

✔ Bachelor of Science Degree ❏ ✔ Merchant Marine Officer License ❏ ✔ First-class Pilot’s License ❏ ✔ Career on Great Lakes or Oceans ❏ • 877-824-7447 24 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022


I felt that rather than trying to force it out of Soldiers, I should instead make time at the end of each day to inform them of programs such as the Army Emergency Relief Fund (https://www.armyemergencyrelief. org/). It is a program that can assist Soldiers with things such as child care, financial counseling, and quick assist loans that aid up to $2000 and can be approved through the Soldier’s chain of command. As well as the fact that USAA had emergency financial assistance programs available that provided Soldiers with zero-percent interest loans, as well as confidential mental health counseling through Military One Source. Additionally, the Army provides mental health services. For example, the 108th Training Command does this by holding suicide intervention training for junior leaders multiple times a year ( resources/intervention/ace-si/). On a local level, Joint Base LewisMcChord offers free short-term services through Military and Family Life counselors, or MFLC (https:// index.php/my-Joint-Base-LewisMcchord/all-services/mflc). With counselors in over ten units, Soldiers can utilize this resource to

receive confidential aid that is not reported to their command. In the event a counselor cannot address a Soldier’s needs, that Soldier will be given a referral to receive medical counseling at a nearby facility or through TRICARE. As leaders we cannot keep our Soldiers informed if we ourselves are not. During the final months of 2021, I once again found myself asking the question of “what is leadership.” To be a leader is to be fluid, capable


of adapting our thought processes, and changing our methods. The year brought about many unique changes, and as a result, we as leaders needed to adjust to those unique changes. We must be able to look objectively at ourselves and question if we are doing all we can to support the Soldiers who put their trust in us. We can only accomplish this by constantly asking ourselves the question of, “what is leadership.”

Other Resources: USAR Psychological Health Program; mil/PHP Veteran Crisis Line; 1-800-2738255 Call and press 1 1st Lt. James Bond is a Charlie Team Leader with Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 414th Regiment (Cadet Summer Training), 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division (Leader Training)

Forest Trail Academy is proud to serve U.S. Military families

Accredited Kindergarten To 12th Grade School

Use referral code


561.537.5501 SPRING 2022 | THE GRIFFON | 25


DSC HAT PRESS: A 2-317TH BN CORNER STONE TRAINING EVENT By Capt. Kyle Smith, A Co. Commander and Capt. Johnathan Lipinski, AS-3 2nd Battalion, 317th Regiment, 2nd Brigade


n the summer of 2020, the 2-317th Regiment used and adapted a best management practice from the past, Hat Press. Drill sergeant candidates (DSC) from across the battalion were brought together and were trained by some of the battalion’s best drill sergeant leaders (DSL). The main objective in Hat Press is to prepare the DSCs for the Drill Sergeant Academy (DSA). Improvements were seen at all levels during the 2020 event, so much so that the 2-317th will hold at least one annual Hat Press a year. November 2021 was the latest Hat Press training event held in Bedford, Virginia. Six DSCs started out on a four-day training event to prepare them for DSA. This training event was designed to test the DSCs both mentally and physically. Upon reporting, the DSCs met five of the most experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable DSLs representing most of the companies in the battalion. These DSL’s led them through the demanding training event. During the Hat Press the DSLs led the DSCs through: • The “Top Three” Modules: the Position of Attention (POA), Rest Positions at the Halt (RPH), and the Hand Salute

more than 15,000 veterans have chosen Swift. find out why!

“I was in the Army as a heavy equipment operator. So we actually drove semis and we learned how to tie down heavy equipment on a flatbed. Years later, here I am now in a semi truck driving again, full circle!”

Sara D. army veteran

we offer more so veterans can thrive at swift. apprenticeship program

• Practical Drill and Ceremony exercises

scholarships & reimbursement

• Physical Readiness Training (PRT)

extra pay for your military experience

• Army Class instruction • SRP 26 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022

contact a recruiter and get prequalified! 877-832-9111 WWW.THEGRIFFON108.COM

• LHI event • Reciting the Soldier’s and Drill Sergeant’s Creed • Developing and executing their own PRT plans • Army Combat Fitness Test • Combat Lifesaver Course (CLS) • Competing their DSA packets During Hat Press three additional candidates joined the training totaling nine candidates trained. The candidates started out with little to no knowledge of the modules, PRT, Drill and Ceremony, Army Class instruction, the Soldier’s and Drill Sergeant’s Creed, and CLS. With the training complete the candidates now have a greater understanding “The Top Three” and can pitch to a passing

standard on the Modules and are familiar with all the other topics. Along with the candidates outstanding improvement over the four-day course, they developed a great esprit de corps that will help their unity as they become future leaders. The DSCs were not the only ones watching and learning. Each of the DSLs worked together to help train and mentor the DSCs. The DSLs were honing their skills when it came to teaching and instructing. Those skills are of upmost important when these DS are called upon to help with all of the mission sets seen by the 2-317th. It allowed the DSL, company, and battalion leadership to witness the function and attention it takes to recruit and retain DS in addition to the effectiveness of a concerted battalion effort to achieve its objectives.


your own.

You’ve served your country. Now let us serve you. We are a top-ranked, Christ-centered university committed to developing students in mind, body and spirit. We offer the maximum class credit for your military training and make your transition easier. As a not-for-profit institution, we make it our mission to help you achieve yours.

Bachelor’s & Master’s, Online or On-Campus


Single plan rates as low as



NEED -TO-K INFOR NOW MATIO N TRICARE® DENTAL PROGRAM PREMIUMS ARE 60% GOVT. PAID* * For active-duty family members and most National Guard and Reserve sponsors.

Family plan rates as low as



. 04/MONTH


TRICARE is a registered trademark of the Department of Defense, Defense Health Agency. All rights reserved.




Senior Command Career Counselor Describes Personal Journey, Mentoring and Best Practices for Leaders Master Sgt. Thomas H. Gould, Senior Command Career Counselor, 104th Training Division (Leader Training)


was assigned to the 104th Training Division (Leader Training) on the 20th of September 2021. I chose this assignment because I wanted to work in a challenging yet rewarding position serving on the division commanding general’s special staff. Prior to this assignment, I was an area leader assigned to 11th Battalion, ARCG in Los Angeles, California, where I led a team of Army Reserve Career Counselors to great levels of success. Some of my most memorable experiences stem from leading NCOs as an area leader and developing them to assume demanding positions within the Army Reserve. Understanding that, I look forward to developing an entire organization to achieve retention excellence that lasts beyond my tenure. Regarding my service and commitment, I joined the military because of family tradition. I have supported the Army Reserve in a retention capacity since December 2006 and I occupied many different positions in the 79V career field. I served as a battalion assistant operations NCO in Alabama, an Army Reserve Career Counselor for two battalions in Washington and Texas, a brigade assistant operations NCO as an IRR SELRES analyst at Fort Knox, Kentucky, an area leader

in California, and now as a senior command career counselor (CCC) in the great state of Washington. Prior to serving in a retention capacity, I supported the 326th Chemical Company out of Huntsville, Alabama, as a chemical operations soldier. In my role as the division’s senior command career counselor, I serve primarily as an advisor for the division commander and I offer support for subordinate brigades with UNSAT mitigation, DARN training management, requests for information about reenlistments and extension concerns, and reenlistment and extension corrected copy support for the G1. I also review corrected copy requests to ensure enlistment or reenlistment contracts requests align with policy and regulation and push those packets to G1 so they can send it to the appropriate signature authority. I also ensure to disseminate Selected Reserve Incentives Program (SRIP) list updates which is known in most channels as the bonus list. I find it is important that our units are upto-date about changes because they impact retention. The SRIP list is generally updated annually but semiannual updates happen from time to time. Lastly, I am also headed to the Army’s SHARP school to become the division’s victim advocate. Another key but non-regulation

PICK UPS TO SEMIS Foremost Transport is looking for Owner/Operators with their own 3/4 or 1 ton Pick-up trucks Deliver 5th wheels and travel trailers across the US and Canada.

guided role I embrace is to ensure brigade command career counselors receive regular professional development training and that they attend annual career counselor specific conferences to maintain relevance in their career path. I also strongly empower them to communicate with their subordinate units, align their philosophies with the CG’s Intent, develop them as networkers, and develop into stellar trainers to support the division’s DARN (Duty Appointed Retention NCO) requirement. Most importantly, this incredible opportunity I have been afforded would not be possible if I was not mentored by many incredible senior NCOs. I do not want to diminish any one of them and the impact they had on my development but one of my mentors, Sgt. Maj. (Ret) Cerda, had a tremendous impact on my Army outlook and growth. He defined servant leadership before it was a popular term through words and actions. He was what we now consider a Total Soldier. He was also the first Army Reserve NCO of the Year in 2000 and lived the Army Values day in and day out. Moreover, he is now a close personal and lifelong friend which is a testament of the impact of mentorship. I want to reinforce that mentorship in the enlisted ranks is crucial because we all need that stronghanded leadership and assurance. It is intended to help us grow and see things from perspectives other than our own. I owe my mentors everything in developing me as a Soldier and person and it is my hope that you, the reader, are also a mentor or mentee with the right influences in life. As for me, I have mentored and

developed many Soldiers throughout my tenure. There is nothing more rewarding than watching people grow and go above and beyond in part of your influence. It made me realize that every person you interact with can be impacted in a positive way which creates a ripple effect, a camaraderie, often lasting many years down the line. One thing I learned that stuck with me was to always look to serve others and to live by doing things right no matter how hard it is. I believe these small battles build the Army Reserve in a meaningful way. In my many experiences, I believe camaraderie stands well above and beyond many extrinsic benefits for many soldiers. The feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself is powerful and our incredible organization offers it. The Army Reserve also offers many benefits for soldiers and their families ranging from education incentives, reenlistment bonus incentives, job incentives from P3O (Private Public Partnership), AGR (Active Guard and Reserve) opportunities, and career enhancing opportunities whether a new MOS or advancement to officer or warrant officer. Lastly, I created an acronym called “C.A.R.E.” that sums up basic Soldier mentorship. I believe it is important to execute this philosophy regularly in between Battle Training Assembly because communication is key in creating an inclusive and productive atmosphere: C — Call / contact the Soldier A — Ask how the Soldier is doing R — Reassure that you’re there to support and guide them E — Encourage them to grow in the profession

Apply now at

Call 574-642-2024 BE YOUR OWN




Deliver Trucks, Buses & Motorhomes CDL & NON CDL Drivers Welcome Apply now at

574-642-2023 28 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022

YOU’VE EARNED YOUR STRIPES. NOW EARN YOUR DEGREE. Take the next step by earning your bachelor’s degree to start reaching your true earning potential. As a Yellow Ribbon Program institution, Queens offers an individualized approach where you’ll find the support you need to reach your goals. Student Faculty Ratio

41 Majors 63 Minors

Clubs & Organizations, including QU4Troops of students complete internships

Learn more at


This simple philosophy focuses on communication, but it also establishes and builds relationships. If you want people to continue serving, you must establish a relationship with them and share your Army story and experiences to inspire them to grow. Be a mentor! For leaders, please regularly reach out to your subordinates.

Commanders and first sergeants, communicate with your soldiers more often. Involve yourself in the process of Soldier development by building a rapport with them. Encourage your subordinate leaders to do the same. First line leaders, C.A.R.E. for your subordinates and fuel the fire within them to grow into your position and beyond. Soldiers, remember

From left to right, SFC Hunter, myself, SFC Rivera (top), SFC Nguyen (bottom), SFC Donaldson (top), SSG Santillana (bottom), SSG Bowman (top), SFC Varela (bottom), SFC Graham (top), SFC Maniago (far right). Celebrating SFC Nguyen’s massive 6200 gallon hand sanitizer donation during the height of the COVID 19 pandemic. 11th Battalion, ARCG, Area 6 Rough Riders was the team I was in charge of who led the way in both mission accomplishment and helping Soldiers and families.

this when you become a leader and remember that the rubber meets the road with you. In closing, the Army Reserve is not simply one weekend a month, two weeks a year. It is a lifestyle! I encourage you all to live the Army Values and to build those professional relationships because your leadership may affect someone to become a

Gould and Cerda: Cerda (bottom left), myself (bottom right), supporting a fundraiser for deployed Soldiers during Team Spirit day. Cerda and I spent a lot of time together accomplishing officer accessions missions and we even had a moment to pop a Coca Cola at the Chief of the Army Reserve’s (LTG Helmly) house!

future Chief of the Army Reserve or Army Reserve command sergeant major. Are you ready to accept the challenge? USAR Reg 140-6, 1-7 says it best, “Retention is the sum of leadership actions that create a positive training environment and influence Soldiers to continue serving in the USAR, while enhancing unit personnel readiness.”

Summer, 2003 standing by a piece of the Berlin wall with PV2 Rose (left), myself (middle), and PV2 Stratton (right). Good friends on our first basic training pass experiencing great times as 74D OSUT basic trainees. | 1-800-884-5560 | 1400 Veterans United Drive, Columbia, MO 65203 | Veterans United Home Loans NMLS # 1907 ( A VA approved lender; Not endorsed or sponsored by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs or any government agency | Licensed in all 50 states.



WE SUFFERED TOGETHER & WE THRIVED AS A TEAM Best Warrior Competitor Shares Her Insights & Experience By Sgt. Amber Quill


few months ago, my first sergeant asked me to compete in the 2022 Combined Best Warrior Competition. This year, multiple divisions combined their efforts into one competition to save money, while still setting up an incredibly difficult and well-organized event. I once helped as cadre at a similar competition, but have never had the pleasure of competing. I started training right away, ensuring I was well prepared for all the events. We spent two days competing in many activities, the hardest of which was a twelve-

mile ruck in freezing weather. The easiest of was a round robin event. Competing in the events was only half the battle though. At first, I saw this as a solo competition, viewing it as me versus all other competitors. However, that wasn’t the case entirely. Even though the Best Warrior Competition was a solo effort competition, we often relied on our support, other competitors, and the cadre to help us through the difficult exercises. My sponsor and first sergeant helped prepare me in the months leading up to the competition. The cadre ensured the competitors were well provided for and made sure

FREEDOM TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN PATH Your Transportation Career with Tri-State Starts Here

• Cargo/Sprinter Vans • Lease to purchase program • Competitive pay • Excellent home time • Personal Dispatch team • Positive work environment


8 0 0 - 821 - 6 3 9 5 x5 004 | W W W.TSTAT E .COM 30 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022

we conducted each event safely. There were several sergeants major rucking right alongside us at 4 a.m. in 18-degree weather. I was most moved by Staff Sgt. Oros, who took time out of his ruck march to ensure I was taken care of when my hands were too cold and painful to move or hold my weapon. After going through this competition, I am very enthusiastic about the Army changing the structure over to a best squad style of competition. Teams competing will better reflect how we operate in the Army. We started with 23 competitors, of which I was the only female competing. I think the best thing that can be said about the gender aspect is that it was never a predominant detail. I was expected to compete at the same level, with the same intensity as my male counterparts. I was not praised for doing something that was expected out of all of us. Throughout the duration of this competition, I was neither given preferential treatment, nor looked down on for my gender. I was treated the same as everyone else and that is an utterly amazing statement. I am so proud of the environment that the Army has created around gender equality. What an amazing thing to be able to say right in the middle of Women’s History Month. So many women have given so much, so that I could be in the Army and be treated the same as everyone else. I am immensely proud of the professionalism of those who

competed alongside me. I would encourage anyone and everyone to participate in this event at least once in their career. I would especially encourage Reserve and National Guard Soldiers to sign up for this competition. It was challenging, but it also forced many of us to freshen up on the dusty old basics. It was very demanding. Mostly though it was just cold, hard, painful fun. There is something about suffering together with other Soldiers that makes you forget about all those little daily first-world problems. The exhaustion, mud and freezing temperatures function as a great filter that strips away all our cultural divides or differences, leaving us with nothing but our common goal that unites us as Soldiers. It was a wonderful time that I never want to have again. Finally, I just want to say thank you to everyone who helped make the event happen. The cadre was right there with us every step of the way, working tirelessly. I want to say thank you to the leadership. They could have hid when it snowed, but they were present and participating at every single event as a constant example of good leadership. Also, congratulations to those 108th Soldiers who will be competing at the next level of competition. Sgt. Amber Quill is with 2nd Battalion, 319th Regiment, 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division (Leader Training) WWW.THEGRIFFON108.COM

MY FIRST BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION Why I joined the Army By Sgt. Ariel Oros


felt like I am not getting any younger, so I decided to compete in this year’s Best Warrior Competition. I’ve wanted to do it in the past, but I always felt intimidated by all of the events, thinking I wasn’t good enough. I received a lot of encouragement and support from my company and first line leaders, so I finally bit the bullet this time around. I was a little nervous about participating, you could say. It started from the beginning. I was close to not meeting the height and weight standards actually. I assumed that if you didn’t meet the standard, you would be sent back home like you are at Basic Leader Course, when not in compliance. I dealt with it by skipping breakfast the morning we flew in. The hardest event was the Command Sergeant Major Board. It was my first board in my military career. The easiest was the night land navigation and Army Combat Fitness Test. The only time I considered giving up was during the ruck-march. I remembered that I would have to tell my wife I quit

and the idea of that conversation forced me to continue the race. In general, I’ve learned that all hard things come to an end, and this was something I had to remember for Best Warrior Competition events that I wasn’t confident in. Overall, I experienced more camaraderie than teamwork. I think this was because we had so many events back-to-back, we barely had time to sleep or shower. I would recommend a Best Warrior Competition to other Soldiers who are looking for more challenging experiences in their military career. This competition reminded me why I joined the Army. I had almost forgot what it was like to push yourself physically and mentally, while remembering that the decision to quit/give up will have longer effects than the current circumstance that you’re in. Sgt. Ariel Oros is an ROTC trainer with Echo Team, Alpha Co, 2nd Battalion, 319th Regiment (Cadet Summer Training). He was promoted to sergeant in 2019. 1st Brigade, 104th Training Division (Leader Training)







By Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hannah Hill

ello Timberwolves. I am Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hannah Hill, and I joined the Division last year at this time as the Human Resources Technician or 420A. Since Women’s History Month just passed, I’ve been asked to share a bit about myself and my career, a 20-year plus experience so far. I am currently the Division IPPS-A instructor and am responsible for training administrative personnel on the functionality and capabilities of the system that will go live in September. Before arriving here, I served with the 652nd Regional Support Group from 2018 through 2021, deploying to Poland during that time. WHY I JOINED It’s been 21 years since I raised my right hand to become a Soldier, joining the U.S. Army Reserve at 17 years old in 2001. Admittedly, the college money was a motivator, but the allure of travel, expanding my horizons, and developing myself professionally was also attractive. I spent 12 years enlisted before deciding to try my luck at going warrant officer. I put in my packet as a staff sergeant in 2013. To my surprise, I was accepted. The very next week, I also found out I was pregnant with my first child. NCO EXPERIENCE Before I became a mother AND a Warrant Officer, I was a human resources NCO. I served as a squad leader, handled the PERSTAT, tracked evaluations, screened junior promotion packets as well as other duties assigned. My responsibilities back then helped me to understand many of the HR aspects a G1 section does currently. I have always been TPU, but got accustomed to being very hands-on to daily operations in the personnel office early on. In 2007, I participated in the NCO of the Year Competition held by the 3rd Battalion. I ended up winning and advancing to the division competition. I was the only female and the entire experience was a series 32 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022

This photo was taken at Dobson Pass in North Idaho. It shows myself with my husband, Jesse Hill, and our three kids, Paige, Cameron, and Mason. This was one of our pictures from a “predeployment” shoot before I left for Poland in 2019. (Photographer Ashlee Myles)

of huge ups and downs. I won the first round of combatives. However, I dealt with building and barracks debacles, and my grandmother dying while I was there. In the end, I was coined by the Brigade Command Sergeant Major. TAKING ADVICE Another command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Huston, was a mentor. At 11 years of service, I was nearing my ETS and had every intention of getting out. I finished the degree I originally set out to get, but I had just moved out of state and there was no reenlistment bonus available Command Sgt. Maj. to me. Then Mark Huston, an my 3rd important mentor Battalion, 415th Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 95th Training Division Command Sergeant Major pulled me aside. Huston witnessed me mentally checking out, but fortunately, also saw my potential. He took the time to investigate my lack of motivation and saw an opportunity to inform me of the potential of me going

warrant. Without being pushy, I walked out of that office with a new career prospect and a plan to stay in another ten years. I FOUND MY GROOVE The warrant officer role and position also appealed to me. I really enjoyed working in my specific field and found the duties of an NCO distracting. As I climbed the NCO ranks and the responsibilities of a leader increased, the less I was able to focus on my job. Becoming a warrant officer afforded me an opportunity to get back to the skills I enjoyed performing. BECOMING A MOM WHILE SERVING I found out I was pregnant soon after I was scheduled for Warrant Officer Candidate School, so I had to postpone a year. Leaving a baby at home was difficult and emotionally draining. Challenging, but I was able to face it. Ironically, I then became pregnant before Warrant Officer Basic Course and ended up attending anyway. SELF-AWARENESS IS KEY I’ll be transparent and say this about 420A school. It was mentally exhausting. I was ill-prepared and

had no idea what I was getting into. I learned immediately to shut my mouth and open my ears, and am certain that is the only reason I got through it. It’s also my only advice to candidates! I will say I did enjoy the warrant training…I’m AG after all. TAKE-AWAYS I write this article as a seasoned Soldier and warrant officer to provide perspective to young Soldiers not sure where to direct their future career in the Army. I want to reassure military moms that your families can thrive when you’re away at a PME or on deployment. I want anyone struggling with burnout to understand that there are other career paths in the Army besides their current track. I experienced all these insecurities and hurdles over two decades of service. Learning to recognize these internal struggles was the most important piece to overcoming trials and making the Army part of my life. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hannah Hill is a Human Resources Technician with the 104th Training Division (Leader Training) WWW.THEGRIFFON108.COM

104TH TRAINING DIVISION (LEADER TRAINING) HOLDS 2022 COMBINED YEARLY TRAINING & MISSION BACK BRIEF By Sgt. 1st Class Darleen G. Adkins, PAO NCO, 104th Training Division (Leader Training)

Day Two, YTB/MBB — Guest Speaker Retired U.S. Army Col. John Alton


OINT BASE LEWISMCCHORD, Wash. – Leaders, who collectively represent nearly 2,000 Soldiers from nine battalions, two brigades and the Division Headquarters, attended the 104th Training Division (Leader Training) Yearly Training Brief and Mission Back Brief March 4-5. Each morning kicked off with a creative physical training session outside the Staff Sgt. Coby G. Schwab Reserve Center. Visiting leaders, alongside Timberwolf full-time and TPU Soldiers, went through rigorous, Army Combat Fitness Test themed lanes in the field adjacent to the building. With a high operational tempo for the short weekend, leaders

Mornings kick off with some fitness

quickly cleaned up afterwards, ate and gathered back in the Division Headquarters command for Friday’s opening remarks by Brig. Gen. Rodney Fischer and Command Sgt. Maj. Neil Pierce, the command team of the 104th. After the introductory comments, each brigade commander briefed the critical components for their Fiscal Year 2023 missions as well as back briefed key 2022 events. This kind of face-to-face forum, enabled the division commanding general and command sergeant major to facilitate lively dialogue among brigade, battalion and division leadership and staff, as well as provide feedback to leaders in order to ensure their training priorities and readiness objectives are in

104th Division Soldier wearing the Timberwolf hoodie at the morning fitness formation

Sunrise at JBLM, WA

alignment with higher echelons that lead to successful unit execution. Also invited to the table, albeit virtually, was a special guest with unique skills and knowledge of mission executions: retired Col. John Antal, who was a prior member of the U.S. Army Science Board working on warfighting solutions for the Secretary of the Army. Antal works as a speaker and author, previously serving as an operations officer, commander and special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He shared his expertise with the attendees through

a presentation titled, “Disruptors of Warfare.” Participants engaged Antal with thoughtful follow-up questions that lasted, including his talk, nearly two hours. The 104th provides leader training support to United States Army Cadet Command and the United States Army Military Academy by providing trained and ready drill sergeants, instructors and cadre as well as associate professors of military science to select Reserve Officer Training Corps at universities across the nation to build future leaders of the Army.

Make Your Next Mission Personal. Transition to civilian life through a convenient and affordable online accelerated bachelor degree program that’s individually Apply tailored to your success.

for Free!

Apply today!

708-209-3535 SPRING 2022 | THE GRIFFON | 33








dvertorial Military TRAVEL RESOURCES



our best story is just ahead of you, nestled in the Ozark Mountains Branson, Missouri is filled with actionpacked attractions and historical sites to keep the pages turning. Storytelling in the Ozarks will be just the plot twist you’ve been looking for! Your story begins when your family checks in at the 4-star Chateau on the Lake Resort and Spa overlooking the sprawling, pristine Table Rock Lake. You and your family will be swept up in the rich legacy of The Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead and wowed by the larger-than-life Aquarium at the Boardwalk. The Branson Ferris Wheel and WonderWorks museum will have you on the edge of your seat with excitement and STEM learning. You won’t believe your eyes at the Shanghai Circus and Reza’s Edge of Illusion shows. And what about the finale of this incredible story? Enjoy a feelgood celebration of great music at Anthems of Rock that will leave you

energized and feeling alive! But there’s more to see and do in 2022: COPPERHEAD MOUNTAIN COASTER AT SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS • Many adjectives to describe this ride could include the “newest, fastest, most scenic, and longest” downhill family-fun coaster. FRITZ’S ADVENTURE

• Though this attraction opened a

few years ago, it recently added an indoor/outdoor TreeTops course with 45 obstacles, including eight suspension bridges and two free falls.

SPLASH COUNTRY AT GRAND COUNTRY RESORT • The resort doubled the size of its Splash Country indoor water park with the addition of a 5,000 square-foot wave pool, two racing raft rides, a dark raft ride, and a new basketball activity pool. PINK JEEP TOURS

• Known across the nation for

its tours of Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and the Smokey Mountains, now has four different tours in Branson. ANDY B’S TIKI BAR • Underneath a straw roof at the end of a short boardwalk with views of Lake Taneycomo, this bar only lacks a sand beach. Fun place to enjoy specialty cocktails, beers, spirits, and nonalcoholic beverages.

song suggestions, and the trio performs its version, along with a good dose of comedy. DEAN Z — THE ULTIMATE ELVIS

• This year will be the second

that Dean Z, star of the hit internationally touring production “Elvis Lives,” will be performing his high-energy Elvis tribute show at the Clay Cooper Theatre. The show spans the 20-year career of the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” from his rise to fame in the 1950s, to his infamous Las Vegas performances of the 1970s.


• Ax throwing is about as historical

of a pastime as you can get, “from the first waves of Norsemen to the American Frontier — tomahawks, axes, and hatchets were everyday carry-along items of those eras.”


• The blue jean-clad three “Sons

of Britches” in this 90-minute show have been performing their act for years, but the performance deserves mention since every performance is entirely new. Audience members make the

ANDY WILLIAMS MOON RIVER THEATER • Keeping Andy Williams’ legacy of bringing quality family-friendly entertainment to Branson, “Liverpool Legends — The Incredible Beatles Experience” tribute show opens May 15. Your journey to the Ozarks will leave you with fond memories of Branson and beautiful stories to share for years to come!

"I look my best in direct sunlight and holding a giant bass." - Vacation Experts advise not to leave your Vacation cooped up. Branson is designed for free-roam vacations with activities from water skiing to horseback riding to rock climbing to bass fishing. Take your Vacation on the adventure it deserves at



dvertorial Military TRAVEL RESOURCES



ummertime is finally here, which means it’s time to start planning a trip to the beach! Alabama’s beaches are the perfect family-friendly destinations for your summer vacation, a family reunion, or a weekend getaway with the kids. Nestled on the Alabama Gulf Coast, Gulf Shores and Orange

Beach offer beautiful beaches, fantastic restaurants, and plenty to do for the entire family. You’ll be in beach mode from the moment you arrive until your final minutes there. The 32 miles of sugarwhite sand beaches spread across the two beach communities provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable trip. If digging your toes in the sand

and hearing the waves crash against the shore is what you’re looking for in a vacation, Alabama’s beaches are the destination for you. You’ll find endless entertainment in the area with exciting attractions and activities, which those of all ages will enjoy. Get wild at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, make a big splash at Waterville USA, or shop until

you drop at The Wharf. The fun doesn’t stop there as the area offers watersports such as jet skiing, paddle boarding, fishing, kayaking, and even more water activities like boating, sailing, and cruises. Reconnect with the natural beauty that surrounds you in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The Alabama Gulf Coast is ready for you to watching your kids building sandcastles, spotting a dolphin pop out of the water, or enjoying a delicious waterfront dinner after a day packed with activities. Rediscover fun, food, and family on Alabama’s beaches.

Gulf | 877-341-2400



explore, and so many opportunities to discover the area await you. Gulf State Park is the ultimate destination for those wanting to immerse themselves in the great outdoors. Inside the park, you’ll find over 28 miles of trails perfect for biking, hiking, and running. Guided Segway tours are also available and provide a unique way to explore the park and learn about its environment. If you’re looking for an even more exciting way to experience the destination,

embark on a dolphin cruise or go on a parasailing excursion for a one-of-a-kind look at the area. The warm weather and relaxing breeze that summer brings to the coast makes this time of year perfect for experiencing the area. You’ll find various fun, familyfriendly events all summer long on Alabama’s beaches. Spend a night listening to music under the stars at The Wharf Amphitheater. Here, you’ll catch artists like Jimmy Buffett,

At Biloxi Beach Resort Rentals, we are committed to the highest level of service for our guests. Available for your TDY needs on The MS Gulf Coast and for your personal vacations. Mention this advertisement to receive 10% off your total booking! *Some restrictions apply





SEA BREEZE or call today 877-9-BILOXI (877.924.5694) SPRING 2022 | THE GRIFFON | 37


dvertorial Military TRAVEL RESOURCES

Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, and more as they perform in Orange Beach this summer. Head to the iconic Flora-Bama Oyster Lounge and Bar on June 10-12 for the “funniest” fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast, the Annual Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo. You’ll find various other fishing tournaments in the area as well as concerts at The Wharf and

exciting Fourth of July celebrations. Endless amounts of fun and exciting activities aren’t the only things to love about the area. You’ll also enjoy the excellent meals, delectable desserts, and novelty drinks that make up the unique taste of the Alabama Gulf Coast at any of the area’s more than 200 restaurants. Fresh seafood, mouthwatering

burgers, and finger-licking barbeque are just a few of the delicious eats you’ll find. Not only is the food incredible, but so is the dining atmosphere. With waterfront dining, live music, and amazing views of the Gulf, dining out in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is unparalleled. Whether it’s feeling the waves wash over your feet, biting into a

delicious meal as you overlook the water, or watching your children build sandcastles, memories are waiting to be made on Alabama’s beaches. Start planning your next family trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach this summer and get ready to relax, indulge and explore the stunning white-sand beaches of Alabama’s Gulf Coast.


Sevierville, TN Offers Exciting New Activities for Late 2022


ummer fun is in full swing with plenty to see and do. From shopping and restaurants to outdoor adventure and family fun attractions, Sevierville is quickly becoming a go-to destination in the Smoky Mountains. Later this summer, the town will unveil even more to experience. Make plans now for a vacation the whole family will love. RACE ON THE EDGE AT SOAKY MOUNTAIN Soaky Mountain Waterpark is adding a new attraction for 2022, a first-of-its-kind dual water coaster

called “The Edge.” This thrill slide is set to open in July and pits riders against one another on side-by-side slides for a fun race to the finish. The 50-acre park also features a massive wave pool, waterslides, and family-friendly activities – perfect for a day (or two) of fun. Just across the street, Soaky Mountain’s sister property, Wilderness at the Smokies, is a family-friendly waterpark resort with over 700 rooms plus indoor and outdoor waterparks that are included with your stay. RIDE UP TO SKYLAND RANCH Set to open in the late summer

of 2022, SkyLand Ranch invites guests to ride a scenic chairlift to a hilltop farm where a mile-long mountain coaster, suspension bridge, canopy walks, foods, shops, and more await. SkyLand Ranch will also be home to a variety of rescued animals including miniature cows and donkeys. REGENERATION + EDUCATION: AXOLOTLS AT RAINFOREST ADVENTURES You may know the Axolotl from the popular video game, Minecraft. But did you know that the Axolotl is found in only one place on earth and can regenerate its body parts - including its jaws, spine, and even brain?! Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo features a spectacular Axolotl exhibit to share the story of these incredible animals. The zoo has plans to expand its current exhibit later this year into what will be North America’s largest Axolotl exhibit.

Rainforest Adventures is focused on conservation and preservation and gives guests a chance to get up close and personal with some of the most unique creatures in the world – including lemurs, giant turtles, rare Golden Headed Lion Tamarins, and more. ENJOY THE HOPS AT IRON FORGE BREWERY For food and craft brews, Iron Forge Brewery is set to open this summer in Sevierville. Helmed by award-winning Brazilian brewmaster Herus Schultz, the new brewery can make up to 30,000 barrels of beer annually and will feature a warm and inviting dining experience with a traditional American menu of appetizers, burgers, entrees, and kid-friendly options, plus Brazilian menu items. Located on the banks of the Little Pigeon River, the restaurant will have an indoor tasting room, outdoor patio, and enclosed beer

Connect with the spirit and history of Townsend, Cades Cove, and the Great Smoky Mountains. Our museums offer something for everyone, from hands-on activities to tours of original 19th-Century buildings and our Cherokee/Native American Collection. SATURDAY, MAY 21 – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 (Labor Day)

FREE ADMISSION for active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserves

123 Cromwell Drive, Townsend, TN 37882 865-448-0044 |



garden with dramatic views of Mt. LeConte. PLAY (& STAY) AT SANCTUARY TREEHOUSE RESORT Sanctuary Treehouse Resort is set to open its first phase of development in the late summer

of 2022. This unique Sevierville lodging property will be the firstever treehouse resort in the Smoky Mountains. Located on 40 acres situated on two golf courses in the Smokies, Sanctuary Treehouse Resort features three types of treehouse rentals that sleep from

two to six guests and feature working amenities like spiral slides, telescopes, escape hatches, rope climbs, and more. The resort will be accessible by golf cart and future amenities to be added include walking trails, an enchanted forest for group events, and much more.

For more information about everything there is to see and do in Sevierville now and what will be opening soon, go online to



he heartbeat of NASCAR can be felt right here in #TheHeartofNC, the birthplace, and home of “The King,” race car driver and legend, Richard Petty. Petty was destined to become a racing great. His father, Lee Petty, helped pioneer the

highs, winning the Winston Cup Championship seven times, the Daytona 500 seven times, 200 wins in NASCAR competitions, and over 700 top 10 finishes throughout his career. With so many victories and accomplishments under his belt, Petty has remained humble. Fans could always find Petty staying late

displays of this museum. PETTY AS THE VOICE OF STRIP “THE KING” WEATHERS IN “CARS” Today’s younger generation knows Richard Petty as the voice of Strip “The King” Weathers from the Disney Pixar animated trilogy, “Cars.” A little-known fact, Richard’s late wife, Lynda Petty, voiced Mrs. “The King” Weathers. At the Petty Museum, visitors can see these characters in real life, immortalized in Petty blue.

HOW VICTORY JUNCTION CHANGES LIVES We can brag on Richard Petty’s incredible racing career for days on end, but what he and his family have achieved beyond the racetrack is rooted in their love of community and family. In 2000, Richard Petty’s grandson and fellow NASCAR driver, Adam Petty, was tragically killed in a practice crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on May 12, 2000. Only nineteen years old at the time of his death, Adam left behind a compelling and compassionate vision

Go Explore! Download our new 2022 Travel Guide!

sport and won the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. What began with Lee continued with Richard, his son Kyle, and eventually, Kyle’s son Adam and his daughter’s son Thad Moffitt. ABOUT RICHARD PETTY: NASCAR LEGEND In 1958 at the age of 21, Richard Petty drove in his first NASCAR event, and in 1959 won his first race at Columbia Motor Speedway. Today Petty is one of the most respected and well-known figures in motorsports. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame In Charlotte in 2010 in its inaugural class. His career was full of

to sign autographs and voted the Winston Cup’s most popular driver nine times. Visitors to The Petty Museum in Randleman, North Carolina can re-live or learn firsthand the great moments in the Petty family racing history. The museum is located next to The Toomes-Petty House, where Richard and his brother were raised. At the museum, guests can see and photograph “The King’s” belt buckle collection, championship rings, trophies, and a multitude of cars driven by the Petty family throughout the decades. Even those who are not NASCAR fans warm to the daring family stories, videos, collection, and

Explore the Faith Rock Overlook along Deep River in Franklinville. Request our new 2022 Travel Guide by going online to




dvertorial Military TRAVEL RESOURCES

of helping children with mental and physical disabilities.

In June 2004, Victory Junction Camp opened its doors in Adam’s honor. Its mission is to enrich the lives of children with serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, at no cost to children or their families. The camp runs solely on donations from the generous public. Funding is sourced through signature events such as Run to Victory (a 10k/5k/Fun Run), Hearts of Victory Fundraising Dinners, and the Campership Classic Disc Golf Tournament. You can donate online, or attend one of the many events throughout the community. The camp is colorful and joyous— with bright, high-energy designs in all activity areas. A zipline course and other outdoor activities are allinclusive for each camper. The façade of Adam’s Race Shop is a larger-thanlife version of his #45 race car. Cabins are specially tailored to accommodate the changing medical needs of each group of campers. A racetrack is the camp’s central base and is used to highlight camp activities. Each camp session hosts NASCARnival night with

games, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and tethered hot air balloon rides. Oftentimes race teams such as Richard Petty Motorsports, Penske, and Roush Fenway Racing will send drivers and pit crews for these events. The teams perform a live-action pit stop complete with tire changes offering campers a close-up opportunity to feel like a member of the crew. Doctors, nurses, therapists, and medical support teams volunteer to come in for each week in their medical specialty, creating a magical experience for the campers and allowing caregivers and families a sense of relief for their loved one’s experience.

a first look at the casting. About us: The Heart of North Carolina is in the center of North Carolina, an hour and a half drive from Raleigh and Charlotte; and only two hours from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Order a FREE travel guide and explore our calendar of events at . We look forward to your visit. Share your experience with us #theHeartofNC.

The Randolph County Tourism Development Authority operates the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, the official destination marketing organization for Randolph County. Municipalities represented include Archdale, Asheboro, Franklinville, Ramseur, Randleman, Seagrove, Staley, and Trinity - by Heart of NC Editorial Staff

THE RICHARD PETTY TRIBUTE PARK The legacy of Richard Petty is found throughout the hills of Randolph County, as well as the racing community. The Richard Petty Tribute Park is a way of giving back to the man who has done so much for so many. The life-size statue, created and designed by Carolina Bronze Sculpture, will be in Downtown Randleman’s Commerce Square Park to be visited by NASCAR fans, family, and friends for years to come. The King and his daughters, Sharon and Rebecca, get



ust a short drive from Asheville, NC or a day trip from Charlotte, NC brings you a mountain experience like no other. Chimney Rock has been a popular outdoor destination for families, couples, and solo explorers alike for over 100 years. Today, it’s easier than ever to access the best of the mountains in one place. Access to the mountain was a priority for the Morse family, the original owners of the Park, and that commitment has been continued by NC State Parks since 2008. Updated networks of stairs make it possible to climb hundreds of feet in elevation over short distances, with no ropes or gear required. Well-maintained trails and on-site naturalists help you learn as you explore. And all active and retired members of the armed forces receive a discount for everyone in your car when you buy tickets at the gate in appreciation of your service. The ultimate Stairmaster, the 500-stair Outcroppings Trail, takes you past a series of overlooks boasting views of Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge until you reach the top of Chimney Rock. If you’re looking for a challenge,


seek higher elevations on our trails above the Chimney, including the backcountry Skyline Trail which meanders through a ridgeline forest past the highest overlook in the Park and ends as Falls Creek cascades over the cliff to form Hickory Nut Falls. Or make a climbing reservation with our partners at Fox Mountain Guides and see the Park from a whole new perspective. Chimney Rock presents the opportunity for a multi-generational adventure. If you’re short on time, traveling with older family members, or your knees aren’t built for stairs, the Outcroppings Trail isn’t the only way to access Chimney Rock. While cousins hit the trails, grandparents can enjoy the elevator. Built right inside the mountain, it offers access, unlike anything you’ll find in other state parks. A 30-second ride ascends 26 stories and brings your vacation to new heights as you reach the Sky Lounge gift shop and 75mile views. Guests of all ages can relax in a rocking chair outside Cliff Dwellers Gifts, browse local crafts or enjoy an ice cream cone from the Sky

Lounge. The 400-foot Hickory Nut Falls is accessible via a moderate trail shaded by towering cliffs on one side and a lush forest on the other. Child carriers available for rent make it easy to carry little ones with you on the trails. And our Great Woodland Adventure trail is designed with younger adventurers (and kids at heart) in mind. This half-mile loop trail introduces hikers to local wildlife through a series of interactive sculptures and activities. You’ll find our live animal ambassadors in the Discovery Den right next door, or stick around for

Prepare to be Elevated.

an animal program, every weekday at 2 p.m. from June to August. Your four-legged friends can enjoy the Park, too. Though smaller pups may have trouble with the stairs, the Hickory Nut Falls Trail and the Great Woodland Adventure are favorites for canine companions. As you plan your summer adventures, remember that while Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park can be your destination for high adventures like hiking and rock climbing, it can also be a place for the whole family to enjoy the outdoors together. Some people say the sky’s the limit. At Chimney Rock, we mean it. 1,000 acres of rambunctious beauty, 6 unique hiking trails to amazing views and a 404-foot waterfall. See Chimney Rock differently. 828-625-9611


its need.

Charlotte, North

Support Soldiers and Families with the Annual Griffon Association’s Golf Tournament Charles E. McCartney, Jr. MG, USA, Retired President, 108th Griffon Association

nament 12,157.03 to support aining and various er/Veteran 2021 golf t is scheduled ember. You t this effort e/Hole sponsors, and event better yet,

Photo by Mrs. Deborah Williams, 108th

We have many So

that need help for

they don’t lose the

Mrs. Deborah Williams, 108th Training Command (IET), Public Affairs

groceries and pay

have many Soldiers and their families

need help for a couple months so



don’t lose their homes or to just buy

eries and pay utilities. With your

inuing support, we can do much

e. Thanks again and God Bless You.

t th

In 2021, the Griffon Association you could say came out of the dark and into the light once again to live up to our motto of “Be a Patriot, Help a Soldier,” by providing targeted donations and scholarships to qualified recipients. Although Delta, Omicron, and whatever other variants of COVID may be out there, we were able to resume in-person board meetings and our Soldiers and Families Golf Tournament was a resounding success. This may be a result of multiple reasons, including full vaccination of all the board members attending and good safety measures by the Pine Island Club and our volunteers. As well as natural immunity and vaccination by participants, but for whatever reason, we know of no one who participated, who contracted COVID and we had a very successful year. 2021 was a year to resume giving back to Soldiers, their families, and Veterans and a continuation of the oath we took to serve many years ago. Below is a summary for the year: Golf Tournament: The board decided in June 2021 to hold the postponed 10th Annual Soldiers’ and Families’ Golf tourna-

continuing suppo

more. Thanks agai

GOLF TOURNAMENT ment in September of 2021. It was a good decision. We had one of the best years raising $14,767.23, our third-best total. We also increased substantially the number of players from 2019. Thanks go to all the volunteers, board members, committee members, and general members, who either worked the day of the tournament or solicited sponsors or players. A special thanks to Bruce McGuinness and Steve Lukoskie who raised more than half our profits between the two of them. We will provide forms and more information in the next month or so for the 2022 tournament to be held on September 26, 2022. In closing, I would like to personally thank you and assure you that your support makes a difference. Hooah!! Charles E. McCartney, Jr. | MG, USA, Retired President, The 108th Griffon Association

For more details, visit: SPRING 2022 | THE GRIFFON | 41


dvertorial Military TRAVEL RESOURCES

ON YOUR NEXT LEAVE, LEAVE REALITY BEHIND. Take Your Time Off to New Levels at Universal Orlando Resort.


hen you’re off-duty, you want to make every second of your vacation count. You want new adventures and alternate realities. Incredible thrills along with fabulous entertainment Hagrid’s Magical Creatures and exceptional dining. You Motorbike Adventure™ want amazing experiences and an epic vacation. It’s all at Universal Orlando Resort. Now you can experience all the jawdropping moments with a special ticket offer for military members, family and friends. Enjoy Universal throughout the year for

only $199.99.* That includes Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This ticket is available exclusively at your authorized military ticket and travel office. Universal Orlando is the only place where you can experience the magic and excitement of The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM in two unique lands. With your park-to-park ticket,

Jurassic World VelociCoaster — NEW

from Islands of Adventure you can climb aboard the HogwartsTM Express in HogsmeadeTM and emerge in London’s King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios†. Just around a corner and through a secret brick archway is The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM – Diagon AlleyTM. Here you can dine at the Leaky CauldronTM, see a wand choose a wizard at OllivandersTM wand shop, and travel deep below GringottsTM bank on a multi-dimensional thrill ride. In HogsmeadeTM you can explore the corridors and classrooms of HogwartsTM

Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort 42 | THE GRIFFON | SPRING 2022


castle and brave the wilds of the Forbidden Forest on the thrilling roller coaster, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike AdventureTM. At Islands of Adventure you’ll discover amazing experiences based on blockbuster hits like Jurassic World, including the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster, plus even more excitement based on Super Heroes like Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk. Universal Studios is home to awesome attractions based on the TransformersTM robots, Illumination’s Minions, Men In Black™ and many more. When you’re ready to enjoy a water theme park like no other, Universal’s Volcano Bay combines unmatched thrills with tropical relaxation. It’s a day-long adventure that will leave you breathless, elated and ready for a good night’s sleep. That’s where Universal’s spectacular hotels come in. All of Universal’s hotels come with exclusive perks like breezing into one of the parks up to an hour early^ (select attractions, just need valid theme park admission), a location super close to the parks, free transportation to the parks and the CityWalk entertainment complex, plus more. Check out Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, a vibrant, retro-style retreat designed for fun and affordability. You’ll find perfectly appointed standard rooms plus two-bedroom suites that sleep up to six for families of any size. Every day comes with fun for all ages with two massive pools, a winding river and more. On your next leave, take a vacation that really feels like a vacation. Before visiting, please review the safety guidelines at

Unleash your R&R this summer with R E V O L U T I OthiN s special ticket offer for Military Members, Family & Friends. Purchased exclusively at your Authorized Military Ticket and Travel Office.



Stroll the streets of Historic Chestertown in search of maritime treasures. Be transported to colonial times as you travel in the footsteps of George Washington. We're open for you as long as you're OPEN FOR IT PLAN A JOURNEY BACK IN TIME

Stroll the streets of Historic Chestertown in search of maritime treasures. Be transported to colonial times as you travel in the footsteps of George Washington. We're open for you as long as you're OPEN FOR IT













Unleash your R&R this summer with this special ticket offer for Military Members, Family & Friends. Purchased exclusively at your Authorized Military Ticket and Travel Office.

Learn about our safety measures at 2022 MILITARY FREEDOM PASS STARTING FROM


WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™*Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s22) $ * The 2-Park Military “2022 Freedom Pass” Promotional Ticket ent.itles one (1) guest admission to BOTH Universal Studios Florida, AND Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks on the same day. Ticket is valid for use November 11, 2021 through and including December 31, 2022, with no blockout dates. Excludes separately ticketed events. Guest must present a valid Military ID at time of purchase, at time of the exchange at either Universal Studios Florida, or Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park ticket sales window, and upon redemption at both Universal Studios COME EVERY DAY Florida, andNOW UniversalTHROUGH ’s Islands of AdventDEC. ure theme Unused days shal l be forfeited. Additional restrictions may apply. The 3-Park Military “2022 Freedom Pass” Promotional Ticket entitles 31,parks. 2022, WITH NO one BLOCKOUT (1) guest admissionDATES. to UniversalPURCHASE Studios Florida, UniBYversalDEC. ’s Islands27,of2022. Adventure, AND Universal’s Volcano Bay theme parks on the same day. Ticket is valid for use November 11, 2021 throughLearn and includinabout g December 31,our Universal’s Volmeasures cano Bay closed on at select dates. Visit for details. Excludes separately ticketed events. Guest must present a valid Military ID at time of purchase, at time of the exchange at either Universal Studios Florida, or Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park ticket sales window, and upon redemption at Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Universal's Volcano Bay theme parks. Unused days shall be forfeited. Additional restrictions may apply. Universal elements and all related WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s22) Freedom entitles on the same * The indi2-Park cia TMMilitary & © 2022“2022 Universal StudiPass” os. AllPromotional rights reserved.TicketJurassi c Worloned fr(1)anchiguestse TMadmission & © 2022toUniBOTH versalUniversal City StudiStudios os LLC andFlorida, AmblAND in EntUniversal’s ertainmentIslands , Inc. AllofRigAdventure hts Reserved.theme22-Uparks OR-582233NS day. Ticket is valid for use November 11, 2021 through and including December 31, 2022, with no blockout dates. Excludes separately ticketed events. Guest must present a valid Military ID at


time of purchase, at time of the exchange at either Universal Studios Florida, or Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park ticket sales window, and upon redemption at both Universal Studios Florida, and Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks. Unused days shall be forfeited. Additional restrictions may apply. The 3-Park Military “2022 Freedom Pass” Promotional Ticket entitles one (1) guest admission to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, AND Universal’s Volcano Bay theme parks on the same day. Ticket is valid for use November 11, 2021 through and including December 31, 2022. Universal’s Volcano Bay closed on select dates. Visit for details. Excludes separately ticketed events. Guest must present a valid Military ID at time of purchase, at time of the exchange at either Universal Studios Florida, or Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park ticket sales window, and upon redemption at Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Universal's Volcano Bay theme parks. Unused days shall be forfeited. Additional restrictions may apply. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2022 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. Jurassic World franchise TM & © 2022 Universal City Studios LLC and Amblin Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 22-UOR-582233NS

Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Florida

WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s22) *The 2-Park Military “2022 Freedom Pass” Promotional Ticket entitles one (1) guest admission to BOTH Universal Studios Florida, AND Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks on the same day. Ticket is valid for use November 11, 2021 through and including December 31, 2022. Excludes separately ticketed events. Guest must present a valid Military ID at time of purchase, at time of the exchange at either Universal Studios Florida, or Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park ticket sales window, and upon redemption at both Universal Studios Florida, and Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks. Unused days shall be forfeited. Additional restrictions may apply. The 3-Park Military “2022 Freedom Pass” Promotional Ticket entitles one (1) guest admission to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, AND Universal’s Volcano Bay theme parks on the same day. Ticket is valid for use November 11, 2021 through and including December 31, 2022. Universal’s Volcano Bay closed on select dates. Visit for details. Excludes separately ticketed events. Guest must present a valid Military ID at time of purchase, at time of the exchange at either Universal Studios Florida, or Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park ticket sales window, and upon redemption at both Universal Studios Florida, and Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks. Unused days shall be forfeited. Additional restrictions may apply. ^Requires theme park admission. Early Park Admission begins up to one (1) hour prior to regular scheduled park opening to either Universal Studios Florida or Universal’s Islands of Adventure as determined by Universal Orlando. Early Park Admission begins up to one (1) hour prior to regular scheduled park opening for Universal’s Volcano Bay. Valid at select attractions at each park. Attractions are subject to substitutions without notice. Additional restrictions may apply. ©TRANSFORMERS and its logo and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2022 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. © 2022 MARVEL. Jurassic Park and Jurassic World TM & © 2022 Universal Studios LLC and Amblin Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. MEN IN BLACK and ALIEN ATTACK TM & © 2022 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Minions TM & © Universal Studios. Cabana Bay Beach Resort TM & © 2022 UCF Hotel Venture II. All rights reserved. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2022 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. 22619501/NS



dvertorial Military TRAVEL RESOURCES



ocated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Hendersonville welcomes visitors with one of the coolest downtowns in the region. Just south of busy Asheville and only 20 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport, Hendersonville boasts a vibrant Main Street with lots to see and do, while maintaining its quintessential small-town charm and relaxing, slower pace. When Hendersonville became a town in the 1840s, the judge who gave the land for its charter decreed that Main Street should be wide enough to turn around a coach pulled by four horses. Today, Main Street’s wide sidewalks and curvilinear design attract


pedestrians, alfresco diners, and boutique shoppers. BEARS AND BEES Each May, 20 colorful bears take their spots along Main Street. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Bearfootin’ Art Walk. The bears stay on display until October when they are auctioned off for charity. Local artists decorate the bears. Past renditions incorporated Blue Ridge Mountain scenes and landmarks, as well as elements of nature, such as flowers, forests, butterflies, and birds. Other bears take on humanlike characteristics, wearing clothes, hats, or costumes. Sometimes bears morph into other creatures, such as a dinosaur or dogs. A new permanent public art

addition debuted in spring 2021. A bee mural now covers two sides of the building housing Hands On! Children’s Museum. The mural, which is designed to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators, depicts honeybees, butterflies, and native flowers. The mural is part of an international campaign by artist Matthew Willey called The Good of the Hive, which involves painting 50,000 honeybees in murals around the world. MOUNTAIN FLAVORS Downtown Hendersonville is home to 25 independently owned restaurants. One standout is Shine. Exposed brick and low lighting give the place a speakeasy feel. A rooftop bar provides views of Main Street and mountains in the distance. Everything here is scratch-made, from ketchup to cocktail mixers. The culinary variety in Hendersonville spans the globe. Area diners from all directions regularly make an hour’s drive for sushi at Umi. The low-key spot with an expansive patio serves fresh food in creative presentations. Mezzaluna and West First use wood-fired ovens to char pizzas, vegetables, and more to perfection. Never Blue, an internationally inspired tapas-style restaurant, rolls up its garage-door front on pleasant days. Diners enjoy powerful cocktails, creative tacos, and decadent desserts topped with house-made ice cream. On the beverage side, Main Street is home to two breweries, with three additional breweries in the adjoining Seventh Avenue entertainment

district. Newcomer D9 Brewing specializes in wild-fermented beers. Oklawaha Brewing takes pride in fostering a community with regular live music and kid-friendly offerings. Hop aboard the HVL Pedal & Brews pubcycle for a fun-filled cruise to breweries and taprooms. The mobile pub provides a different perspective for seeing the downtown sights. SIDEWALK SHOPS The Blue Ridge Mountains have long been known for the large collection of artists and crafters who come here to create. Galleries along Main Street carry works by local and regional artists. From weavers and sculptors to painters, woodcarvers, and glassblowers, you’ll find one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Mast General Store is a North Carolina icon. Originally started as a small country store selling daily necessities, the store now has several locations, all in historic buildings. The Hendersonville store, located in the 1905 Syndicate Building, stocks outdoor adventure gear, home decor items, and big barrels of candy. The young and young at heart enjoy Dancing Bear Toys. This beloved toy store is not only a place to shop but also a place for kids and adults to play. From classic toys to the newest, hottest items on the market, you’ll find them here. BRING THE FAMILY An unexpected attraction in this mountain town is Team ECCO Aquarium & Shark Lab. North Carolina’s first inland aquarium is home to a 2,000-gallon shark study tank where visitors can watch daily shark feedings. More than 275 fish, invertebrates, reptiles, and salamanders call the aquarium home. Pisgah Forest Gem Mine allows treasure hunting in any weather. Search for precious and semiprecious stones of all colors, shapes, and sizes. When you’re done, have your favorite find made into a piece of jewelry. At Appalachian Pinball Museum, approximately 35 pinball machines and 25 video games delight customers. Parents and grandparents are as excited as the kids when they enter the arcade-like museum with flashing lights and the sounds of flippers flipping. All-time pinball favorites include PAC-MAN (and Ms. PAC-MAN), Tempest by Atari, and Harlem Globetrotters. You can play all day for $12. WWW.THEGRIFFON108.COM

STAY STEPS AWAY The Buncombe Turnpike, built in the 1820s, provided easy access to the Blue Ridge Mountains from the lowlands of South Carolina. Hendersonville quickly became a vacation destination in the summer months to escape the sweltering heat. Many of those grand houses from the late 1800s and early 1900s carry on the tourism tradition by operating as bed-and-breakfasts. Guests have been staying at The Charleston Inn since 1906. Located two blocks from the central business district, the inn has 16 large rooms

covering three stories. Guests choose from many amenities, including spa services. The 1898 Waverly Inn, located next door to The Charleston, is a lovingly restored bed-and-breakfast. Rooms are spacious and airy, with porches on the first and second floors lined with rockers. Full-service breakfast and afternoon beverage service are included in your stay. The Henderson, only a block off Main Street, is a historic B&B with a culinary focus. Owner Michael Gilligan is an award-winning chef. The inn’s on-site restaurant,

Harvey’s, regularly serves breakfast and an evening menu of small plates, as well as Sunday brunch and monthly wine dinners. Elizabeth Leigh Inn, built-in 1893, is one of Hendersonville’s most intimate inn experiences. This beautiful structure sits on the stately corner of a residential

Advertiser INDEX 3


























Ready to get away to downtown Hendersonville? Go to www. or call (800) 828-4244.

IFC= Inside Front Cover; IBC= Inside Back Cover; BC=Back Cover



district, just a handful of blocks from downtown, with gardens on the grounds.

























































































This index is provided as a service. The publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions.



SERVE YOU. Jack Welch MBA is proud to offer military education benefits to active-duty service members and veterans.