108th Training Command History
The 108th Training Command (Initial Entry Training) is a premiere U.S. Army Reserve command focused on turning citizens into warriors nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the 108th is one of the largest training commands in the U.S. Army Reserve today.
Activated as the 108th Airborne Division after World War II (1946), the "Golden Griffons" were originally headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The division was called the Golden Griffons because of its initial air-ground mission. Griffons are legendary animals from Greek mythology that are half-lion and half-eagle that were known for their courage and ferocity. Griffons were so feared by ancient people that rulers of Asian provinces used them to guard their vast treasures.
Over its 60-year history, the 108th Division frequently has been called upon to pilot several new missions for the Army and Army Reserve. Over the years, the division has played an important role in pioneering and developing several training methods and policies still in use today.
In 1952, the division was reorganized into an infantry division and its headquarters was moved to its present location in Charlotte, North Carolina with all its subordinate units located in either North or South Carolina. In 1954, the division helped test a new method of rifle qualification known as "trainfire." In 1956, the division was selected to serve as a prototype for an Army Training Division. This meant reorganizing again to conduct basic and advanced individual training, should the division be called to active duty.
In the 1960's, the division established its own drill sergeant school patterned after the active component school. In 1968, the 108th Division was restructured under its current brigade concept. During the Vietnam era, 108th Division soldiers during annual training were used to conduct interim training for soldiers waiting to begin basic training. In the 1980's the division developed an updated and more practical mobilization plan. During those same years the division began conducting basic training by ourselves at Fort Jackson under new Mobilization Army Training Center and Provisional Training concepts.
In January of 1991, more than 300 108th Division soldiers were called to active duty to support Operation Desert Storm, marking the first mobilization ever for members of the 108th Division. Our soldiers assisted in the retraining of individual soldiers at Fort Jackson who were called back to military duty. In late 1993, the 108th Division accepted the mission to pilot a new concept in Army training called Future Army Schools Twenty-first Century. This not only expanded the geographic size of the 108th Division to add the states of Georgia and Florida, but added 10 new US Army Reserve Forces Schools to the division's force structure. Those schools were later reorganized into functionally-aligned school brigades.
This gave the 108th Division an exciting new mission. While keeping our mission of conducting initial entry training for new soldiers entering the Army, we now conduct specialized skill training for thousands of soldiers, both officers and enlisted, in the southeastern part of the United States.
In 1996 the 108th Division was assigned another completely new mission to conduct Reserve Officer Training Corps training at three colleges and universities in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. That program has been expanded nationally. In October 1998, 108th Division assumed command and control of the former 265th US Army Forces School in Puerto Rico, which added an 8th Brigade. In 2001, the ROTC structure was officially designated the Division's 9th Brigade. In 2004, a reorganization of the Army Reserve resulted in the 108th Division expanding into Alabama and Mississippi.
Between 2001 and 2007 over 2,000 Soldiers from the 108th have mobilized and deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism. The 108th is in the middle of its biggest mobilization in history. Almost 1,000 Soldiers from across the United States are deployed to Iraq and Kuwait to help train, maintain, and sustain Iraqi Security and Police Forces as part of the military’s exit strategy from Iraq.
The 108th Division had 4,000 soldiers assigned to units over 300,000 square miles in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Puerto Rico in 23 cities and towns.
In Oct. 2008 the 108th Division (IT) became the 108th Training Command (IET). The 108th will focus solely on training initial entry Soldiers. As of December 2009 the 108th had three subordinate commands, the 95th Training Division (IET) the 98th Training Division (IET) and the 104th Training Division (LT).