108th Division (Institutional Training)
The 108th Division (Institutional Training) is one of several Army Reserve training divisions in the Army's force structure. The 108th Division now has 3,300 soldiers assigned to units over 200,000 square miles in four states and Puerto Rico in 23 cities and towns.
The 108th Division was activated in 1946 following World War II. Then called the 108th Airborne Division, it was headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The division's nickname, the Golden Griffons, was born from its initial air-ground mission. Griffons are legendary animals from Greek mythology who are half-lion, half-eagle and eight times the size of a lion. 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 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 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. Division 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 U.S 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 a new mission. While keeping the mission of conducting initial entry training for new soldiers entering the Army, it now conducts specialized skill training for thousands of soldiers, both officers and enlisted, in the southeastern part of the United States.
In 1993, the Division was reorganized into two IET training brigades, a training support brigade, and four school brigades responsible for training IET soldiers missions and providing enlisted and officer courses within Region "C". The school brigades teach enlisted MOS producing courses, BNCOC and ANCOC enlisted advanced training courses, and in the case of one brigade, professional development courses to officers. This training is provided in both IDT and AT formats to the U.S. Army Reserves and National Guard across the four states comprising Region "C"
In 1996 the 108th Division was assigned another completely new mission as part of a pilot project to conduct Reserve Officer Training Corps training at three colleges and universities in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. That pilot now has been expanded nationally and the 108th Division formally added a ROTC group to its organizational structure. In October of 1998, the 108th Division assumed command and control of the former 265th US Army Forces School in Puerto Rico, which added an 8th Brigade.
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