Officers who graduated from the School of Advanced Military Studies Thursday are about to enter the most demanding jobs of the military.
That’s according to Col. Thomas C. Graves, director of SAMS.
“Students, congratulations on making it to the finish line,” he told the graduates.
About 120 people graduated Thursday from SAMS, a graduate level school that’s part of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
“You’re an incredibly important cohort of young officers,” said the graduation ceremony’s guest speaker, Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo III.
Cucolo is the director of the Force Development Office of the deputy chief of staff G-8. He soon will become the commandant of the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania.
Most of Thursday’s graduates were Army officers, but the class included members of other branches of the U.S. military. The class also included military officers from other countries. There also were civilian graduates from U.S. agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of State.
This was the first SAMS class to graduate in 2012. A second class will graduate later in the year.
Cucolo said the work of the graduating U.S. military officers will impact thousands of lives as they serve as planners. He said their work also will have a price tag on it.
He offered tips regarding expectations of operational planners which included being fluent and current in doctrine, being creative and maintaining contact with the commanding general. He said another expectation involves the key leadership trait of empathy.
He said the officers should picture themselves as the people who will carry out the plans they create.
“Build that plan as if you are personally walking with them,” Cucolo said.
Graves said the graduates would not have been at the ceremony Thursday without the support of their families.
“You and I both owe them a huge debt of gratitude,” he said.