Thursday marked a new beginning for about 30 military officers at Fort Leavenworth, according to an Army official.
The officers, who were graduating from the School of Advanced Military Studies, will be starting a new phase of their careers, Lt. Gen. David R. Hogg said.
Hogg, who was the guest speaker during Thursday's graduation ceremony, is the U.S. military representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Military Committee. He also is a SAMS graduate.
"I am proud to be a SAMS graduate," he said. "It is a great accomplishment and you all should be proud of that accomplishment as well."
About 30 military officers graduated Thursday from the SAMS Advanced Military Studies Program, which is a one-year, graduate level course. Each of Thursday's graduates received a Master of Military Art and Science degree.
Hogg said SAMS has a reputation for producing skilled, adaptable planners.
Most of Thursday's graduates are Army officers, but the class included two officers from the U.S. Air Force. And two of the graduates serve in the militaries of foreign countries — Pakistan and the United Kingdom. Two of Thursday's graduates are civilian employees of the Department of State.
And while most of the military officers who graduated Thursday hold the rank of major or lieutenant colonel, there was one chief warrant officer in the group.
This was the second class to graduate from SAMS this year.
Col. Thomas C. Graves, director of SAMS, said the graduates had completed a rigorous course of instruction.
"They have done well and deserve today's recognition," he said.
One of Thursday's graduates, Maj. Michael J. Gunther, said SAMS gives its students a broad education. He said it gives a graduate "a lot of different tools."
Gunther was recognized during the ceremony for writing the best monograph.