They still had to wait another day before receiving their diplomas. But international military students were presented badges Thursday to show they’re graduates of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
“This is a great day for our international military students and their families,” said Maj. Gordon B. Davis Jr., deputy commandant of the CGSC. “We had a great year.”
The 45 international military students who were presented the International Graduate Badge Thursday are among the more than 300 military officers and interagency personnel who are scheduled to graduate this morning from CGSC’s 10-month Command and General Staff Officer Course.
“It is hard to believe this year has passed so quickly,” Lt. Col. Dut Nyangroor of South Sudan said during Thursday’s badge ceremony.
Nyangroor provided the senior international military student address.
He said he’s certain the friendships the international officers have made during their time at Fort Leavenworth will continue throughout their lives.
Davis said the CGSC has a long history of hosting international military students, a tradition that started in 1894.
He said the CGSC has seen some of the world’s best and brightest pass through its doors.
He said the presence of the these officers has enriched the education and personal development of others at the fort.
About 7,500 international officers have studied at Fort Leavenworth, representing 160 countries. Davis said the latest country to joins these ranks is Tajikistan, which was represented by one of the graduating students who was recognized Thursday.
Davis said the graduating international military students represent a total of 44 countries. He said some of these nations may be in conflict and the hope of peace rests of the shoulders of the graduating officers.
During Thursday’s ceremony, it was announced that one officer, Maj. Terrence McDonald of New Zealand, will be receiving the Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower Award and the Maj. Gen. Hans Schlup Award. The recipients of these awards are chosen from international military students who graduate from the CGSC.
The two awards, along with other honors, will be presented during today’s graduation ceremony.